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Apr 24th 2019 at 8:09:22 PM

@Charles - That's a good breakdown.

To clarify- IMO:

  • Tony Stark has not redeemed himself and remains unsympathetic - Kind of agree, at least in some of the movies (mostly the Whedon Avengers ones), but not in others (Homecoming, Civil War, and the Russo Avengers movies). But as much as he can be a pretty big jerk and sold weapons for much of his career, he still consistently tries and sometimes succeeds in making amends. Which is a contrast with Toomes who goes in the opposite moral direction.
  • Toomes is too sympathetic despite being a guy who puts supervillain equipment in the hands of the kind of crooks Spiderman fights (i.e. he's the Tinkerer) - Heavy disagree. Obviously, there are people who give him the Draco in Leather Pants treatment, and I do think it's arguable how much the movie wanted the audience to believe his agrieved blue collar guy element, but while a well-drawn character, he's selfish and unempathetic throughout, with no qualms about the consequences of his actions, and at one point seems to offer Peter his daughter as a prize for keeping quiet. Villainy-Free Villain he's not.
  • Spider-Man admiring Tony Stark is bothersome because he's a entitled billionaire genius than Uncle Ben who is a more working class hero (or even Toomes)- Somewhat agree. I don't agree with Revolutionary Jack's argument about the MCU Peter (and possibly every non Ditko-version of Peter) not being the real thing, but while I do like Peter in the MCU, it does take something away to have him as a sort of Kid Sidekick. And in the comics, Peter and Tony have been shown to not get along well, with a contrast drawn between Tony's selfishness and Peter's Samaritan Syndrome. So yeah, in that sense, having Peter as the Kamala to Tony's Carol is not the most faithful adaptational choice, but not necessarily a bad one.
    • However, despite Tony's flaws, there's no reason why any version of Peter would find Toomes more sympathetic, as Toomes basically acts the way Peter did when he first got his powers, prior to the rude awakening of Uncle Ben's death.
  • Trump and Tony have something in common other than being rich and arrogant.- Kind of agree. In some of the movies, there is a sexist element to Tony's jerkassery that does have a certain parallel with Trump, and he is the messed up son of a billionaire who makes others suffer because of his daddy issues. On the other hand though,Tony is also a legitimate genius and philanthropist, and is someone who is always trying to make amends for his mistakes. He tends to make worse mistakes, but it's the thought that counts. However, I'm not saying that Toomes is similar to Trump, but instead to a Trump supporter.

Edited by Hodor2 on Apr 24th 2019 at 10:11:31 AM

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Apr 24th 2019 at 8:24:13 PM

I mostly agree with a lot of Hodor 2's points. When I say MCU Peter isn't the real Peter it's usually in the sense that he borrows too much from Miles and at times is basically a whiteboy Miles Morales and not in a good sense.

I do think it's arguable how much the movie wanted the audience to believe his agrieved blue collar guy element,

Why is it so hard to accept that Toomes is an aggrieved blue collar guy? Why do people want to take that away from him? The movie gives us no reason to doubt that. Karen the Suit Lady when she scans Toomes before the Ferry fight says he has no prior record. In the prologue he says this:

Adrian Toomes: Look. I bought trucks for this job. I brought in a whole new crew. These guys have a family. I have a family. I'm all in on this. I could lose my house.

...Unless you think that people shouldn't try to make a living and improve and earn of their hard work by legal means? In which case, I suggest you go back to Victorian England. If this were Spider-Man 3 Sandman, I'd agree. That guy was a s—tbag who has no obvious remorse for killing Uncle Ben (and that's a stupid plot) whose family will obviously be better off without him. He committed crimes before he became Sandman and would have been what he was regardless. That Spider-Man 3 redeems him at the end is ridiculous.

... he's selfish and unempathetic throughout, with no qualms about the consequences of his actions, and at one point seems to offer Peter his daughter as a prize for keeping quiet. Villainy-Free Villain he's not...

That's Ron the Death Eater. Toomes appreciates Peter saving his daughter's life (evidenced by him watching the Washington Monument thing with concern), and he says, "not too good a time". It's slander to claim he doesn't love Liz or that he treats her that way.

...there's no reason why any version of Peter would find Toomes more sympathetic, as Toomes basically acts the way Peter did when he first got his powers, prior to the rude awakening of Uncle Ben's death...

When did Toomes go on TV and became a stage performer and celebrity hack? Before Ben's death, Peter was trying to be Justin Bieber. I have zero patience for the idea that if not for Ben's death, Peter would be Octopus or whatever other crap Slott tried to sell to make Superior Ock a thing.

SonOfSharknado Love is Love is Love Relationship Status: And they all lived happily ever after <3
Love is Love is Love
Apr 24th 2019 at 8:26:30 PM

Never, in a hundred billion years, if a man like Trump had Iron Man technology, would he give said technology to a black man.

