So you saw Spider-Man: Homecoming and wanted to…wait, you didn’t see it yet? What are you doing reading this? It’s going to spoil everything! There’s a spoiler free review on the site. You’ll want to read that instead.
Ok, for those of you who have seen it, read on…
I’m going to reference a lot about something known as the Ultimate Marvel Universe. It was a whole line of comics that existed in a parallel earth to the regular Marvel Comics earth. Some of it has merged with the regular comics, but it was basically a way for Marvel to reset the comics without interfering with the full history of their characters. Things were rather different, yet still the same. It’s much like the way the movies are somewhat similar to the comics, but not completely like them. If you’ve seen Star Trek movies, it’s like how the newer ones exist at the same time as the older ones. They’re not the same universe, but very similar, and are connected to each other.
The first thing I want to point out and address is Liz, Peter’s crush. In the comics she was a bit of a love interest of Parker’s, but nothing really came of it. They never got together. Instead, Liz became the wife of Peter’s best friend, Harry Osborn.
If you’ve seen the movie you might be wondering if it really is the same Liz. It’s not known for sure, but seems very possible. The relation to Toomes/The Vulture is an odd twist because there was no relation in the comics.
Who is Ned?
There is a Ned in the comics, but he becomes a villain known as Hobgoblin. Ned in the movie does not seem to be this Ned. Ned in the movie is a lot like Ganke from the Ultimate universe. He’s the friend of Miles Morales, the second Spider-Man in the Ultimate comics, and is now in the main Marvel universe. Ganke is Asian and has some other similar features to Ned in the movie. Ganke knows Miles’ secret identity much like Ned knows in the movie. I submit that Ganke is the inspiration for Ned.
This is the high school Peter does attend in the comics, greatly referenced in the Ultimate Universe. That’s it. Just pointing that out.
In a list of inventory, Happy Hogan tries to say the name of Thor’s belt. It’s Megingjord in comics and mythology, and yes, it really is.
Betty is one of the high school news reporters throughout the movie. She’s been a long time supporting character for Peter Parker, and a love interest at that. She eventually works at the Daily Bugle where Peter is a photographer.
Right when his name was said on the big screen my eyes widened. Then, there was a tattoo that gave away more of this character’s future. First, where does he appear in the movie? He’s one of the main henchmen on the ferry ship. He has a scorpion tattoo on his neck. And he appears in the scene in the middle of the credits. In the comics he’s one of Spidey’s longtime foes – Scorpion. At one point he even becomes Venom. The tattoo shows that he’ll probably be Scorpion first and most likely in the sequel.
Donald Glover is Aaron Davis, a small time criminal. In the comics, he is Miles Morales’ uncle, and is known as The Prowler. Prowler is a super criminal at first, but in the main Marvel Universe doubles as Spidey in recent comics.
Press Conference and Iron Spider
Tony Stark at the end of the film has a press conference set up for Spider-Man with a new more metal suit. It seems very reminiscent of a huge event in the comics known as Civil War. In the comics, Stark has Spidey at a press conference to reveal his secret identity to the world. He was already living at Avengers headquarters, which Stark invites Peter to do at the end of the film. Peter Parker even has a suit known as the Iron Spider suit. Though it’s different in the movie, it seems like it’s a bit of an homage to that.
Iron Man Ushers In Ultimate Universe
I think the Marvel Studios films are now drawing from more of the Ultimate Universe than the main one. Why? Iron Man’s armor in this film. Tony Stark’s new Mach armor is very similar to the Ultimate Comics version. It can’t be coincidence and must be a bit of a reference to say that this is more the Ultimate Universe than the main one. Couple that with Ned being like Ganke, and I think it points to it more.
Zendaya’s character reveals a nickname at the end of the film: MJ. This strikes a chord in Spider-Man fans because it’s the nickname and initials of the most famous woman in Peter Parker’s life: Mary Jane. It’s obvious that Zendaya’s character is headed towards a closer relationship with the web slinger. In main Marvel comics, they are married and then retconned to not be married, and now MJ is Tony Stark’s right hand woman. But, this isn’t Mary Jane, it’s Michelle Jane. So, how does this work? Well, in the Ultimate Universe, MJ is Peter’s best friend and though they do have a relationship at one point, it takes a long time before it happens, and even it’s on and off again.
Video Diary and Other Comic References
At the beginning we see a lot of Peter setting up his phone to record what he does as Spider-Man. The significance of this is that Peter often set up his photo camera to take pictures so he could sell them to J. Jonah Jameson at the Daily Bugle. It was a great homage to a classic element of the comics.
Vulture’s causing the ceiling to collapse on Spider-Man wasn’t any direct reference to a comic moment, but something that often happened to Spidey. Buildings would often leave him in a crushing state. It was a chance for comic writers to show off just how powerful Peter Parker really is. Other things that referenced comics is how much Spider-Man gets beaten up, but keeps going. And his trying to save the neighborhood but is a bit of a nuisance. It creates that tension between him and the community. It’s all what makes Spidey this great, all around hero.
And though there was no mention of “with great power comes great responsibility” Tony gives a new take on this with his line about the suit.
There was quite a bit to this movie, and I may have missed some things. There may have been a reference to Gwen Stacy in there, but I can’t say because I heard it mentioned and didn’t see it. Also in the first scene of Parker walking through the halls of school there is a white haired girl a bit prominent in the background. Black Cat, a criminal love interest of Spider-Man’s has white hair. It’s not certain if this was a reference, but I have to wonder.
If you can think of any others, feel free to say in the comments below!