This is less of a review and more of my spoiler-filled thoughts and raw emotions. So, if you have not seen Spider-Man: No Way Home, please bookmark this tab and return after watching the movie.
I believe there’s a hero in all of us, that keeps us honest, gives us strength, makes us noble, and finally allows us to die with pride, even though sometimes we have to be steady, and give up the thing we want the most. Even our dreams.May Parker – Spider-Man 2
I love Spider-Man. That’s not a surprising statement, especially for a guy who grew up in the late 90s and early 2000s. My first memories are of my parents taking me to Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2. I grew up playing Spider-Man 2 (the video game) on my Playstation 2, watching the 90s Spider-Man cartoon, reading Stan Lee‘s and Steve Ditko‘s original comic books (they were hidden inside of the Sunday paper), and moving on to shows like The Spectacular Spider-Man, and Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
Spidey is in my DNA, but it’s never something I honestly thought about. I was always a fan, but my favorites were Superman, Batman, The Ninja Turtles, the Teen Titans, and even characters like The Flash and Aquaman. Still, I always had a love for the web-slinger deep down. Tobey Maguire‘s Spider-Man films are one of the reasons I love movies, and the grounded but lighthearted tone is why I tend to value these types of stories. Peter Parker is a character designed for children, and his stories, teach kids the basic but poignant lesson; with great power, there must also come great responsibility.
It’s a tired lesson at this point, but Stan and Steve wanted kids to develop a moral compass. If you can help others, you have to do so. In the comics, these words are a narration by Stan. The films and shows took creative liberty by having Uncle Ben, a casualty of Peter’s selfishness, utter these words before his death. A change that pushes the idea even further. Ben teaches Peter this lesson because he wants Peter to think of others, not just as Spider-Man (Ben doesn’t even know about that), but rather to grow into a caring and compassionate human being.
Steve Rogers, Clark Kent, Peter Parker, and Barry Allen are all cut from the same cloth. They are all good guys at their core. The twist for Spider-Man is that Peter can never win. He struggles, falls, and loses everything, but he never lets that stop him. Peter might even break, but he’ll always build himself back up. It’s what makes this character timeless. He’s someone every single person can see themselves in. That’s why he wears a full-faced mask. Anyone can be Spider-Man, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion. You, too, can be Spider-Man, and fight for what you believe in. It’s a story about loss and how we bounce back from it.