To say that Spider-Man: Homecoming has a lot of callbacks to Marvel Comics and Spider-Man comics in particular would be an understatement. This is one of those movies where every character on screen is a callback or a hint toward another character. There are some that are obvious and some that we’ve known for awhile but having seen the movie it’s time to take a look at all of these characters and see who they are. To do so will require a spoiler warning about various plot points over the course of the movie. Some of these reveals are pretty fun to watch play out so if you don’t want to know anything skip this article and we’ll see you after July 7th.
Sony and Marvel have put a ton of work into making every character, no matter how small, have some sort of connection to the comics. There are some obvious ones but we’re going to look at some of the less obvious ones.
Laura Harrier as Liz Allan
While her last name is not mentioned in the movie proper one of big twists we find out is that Liz’s Dad is actually Adrian Toomes aka The Vulture. There is the chance that Allan will become her name if her mother decides to get a divorce following the trial. Liz first appeared in the comics in 1962 but in 1974 she was revived in a story line that revealed her stepbrother was the Molten Man. If her mother ends up getting a divorce and remarries then it would make sense that they could go that route with the character. At the end of the movie she moves away from New York to Oregon with her mother so she’s not in town when the trial of her father starts.
Jacob Batalon as Ned Leeds
While this one could be in name only Ned Leeds is best known as the third Hobgoblin. Leeds is a character that was first introduced in 1964. In the movie Ned is seen as Peter’s best friend and the “man in the chair” as Peter calls him. He’s also one of the few people who knows who Spider-Man is. In the comics Leeds is brainwashed into becoming the third Hobgoblin and is then brought back to life afterwards. He was first introduced in 1964.
Tony Revolori as Eugene “Flash” Thompson
In the comics Flash has been Peter’s bully and rival since 1962. In the movie, Flash is less of a bully and more a giant tool who is super rich and, at one point, has double popped collars. While he teases Peter a lot in the movie he never beats him up or gets violent. In the comics Flash has had quite a history that includes being Venom (2001) and Agent Venom (2012). Flash also served in the Iraq war and lost both of his legs making him one of the disabled heroes in Marvel comics.
Donald Glover as Aaron Davis aka The Prowler
A lot was made of Glover when he was cast in Spider-Man: Homecoming because he’d been vocal for years about wanting to play Miles Morales. It doesn’t look like he’s going to get the opportunity, but he does get the chance to play someone close to Miles Morales. Aaron Davis, aka The Prowler, is Miles’ Uncle and a thief. In the movie he’s seen as a low level thief just looking to buy some weapons and in a police report the name “prowler” is seen as an alias. While Peter is questioning him Aaron gives up the location of the next weapons sale because he wants the high tech weapons off of the street because “he has a nephew in this neighborhood/.” He never says how old this kid is only that he exists which makes Miles Morales fans very happy.
Bokeem Woodbine as Herman Schultz aka The Shocker
While he doesn’t appear in his costume Schultz is about as close to a secondary villain as Spider-Man: Homecoming has. He gets the “shocker” glove from Jackson Brice (Logan Marshall Green) after Vulture accidentally kills him. Schultz goes after Peter at the dance but Ned saves Peter’s life and he leaves Schultz webbed to the side of a school bus. He is assumed captured and still alive.
Tyne Daly as Anne Marie Hoag
There have been rumors that Marvel is putting together a show based on Damage Control. Damage Control is introduced as a company that Tony Stark creates to help clean up the various messes that the Avengers have made. Hoag is the one who tell Adrian Toomes aka The Vulture that he has lost the city contract and is the reason Toomes ends up stealing and selling high tech weapons.
