In early 2015, much to fans’ surprise and excitement, Sony and Marvel announced a joint partnership that would lead to a rebooted Spider-Man appearing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In 2016, fans got their first look at the third actor in nine years to play the web-slinger, with a memorable introduction to Tom Holland in Captain America: Civil War. Holland was a standout to many in that film and fans couldn’t wait to see him star in Peter Parker’s first solo adventure in the MCU. The Spider-Man: Homecoming title serves as a double entendre because the film features an end-of-school homecoming dance, but is also a celebration of a beloved character joining a universe that’s been sorely missing him for a long time.
Homecoming achieves something the Marvel Universe struggles with a lot — a good villain. Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes (The Vulture) is introduced very early in the film and quickly becomes one of its strongest elements. Toomes is an ex-construction worker who just wants to be able to provide for his family and begins selling illegal weapons and stealing parts to make his high-powered guns. Unlike other MCU antagonists, he’s small scale. This is a villain who isn’t trying to take over the world or cosmos like Loki, nor is he even trying to be as big as Wilson Fisk from Marvel’s Daredevil TV series. He simply wants to provide a good life for his family. His methods are as flawed as his character, but he is compelling and somewhat relatable.