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Apr 24th 2019 at 8:33:42 PM

The obvious answer is that none of these movies are deep enough to sustain that kind of political allegory. Hodor 2 only said Toomes is a Trump supporter to denigrate and bash the character in a kind millennial Godwin's Law. By the same logic I connected Trump to Stark especially since there's a link there via Musk. When you get down to it, there's more to Stark than that and so on. You can say that if you apply real-world logic, both Stark and Wayne will benefit more from an administration that gives them huge tax cuts and tax breaks than not. I will say that Batman is more clearly Republican-leaning than Tony is FWIW. But that's neither here nor there.

HamburgerTime All things pure and good. from Garamsythe Sewer Relationship Status: I know
All things pure and good.
Apr 24th 2019 at 8:34:29 PM

I mean you yourself have called Gwen Stacy an alt-righter in this very thread, Jack.

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CharlesPhipps Author from Ashland, Ky Relationship Status: Lovey-Dovey
Author
Apr 24th 2019 at 8:39:50 PM

I'm inclined to also believe that Toomes isn't the kind of man who would support Trump. While there's certainly the element of "America failed me" that has been used by Reagan and Trump, it's also been used by plenty of Democrats. I'm inclined to think that as a man with a mixed racial family that he's also the kind of guy who would be more inclined to be aware of the Trump issues.

But yes, the short version of Toomes for me is the fact that he's Offscreen Villainy for something that's actually fairly heinous. It's the fact that he's someone who hasn't got to see the results of his stuff that really makes his character unable to deal with it as well. But I do think since Toomes will be in the 2nd movie that we may get a redemption arc.

As for why would Peter maybe admire him, a lot of the Spiderman movies are about Peter seeking a Replacement Goldfish for Uncle Ben. The Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Doctor Connors, and now Tony Stark. A differently written movie could have removed Tony entirely and Peter could have bonded with him as a gadgeteer genius.

Re: Mysterio

Not all Marvel movies have to break the mold and I'm inclined to think the movie will basically go like this. Just wild-mass guessing here.

  • Peter wants to get away from America to have some "me" time.
  • Peter finds Europe menaced by the Elementals
  • Peter is completely overwhelmed
  • Mysterio shows up and basically is Doctor Strange Thor and saves the day
  • Peter has a kind of breakdown over not being strong enough, supplemented about how useless he was against Thanos and whatever happens to Tony in Endgame.
  • Peter finds Mysterio is a fraud under some circumstances with maybe Molten Man, Sandman, Hydroman, and the Cyclone having real powers but nothing as impressive as they appear.
  • Peter manages to smack them all around.
  • Peter possibly gets a bad reputation because he beat up a hero.
  • Peter learns a valuable lesson that the Avengers are fine but the "little people" need protecting against non-cosmic threats.

Edited by CharlesPhipps on Apr 24th 2019 at 8:43:58 AM

Author of The Supervillainy Saga, Cthulhu Armageddon, The United States of Monsters, and Lucifer's Star.
Apr 24th 2019 at 8:43:10 PM

To Hamburger Time,

The comics are not the same as the MCU. In ASM #91-92 white supremacy is identified as the enemy, and seeing the Spider-Man cast and its alignments in that story is valid because the story puts it all on the line. So there you can take a valid political interpretation.

IN the MCU we don't really get that acknowledged all that much in such concrete terms. Like HYDRA for instance are presented as the Templars from the Assassin's Creed games rather than Neo-Nazi ans the attempts by Marvel post Winter Soldier to try and downplay Hydra from its Nazi past as attempted by Spencer in his run was problematic. On one hand Winter Soldier made Hydra cooler than they used to be, on the other hand, trying to market them as cool villains a la Loki and Thanos runs into problems.

Edited by Revolutionary_Jack on Apr 24th 2019 at 8:44:19 AM

CharlesPhipps Author from Ashland, Ky Relationship Status: Lovey-Dovey
Author
Apr 24th 2019 at 8:46:26 PM

@Revolutionary_Jack

There's a good argument that There Is No Such Thing As Bad Publicity. While Agents of SHIELD is, "Hydra is Nazi and everyone should hate it." I think there's an equally valid view that the people attracted to authoritarian ideologies don't CARE about who is the bad guys because they're bad people. It's why Star Wars has so many Alt-Right fans despite the fact the story is a pro-democracy anti-fascist tale.

Ignoring white supremacy as something even bad guys don't care about (Toomes has a mixed marriage and Spiderman likely will) has its own message that white supremacy isn't worth giving celluoid.

