Stan Lee Agrees, Tom Holland is the Ultimate Spider-Man
Before he passed, Stan Lee said that with Tom Holland, “It’s as if we created a living being to be Spider-Man, and it turned out to be Tom.”
This quote alone is all that is necessary to prove that Tom Holland has delivered the best cinematic portrayal of Peter Parker to date.
While Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield were respectively 27 and 29 when they first appeared as Spider-Man on screen, Holland was just 19. Because of this, he perfectly encapsulated what it was to be a high schooler. He brought a level of teen awkwardness and innocence to Peter Parker that the older actors failed to express.
Tom was still a teenager and was able to use his natural, youthful wit to give us the chaotic teenage hero that he was written to be. He was also able to portray the struggle of being a hero while still being a high school student
— Sam Padilla
“Tom was still a teenager and was able to use his natural, youthful wit to give us the chaotic teenage hero that he was written to be. He was also able to portray the struggle of being a hero while still being a high school student,” said senior and resident Marvel fan Sam Padilla.
In addition to his age, Holland possessed many other qualifications that made him the perfect Spider-Man. His physical features match near-perfectly to the character drawn in the comics, and his personal experience in dance and gymnastics made him ideal for the stunts demanded of the hero. He also had strong connections to his co-stars, which greatly paid off on screen. He was often seen spending time with Robert Downey Jr., and he is currently dating his MJ, Zendaya.
While Tom Holland—in any universe—would be the perfect Peter Parker, his character’s connection to the MCU further propels his Spider-Man to the top of the list. We get to see Spider-Man and interact with characters and conflicts developed over almost 30 MCU movies. None of the other Spider-Man franchises come close to offering this level of intricacy to their audiences. In fact, Holland’s movies introduced the multiverse to the MCU, which is the catalyst for all 3 Spider-Men teaming up. No Way Home is the main reason why either Garfield’s or Maguire’s Spider-Men have relevance today.
Even outside the MCU, moreover, Holland’s movies have qualities that put them above the other franchises. For one, Ned Leeds is the greatest best friend or “guy in the chair” of the films. Much like Holland’s Peter Parker, Jacob Batalon portrays a typical, nerdy, awkward teenager, making him endearing and relatable to audiences. This is a breath of fresh air after the two previous portrayals of Harry Osborn, as not many can relate to being the tortured son of a billionaire.
Holland’s movies are also the most diverse of the three universes. His two love interests, best friend, and bully are all played by POC actors. Compounded by the popularity of the Spider-Man series, this brought some much-needed representation to the big screen. Tom Holland’s movies allowed people of all ages and ethnicities to see themselves in a large-scale superhero movie.
Of course, all portrayals of Spider-Man have honored the character and have impacted generations of Marvel fans. In the end, however, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man will conclusively go down in history as cinema’s best adaptation of Peter Parker’s story.
That is, of course, until Sony gets the urge to reboot the series for the fourth time