When the first Spider-Man: Homecoming trailers hit the web, fans were introduced to Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon), Peter’s best friend. The pair’s friendship brought extra levity to the trailers and looks like it’ll be a fun aspect of the film. However, just as soon as Ned was shown for the first time, comparisons to another Spider-Man pal from the comics, Ganke Lee, began to swirl.
Ganke Lee, co-created by Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli, first appeared in comics in 2011 and actually wasn’t Peter’s best friend, he was Miles Morales’ best friend. As for Ned Leeds, he was first introduced into the comics in 1964 as a reporter for the Daily Bugle, and as Peter’s rival. With Ganke being a high school student who befriended a fellow student who just so happened to be Spider-Man, his character sounds more like the Ned Leeds that’ll be in Spider-Man: Homecoming than the original comic Ned Leeds character does.
Recently, Brian Michael Bendis spoke about the comparisons between the movie’s Ned and Ganke.
“I’ll be very honest right now. I have not talked about this publicly, but it feels very bizarre,” Bendis told the Ultimate Spin podcast. “Most of the time the characters that I’ve had a hand in creating that have made it to the screen, from Jessica [Jones] all the way to Maria Hill and Quake, the level of quality of the adaptation and care in which they bring the character forward past the adaptation into its new life has been uniformly amazing — my luck in this area has been second to none.
“I’ve not seen ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming,’ so I’m gonna wait until we see what we see. But, yeah, it was bizarre and flattering,” Bendis continued. “I don’t even know if Ganke was the inspiration, or they just got to their own place with a character like this on their own. I don’t know. It does seem like it might have been, but no one’s told me either way. There’s so much else in that trailer that’s from ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ that I would assume that, yes, it is… It’s weird only because Ganke wasn’t part of Peter’s story — he was part of Miles’ story.”
Even though there’s been no official word as to whether or not Spider-Man: Homecoming‘s version of Ned was inspired by Ganke, Bendis’ words certainly reflect what many fans have noticed: It seems like there’s quite a bit of “Ultimate Spider-Man” in Spider-Man: Homecoming. We’ll let you decide whether or not that’s a good thing.
A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.
Directed by Jon Watts, the film stars Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Zendaya, Tony Revolori, Donald Glover, Bokeem Woodbine, Michael Chernus, Kenneth Choi, Hannibal Buress, Martin Starr, Michael Barbieri, Angourie Rice, Abraham Attah, Tyne Daly, Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr.
Spider-Man: Homecoming swings into theaters July 7, 2017.