Coming Home is a 2001 story which first appeared in issue #31 of The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 2.
Written by J. Michael Straczynski, and illustrated by John Romita Jr., Coming Home sees Peter Parker leap into action when a shooting takes place at his old high school.
What happens in Coming Home?
Peter Parker is having breakfast with Aunt May, when the topic of his old high school days comes up. Peter passes comment about the difficulties of high school, and how it was a personal time of change for him.
Peter discusses how the school has fallen on hard times recently, with the brightest and loneliest students feeling the brunt of the downturn. As he speaks, he imagines one of the students being bullied – something he experienced in his youth.
May mentions that teaching positions are currently available at the school, and encourages Peter to apply. She believes it could be a good way for Peter to give back to the school.
Peter decides this is a worthwhile endeavour and heads to the school to inquire about a role. However, while stood in reception, about to fill in paperwork, Peter’s spider sense goes off as a gunman enters the building and proceeds to open fire.
Peter ushers some of the students into an empty classroom, then enlists the assistance of one of the chemistry students to help cause a distraction. The student mixes some chemicals together to produce smoke, which gives Peter the opportunity to change into his Spider-Man outfit and tackle the shooter.
With the shooter disabled, Spider-Man is shocked to discover the shooter is another high school student. The boy had grown tired of being bullied, so decided to take matters into his own hands.
After the police arrive and take the boy away, Peter enters into a discussion with one of the teachers and it becomes painfully clear that students are being overlooked and bullied. So, Peter takes a position as the new science teacher to make a difference.
Is Coming Home worth a read?
Coming Home is a tale which does two key things: It takes Peter back to his old high school (hence the title, Coming Home) which is a nice nod to his past, and it also highlights a very important and topical subject – that of high school shootings.
Unfortunately, high school shootings are an all-too-common occurrence, and when this story was initially published, the Columbine High School Massacre was still fresh in the public’s mind. The Columbine High School mass shootings and attempted bombing resulted in the deaths of 12 students and one teacher, and this is something which troubled many countries around the world.
This real-life incident, as well as many others like it, fed into this story, making Coming Home a far too real tale, but a very important one to tell. There are other story beats in Coming Home which have nothing to do with the high school incident, but this core storyline stands out as the reason to pick up this comic, as it touches upon something which must be continually discussed, especially in a medium more likely to be read by the younger generation.
Has Coming Home been adapted for film?
To date, Coming Home has not been adapted for film. There are two Spider-Man movies with similar sounding names – Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home – but these films have nothing to do with Coming Home.
As for whether or not Coming Home will ever be adapted for film, I would say it is highly unlikely.
A high school shooting is a difficult subject to cover in any super hero movie, let alone one centred around Spider-Man. Having a super villain run riot in a school is one thing, but having a fellow student open fire on kids is something else entirely.
Spider-Man has mass appeal, with kids in particular finding a strong connection with Spidey. Neither Sony Pictures, nor Marvel Studios is going to want to scare the younger members of the audience by featuring a high school shooting, even though it is something which they should be aware of, so don’t expect a film based on this comic.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post about Spider-Man: Coming Home. For more posts like this one, be sure to take a look at the recommended reads below.
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