I’m going to say something that some Spider-Man fans might find controversial, but Andrew Garfield was never the problem with The Amazing Spider-Man movies. I’ll say that again. Andrew Garfield was never the problem with either of his Spider-Man movies. Now, as a fan of the webhead, you might think, how can that be? The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is probably the most maligned of the Spider-Man movies (outside of Spider-Man 3) of course, and Andrew Garfield was at the center of that film. Well, him and Electro.
But what if I were to tell you that Andrew Garfield really had nothing to do with that, and in fact, is actually my favorite version of Spider-Man thus far on the big screen? You might think I’m nuts, and that’s okay. I am nuts. Nuts for Spider-Man. And when I watched the recent Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer, it just got me to thinking about how much I loved Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man. No disrespect to Tom Holland or Tobey Maguire, but Andrew Garfield will always be my preferred version of the wall crawling web-slinger, and I have five reasons why.
Oh, and minor spoilers up ahead.
Andrew Garfield Has The Best Banter Out Of All The Spider-Men
I know everybody is a Spider-Man expert now, but back when I was a dweeby kid, I didn’t know many people who read comic books. Yes, everybody loved watching the X-Men and Spider-Man cartoon series, but I didn’t personally know a lot of people who went to the comic book shop every month and picked up new issues of The Maxx or Spider-Man like I did. And one thing I always loved about the Spider-Man in the comics was that he always made fun of his villains. It wasn’t enough to just punch them in the head and string them up to a lamppost. He also had to verbally mock them, as well.
Andrew Garfield is still, to this day, the only Spider-Man who I feel successfully pulled that off in the movies. Yes, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man gets a word in edgewise when he’s dressed in the red and blue, but I find that he’s the goofiest, and most innocent of the Spider-Men we’ve gotten so far. And don’t get me started on Tobey Maguire. I think he made for a great Peter Parker, but he was kind of quiet once he put on the mask. No, when it came to bantering with his villains, Andrew Garfield felt the most like Spider-Man to me. At least the Spider-Man I used to pick up at the comic book shop once a month with my dad.
He Is The Perfect Middle Ground Between Tom Holland And Tobey Maguire
Now, as I mentioned before, I like both Tom Holland and Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man. In fact, unlike Batman, I don’t think there’s ever been a bad Spider-Man in the movies. Tobey Maguire had a sort of innocent charm to him, but he was pretty much an adult in Spider-Man 2 and 3. And Tom Holland is definitely the most awkward Spider-Man, and also the youngest and most inexperienced.
Both make for a great Spider-Man. But Andrew Garfield is the perfect in-between. He’s nerdy, but also kind of cool, and much more self-assured. He’s like Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man 3, but not shaking his hips and dancing on tables. And he seems to have fun with being Spider-Man, like Tom Holland’s version; swinging through the city and marveling at the fact that he’s this really cool hero. Andrew Garfield was the best of both worlds, and it really stinks that we never got a movie truly worthy of his talents. The first movie came close, but that second movie. Man, what a turkey.
He Has The Most Similar Body Type To The Comic Version Of Spider-Man
This might not be important to everybody, but Andrew Garfield is the only Spider-Man who has a similar body type to the one in the comics. When I look at Spider-Man, the first thing I think of is a swimmer’s build. He’s not really muscular, per se, but he’s lengthy, and angular. I don’t really know, off-hand, how tall Tobey Maguire or Tom Holland are, but I wouldn’t say either of them have those features. In fact, the recent Spider-Man movies make Tom Holland look kind of small to make him appear like he’s still in high school.
But, The Amazing Spider-Man movies made Andrew Garfield appear just like the Spider-Man in the comics. He looked great as Peter Parker (though maybe a bit too cool), and phenomenal once he put on the suit. Again, it wasn’t important to everyone, but when it came to immersion, I was definitely the most immersed with Andrew Garfield, and mostly because he looked the part of the Spider-Man I’ve always had in my mind when I read the comics.
He Created His Own Web-Shooters
Yes, I know. Tom Holland’s Spider-Man made web fluid, too, so you might say this is a moot point. But my main issue with the most recent Spider-Man movies is that most of the tech Spider-Man has is not his own, as Iron Man gave it to him. What annoys me about this is that Spider-Man’s genius and intellect is merely hinted at in the recent movies. And, in the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man flicks, he doesn’t even have to create web-shooters. It’s just a part of his DNA once he’s bitten by the spider. Sure, this is great shorthand storytelling, but it’s always bugged me. Pun not intended.
Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man has a whole great scene where he creates his web-shooters and costume, and I’ve always loved how Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man seemed to be the most into science, which is a key component to his character. So, again, the other two Spider-Men definitely have that aspect in their films, but the Andrew Garfield version nails it the best.
He Is The Only Spider-Man Who Started Off With Gwen Stacy
Okay, so this might be another small point, but it’s an important one to me. Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man is the only one who started off with Gwen Stacy as a love interest. Played by Emma Stone in his movies, Gwen Stacy is an integral part of Spider-Man’s backstory. And I don’t just mean her death. I also mean her connection to her father, police captain George Stacy, and as Peter Parker’s first high school crush.
Now, Tobey Maguire’s and Tom Holland’s version of Spider-Man just jumped right to Mary Jane Watson, which, yeah, I get. Anybody who even remotely knows about Spider-Man usually associates him with Mary Jane, who he met much later and eventually married. I love that Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man didn’t even bring Mary Jane Watson into play and just stuck with the early basics. Plus, Garfield and Stone had great chemistry together. It just worked out better, and I appreciate that.
So, those are five reasons why Andrew Garfield is still my favorite version of Spider-Man. What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the poll below. For information on upcoming Marvel movies or Spider-Man: No Way Home, make sure to web swing by here often.
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Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.
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