Edited by CharlesPhipps on Apr 24th 2019 at 8:46:49 AM

Author of The Supervillainy Saga, Cthulhu Armageddon, The United States of Monsters, and Lucifer's Star.
Apr 24th 2019 at 9:02:43 PM

Considering the Me Too movement and backlash, I think there is actually such a thing as bad publicity. It's like politics. There's an overton window of acceptable stuff, or acceptable unacceptable stuff, and the window is either wide or narrow in terms of allowing stuff through that depending on the cultural context. In Winter Soldier, the Hydra thing is a way to get rid of SHIELD and shake off the icky Ultimate Marvel coating to reveal the 616 Butterfly inside it. So I was all in that, because I got sick of Uber-Shield in Ultimate Marvel. But there's no deep political stuff to that. I know people like to think Winter Soldier is some political statement but it isn't. It's a comic book story that shows why Cap rocks.

In general the MCU compared to 616 Comics in different eras is politically quite toothless. Logan for instance was way more insightful. To me it was the perfect movie to see in the wake of Trump's election. The bleakness, the unfairness of it all, the fact that the bright future the X-Men hoped and yearned for is a thing of the past. All that emotion went into that, and it became part of this zeitgeist in a big way. The X-Men being that they are this, often imperfect, metaphor for social progress and acceptance, really caught the national mood in that movie. And of course ITSV is the most political Spider-Man movie yet. Like I said Afro-Latino boy beats the stuffing of a white businessman in his New York Tower.

About the only politics I see in MCU Spider-Man is "Spider-Man in a gentrified New York really shouldn't exist. Crime is low so he doesn't have work/life issues anymore, he can't be in Manhattan so he's in a borough without tall buildings, he goes to a school, his Aunt is young and works so he doesn't have money problems and so on".

CharlesPhipps Author from Ashland, Ky Relationship Status: Lovey-Dovey
Author
Apr 24th 2019 at 9:08:48 PM

I strongly disagree about Winter Soldier as it is political simply in the context that it favors free information and accountability about military operations as well as condemning unilateral use of drones against potential targets.

It may be coated in a Captain America color but it's there.

As for Spiderman, I took it to be a story about a coming of age drama.

Author of The Supervillainy Saga, Cthulhu Armageddon, The United States of Monsters, and Lucifer's Star.
Apr 24th 2019 at 9:19:27 PM

Peter Parker's story is Coming of Age and politics are more indirect there. Historically, coming of age stories, were vehicles to talk about class. Like in the Victorian period and so on. In America, coming of age stories tend to skirt class issues somehow. Stan Lee was a literary man and I think he was inspired by Dickens and others. I also think that Spider-Man was heavily inspired by The Catcher in the Rye which was among the first serious teen novels and a big sensation in The '40s and The '50s. And Salinger's novel also downplayed class in a big way. I mean teen culture in a lot of ways became this thing that replaced class issues. If you were poor or rich you were teenage and you shared this youth culture. On one hand it allowed you to transcend class on the other it kind of denied its existence. And now in the current generation that illusion is ended. Especially with these college admissions scams, today's teenagers tend to be class conscious af.

In the MCU, Peter attends a magnet school and that includes Flash Thompson, who I think you can say is the donation kid in that group. But class issues are really played down there.

Apr 24th 2019 at 9:19:52 PM

Winter Soldier is the most anti spying anti drone warfare movie from marvel I've seen. Also damn, I missed some juicy debates. I'd just like to add what separates Toomes and Stark is that Stark recognized what he did was wrong while Toomes keeps justifying himself. The first step to being a better person is admitting your faults after all, that's all I have to add. Speaking of Mysterio, anyone else want to see Giant Mysterio ala Spider Man 2000?

SonOfSharknado Love is Love is Love Relationship Status: And they all lived happily ever after <3
Love is Love is Love
Apr 24th 2019 at 9:38:10 PM

Just wanna point out

Adrian Toomes's response to murdering another human being is basically "Oh, whoops."

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HandsomeRob Return of the Gangsta Bear! from Moopet Theatre Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
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Apr 24th 2019 at 9:41:12 PM

[up][up]As long as he doesn't go down the way he did in the Spiderman 2 game.

Edited by HandsomeRob on Apr 24th 2019 at 10:41:24 AM

Once again, wokka wokka!
Apr 24th 2019 at 9:43:41 PM

And as for Aaron Davis...I don't know, given his darker path in Ultimate Spider-Man where his affability and ruthlessness goes hand in hand, I don't see him as much of a contrast. It could be that he's a pragmatic crook who thinks the weapons being sold against Toomes' say-so are too OP for small-time stuff.

Davis in the comics was a big bad wannabe who tried to take advantage of his nephew to take out a rival gang boss. The one seen in Homecoming doesn't seem to have any ambitions beyond being a small time crook. Comic Aaron was as far from pragmatic as you could get. This is a man who killed the Tinkerer, the guy who makes his equipment because the Tinkerer gave him some generic information regarding Spider-Man's origins and Aaron apparently thought it was too sensitive to let him live.

