Warning! The following contains SPOILERS for Spider-Man: Far From Home. read at your own risk.
If it wasn't clear prior to Spider-Man: Far From Home, the Spidey-sequel certainly solidified Tom Holland will be a different Peter Parker than Tobey Maguire's iconic Spider-Man. Apologies to Andrew Garfield in advance, but when it comes to the definitive version of the Web-Slinger to have graced cinema, fans largely seem torn between Maguire and Holland. With that said, can they ever be truly compared considering their alter ego's lives are so different?
People will make comparisons regardless of whether or not it's necessarily fair to, and that's completely fine. In fact, it's a great thing these two couldn't be more different, for reasons we'll get into below. We'll also touch on some of the major differences between Maguire and Holland's Peter Parkers, and the difference it may make for Holland's Peter going forward.
Tobey Maguire's Peter Parker
Throughout the course of the Sam Raimi films, Tobey Maguire's Peter Parker is mainly down on his luck and struggling. Whether it's love, disappointing loved ones or trying to keep a roof over his head, things are pretty rough on him throughout the trilogy. Being an adult is rough, especially if it isn't common knowledge you're also a superhero trying to save the world.
"With great power comes great responsibility." It really all comes back to that phrase throughout Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man run, as he experiences every interpretation of that phrase over the course of three films. Maguire's Peter Parker is always trying to live up to the mantra bestowed upon him by his dead Uncle Ben (who was sneakily referenced in the recent film). He's ultimately driven by his loss, and often tried to live up to the man his uncle was.
Superpowers aside, Tobey Maguire's Peter Parker is the average man and possibly one of the most relatable heroes in Marvel for that reason. Even with his powers, he's just another dude trying to get by, which may be the beauty in being a hero only subject to standalone films. Overall, there's a reason people still love those movies today, and a lot of it is due to his arc as Peter Parker.
How Tom Holland's Peter Parker Is Different Than Tobey Maguire's
We don't know where the arc of Tom Holland's Peter Parker is going, but we can assume it'll be very hard for him to become that same person. Mysterio revealed his identity to the world, who will probably not be able to keep a secret like those folks in that subway incident. Jokes aside, one can imagine Peter won't have a job at the Daily Bugle following that exposé.
We haven't seen who Tom Holland's Peter Parker was before becoming Spider-Man, but instead have seen him grow throughout his experiences within the MCU. Tony Stark played the mentor to Tom Holland's Peter Parker that Ben was to Tobey Magure's Parker, and that difference in mentorship has been quite phenomenal. Ben passed on some words of wisdom, whereas Tony has passed on technology and a weapons system that could obliterate just about anything he could ever want.
With his identity compromised and Tony Stark's gifts at his disposal, there's really no foreseeable way Peter Parker kicks off the next Spider-Man movie delivering pizzas for fellow New Yorkers. This Peter Parker hasn't been an every man since he caught that vibranium shield in Captain America: Civil War, and it's hard to imagine his life will suddenly become normal.
Why This Change Is Great For The MCU
As great as Tobey Maguire's arc as Peter Parker was, it would've been foolhardy to attempt and recreate it within the context of the MCU. Tom Holland's Peter learned the world was much bigger than his life very early on into his run, and that has consumed him ever since. He couldn't even take a vacation without having to suit up, but that's just the world he lives in.
Take that in comparison to Tobey Maguire's Peter Parker, who spent a chunk of Spider-Man 2 choosing a normal life over heroic responsibilities. It's a luxury the MCU's Peter Parker couldn't afford even when he tried to do so, because the world is much bigger than him. Making him as self-centered as as Maguire's Parker is at points would make him immature, which is sort of ironic given Holland's Peter is much younger.
It's ironic, but also appropriate. Tom Holland's Peter Parker may be much younger than Tobey Maguire's throughout his arc so far, but he's experienced a hell of a lot more. This includes an extinction level event that everyone is still trying to heal from post Avengers: Endgame. He may not be the most mature Spider-Man, but he's done pretty well considering the circumstances, and has yet to lose his powers because he got "sad."
Why This Change Is Great For Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man
In defense of Tobey Maguire's Peter Parker, the world was a lot more chill in his multiverse. He only had to deal with a major villain every couple of years, and the rest was mainly petty crime. He wasn't living in a world as crazy as the MCU, so we can't really rag on the fact he could afford to have an existential crisis.
There's no denying that Tom Holland's Peter Parker is nothing like Tobey Maguire's in regards to how their personal lives play out. With that said, the MCU hasn't messed up here and doesn't need to make Holland's character more similar, nor do people need to constantly compare Holland's Spider-Man with Maguire's. They're both incredible, and dare I say, amazing? Again, sorry to Andrew Garfield and all the fans who hold his Spider-Man in the highest regard.
The fact these two are so separate is a blessing for audiences, as neither performance really steps on the toes of the other. Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man is still great and holds up, and Tom Holland's Spider-Man is right up there with him. Their differences make it easy to celebrate both without having to decide which is the definitive hero, which is a luxury not all heroes (or their actors) get. Additionally, there's still the crazy chance these guys could work together in some Spider-Verse sequel, so let's be happy they're different.
Agree? Disagree? Need to weigh in on Andrew Garfield's behalf? Any and all commentary is welcome in the comments, and be sure to stick with CinemaBlend for more on Spider-Man: Far From Home, and other things happening in movies and television.