Of all the super heroes, in all of the world, Spider-Man is one of the most famous. His red and blue costume is instantly recognisable, his heroic deeds are legendary, and his arch-enemies are pretty well known too.
Spider-Man also has something else which makes him very identifiable – his origin story. Ask anyone about how Peter Parker became Spider-Man and they will tell you it’s pretty simple: He was bitten by a radioactive (or genetically altered) spider and this granted him unique abilities.
Spider-Man’s origin story has popped up in comics, in television shows, and of course in the movies. It played a significant role in 2002’s Spider-Man, and also featured very heavily in 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man.
But what about the Spider-Man movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – the movies which star Tom Holland? Does the ‘spider bite’ origin story play a big role in those movies too?
The answer is no. The story of Peter Parker being bitten by a radioactive (or genetically altered) spider, is not a huge part of the Tom Holland Spider-Man movies. In fact, it is something which is barely mentioned.
Spider-Man first appears in the MCU in the 2016 movie, Captain America: Civil War. The character only gets a short amount of screen time and the origin of his powers is not mentioned.
When the character returns for a second adventure in the MCU, this time via 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, there is one very, very brief mention of the ‘spider bite’, but if you’re not paying attention, it is easy to miss.
Around 25-minutes into Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter Parker and his best friend, Ned Leeds are discussing how Pete got his powers. Peter informs Ned that his powers came after he was bitten by a spider, leading Ned to suggest he would let it bite him.
It is here that Peter informs Ned that the spider is dead, so is unable to bite anyone else. And it is also here where the discussion of Spider-Man’s origin comes to an end.
There is no on-screen depiction of the spider bite, nor is there a flashback to the moment. It is simply spoken about for a few seconds, and that’s it.
So, why the very, very brief discussion about Peter’s powers? Well, it’s simple really: the audience already knows!
Spider-Man’s origin story is so famous, has been discussed at length many times before, and covered in plenty of detail in other movies, that it really didn’t need to be a focus of the Tom Holland Spider-Man movies. The filmmakers involved in the MCU movies felt that it would be counterproductive to cover Spider-Man’s origin again, so opted for a quick mention, in order to spend more time pushing his story forward in other ways.
Was this a good decision? Almost certainly.
If you’re new to Spider-Man, and the Tom Holland films are your introduction to the character, then you merely need to watch one of the older Spidey films if you want to see him getting bitten by the spider. Spider-Man (2002) and The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) can show you different versions of the spider bite in great detail, and this will provide you with any additional information you might require.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post about Spider-Man in the MCU. For more posts, be sure to check out the recommended reads below.