While his screen time was brief compared to most of Captain America: Civil War's other characters, Tom Holland's Spider-Man made a remarkable impression last year in the Star-Spangled Avenger's third flick. This summer, Peter Parker will have the spotlight all to himself in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and he already has a full workload, from fighting the Vulture to navigating high school. With four months to go until the movie's release, there's still a fair amount we don't know about the movie, but one thing we here at CinemaBlend have been recently thinking about is whether or not Peter Parker might reveal that he's Spider-Man to the public.
As seen in the first Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer, at least one person from Peter Parker's personal life (Ned Leeds) will find out he's the Web-Slinger, but we're thinking about an identity reveal closer to the one from the original Civil War storyline, where Peter unmasked on live television. Granted, the public knowing Spider-Man's identity was later undone by Mephisto, but it still counts! Anyway, keeping that major moment in mind, we've decided to go over the pros and cons of the MCU's Peter Parker revealing to the world that he's Spider-Man, along with our final verdict on the matter.
Yes, He Should
The main argument for Peter Parker unmasking as Spider-Man is that secret identities in the MCU aren't nearly as important as they are in the Marvel comics universe. Iron Man set the precedent when Tony Stark opted to toss aside the excuse that Iron Man was his bodyguard and say in front of those reporters and cameras that he was the armored hero. Since then, most of the MCU heroes haven't bothered with hiding who they are from the public. Besides Spider-Man, Ant-Man is really the only one of the MCU film heroes who has a secret identity, although since Scott Lang was imprisoned in Captain America: Civil War, maybe that's changed. Even on the TV side of things, Matt Murdock, a.k.a. Daredevil, is the only one who bothers wearing a mask while beating up the bad guys.
Thanks to that iconic mask of his (complete with adjustable eyes pieces in this continuity), Peter Parker stands a better chance of keeping his identity secret from the public from most heroes. But it's still not foolproof, and perhaps during the events of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter will take a cue from his comic book and decide to reveal his identity to the world. Since he's Tony Stark's protege, he and his Aunt May would presumably be given proper protection from those who would want revenge against the Web-Slinger. Keep in mind that even if Peter's identity was outed, that doesn't necessarily mean he would do it purposefully. From what we've seen and read in trailers and reports so far, Michael Keaton's Vulture sounds like he'll be a formidable foe, so he may find an opportunity during the movie to ruin Peter's life by showing everyone who he is.
No, He Shouldn't
Unlike the other major MCU heroes, Peter Parker is still a minor. When he's not swinging around protecting people, he's going to high school, doing homework, hanging out with friends and trying to keep some semblance of a normal life. Unmasking to the public would throw all that out the proverbial window and likely cause Peter more harm than good, especially since he also has to worry about not endangering Aunt May. Besides, despite his aloof nature around Peter, Tony Stark obviously cares about the teenager and wants to protect him, so the billionaire industrialist would hammer it into his protege that revealing his identity would be a huge mistake. This may also be a way to put a twist on an element from the Ultimate Spider-Man universe, where S.H.I.E.L.D. couldn't force Peter to reveal his identity until he turned 18. Now that the Sokovia Accords have been passed, maybe something similar could prevent Peter from revealing himself as Spider-Man to the entire world.
It's also important to remember that when Peter Parker unmasked during the Civil War comic book story, that came after decades of stories, and he was an adult by that point. There was much more weight behind the moment, but for the MCU, we haven't nearly had enough time with this version of Peter, so such a reveal wouldn't be nearly as interesting. Perhaps most importantly at all, keeping at least one MCU hero with a secret identity would make Spider-Man stand out even more among the crowd. Not that he isn't popular enough, of course.
It's certainly possible that the world will one day learn that Peter Parker is Spider-Man in the MCU, but as far as it happening in Spider-Man: Homecoming, that would be a mistake. Even though secret identities aren't as important in this franchise, Spider-Man needs to be the exception for as long as possible. We need at least one hero who is balancing that classic double life from the comics, and Peter can't enjoy having the "normal life" if everyone, including his classmates and neighbors, know he's Spider-Man. There's no doubt that more people besides Ned Leeds will learn Peter is Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming and its sequels, but in terms of a public spectacle where the young hero has his identity revealed, either by his own choice or against his wishes, that should be avoided. Let Peter enjoy getting to be a superhero and a regular teenager, even if he frequently has trouble balancing those two worlds. He doesn't need that added fame.
What do you think? Should Spider-Man: Homecoming show Peter Parker being publicly outed as the Wall-Crawler, or should his identity stay a secret to most of the population? Let us know in the poll and comments below.
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Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.
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