Peter Parker, Spidey, Spiderman, Spider-Man, Arrampicamuri, Friendly neighborhood Spiderman: many names to express a single concept. The first superhero invented by Stan Lee (who died in 2018) has been, since its inception in 1968, an icon of the fantastic-heroic genre that never faded. After having colonized the comic book series for thirty years, Spider-Man has finally landed on television with animated series and, later, at the cinema with several films.
What makes this figure more interesting is its history: Peter Parker is a teenager from Queens, a neighborhood in New York, solar, passionate about science, but at the same time clumsy and, therefore, subject to insults from some bullies.
Following an accident with a genetically modified arachnid, Peter is bitten and discovers that he has supernatural abilities, typical of spiders. Having the opportunity to redeem himself, the boy seeks a revenge in society and in the show, becoming selfish and indirectly causing the death of his uncle Ben. Strongly tested by guilt, Parker decides to set aside his ambition, wearing a mask and spending the rest of his life helping others with his skills.
Over the years, various actors have played the role of Arrampicamuri: Tobey McGuire, Andrew Garfield and more recently Tom Holland. But what links Spider-Man to the Millennial culture?
Its evolution over the decades has made a concept ever clearer: Spiderman, as a symbol, does not age. He is always young, fresh and up to date.
The first three Spiderman films were set in the late 90s and showed that era with precision; the last ones, set between 2010 and 2017, do the same, guaranteeing a “growth” of the character. However, it must be said that the Spider-Men played by McGuire and Garfield follow less the original canons of the comic, keeping to a more mature, dark and serious profile.
Holland (class 1996) brings us back to the original Spidey, the irreverent one of Stan Lee’s light jokes, but in a different period: our present. A Millennial in all respects, where kids can recognize themselves. So here in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Tom Holland-Parker takes a smartphone and starts a video live on Facebook with the Avengers, posted on his fan-page. The breaking of a fourth wall that even Deadpool would be proud of. With the arrival in the theaters of the animated film “Spider-Man: A New Universe” and of the video game er PS4, this modern reality takes even more ground.
The incessant use of technology in the last film was highlighted by Tom Holland himself in an interview:
“In the comic strip he was a photographer. But today everyone has a camera in their cell phone and so it made sense to put it into reality and to make it as millennial as possible document and then put everything on Snapchat. I really enjoyed shooting the scene on my smartphone alone ”
We could also underline the vicissitudes that Peter Parker encounters, especially in the world of work: despite having a degree as a true scientist, it is almost impossible to find a suitable job (perhaps due to his double life). We saw Parker as a pizza delivery man, a part-time photographer for the Daily Bugle and finally a “technology developer” for his bodyguard: Spider-Man, himself.
The sacrifice and dedication that Spider-Man puts into everyday life are undoubtedly a mirror for all those who aspire to leave a positive imprint on this earth, in particular from an altruistic point of view: knowing how to put oneself in the background and strive for the common good.