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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

The number of different actors who have played Spider-Man matches that of Batman when it comes to taking on the established mantle of a comic book character. Since 2002, three different actors have played the friendly neighborhood hero—Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland—each putting their own unique take on the character. Each brings his own perspective and twist on Spider-Man, resulting in a trio of distinct and varied renditions. There will always be a dispute about which of the three Spider-Mans is the best of all time.


Tobey Maguire, the original Peter Parker, may be the answer for some, as he injected new life into the iconic Marvel superhero who was near to the late, great Stan Lee’s heart. If you grew up watching Tobey as Spider-Man, it could have been your first glimpse of what a superhero could look like in real life, as it was for this writer. Furthermore, Tobey’s Spider-Man trilogy made a lot of money at the box office, and for good reason.


Andrew Garfield, on the other hand, gained a whole new mass of fans with his extreme emotional range in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Despite the fact that the third installment of The Amazing Spider-Man was stalled due to poor scripting, devoted Spider-Man fans banded behind Andrew’s honest portrayal of Peter Parker and Spidey. So much so that MCU fans are cheering for Garfield, who was nominated for an Oscar, to don the red and blue suit once more, given the multiverse viewpoint that makes it plausible narratively as well.


Finally, there’s Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, who helped resurrect the superhero genre and is widely regarded as the most successful of the three—at least in terms of box office receipts and Tom’s charming portrayal of his own favorite superhero. From Spider-Man: Homecoming to Spider-Man: Far From Home and now Spider-Man: No Way Home, Holland has brilliantly depicted Peter Parker’s transformation into Spider-Man.

It’s debatable which Spider-Man film is the greatest. People now have access to a diverse range of films from which to choose, and they will all disagree. In many cases, it all comes down to who people believe would be the best casting decision for Spider-Man. It’s difficult to cast a superhero because they frequently have multiple personalities. Casting directors must ensure that they can find an actor who can portray both elements of the character.

Many people believe that Tobey Maguire, who played Spider-Man in the early 2000s series, was good as Peter Parker but terrible as Spider-Man. Andrew Garfield first played the character in the early 2010s, so it’s been about a decade since he’s reprised it.

Many people criticize his portrayal, claiming that he is good at playing Spider-Man but terrible at portraying Peter Parker. This is largely due to Andrew Garfield’s sophisticated demeanor, which seemed inappropriate for the role. In terms of age, he and Tobey Maguire were about the same age when their films were made. Despite the fact that he was a young adult, Tobey Maguire was able to create the character of a truly awkward adolescent. Andrew Garfield was plainly a young adult with mannerisms and actions that had moved beyond high school awkwardness.

He has all the makings of a superhero who is meant to be self-assured. People, on the other hand, could not accept this charming young man as a normal adolescent. Spider-Man was designed in part with the intention of being as relatable as possible.

Many superheroes, including Spider-Man, appeared to be successful adults when he was originally conceived. Today, these types of people enjoy comic book storylines, but in the past, teenagers were more likely to read them. It made it logical to develop a superhero who was supposed to be an average joe who could relate to a lot of teens, but who was also a wish-fulfillment character.

The question of who is the best Spider-Man remains unanswered. This loaded question frequently reveals as much about the age of the person asking it as it does about the performance being praised. Tobey Maguire locked lips with Kirsten Dunst upside down in the rain, and Millennials of a certain age, as well as younger Gen-Xers, may think it never got any better. Is there really any other option if you grew up (or are growing up) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe era than Tom Holland?

Moira McGuire

Illinois State '24

hi my name is Moira McGuire so excited to be apart of hercampus isu yass queens insta- @moiramcguire
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