Who’s the best Spiderman? Staffers debate
May 12, 2022
Tobey Maguire – My Love
Let me take you back two decades – a time when Spider-Man changed the true meaning of what it meant to be a superhero. We had our knees clasped to our chests as our unblinking eyes watched the alluring Tobey Maguire save New York City with a 3-0 record. The debate on who is the best Spider-Man may seem nuanced and controversial at first, especially with the recent surge of Spider-Man spirit via the release of “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” but we are simply all just brainwashed by the recency of Tom Holland and Andrew Garfield that we forget who truly is the strongest, kindest, and best Spider-Man: Tobey Maguire.
When we consider the strength of the three Spider-men, many would suggest Holland’s Spider-Man is the strongest; after all, he did manage to keep a sinking ship together. Well, holding anything together becomes immensely less challenging when you are in a suit produced by Stark Industries, whereas Maguire demonstrated his strength by literally breaking through the product of his suit. Yes, that’s right; when a subway full of innocent people was zooming 55 mph towards the open water, Maguire managed to stop the train, but not before ripping his suit with his massive biceps, establishing that Maguire’s Spiderman strength is not enhanced by his suit, but rather his strength breaks the own limitations of his suit. Not only is Maguire the strongest Spider-Man, but he is also the only Spider-man of the three who doesn’t rely on web-shooters. Unlike Garfield and Holland, who create their web fluid in a lab, Maguire generates web fluid inside his own body – as a spider would.
A hero is defined by his greatest villains, and it isn’t even a debate that Maguire’s villains surpass those of Garfield and Holland. Norman Osborn is a scientist who lost his sanity in an experiment. The audience fears him yet feels sympathetic for him, for he is Peter Parker’s best friend’s dad who watched over Parker, and no matter how hard he tries, he can’t stop the Green Goblin from corrupting his mind. The sympathy continues with Doc Ock, Sandman, and Harry Osborn in the following films of the series, and they all have stories and initiatives for their evil much more enticing than the narcissistic lizard and the pissed-off battery-man Garfield faces.
We all saw Holland’s Spider-Man lose his nerve as he raised the Green Goblin’s glider to kill him, and Garfield’s Spider-man admitted that he “stopped pulling his punches” after Gwen’s death. However, after all the pain Maguire’s Spider-Man has faced, he has never lost his nerve. In fact, he was able to forgive Sandman for the death of his uncle and of course, he was there to stop Holland from killing the Green Goblin. The size of his heart and the content of his character make Maguire’s Spider-Man genuinely understand that “with great power comes great responsibility.”
And if that hasn’t persuaded you enough, Maguire won Best Kiss at the MTV Movie Awards.
The recent debate over which spider-man is better has been highly controversial in the past couple of weeks. It goes without saying that each actor is talented and unique in their own way portraying the role, however taking into consideration the character and movies as a whole, it is without a doubt that Andrew Garfield is the “better spider-man.”
It’s inarguable to claim that Garfield exceeded the expectations regarding his acting abilities. He does an outstanding job showing his emotions while wearing the spider-man suit. Even though you cannot see any concern on his face due to the mask coving it up, Garfield’s body language conveys precisely what he is feeling. Furthermore, Garfield reveals this vulnerable, softer side around Gwen that illustrates the pain and growth he’s experiencing to the audience. On top of that, Garfield is, by far, the most confident and charismatic of the three spider-man actors. Not to mention his wits, he even created an overcurrent to overload Electro’s power, eventually causing him to explode into pure energy in the Amazing Spider-Man 2. And while Tom Holland and Maguire are not stupid by any means, it’s Garfield that has used his intelligence to take down villains more often (with the help of the incredible Gwen Stacy.)
This leads me to the next topic, the remainder of the cast. As mentioned above, it’s incomparable which of the three love interest is superior. Gwen Stacy – played by Emma Stone – and Andrew Garfield had the best on-screen chemistry throughout the two movies. Gwen supported Peter and was never a burden while he was fighting, in fact, she constantly aided him. Unlike Mary Jane, Gwen loved Peter Parker; she fell in love with him and finding out he was spider-man didn’t change how she felt. Likewise, Garfield also shares the most intimate relationship with his Aunt May. In the Amazing Spider-Man 2, Garfield questions his father’s abandonment, exposing spider-mans close relationship with Aunt May.
Although the other two spider-man series are astounding productions, there are some flaws in the storylines. Tom Holland never got an origin story; iron man just showed up at his door in Queens one day to recruit him to fight against Captain America. Also, Holland was outsmarted by Mysterio, an everyday human, who revealed Holland’s identity to the whole world. And it may be argued that Holland is the “strongest” of the three spider-man, even though it’s the Stark industry suit that gives him all his strength. In Maguire’s case, most people argue that he portrayed the best Perter Parker; however, he looked too old it was unrealistic for him to be in high school. Clearly Garfield looked just as old as Maguire, but he isn’t known for representing the most realistic Peter Parker, something many fans argue Maguire is.
Maguire, Garfield and Holland are all incredibly talented actors, but in the end, to state the obvious, the film isn’t called “the amazing spider-man” by coincidence.
Nowadays, the most controversial topic in society is undoubtedly the question of who is the best Spiderman. There is all of this nonsense about how “Tobey Maguire is the best Peter Parker, and Andrew Garfield is the best Spiderman,” however with this in mind, I would argue, along with many others in this world, that Tom Holland is the true winner being the best overall.
Now the reasons are extensive but first, let me start off by saying that there is a reason Tom Holland has been in the most movies (6) and undoubtedly had the most success. Tom Holland takes on the role of Spiderman and Peter Parker the most effectively, obviously because of his effortless charm, good looks, while also being able to protect New York and be the friendly neighborhood spiderman everyone knows and loves.
Holland’s movies display what Peter Parker is supposed to be, a shy, nerdy kid living in New York City living a double life taking on deadly villains such as Mysterio who wreaked havoc in “Far from Home.” Throughout all of these movies, despite Holland’s continuous loss, including his mentor, Tony Stark, his aunt and sole protector, Aunt May, and having everyone left in his life, including his first love MJ, forget him, he still would do anything to protect New York. Can the same be said for, oh I don’t know, Andrew Garfield? For a large chunk of his first movie, he spent all of his time and power seeking vengeance on his Uncle Ben’s killer.
Personally, I believe the best overall Spiderman would put his city and all of the people in it over his own heartbreak, and this is precisely what Holland does. While on the topic of the characters in Holland’s movies, the addition of this impeccable cast, Zendaya as MJ, Jacob Natalon as Ned (his best friend and sidekick) and Marisa Tomei as Aunt May all added to the complexity of Holland’s character. First of all, the development of his crush, and eventual love for Zendaya demonstrates Holland’s ability to play a nerdy high schooler who doesn’t have experience with love.
This displays a side not very well conveyed in Maguire and Garfield’s movies. Maguire was far too cold and quite honestly, old-looking and appearing to play a young teenager in love, which is necessary for all Spiderman movies. Additionally, with Garfield, he was seen as too suave and cocky to be what Peter Parker is supposed to encompass. There is the argument for that sentimental value that Maguire and Garfield have. Most people grew up knowing them as “their spidermen,” however, everyone knows the saying “save the best for last,” and clearly, this is the exact idea Sony and Marvel had when casting Tom Holland to play Spiderman.