‘Spider-Man 3’: How the MCU Movie Could Make a Clever Reference to the Comics

Peter Parker (Tom Holland) may be able to do whatever a spider can. But his future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe seems bleak. Not for fans, who will have Spider-Man around for at least a while longer. Yet, the character himself is about to face his greatest challenge yet.

In a surprise appearance by J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons), Holland’s Spider-Man was just revealed to the world. When the untitled Spider-Man 3 picks up, everyone will know his secret identity. But at least this premise leaves the MCU with a fun opportunity to reference the comics.

Tom Holland and Zendays at the after party for the 'Spider-Man: Far From Home' premiere
Tom Holland and Zendays at the after party for the ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ premiere | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

For the first time, the MCU’s Spider-Man is no longer tied to Tony Stark

In many ways, the MCU’s Spider-Man 3 will be the character’s first time on his own. Spider-Man: Homecoming further developed his father-son relationship with Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark. Even after Stark’s death in Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: Far from Home dealt with Peter’s grief soon thereafter.

Some fans have complained about how closely tied Holland’s Spider-Man has been to Iron Man. So Spider-Man 3 is a chance for the webslinger to officially set out on his own. He doesn’t even have a secret identity to rely on. Instead, he’ll probably turn to girlfriend MJ (Zendaya) and best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) more than ever.

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‘Spider-Man 3’ could take Tom Holland’s hero closer to the comics

Because it presumably won’t cling to the greater MCU quite so tightly, Spider-Man 3 has a lot more room to pay tribute to the character’s own history. Fans are already hoping a certain Oscar winner might pop up as Uncle Ben in a flashback.

Any Ben Parker appearance is sure to include his famous refrain about power and responsibility. But a fan has come up with the perfect way for MJ’s own famous phrase to work itself into Spider-Man 3. In other words, it’s time for Zendaya to say, “Go get ‘em, tiger.”

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How Zendaya’s MJ could pay homage to her comic book counterpart

Mary Jane Watson often says the line in the comics. Memorably, she even addresses Peter as “tiger” when they first meet. And Kirsten Dunst even said it in 2004’s Spider-Man 2. Since Zendaya is playing the MCU equivalent of the character, a fan going by the username “birchram13” on Reddit theorizes how it could pop up again.

Now that everyone knows Peter is Spider-Man, the fan theorizes how Peter could wind up incognito as his high school mascot, a tiger. While chatting with MJ in this disguise, she could playfully encourage him with “Go get ‘em, tiger.” Such a moment would pay homage to the comics and do so in a sly, surprising way. We wouldn’t put it past the MCU to work such a gag in.