Why Andrew Garfield Is the Best Live-Action Spider-Man

The hype for Spider-Man: No Way Home is overwhelming, with fans desperate to see how the film will unite different cinematic takes on the hero. The two most prominent cinematic Spider-Men are Tobey Maguire and current webhead Tom Holland, but there was one more in between who may have been better than them both: The Amazing Spider-Man's Andrew Garfield.

Though his movies don't get the praise other Spider-Man flicks do, Garfield's Peter Parker is right out of the Stan Lee/Steve Ditko comics. Starting with his mannerisms as both Spider-Man and Peter Parker, Andrew Garfield's hero bested both Tobey and Tom's in terms of truly embodying what makes for an amazing Spider-Man.

RELATED: Morbius Embraces Sony's Spider-Man Universe - But Raises More Questions

Tobey Maguire vs. Andrew Garfield

While Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man may have been in much more universally praised movies, Andrew Garfield's version in The Amazing Spider-Man 1 and 2 was a much better representation of Peter Parker from the comics and the classic cartoons. Tobey's Peter was written much more in the mold of the Christopher Reeve Clark Kent in the old-school Superman movies (with Uncle Ben sounding incredibly like Glenn Ford's Pa Kent at one point), and the result was that he was an absolutely pathetic loser. Contrary to popular belief, Peter was never this helpless in the comics, and his level of standing up for himself and mouthing off to others made him much more antisocial than shy.

Andrew Garfield's Peter stands up to bullies like Flash Thompson in a much more assertive way, to the point of arguably being a jerk. This is much more in line with Peter in the comics' early days, who had loads of contempt for his classmates and pretty much anyone who happened to get on his nerves. Likewise, Andrew's incarnation had a much easier time of cracking wise and coming off as a jokester, albeit in a way that was still assertive and didn't reduce him to comedic relief. Tobey's Spidey rarely joked, and when he did, it came off as unnatural, especially given how serious the movies themselves were.

RELATED: After Morbius, Sony's Spider-Verse Should Lean Into Horror

Tom Holland vs. Andrew Garfield

If the Tobey version of Spider-Man was somewhat pathetic as Peter Parker, then Tom Holland's version is the same way as both Peter and Spider-Man. This stems from the biggest major issue of the MCU incarnation of Spider-Man, which is that Marvel's central hero is reduced to an Iron Man fanboy. His suits are the creations of Tony Stark, who is also made into a sort of stand-in for Uncle Ben. He relies far less on his own skills and acumen and much more on Stark tech, even after Iron Man himself is dead.

Even his humor feels much more childish and spastic than the version in The Amazing Spider-Man. There, Spidey felt like a true, natural wiseacre from whom quips and jokes simply rolled off of the tongue. Holland's version, on the other hand, seems to be put in more situational comedy where he's the butt of the joke, likely a reflection of how even typically serious heroes in the MCU constantly quip like Spidey usually does.

Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man was his own man, and he didn't hero-worship others besides maybe his father and his Uncle Ben. His relationship with Aunt May was also much more like the comics, in which Peter worries about how his old aunt will take care of things following Ben's death. With a much younger and more attractive Aunt May, Holland's Spidey is robbed of his central responsibility, thus missing out on a huge part of Peter's characterization from the comics. Garfield's Spider-Man balanced humor and wit with guilt and the drive to be a hero, reflecting more than any other theatrical version what Stan Lee imparted into the character so many years ago. Unfortunately, his time in the red and blue costume was somewhat underappreciated, especially for its fidelity to the source material.

KEEP READING: Marvel Theory: Morbius Takes Place After Venom 2 & Spider-Man: No Way Home

Andrew Garfield Explains Why His Spider-Man Wouldn’t Like the MCU's Iron Man
Related Topics
About The Author
Timothy Donohoo (1404 Articles Published)

Timothy Blake Donohoo is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he majored in Communication and minored in Creative Writing. A professional freelance writer and marketing expert, he’s written marketing copy and retail listings for companies such as Viatek. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, playing video games, watching documentaries and catching up on the latest Vaporwave and Electro-Swing musical releases.

More From Timothy Donohoo

You May Like Also

  • Morbius Embraces Sony's Spider-Man Universe - But Raises More Questions
  • the comics and the classic cartoons
  • After Morbius, Sony's Spider-Verse Should Lean Into Horror
  • the creations of Tony Stark
  • Marvel Theory: Morbius Takes Place After Venom 2 & Spider-Man: No Way Home
  • Encanto's Miracle Is Rooted in Tragedy
  • 101 Dalmatians' True Sequel Is Too Bizarre for Disney to Ever Adapt
  • Spider-Man Fans Are Shocked by Electro's Use of Stark Tech in No Way Home
  • Eternals Star Shares BTS Photo of Harry Styles' Starfox
  • Lord of the Rings: What Happened to the Orcs After Sauron's Defeat?
  • Ghostbusters: Afterlife's Best Easter Eggs & References
  • Shang-Chi Is Marvel's Star Wars Skywalker Saga
  • DC's Robins #1 Comic Review
  • Marvel's Star Wars Life Day #1 Comic Review
  • Marvel's Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #1 Comic Review
  • DC's Superman Son of Kal-El #5 Comic Review
  • Marvel's Hulk #1 Comic Review
  • Marvel's Darkhold: The Wasp #1 Comic Review
  • Star Wars' Adam Driver Is Open to Returning to a Galaxy Far, Far Away
  • The Matrix's Keanu Reeves Thanks Will Smith for Turning Down the Role of Neo
  • Resident Evil: Director Reveals an Iconic Character Was Cut From Welcome to Raccoon City
  • Zachary Levi Credits Guardians of the Galaxy Failure for Landing Shazam!
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home's Trailer Confirmed Those Leaks
  • Doctor Strange 2 Call Sheet Teases a Role for Both of the MCU's Hawkeyes
  • Captain Marvel 2 Set Photo Reveals Ms. Marvel's New Costume
  • Star Wars Series Could Replace Movies - But Is That a Good Thing?
  • Venom 2 Easter Egg Featurette Indicates Carnage Knows About Spider-Man
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home Confirms Exactly When Tickets Go on Sale
  • RUMOR: Miles Morales Live-Action Spider-Man Movie In Active Development
  • What Happened to Earth in Pixar's WALL-E?
  • Watch full movie for free, click here daily update 👉 https://justwatch.cc