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With that rather spectacular second trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming recently hitting the interwebs (heh), it can no longer be said that Sony Pictures (or Marvel Studios, for that matter) are being stingy with their Spider-Man related goodness. Even in those three short minutes, there are Easter Eggs and allusions aplenty, as well as a chance for Captain America to market his own workout video!
The two studios seem to have successfully fleshed out the corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe where the new Peter Parker’s (Tom Holland) heroic journey will unfold. But is Homecoming also hinting at a smaller and rather personal development between two leading characters? Read on to find out!
Is Aunt May Dating the Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming?
By the time of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter has already been #SpiderMan for some time. We don’t know exactly how his origin story panned out in this all-new #MCU iteration, but it most likely involved the death of Uncle Ben, meaning that that his widow May Parker (#MarisaTomei) is still grieving and single. But could that be about to change?
Certainly, the promos for Homecoming have already provided us with proof of Peter’s growing relationship with Liz Allan (Laura Harrier), but that doesn’t mean that Cupid’s arrow is reserved exclusively for our protagonist!
Several months ago, a rumor broke that Homecoming was set to feature Aunt May’s secret new beau who, it seems, would not have an amicable relationship with her wall-crawling nephew. Naturally the internet went into a speculative overdrive, but could the latest teasers have revealed his identity? Could Aunt May really be dating #MichaelKeaton’s Adrian Toomes, aka The Vulture?! Say it ain't so May!
This is fun speculation at this point, but there’s definitely evidence to suggest this could be the case.
May and Adrian Sitting in a Tree...
Let’s first look at the facts. Adrian Toomes absolutely fits in with that description of May’s new boyfriend; certainly, from what we’ve seen of Spider-Man and the Vulture’s encounters so far, they are definitely not friends! Plus, in #CivilWar, she and Tony Stark (#RobertDowneyJr) seemed to be getting on very well when Peter came home. Considering that Adrian Toomes has been described as similar to Stark, albeit a somewhat darker version, his charm and flair could very well win May over, if Toomes’s smooth-talking skills are comparable to Tony’s.
Some fans may argue that May has more sense than to trust Toomes — but then again, she has been deceived before in the comics. Heck, in one of Spider-Man's many silly story lines, she almost married Doctor Octopus! It's certainly possible that May could date Toomes whilst remaining oblivious about his other life as the villainous Vulture. Keaton’s Toomes could certainly be a duplicitous yet dashing suitor for May Parker.
Speaking of the comics, it’s worth mentioning that May and Adrian have a history, albeit not of a romantic kind. Indeed, May’s post-Uncle Ben partner Nathan Lubensky was a very good pal of the Vulture before he inadvertently triggered his fatal heart attack during a superhero smack down. Wracked with guilt, Toomes even turned up on May’s doorstep begging for forgiveness! Maybe the makers have decided to ditch Nathan, and give May and Adrian a chance together instead?
It seems more and more likely, especially given what those cleverly crafted trailers imply...
Spidey vs Vulture...But With a New, Intimate Twist?
Intriguingly, the marketing teams are focusing on Spidey’s heroic exploits over his home or high school life. It’s understandable given that the action sells easier than heartfelt drama, but even so, we haven’t seen much of Aunt May in any of the footage so far. This is definitely unusual, given that she’s such an integral Spidey character.
Plus, the trailers posit the clash between Spidey and the Vulture as being a lot more intimate than we’d have previously thought. Moreover, we see a pre-Stark suited Peter confront Adrian in a warehouse of sorts and it’s a darker, more dramatic setting than we’ve seen in the film so far.
Adrian seems to be pretty upfront and downright familiar with Spidey at this point, defensively stating that:
“I want you to understand — I’ll do anything to protect my family. I know you know what I’m talking about.”
This is definitely interesting, given that Toomes never had any close relatives in the comics, and they never played any direct part in his origin story. Sure, this could have changed for his cinematic outing, yet there is something very telling about the way that Toomes utters that last line.
“I know you know what I’m talking about” sounds as if he’s directly alluding to someone in particular. Could it be Aunt May?
Keaton’s delivery is menacing and knowing, and this scene is placed shortly after a brief and tender moment between Peter and his Aunt, which then cuts to several instances of Peter being brutally beaten and unmasked by ol’ Vulchy in that beach-based battle. Coincidence? I think not.
Trailers are meant to titillate and intrigue after all, and sometimes the way that footage is cut and displayed can be very significant. Case in point: the latest Justice League trailer. Many fans have pointed out that the scene where the team assemble in front of that golden dawn has been strategically edited to obscure major plot points, yet they still hint at what will transpire nonetheless. That could very well be the case in the new trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming. Plus a blossoming romance between May and Adrian would certainly make a lot of narrative sense as well.
When Adrian Toomes isn’t soaring round and causing trouble for #IronMan, he’s grimly growling death threats, presumably at our hero:
“Don’t mess with me, ‘cause I’ll kill everybody you love.”
Outwardly, there’s not much new to that kind of declaration. It’s the kind of one-size-fits-all threat that our favorite heroes hear all the time. It’s presumably taught in Villain Catchphrases 101, alongside “victory shall be mine” or “this is not over! We’ll meet again!” However Keaton’s delivery is pretty chilling and coupled with what we’ve seen of the Vulture so far, he’s turning out to be a pretty bad ass villain. But wait! We haven’t considered just how he knows who Peter loves?
And that’s where May comes in. There is definitely an insinuation through these quotes that Toomes knows about Peter’s Aunt May-and perhaps even Liz. Could Toomes have deduced the truth from his dates with May? How much of a twist would it be if May repeatedly mentions her new man throughout the film, only for it to be revealed that he is a super villain that’s bent on defeating her secretive punk of a nephew?
Spider-Man’s previous cinematic outings have tended to do make the conflict between our hero and his villains as personal as possible, so this romance could be a fresh way to make the battles a bit more dramatic. It would definitely be an interesting and dynamic take on their antagonism, and it could definitely be entertaining. If Peter finds out his beloved Aunt is dating a super villain, how will he tell her without revealing his costumed alter ego? Plus Toomes’s reaction would be hilarious. After all, when Adrian finds out his nemesis is nothing more than a teenager, I daresay that he won’t be too happy!