Peter Parker’s ‘Spider-Sense’ Could Be the Reason It Took Him So Long to Disappear in ‘Infinity War’

One of the most dramatic moments in Avengers: Infinity War — indeed, one of the most dramatic moments in all of the MCU was when Spider-Man got dusted. Even the hardiest fan gulped at that moment, because few, if anyone predicted that Spider-Man would die. After all, he’s only Marvel’s single most valuable character. 

What also sold the moment was Tom Holland’s famous “I don’t feel so good” line delivery, the fear in his voice being palpable. Now Marvel fans have a new theory as to why all this happened:  It was his spider-sense. 

Tom Holland on the red carpet
Tom Holland | Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney

What is Spider-sense?

This definition of the Spider-Sense from the Marvel Animated Universe Wiki basically applied to the MCU as well: 

“Spider-Sense presents a psychological awareness of Spider-Man’s surroundings. It allows Spider-Man to detect danger before it happens and warns him of it in no time. The greater the danger or how close the danger is increases the tingling sensation.”

In comics and cartoons, this is visualized with a semicircle of squiggle lines around Spider-Man’s head.

According to this story by the Verge, the idea isn’t some fantastical creation – it’s actually based on the idea that real spiders seem to be able to sense and counter danger. Most of us have been sure we’d be able to kill a spider, only to see it move at the last second. How do they do that?

According to a video in that story, researchers have found that spider webs have sonic properties. Spiders pluck at their webs, which allows them to detect disturbances or anomalies. Spiders also have tiny hairs on their legs that detect vibrations and currents in the air. 

How did Spider-Sense play in ‘Civil War’ and ‘Infinity War?’

On Reddit, a Marvel fan posted a video of Spider-Man during his first appearance in Captain: America: Civil War, where he’s able to avoid the Winter Soldier’s shield at the last second.

The moment isn’t achieved with any effect other than perhaps a quick change in speed, and fans love it. And they think that’s not the only time it’s come into play. It made its way into Infinity War when we saw the hairs rise on Peter Parker’s arm. 

One fan said, “This (Civil War scene) is the scene I always thought of when the Infinity War trailer came out and everyone was saying that was the first time seeing spider sense.”

Another fan added, “I find it went over many peoples heads, no one brought it up when he dusted in IW.”

In other words, it supposedly took him longer to get dusted in Infinity War because his Spider-Sense alerted him to it. Fans even said they liked that explanation better than what directors Joe and Anthony Russo said on the director’s commentary, which was that  Spider-Man’s body was so strong he resisted the dusting. 

Did Tom Holland improvise those lines or not?

Many people have told the story that Holland, who was in his early 20s and therefore the youngest member of the MCU, improvised his lines during the dusting, increasing the impact of the scene. The lines in the film go:

Peter Parker: Mr. Stark? I don’t feel so good

Tony Stark: You’re alright.

[Peter starts disintegrating]

Peter Parker: I don’t, I don’t know what’s happening. I don’t want to go. I don’t want to go. Mr. Stark, please. Please. I don’t want to go. I don’t want to go. I’m sorry.

According to Joe Russo, the only line that was actually scripted was “I don’t feel so good,” and Holland came up with the rest. According to comicbook.com, Holland downplayed his contribution, saying “It is kind of true, but really all I say is “I don’t wanna go, I don’t wanna go, I don’t wanna go,” three times in a row so it’s not that amazing of an ad lib, you know,” Holland said.

It doesn’t take a Spider-sense to know that whoever came up with what, the scene works.