Tonight is the first trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming, the third stab at a live-action Spidey franchise and the second reboot in about ten years.
This one's got a lot of promise, and a lot of weight on its shoulders, with two studios working on it (Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios) and inherent in that partnership, the continuity and prestige that comes with pairing up with Robert Downey, Jr. and Chris Hemsworth to make movies about Avengers and Norse gods.
Spidey's appearance in Captain America: Civil War was praised by a lot of fans and critics as being shockingly true to the comics, right down to the design of his eyes drawing inspiration from the '60s and '70s-era look of the character (before superstar artist Todd McFarlane came on board and the eyes started to get enormous).
So what about that? What comics should you be reading to prep yourself for this movie? Well, we'll know more soon enough, obviously, since once there starts to be trailers and set photos and all the other stuff that comes when a movie is getting closer and closer, we'll have a more definitive sense for what the movie is going to be about. For now, all we can really do is go on what we've been told.
What's that? Well, the characters are young, with a John Hughes kind of vibe. The Vulture is the villain. Peter, as we've seen, is not exactly in the strongest place financially (although one assumes that once he's part of Tony Stark's personal army that might change a little).
So what are the stories we comic book nerds would throw to casual viewers to give you a primer on this version of the character? Read on...!
More Spider-Man: Homecoming: New Image Revealed / Homecoming Footage Set During Civil War? / SPIDER-MAN HAS WINGS! / Spider-Man: Homecoming - Jacob Batalon Reveals Role / Will Liz Allen Be Peter Parker's Love Interest/ Why Spider-Man Can Beat Batman / Michael Keaton's Vulture Costume Analyzed
Spider-Man: Homecoming hits theaters July 7, 2017, and the first trailer for the film will debut later tonight. Check back for much more coverage of the film throughout the night.
Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1
The first volume of the long-running Marvel Materworks series for Spidey is a perfect companion for this in a couple of ways: introducing many of the characters seen in the movie for the first time, audiences can get in on the ground floor of the comics the way they're going to with the movie reboot.
It's all teenage Spider-Man, all-the-time, and that's the era that people have usually loved the most from the character (hence returning him there again every time there's a new movie).
And it features The Amazing Spider-Man #2, the first appearance of The Vulture.
Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane
If you want a contemporary take on what it's like to be Spider-Man in a modern high school, dealing with all the pressures of being a young person in a post-Internet America, Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane is for you.
We're partial to the volumes written by Terry Moore and featuring art by Craig Rousseau, as both of those guys are geniuses, but more or less the entire Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane trade paperback line is worth owning -- especially if you want to get a sense for how some of these characters might bounce off each other.
Peter Parker: Spider-Man
In the volume Peter Parker: Spider-Man Vol. 2: One Small Break, the wall-crawler thinks back to the last Mets game he and his Uncle Ben ever took in together, just three days before his uncle was murdered.
It's a heartstrings-tugging issue and was widely loved at the time of its publication, and it's also one of only a few modern stories to give a really good sense for the relationship between Peter and Ben that goes beyond the fairly superficial hero-worship of a father figure gone too soon.
Paul Jenkins and Mark Buckingham did some absolutely stellar work on that title -- and even if you got Vol. 1: A Day in the Life, there would be some terrific, character-driven Peter Parker stories. But you definitely want the ballgame story if you're prepping for a movie about teenage Peter.
Ultimate Spider-Man, Vol. 15: Silver Sable
This one has less to do with high-school Peter and is cerainly a bit more of a dive into the deep end of the pool than some of the others on this list, but Ultimate Spider-Man's mission statement was always to be accessible to casual readers and, for the most part, they pulled it off.
This volume features the first appearance of Blackie Drago, the Vulture of the Ultimate Universe, an ex-SHIELD agent who's a hired assassin.
We meet him at the tail end of a story about Silver Sable, whose Ultimate Universe counterpart is much more agreeable than the "main" Marvel version a lot of the time, and who has been rumored as a candidate for a movie, since Sony wants to find a female-led superhero franchise they can spin out of the Spider-Man gallery to compete with Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel.
New Avengers Vol. 1: Breakout
Brian Michael Bendis and a bevy of high-profile artists got together to form a team of comic book all-stars to tell stories about...well, comic book all-stars. Spider-Man joined the Avengers for the first time in this trade paperback that also puts him shoulder to shoulder with Luke Cage, Iron Man, and Captain America. All while dealing with some fallout from Civil War.
Yeah, if you're into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you probably want to read this.