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  • Mairead Levitt

Which Spider-Man Is the Best?

Everyone has his or her favorite Spider-Man. The world has seen countless iterations of him through comics, tv-shows, movies and videogames, but there are three Spider-Men who really stand out. The three live-action versions: Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland. Everyone has his or her favorite Spider-Man for various reasons, but I want to decide once and for all which Spider-Man is the best.

For this competition, I’m going to score five categories: physical likeness to Peter Parker (as depicted in most comics), personality, dialogue, iconic-ness and independence. The categories will cover both the specific Spider-Man, along with the movies he in. First place is three points, second place is two points, and third place is one point. The actor with the most points in the end wins.

Category One: Physical likeness

Third Place: Tobey Maguire -- One point

There was no way Tobey Maguire was going to win this one. Sure, he looks somewhat like Peter Parker, but he was 27 when his first movie came out and 32 when his third one did! He was playing a high schooler who was 15! The casting director should have tried a little harder with this one.

Second Place: Andrew Garfield -- Two points

Andrew Garfield has the same issue as Maguire, just on a smaller scale. He looks more like a teenager even though he was also 27 in his first movie. The only reason that he beat out Maguire is because he looks slightly younger.

First Place: Tom Holland -- Three points

Okay, let’s be real. In what world would Tom Holland not win this? He looks exactly like what Spider-Man was supposed to look like, both physically and age-wise. Sure, he’s 22 in his first MCU appearance, but he can easily pass as 15.

Category Two: Personality

Third Place: Andrew Garfield -- Three points

This one was close, but Garfield is the outlier. One of Spider-Man’s core attributes is that he’s a scientist, but Garfield’s Peter Parker is a photographer. Taking science away from Peter Parker is like taking snarky responses away from Tony Stark or ridiculously high tuition away from private schools. It’s not going to happen because it’s so fundamental.

Second Place: Tobey Maguire -- Three points

Maguire is a scientist, I give him that. He’s pretty consistent with the comic book Spider-Man.

First Place: Tom Holland -- Six points

Holland gets this for one reason: the scene in “Homecoming,” where he patrols the streets of New York, stops petty crime, helps random people and is overall a friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man. Holland’s Spider-Man is also a scientist, like Maguire, but since he also personifies the friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man aspect that is so pivotal to the character, he gets the win.

Category Three: Dialogue

Third Place: Tobey Maguire -- Four points

Maguire is way too serious. He was the first man to utter the words “with great power comes great responsibility” and you can see that sentiment in his character. He’s much more emotional and pretty serious most of the time, qualities that differ from the comic book Peter Parker.

Second Place: Tom Holland -- Eight points

Holland is a great Spider-Man and is hilarious, but most of his battle scenes don’t have quips in them. Marvel has emotional battles, so Holland doesn’t get the opportunity to joke around during his battles. While he’s funny a lot of the time, joking during battles is really important for Peter Parker.

First Place: Andrew Garfield -- Six points

This may have some controversy, but I think that Garfield is the wittiest Spider-Man. Spider-Man is supposed to quip all throughout battles and make awkward jokes at the worst of moments, all of which Garfield pulls off perfectly.

Category Four: Iconic-ness

Third Place: Andrew Garfield -- Seven points

Let’s be real, Garfield didn’t have many iconic scenes. His movies were fine, but nothing that people really remember.

Second Place: Tom Holland -- Ten points

Holland had some awesome moments, and his outings as the web-slinger have been fun and memorable, although there has been no super iconic moment. He is more iconic than Garfield, though.

First Place: Tobey Maguire -- Seven points

Three words. The upside-down kiss. The most iconic thing that a Spider-Man has ever done.

Category Five: Independence

Third Place: Tom Holland -- Eleven points

Don’t hate me for this one, but Holland isn’t independent. All of his movies are about Iron Man. In the first one, he is trying to prove his worth, and in the second one, he is trying to escape Iron Man’s shadow. Yes, he did some great things, but Iron Man is a crutch in both movies. Whether he is relying on the new suit that Iron Man gave him or his entire plot is about EDITH, glasses that Iron Man left him, Holland’s Spider-Man isn’t that independent.

Second Place: Tobey Maguire -- Nine points

Maguire was pretty independent, a trait that relates to Spider-Man in the comics.

First Place: Andrew Garfield -- Ten points

Garfield wins this one because he goes to great lengths to hide his identity and actually works as a sort of vigilante because the police don’t trust him. This cements him as the most independent Spider-Man.

Final Rankings:

Third Place: Tobey Maguire

Second Place: Andrew Garfield

First Place: Tom Holland (is anyone surprised?)

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