Can teenage drama save the Spider-Man franchise?

Spider-Man has been one of the most popular Marvel comic book superheroes since his creation in 1962, but he’s recently had a hard time replicating that success on the big screen. The Spider-Man movies have seen dwindling returns at the box office, suffering in comparison to the Avengers movies. To judge by the new trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming, which will be released next year, the latest reboot will be a return to the webslinger’s roots as a teenage superhero. As played by Tom Holland, Spider-Man is a gangly, nerdy, squeaky-voiced adolescent ectomorph, who has trouble paying attention in school and pubescent dating problems.

Spider-Man is really Spider-Teen. As befits a still budding superhero, Spider-Man also has a mentor, in the form of Iron Man, brought into the movie to link it to the ever-expanding Marvel cinematic universe. Spider-Man is eager to impress the older hero and join the Avengers, but it looks like he has to go through some rites of passage first. Whether the latest incarnation of Spider-Man will work on the screen or not is an open question, but this return to the niche of teendom does help set the character apart from the other masked vigilantes.