Battle of the web-heads: Maguire vs Garfield

Photo by Cristian Bortes, via Wikimedia Commons 

Chris Santiago/Contributing Writer 

I find myself asking the question, “Who really is the better Spider-Man?”

It’s a tough choice for me, personally, because I grew up watching Sam Raimi’s version of Spider-Man that was starring Tobey Maguire in the prestigious role. But then as soon as Marc Webb came out with his own creation of Spider-Man starring Andrew Garfield, I didn’t know how to react to the new Spidey.

Both versions have their flaws and their pros. I’ve even gone around and asked superhero lovers who they believe is the better Spider-Man and the majority has decreed that Garfield makes a better Spider-Man.

Why? Is it because of his charm, his wit, or his looks? Or maybe history has proven that British actors are that much better than American actors. What was it that has everyone favoring Garfield over Maguire?

I came to the conclusion that it’s simply because Garfield’s Spider-Man appeals to a younger crowd being that Webb’s universe is more modern than Raimi’s ever was. You see Garfield portraying a Peter Parker that is not so much of a nerd as he is just socially awkward. He also skates and wears his pants below his waist, something that has become a trend over the past decade.

Garfield’s Peter photographs earlier in life than Maguire’s Peter did, even before he started working for the Daily Bugle. As for Maguire’s Peter, he is much more of a nerd and portrays Peter as having an extremely hard time talking to girls, like Mary-Jane Watson, and just has that “weirdness” to him that makes Maguire, in my belief, much more believable as Peter Parker.

That’s just the human side to the character.

Now comes the part where he puts on the suit and web-slings throughout New York fighting bad guys and saving damsels in distress. As Spider-Man, in the comics, the hero has this sarcastic and witty side to him that helps him in fighting the villains. He uses his smart-ass persona to get into the minds of his enemies and Garfield’s Spider-Man catches this characteristic perfectly.

In the scene where he’s trash talking to the car thief inside the BMW, you see how great Garfield was at capturing that sarcastic tone of Spider-Man that he’s known for because of Spidey’s immaturity. Plus, he actually has the realistic physical look to how the web-slinger has in the comics, not so muscular as he is skinny but athletic.

I took the time to ask FIU-student, Natalie Borjorquez, who she feels is the better Spider-Man. Her response was, of course, Andrew Garfield. When asked what her reasons were for believing so, she responded.

“He’s just that much better…and he’s really good looking,” she said.

I forgot that looks also come in to consideration when it comes to favoritism among superheroes, silly me. Some people have told me that this debate is similar to that of the “Christian Bale or Michael Keaton” or “Christopher Reeve or Henry Cavill” debates and, in my opinion, it is nowhere near those levels. Both actors have done phenomenal jobs in their own respective roles as Spider-Man and I don’t believe there is a clear distinction as to who is the better one.

Both of them have their pros, but never forget their cons; Garfield by portraying Peter Parker by wearing pants below his waist and Maguire by crying too much in the films.

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” comes out in theaters May 2, 2014. I’m very excited for this film due to its presentation thus far in the trailers that have been released and I’m really curious to see how Marc Webb’s universe will continue to expand deeper into the untold stories of Spider-Man that Sam Raimi’s universe unfortunately could not. Strap in your seat belts, ladies and gentlemen. It’ll soon be time to web-sling through New York once again! 

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