Comparing Each Spider-Mans’ First Movie


A comparison between The Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man: Homecoming’s movie cases. Both are very colorful, but differ in the mood, as The Amazing Spider-Man is darker.

Lily Eberly, AME Editor

Growing up in the early 2000s, many loved watching Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man movies. Some may have gained an interest in someday turning into Spider-Man themselves, but of course that did not happen; however, since Maguire’s time, two more actors have lived the dream of becoming Marvel’s Spider-Man; Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland. 

When Holland’s Spider-Man: Homecoming came out, with all my might I refused to see it because no one, in my mind, could replace Maguire. I had seen Garfield’s version of the beloved hero, but I did not think much of it.

Fast forward, almost three years later, I finally watched Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. While watching it, it was noticeable about what was similar and different between the other two first Spider-Mans.

Each version of Spider-Man has a first movie, of course. All three share similarities and all three have their differences.

To compare these movies, — steering clear from bias of which the best Spider-Man is — I will be comprehending the storylines and characters that may be the same or different for each first movie. 




Unlike the original Spider-Man movie, Garfield and Holland’s suits had some kind of technology embedded in them. Garfield had made the web shooters on his wrists, while Holland had the web shooters plus the same type of high tech equipment that Iron Man has in his suit so he can see closer, hear from further away, and even send out a small flying spider camera to investigate wherever Parker pleases.

Peter was given a major upgrade thanks to Iron Man, which is something the other two Spider-Mans did not have access to; they weren’t connected to other superheroes.

A collage of Tom Holland’s, Andrew Garfield’s, and Tobey Maguire’s suits. In Spider-Man and in The Amazing Spider-Man, they make the suits themselves; Tony Stark makes the recognizable suit for Spider-Man: Homecoming. (Reddit)

All of the first Spider-Man movies establish a love interest. Spider-Man’s love interest was MJ, portrayed by Kirtsten Dunst; The Amazing Spider-Man’s love interest was Gwen Stacy, portrayed by Emma Stone; and Spider-Man: Homecoming’s love interest was Liz Allen, portrayed by Laura Harrier — however, MJ is also in this movie and is now portrayed by Zendaya.

Casting Zendaya as MJ gave the Marvel Cinematic Universe a whole new look. She gave diversity to the character, showing that anyone, no matter what the color of their skin is, could play this character. 

All three actors portrayed Peter Parker as a dorky-kind-of-guy; they are all very shy around their peers.


The suits of each Spider-Man are very different, with Maguire’s being the simplest; no gadgets. Besides the technology, the suits all have different designs, yet they still keep the red and blue color scheme. The spider on Spider-Man’s chest changes throughout these first movies; Maguire’s spider emblem has shorter legs and is higher on his chest, Garfield’s has longer legs and is lower by his torso, and Holland has a very small spider in the middle of his chest.

In Holland’s Spider-Man, Peter is not an aspiring photographer; he is more into engineering. Maguire and Garfield both played Parker as a student photographer. 

Uncle Ben is only present in Spider-Man and in The Amazing Spider-Man. As a character, he influenced Peter’s motive to use his powers for good.

“Andrew Garfield is playing a more modern comic book adaptation where he is about to enter college and he’s dealing with his life between being a high school student and dealing with being Spider-Man,” junior Evan Passmore said. “Now, with Tom Holland it takes a fresh spin with giving Peter his origin without the use of Uncle Ben; and Aunt May is younger.”

Quite noticeably, the ages portrayed in each first movie have varied. With each new Spider-Man, the ages have decreased; for example, the 2002 version had Uncle Ben and Aunt May aging like grandparents while the 2012 and 2017 versions kept those characters’ ages between 30 and 50.



Each first Spider-Man movie contains a villain that just so happens to be related to a person that Peter Parker is friends with. In the 2002 version, Parker’s best friend Harry Osborn lives with his dad Norman, who happens to be Green Goblin, the villain of the movie. In the Amazing Spider-Man, Parker’s father used to be friends with Dr. Curt Connors, who ends up as the villain The Lizard. In Spider-Man: Homecoming, Parker’s crush’s dad is the main villain: the Vulture. 

Each Villain finds out who Spider-Man is: Green Goblin/Norman Osborn finds out Maguire is the hero when they each reveal their identities and Norman Osborn begs Parker not to tell Harry of what he has done. 

The Lizard figures out Parker is Spider-Man when the Lizard triggers Peter’s camera to snap a photo of him; looking at the camera, the writing “Property of Peter Parker” is present. 

The Vulture takes part in a conversation between Peter Parker and Liz, where she subtly drops hints that he could be Spider-Man without knowing. 


A well-known photo from the very first Spider-Man movie shows Maguire looking at his hands. Through the spider bite, he gains strength along with spider-sense — Garfield and Holland also have this sense. (Sony)

The only movie that actually shows Peter’s parents is The Amazing Spider-Man; in the beginning of the movie, Peter and his dad are playing hide and seek until Peter goes into the study to find that someone had broken into the house.

This adaption on showing Peter’s parents gives an insight into how old Peter was when he began living with his aunt and uncle. Peter was automatically given more developed characterizations that were caused by his parents leaving.

Along the topic of beginnings, the beginnings of each first movie is different. Spider-Man starts with Peter’s class visiting a laboratory, The Amazing Spider-Man begins with Peter’s game of hide and seek, and Spider-Man: Homecoming starts with Peter’s video diary of spending time with the Avengers.

“Spider-Man 1 and The Amazing Spider-Man both featured an intro to Peter Parker and his life before the powers,” Akira Mapp, a junior at Mountainside High School said. “Spider-Man: Homecoming didn’t because it became way too repetitive and they already explained his past in Civil War.”

The first movie of the Spider-Man Trilogy is the only movie that kills off the villain. Both The Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man: Homecoming keep their villains alive — in jail.

The moods of the movies differed dramatically. It was understandable that the first Spider-Man of Maguire’s was a bit more adventurous and comedic. With Garfield’s movie, moods were darker, meaning that Parker faced many negatives from within his family, saving the city, and Gwen’s father; he learned not to take things for granted. Holland’s was edge-sitting, but still comedic and cute.


Overall, each initial Spider-Man movie opens up a brand new twist, even if some details have remained the same. The storylines have varied, ranging from the same ideas to including story plots that were not shown before.

With every new actor coming in to play the loved hero, talent and passion are seen. Maguire, Garfield, and Holland have all played the character in ways that makes them alter from one another; but they all have still remained Spider-Man.