10 Things We Learned About Man’s Search For Meaning In A World Devoid Of It from the Spider-Man: Homecoming Trailer

In case you missed it, the new Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer dropped recently, and it looks insane! As with any Marvel movie, the trailer is filled with Easter Eggs that I’m betting even hardcore Spidey fans may not have picked up on. Let’s take a deep dive and explore what the new trailer tells us about Peter Parker, his place in the Marvel universe, and the hollowness of man’s struggle in a world corrupted by darkness!

1. Ah, the Spider-Man. He knows no bounds, only the limits by which his webs can sling him. As the webcrawler swings past New Yorkers awaiting their public transport, he considers their routines and ponders the monotony of daily life. In mere moments, these same citizens will board a New York train, as many of them will do every day, and they will stand in silence until reaching their destination. Considering that the whole of human existence is nothing but a series of repeating patterns until inevitable demise, Spider-Man musters a quick, “What’s up, guys?” before swinging off to his next grand adventure. What’s up guys, indeed?

2. Seeing that young Mr. Parker is in need of cosmic reassurance, Anthony Stark arrives to deliver words of wisdom. Alas, Mr. Parker heeds not these words, and exasperated, Mr. Stark replies, “Can’t you just be a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man?” But can there be a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man in a world gone mad?

3. “You’re the Spider-Man, from YouTube,” Peter’s friend says as he catches him in the act of his Spider-Manning. A sly commentary on the decline of print media, and millennials’ ever-growing fascination with a medium designed to share videos of cats, flash mobs, and softcore pornography.

4. In this frame, a hardened soul known as the Vulture spreads his mechanical wings and takes flight. And in a sense, is this not what we’re all after? To fly from our oppressors, the Anthony Starks of the world? And yet, like the myth of Icarus, one must always be careful of flying too close to the sun.

5. A haunting image of a hero torn asunder. Even with all his might, the Spider-Man can hardly lift two sides of a large ship at the same time by himself. The futile struggle recalls man’s constant war with nature, that despite our best efforts, we are nothing but the webs we sling.

6. “If you’re nothing without this suit, then you shouldn’t have it.” Harsh words from Anthony Stark, a man with no superpowers who is directly responsible for the deaths of (presumably) thousands of people after the creation of the evil robot Ultron. But his hypocrisy unveils a greater truth: that the loss of life sparks the creation of it. The wheels of time spin on and on, and humanity along with it. Our spectacular Spider-Man sees this in a moment of clarity, perhaps the first time he’s seen clearly in his entire life. We should all be lucky to experience the same.

7. Here, the Vulture wears a big, poofy jacket. This is clearly a visual metaphor. Evil lurks in the shadows at every opportunity, but only because the shadows offer it solitude. The jacket symbolizes acceptance, something the Vulture (and we all) desperately crave, yet is so difficult to attain.

8. Is this the end of our beloved Spider-Man? The Vulture hanging his limp body in the air surrounded by flames recalls the depictions of Satanic rituals of ancient religious texts. Is the fight against darkness a fruitless one? Shall we ever see the light? When the Vulture of our lives comes calling for us, how will we answer the call?

9. Hope! Spider-Man’s reveal of his web wings teaches us that all is not lost, that even in our darkest moments, we have abilities that have yet to come to the surface. It is here that the Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer makes its most profound statement, that while man’s constant struggle against a cold and uncaring world may be difficult, it is ultimately worth the fight. For we all have wings; we just may not know it yet.

10. And as we exit this two-and-a-half-minute odyssey through the trials of the human spirit, Anthony Stark arrives once more to deliver one last piece of wisdom: “Don’t do anything stupid.” It is a lesson that our forefathers taught us, and it is one that we often forget. Man is lucky to have the Iron and Spider Men to bring these lessons to the surface.

Michael Smith rages against the darkness in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., where there is a lot of it.

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