Spider-Man is my favorite superhero of all time. I am, therefore, happy to say that Spider-Man has come home at last! In Tom Holland we finally find a great portrayal of the comic book Spider-Man. Holland shines both as the dorky, smart, insecure Peter Parker, and the wise-cracking, superpowered hero. Holland is supported by a strong cast who act, talk, and feel like actual teenagers, as well as, a fantastic turn by Michael Keaton. There are things I could nitpick, but Spider-man is such a blast to watch, it is easy to forget the quibbles. I highly recommend seeing Spider-Man: Homecoming on the biggest screen you can in theaters.
At its core Spider-Man: Homecoming ask one question, “what does it mean to be a hero?” At one point in the film Tony takes back Peter’s suit. Peter pleads, “But I am nothing without this suit.” Tony wisely responds, “If you are nothing without the suit, then you shouldn’t have it.
In a sudden turn later in the film Toomes discovers Peter is Spider-Man. Toomes gives Peter 2 choices, either leave him alone, or he will kill Peter and everyone he loves.
Donning his original suit Peter chooses to confront Toomes. Peter becomes pinned under massive pile of rubble. Holland superbly portrays a scared kid stuck, crying out for someone to come help. Looking at his mask on the floor, a flashback of Tony Stark says, “If you are nothing without the suit, then you shouldn’t have it.” Peter then says, “come on Peter,” and then switches to, “come on Spider-Man, come on Spider-man.” Spider-Man triumphantly lifts the heavy rubble and escapes to continue to fight the Vulture.
The film suggest this is where Peter becomes a hero. I believe it misses what makes someone truly heroic. Furthermore, it lacks an essential part of what makes Peter Parker so special. A friend rightly pointed out to me that using Tony Stark’s quote here changes the message. It makes heroism about believing in yourself and having powers to overcome physical obstacles. But is this what it means to be heroic? I think not. Heroism is found in self-sacrifice, a refusal to give up, and a sense of duty to do what is right. Heroism is a recognition that, “with great power comes great responsibility.” Jesus is the hero of the Bible. His heroism is in his humility, his goodness, and his sacrifice for the good of others.
The Bible teaches that all believers have been given gifts and skills. Spider-Man presses us to recognize that we are responsible to use these good gifts for God. God has given us a heroic calling to serve him, his Church, our communities, and to expand his kingdom to the ends of the earth will we be heroic like Spider-Man and take on our responsibilities? Will we answer the call?
“God has given us a heroic calling to serve him, his Church, our communities, and to expand his kingdom to the ends of the earth will we be heroic like Spider-Man and take on our responsibilities? Will we answer the call?”