And honestly Homecoming Toomes has a lot more in common with his comic counterpart than Homecoming Aaron does personality wise.

Spider-Man admiring Tony Stark is bothersome because he's a entitled billionaire genius than Uncle Ben who is a more working class hero (or even Toomes)

For the life of me, I'll never understand why Peter admiring Tony is seen as some terrible betrayal of Uncle Ben's memory. People have been whining about how all the Batman movies reference the night his parents were killed. After five movies and three animated series, aren't you guys just a little tired of hearing about Ben Parker?

Why is it so hard to accept that Toomes is an aggrieved blue collar guy?

I can accept Toomes as an aggrieved blue collar guy. I can also accept that this does not excuse his actions and that he has shown himself no better than the fat cats he hates who step on those smaller than themselves.

If this were Spider-Man 3 Sandman, I'd agree. That guy was a s—tbag who has no obvious remorse for killing Uncle Ben

Are you kidding me right now?

It seems to me that your defense of Toomes is rooted in him being a more successful criminal than Marko.

whose family will obviously be better off without him.

As will Toomes' family.

That's Ron the Death Eater.

This coming from the guy whose spent the last four pages demonizing Tony and Peter for being rich and opposing Toomes and just now (falsely) claimed SM 3 Sandman had no regret for accidentally killing Ben.

When did Toomes go on TV and became a stage performer and celebrity hack? Before Ben's death, Peter was trying to be Justin Bieber. I have zero patience for the idea that if not for Ben's death, Peter would be Octopus or whatever other crap Slott tried to sell to make Superior Ock a thing.

Remember kids, trying to make legitimate money with your talent and become a celebrity is less evil than selling weapons on the black market and attempting to kill a teenager.

Edited by windleopard on Apr 24th 2019 at 10:14:01 AM

Apr 24th 2019 at 9:48:21 PM

Originally I had an idea for Mysterio...my solution was make Ben Kingsley from Iron Man 3 into Mysterio. I thought that Trevor Slattery, the hammy British actor who playacted as Mandarin and convinced everyone he was really a post-modern Fu Manchu Bin Laden mashup would be a neat origin for Mysterio. He already was part of one hoax and he's imprisoned so why not make that his transition to villainy. Since he's an acTOR just make Trevor Slattery his stage name, and Quentin Beck is his real name. And Trevor is certainly the kind of guy who thinks Fishbowl helmets are trendy villain gear.

But they went with Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio. My feeling is that Spider-Man: Far From Home given the way its advertised and so on ought to have a cool plot twist or hook that gets people talking about it. Something more than Mysterio is the bad guy all along and so on. It needs something on the scale of the Mandarin fake-out or the HYDRA and SHIELD thing. For the most part, Marvel has been good at plot twists that people genuinely were impressed by.

Apr 25th 2019 at 1:04:46 AM

Toomes is sympathetic before be starts selling extremely powerful weapons to anyone who has the money.

Apr 25th 2019 at 3:27:33 AM

Wait this may be a non sequitur here, but Aunt May has no blood relation to Peter right? Her last name is Reilly.

Apr 25th 2019 at 4:46:47 AM

That's what makes Peter causing Uncle Ben's death so monstrous. Ben and May are the most selfless people he has ever known, May more than Ben, since she saw Peter as the son she always wanted, even if they weren't related by blood. And in return for all of that, Peter widowed her, made her live her final years alone, using her returns and pension to support Peter while living out her failing health. It's the kind of mistake that can't really be undone.

Bocaj Funny, but not helpful from Here Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
Funny, but not helpful
Apr 25th 2019 at 5:58:51 AM

He never even once tries to gather the dragon balls or use the Time Stone or anything

It’s all well and good to feel guilt about something but he never even tried

My original fictions and Essential Avengers liveblog
Apr 25th 2019 at 6:06:13 AM

[up][up] Yeah i was having this discussion with a fan who's mostly coming from the movies and comic book summaries, and i brought up the fact everytime Peter sees Aunt May he'll have to remember that this lady who had no blood relation was widowed because of him and thus Peter had to summon up the strength to lift the machinery during If this be my destiny. And when i mentioned this, the other guy went WHAT? and was lost in thought for like several minutes, it was hilarious. Honestly, i always felt some of Aunt May's best and harshest moments came whenever Peter brought up the fact that he let the Mugger get away like Spider-Man 2 and Ultimate Spider-Man.

Apr 25th 2019 at 8:01:41 AM

As for white supremacists and the MCU... did "The First Avenger" even acknowledged that there was an holocaust going on, or did they just ignore it as common knowledge and settled with the Weird Historical War details?

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Bocaj Funny, but not helpful from Here Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
Funny, but not helpful
Apr 25th 2019 at 8:07:47 AM

There was a Hitler so that was still a thing

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