Marvel Studios has been building their cinematic universe framework for many years now and it’s expected to hit a fever pitch when Avengers: Infinity War hits in 2018. What officially started in 2008 with a mechanical man has grown to include gods, space adventures, and magic, as well as more down-to-Earth (literally and figuratively) television tales. As much as I love canon and long-form storytelling, Spider-Man: Homecoming made it feel like I was playing hooky from school. And I loved it.
Most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films have (even if it’s only their mid or after credit scenes) pushed forward the larger story of superheroes existing in the fictional world Marvel created, which is not unlike our own. In comics, and in other mediums, I appreciate “canon” stories. World building can be very exciting, not to mention lucrative. It’s why Universal is attempting a Dark Universe filled with monsters. But a well told, one-off tale can be just as enjoyable. Homecoming sort of falls in the middle and reaps the benefits of both worlds.
We pick up post-The Avengers (2012) as Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes is working with his crew on cleaning up the massive wreckage in New York City. Through the film we see the decommissioning of Stark’s Avengers tower and move to their post-Age of Ultron facility as well as an alternate view of Tom Holland’s Peter Parker cameo in Captain America: Civil War. And of course, just like every other iteration, there’s tons of Easter Eggs not just for the MCU, but Marvel Comics. Marvel has an official timeline so they don’t get confused about what’s happening when but the timeframe of Homecoming has made many of us scratch our heads by stating it picks up eight years after Avengers. It’s not a make or break issue for me in the grand scheme of things, but it did make me think back to all that’s happened in the MCU so far and what’s still to come. It’s a giant story.
I’ve never been a big Spider-Man lover, but one thing that always stuck out to me was the character’s fun-loving nature, despite the usual superhero struggles. Homecoming captured that fun and it made me feel like a kid again. I attached myself to superhero stories at a young age so when a film can bring me back to that time and those specific feelings, it gets bonus points in my…