Kenneth Choi as Principal Morita
This isn’t the first time Marvel has used the same actors in smaller roles but this the first time they have acknowledged it. We first saw Kenneth Choi in Captain America: The First Avengers as a member of the Howling Commandos. In Homecoming we see Peter sitting in Principal Morita’s office and there is a picture of his character from The First Avenger confirming him to be a descendant. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this as Tripp from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was a descendant of Gabe Jones ( Derek Luke)
Angourie Rice as Betty Brandt
There were some people that thought Rice could be playing a version of Gwen Stacey based on her clothing but during a scene in the movie where she is playing a mock news anchor they reveal she is Betty Brant. Betty is an old school love interest of Peter Parker who first showed up in the comics in 1963. She is canonically married to Ned Leeds who is played by Jacob Batalon in the movie though they aren’t shown to know each other just yet.
Michael Chernus as Phineas Manson aka The Tinkerer
Manson is a member of Vulture’s crew and the one who spends the majority of the movie trying to create bigger and better weapons. He was first created in 1963 and has been a regular Spider-Man villain since. In the movie he’s not much more than a second level henchman and it’s unclear if he’s arrested in the end.
Michael Mando as Mac Gargan aka The Scorpion
While never called Scorpion Gargan is part of the weapons bust that leads to the ferry getting cut in half. He’s called by name and there is a scorpion tattoo on his neck. He’s arrested by the FBI during the boat incident. In the first end credits scenes he sees Toomes in the same prison. He says he has people on the outside itching to kill Spider-Man and that Toomes knows who Spider-Man is. Toomes denies it protecting Peter’s identity.
This is where things start getting a little dicey as characters in this movie don’t have their last names shown. However, even if these are in name only references it shows a level of commitment we haven’t seen yet.
Abraham Attah as Abraham “Abe” Brown
One of Peter’s classmates and a member of the Academic Decathalon team Abe is a Marvel character that first appeared in 1974. He’s taken up the mantle of Black Tiger in the past and has connections to Spider-Man, Iron Fist, and the Human Torch.
Tiffany Espensen as Cindy Moon aka Silk
Silk is one of the best new characters to come out in years. While it’s looking highly unlikely that this version of Cindy is the one from the comics she is there. Cindy is a member of Peter’s AD team and since she’s not in a bunker she doesn’t have the same skills as her comics counterpart. It would be pretty easy to figure out a new way for her to get her powers though.
Isabella Amara as Sally Avril aka Bluebird
Sally is another member of the AD team and one with an interesting connection to Marvel comics. Sally of the comics tried to become a superhero, taking up the mantle of Bluebird despite not having any powers or real gadgets. Her character was first introduced in 1962 and in 1996 she was killed in a car accident while encouraging Jason Ionello to drive her to a fight.
Jorge Lendeborg Jr. as Jason Ionello
Jason is a classmate of Peter’s in the movie who only speaks a few lines. He was first introduced in 1995 as a friend of Flash Thompson. In the comics, after Sally dies, he nearly commits suicide until the Vulture convinces him to blame Spider-Man instead.
Michael Barbieri as Charles “Charlie” Murphy
Charles is another member of the AD team and someone who appears to be friends with Peter in the movie. He was first introduced in 1964 but hasn’t had a major role in the comics ever since.
Ethan Dizon as Brian “Tiny” McKeever
Tiny is a classmate of Peter’s first introduced in 1995. He doesn’t have a speaking role in the movie and is one of the background classmates.
J.J. Totah as Seymour O’Reilly
Seymour is one of the background students in the movie but he’s been around as an unnamed student since 1962. He was killed off in 2004 by Venom.
Martin Starr as Mr. Roger Harrington
While not that notable in the comics Harrington does play a decent role in the movie. He’s the teacher assigned as academic decathlon coach. He probably has the most screen time out of all the teachers. He was first introduced in 2001 but during a story line involving Mysterio.
Summary: Following the events of Captain America: Civil War (2016), Peter Parker attempts to balance his life in high school with his career as the web-slinging superhero Spider-Man.
Spider-Man: Homecoming, directed by Jon Watts, stars Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Donald Glover, Zendaya, Tony Revolori, and Michael Keaton. Swing on down to your local theater and check it out on July 7th.
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