Who is the Best Spider-Man?


Infographic by Brandon N.

On the night of Dec. 16, 2021, the newest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spider-Man trilogy, “No Way Home”, was released in theaters across the United States. This movie picks up from “Far From Home” and shows the struggle that Tom Holland’s Peter Parker is going through as he tries to fix it. The release of this movie has revitalized the arguments of who portrayed the character of Spider-Man the best: Tom Holland, or one of his predecessors, Andrew Garfield or Tobey Maguire. To get a sense of what our community thinks, a poll was sent out asking teachers and students alike for their opinion on who’s the best of the three. 

After two weeks, the final results were in. The most popular Spider-Man in our community was none other than Tom Holland with 53.7% of the votes. In second place was Andrew Garfield with 31.7%, and lastly, Tobey Maguire with a 14.6%. Tom Holland’s Spider-Man won not only due to simple preference, but it is also due to his current relevance in pop culture. For many voters he was the only Spider-Man that they have ever seen. Viewers were also able to personally relate to him better than the others. Andrew Garfield was chosen for his dedication to the character and for how he played him, accounting for his spider-like movements and portraying his emotions. Tobey Maguire was chosen for being the first of the three, the narrative that Raimi wrote, and of course the many memes that have arisen from his trilogy.

From an objective point of view, all three of these Spider-Man portrayals have their pros and cons. Tobey Maguire’s portrayal laid the foundation for the next two cinematic iterations of the character and gave a unique spin on the character by giving him organic web shooters. Maguire’s portrayal of Spider-Man also explored the identity of Peter Parker and who he was as an individual without the mask. Andrew Garfield’s portrayal was darker and showed the emotions that Spider-Man deals with, most notably the tremendous loss from the death of Gwen Stacy. Tom Holland’s portrayal of the character not only makes the fans’ dreams of a Spider-Man in the MCU come true, but we also see how human Spider-Man is. Even a being as strong as him can make mistakes and can be considered a social outcast. We see Holland’s Spider-Man grow from trying to mimic his idol, Iron Man, to a hero in his own right. Holland’s portrayal shows both Peter Parker and Spider-Man equally and shows the overlap between the two as well more so than the previous iterations. All in all, these actors all played the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man in their own amazing ways.