Udate: Redditors and Tumblr users who have gotten their hands on a copy of novelization are reporting that Zendaya’s Michelle is not given a last name in the book, seemingly debunking this plot twist.
In Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter Parker, of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, learns to become a hero whilst surrounded by his oddball group of friends and family. Among them is a new character who, until now, has only been known as “Michelle.” Played by actress and singer Zendaya (from the Disney Channel series Shake It Up), Michelle is an eccentric teen with a taste for 20th-century bildungsroman novels. But in the junior novelization for Spider-Man: Homecoming released last week, Zendaya’s full name reveals at least one major spoiler to the new Marvel movie.
Potential spoilers for Spider-Man: Homecoming are below.
Ever since Marvel revealed that it had cast Zendaya in Homecoming, rumors have swirled about the exact nature of her role. There was speculation she would play one of Peter Parker’s known love interests, like Mary Jane Watson, Gwen Stacy, or even Michele Gonzales, who in the comics was a lawyer Peter had a fling with. But, in the novelization, the character’s full name is Michelle Toomes, meaning she’s the daughter of Adrian Toomes, better known as the Vulture.
In Spider-Man: Homecoming, Adrian Toomes (played by Michael Keaton) is a disgruntled small business owner who is put out of business by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and armors up as the Vulture to claim “one good shot at life.”
As revealed in the trailers, Adrian threatens Peter Parker (Tom Holland) to go after everyone he loves. Because Peter is relatively close to his daughter, it’s not impossible for Adrian to know Peter’s secret identity and thus come after everyone he knows. (Except probably his own daughter, of course.)
In the comics, Adrian’s daughter was named Valeria Toomes, created by Robert Rodi and John Higgins in the 2004 five-part series Identity Disc. Under the cover name of Valerie Jessup, Valeria joins S.H.I.E.L.D. to distance herself from her father, but A.I.M. finds out and tries to blackmail her. Valeria fights back by hiring her father and other Marvel villains and anti-heroes like the Juggernaut, Sandman, Bullseye, Sabretooth, and Deadpool to obtain the Identity Disc, which contained top secret dossiers on every villain and hero in the Marvel Universe.
From what we’ve seen so far, Zendaya’s Michelle seems way too chill to do anything like that.
Spider-Man: Homecoming will be released in theaters on July 7.