Tom Holland’s Spider-Man Movies Haven’t Gone Dark Enough Yet – ‘Peter Is Meant to Suffer’

To many Spider-Man fans, Tom Holland‘s portrayal in the MCU is the definitive version of the wildly popular character.

Holland captures a boyish charm that other actors have failed to do during his introduction into the MCU and ensuing rise to power. However, while the MCU version struck a chord with many, some want to see Holland’s version take a darker turn and let the character flesh out a little bit more. 

Finding Peter Parker

Holland is the third live-action version of Spider-Man since 2000. Starting with Tobey Maguire, the character has been through a lot since he first made his way to the big screen, and with over fifty years of history behind the character in print, there’s a lot to build off of. Save for Bruce Wayne’s origin, there might not be a more famous origin story than Peter Parker’s. 

In nearly every version of Spider-Man, his origin starts with the murder of his beloved Uncle Ben. Depending on the version, it usually happens that Parker sees a crime take place, and rather than stopping it, he lets it go. Eventually, the criminal that he let escape crosses paths with Parker’s Uncle Ben and shoots him on sight. This is where Parker learns that he must become a force for good whenever possible. 

The first two big-screen Spider-Man universes captured this moment. It helps show that Peter Parker is both a regular teenage kid who has to grapple with his complicated feelings and inner selfishness that causes him to lose someone he loved. To the excitement of many fans, this origin was only implied in the MCU, as Spider-Man was already slinging webs when he was introduced in Civil War. 

However, by missing out on this moment, Parker has never gotten the opportunity to explore his darker side on-screen.

Parker’s dark side

Tom Holland
Tom Holland | Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney

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The dark side of Peter Parker varies, depending on which version is on screen. In Sam Raimi’s original trilogy, the darkness is front and center after Parker doesn’t stop someone who robs a wrestling promoter who shorted him.

However, when he becomes Spider-Man, he’s mostly a force for good until the third movie, when a symbiote starts making him take a turn for the worse. 

While the dark side was never fully explored in Andrew Garfield’s portrayal, that little glimmer of it showed up from time to time, specifically when Parker’s problems interfered with the greater ones he tried to fight as Spider-Man. For the most part, however, the Holland version has been an inoffensive teenager who mostly works for good. 

Fans want to see this tested in the future. 

Reddit chimes in 

In a thread asking how fans would improve Parker as a character, several wanted to see him have a few more warts. While Parker has not had a comfortable journey, and his darker origins are already implied, Parker hasn’t had a turn for the worst past being a naive kid.

Parker has failed to perform his duty many times, but some want to see his failures take a more significant toll. Reddit user u/TheL0neC1pher put it best.

Though he’s a happy character, Peter is meant to suffer. He hasn’t experienced any true loss besides Ben but we haven’t even seen that. And before people say he gave up his private life and youth, that applies to quite literally every teen hero.”

Discuss other versions of PP/Spider-Man and why fans think the MCU version has a long way to go. (Per Reddit)

Perhaps Parker will get to experience this in different forms. Whether rumors are true about Garfield and Maguire’s involvement with the future universe, or Parker is left to fend for himself, the character is growing. With that growth and the events of his latest adventures in clear hindsight, however, now it’s time to show that Parker has the same faults like everyone else.