Andrew Garfield is THE BEST Live Action Peter Parker


There's a debate that has been going on for a few years now. There's no signs of it slowing down either. The question is simple. Who is the best live action Spider-Man or Peter Parker. Some people argue that Tobey Maquire is the original, he's the best and set the example for everyone that would follow. Other's argue that Tom Holland is the best and shows what it really means to be Peter Parker.

The answer is much simpler, both of those groups are wrong. The best live action Spider-Man is Andrew Garfield. Without a shadow of a doubt, he is Peter Parker at every level. Some people will say he's not that great and they'll say that only having two movies was proof. In reality, Andrew missed the announcement of the third film, so Sony used this as a reason to cancel it, despite it already being cut. The 2014 email in question said the following about Garfield:
Here we are about one hour away from our Gala event and Andrew decides he doesn't want to attend. He has a rather scruffy beard and he just wants to be left alone.
In reality, Andrew was suffering from food poisoning. The studio just wished to break ties with Andrew because they had clashed with him about scenes being cut from both films. So let the narrative that he wasn't good enough for a third film die, because it just isn't true. Some people are going to point out that Stan Lee said Tom was his favorite depiction of Peter Parker ever, but he said the same thing about Andrew and Tobey. Every live action version of every character was his favorite. So let's look at why Andrew is just better.

Peter Parker, has always built most of his gadgets himself. He's a scientist, and he does what scientist do. We never witness Tobey build any of his own gadgets as Peter. Just the suit. His web shooters are all internal now, so he never has to do any real work on those. He's a great photographer, but not really a scientist. There was a deleted scene where he designed web shooters, but they cut it and chose to make them come right from his arms. Then there's Tom. I don't care what anyone says about how smart he is, we haven't seen him build a single thing. His first suit comes courtesy of Tony Stark, his second suit, comes from Tony Stark. Then Tony dies, and he has another suit, from Tony Stark. He builds another suit, but not so fast, that comes from Tony Stark's suit assembly machine.

On the other side, we watch Andrew not only build web shooters, but all of his tech. We watch him go through different materials. We see him design the lenses for his suit. Andrew built his gear from the ground up. That's something no other Spider-Man has. I don't care how many times we see Tom talk to an AI, he didn't build that. He didn't build the suit machine or the glasses or any of that. He goes back and forth between talking about quantum physics and shooting webs at water monsters. It's like he isn't actually smart, but just following the instructions left to him. Tobey? He's dead last in the category of intelligence. There's nothing we see him do that the others aren't capable of, even if Tom might not a set of instructions.

Then there's the age thing. Tom Holland's Spider-Man seems to be stuck in high school. They're pulling more from Miles Morales' comics than Peter Parker's. Peter wasn't in high school for more than fifteen issues in the original series. Leaving him in high school limits how much Peter content they can really pull from, which is why they're so heavy handed with Miles' traits. We look at Tobey, and well he's old. That's it, he's better suited for a more experienced and older Peter Parker. It just looks strange for Tobey to be high school student which explains why they just skipped straight past college in that trilogy. Peter being held back a few years explains why he wasn't able to build his own gadgets, I guess. Andrew, he does his time in high school and graduates, like the comics. He's not perpetually stuck in high school or rapidly aging. He's the right age for the stories they're using.

The biggest complaint that people have about Andrew's Spider-Man is that he is too cool, and not nerdy enough. Those people are wrong. We had this same discussion when Peter was made rich in the comics. People think Peter is unrelatable only because they relate to the characteristics they see in themselves. Peter isn't just a nerd riddled with social anxiety. He's also got plenty of narcissism mixed in as well. Peter riding a skateboard at graduation isn't unbelievable. We aren't that far removed from comic Peter picking a fight with Tony Stark because Tony started hanging out with Mary Jane and he needed to show her he was better. Hell, Uncle Ben dies because Peter felt it wasn't his job to stop the robbery. Despite telling everyone that with great power comes great responsibility, he doesn't actually change. We've seen him pay Hobie Brown, The Prowler, to be Spider-Man because he's got other things to do. Tobey leans way too far into the narcissism of Peter and Tom leans too far into the awkwardness. Andrew had the perfect balance.

Then there's the fact that we actually see Peter's journey more so than any other version because there were no strings held with his version. We watch him struggle emotionally when Gwen dies. The most we get from Tom is that he misses Tony Stark. With Tobey he quits being Spider-Man because Mary Jane gets engaged to someone else. Neither Tom nor Tobey feel any remorse about their failures as a hero. Meanwhile we watch Andrew slowly break down after every failure and with Gwen he is on the verge of self destruction because he failed. Still, he pulls himself together because he has to be the one to save the day. That's Spider-Man.


Beyond just on screen, Andrew Garfield takes his role as Spider-Man very seriously. Unpaid and off camera, he would still dress as Spider-Man to visit different hospitals to see children. He dressed as Spider-Man since he was five years old and really worked to be Spider-Man. Even when his tenure ended, he didn't just move onto the next film, he went work with orphans. Why? Because that's what Spider-Man would do.

You can certainly enjoy Tobey or Tom's movies more than Andrew's. That is perfectly fine. Just don't lie and say that either of them is the most comic accurate version of Peter. Don't say that they capture the true vision of Spider-Man when neither comes close to Andrew. Not off screen and certainly not on screen.

You can check out some of my fiction at 12 AM Fiction or follow my web serial Exsanguinate and of course hear me on the Powerbomb Jutsu podcast.
Andrew Garfield is THE BEST Live Action Peter Parker Andrew Garfield is THE BEST Live Action Peter Parker Reviewed by Darrell S. on Monday, July 22, 2019 Rating: 5

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