It’s not the suit that makes the man.
Marvel Studios released a new, longer trailer this week for Spider-man: Homecoming, including the introduction of Michael Keaton as the villain, Vulture. Despite five prior big budget Spider-man films, Kevin Feige and Marvel have managed to make a completely new, fantastic, and refreshingly fun superhero trailer that looks like a images from a comic book. We’d already seen the great banter between new Peter Parker Tom Holland and Tony Stark’s Robert Downey, Jr. in Captain America: Civil War and earlier Spider-man: Homecoming previews. The addition of Keaton really ups the street cred for what could be “just another Spidey flick.” The gravitas of this generation’s original big-screen Batman playing an over-the-top villain that looks like evil Batman in Michael Turner’s batgear is everything fanboys and fangirls could hope for–the ultimate retro fix. When was the last time we saw a great comic book villain on the screen?
So what makes a great superhero movie trailer? The timing of this trailer’s release to this weekend’s release of the Justice League trailer begs a comparison. Justice League is in your face, full of loud, arrogant and cocky heroes, with an indecipherable story, loud explosions, and pop music drowning out dialogue that looks like a sequel to Suicide Squad. It is clear from the Spider-man: Homecoming trailer that the movie has a story. The cockiness comes only with Downey’s established mentor, and the hero is shown via self-deprecating situations and coming-of-age humor, a hero that is an underdog at the core of the character who never seems to have his day. It’s not the explosions that matter (although they may to young kids), it’s how the superhero deals with the threat.
Alas, critiquing a movie trailer too far is a bit like judging a book by its cover. But with so many movies this year that look good, it’s all audiences have to go by. As a character Spider-man has something other superheroes don’t. Spider-man was a comic strip in daily newspapers for decades. Many more comic book readers exist today than probably ever before, but many more had access to and read the exploits of Spider-man nearly every day. Many still do, as The Amazing Spider-man is still a syndicated comic.
Check out this fantastic trailer for Spider-man: Homecoming:
Spider-man: Homecoming is in theaters July 7, 2017.