How ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Connects to the MCU

Tom Holland wearing his Spider-Man suit without the mask, and smiling

Tom Holland in Spider-Man Homecoming | Sony

Fans of Marvel Comics no doubt jumped for joy when news broke that Spider-Man would be finally joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), thanks to a new deal between Disney and Sony. As fans well know, the latter has owned the film rights to the webslinger for a long while and has made a total of five films based on the character. However, the relative failure of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 led Sony to seek a way to revitalize the character’s big-screen viability. And so Spider-Man: Homecoming was born. 

Tom Holland will reprise the role for the film next year, following his induction into the MCU in Captain America: Civil War. We’ve already commented on which characters we’d like to see in the film and look forward to the impressive cast that director Jon Watts has assembled, including Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Tony Revolori, and Marisa Tomei as Aunt May.

However, while the film will mark the first in what is sure to be another ongoing franchise for Spider-Man, let’s speculate on all the ways in which the film will connect to what’s already been established in the MCU.

Iron Man and Happy Hogan

Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man

Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man | Marvel Studios

The most obvious way in which this new interpretation of Spider-Man will involve the MCU is in the inclusion of Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau as Tony Stark (Iron Man) and Happy Hogan, respectively. Stark, of course, played a huge role in bringing Spider-Man out of Queens and onto the world stage, as it was he who recruited young Peter Parker to join the fight against Team Cap. That mentor/mentee relationship is likely to continue to evolve in this film, especially seeing as the Civil War post-credits scene teased Stark-level technology for Parker’s new suit.

Follow up on Civil War

Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans in Captain America Civil War

Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans in Captain America: Civil War | Marvel Studios

Speaking of Civil War, that unforgettable airport sequence was certainly a hell of a coming-out party for everyone’s favorite friendly neighborhood webhead. We can only imagine that his involvement in such a grand superhero smackdown will inspire Spider-Man to take on bigger threats in his hometown. We would also imagine that it would announce the webslinger as a major global hero, but seeing as the airport fight wasn’t exactly performed in the middle of Times Square, we’re betting that the public at large have no clue just how crazy the Avengers’ fracturing really got, let alone Spider-Man’s involvement.

A new perspective for the MCU

Tom Holland in Captain America Civil War

Tom Holland in Captain America: Civil War | Marvel Studios

Since his story lacks the grandeur of many of the other, more experienced heroes, Spider-Man also offers a fresh perspective on the ongoing storyline. This kind of change of pace comes at a particularly necessary point in the MCU, since the franchise’s formula can get a bit stale more than a dozen films in. Introducing an amateur into this world of super-soldiers and Asgardians gives the MCU a new dimension to explore and another wrinkle to add to its ever-increasing tapestry of characters.

Ironically, this new context comes from a character that has long remained one of the most popular Marvel has ever created, but nonetheless, we’re excited to see how Spider-Man can affect the course of the MCU going forward.  

The next Avenger

Josh Brolin in Avengers: Age of Ultron

Josh Brolin in Avengers: Age of Ultron | Marvel Studios

On that topic, Spider-Man: Homecoming will certainly help our hero develop his powers and prepare to go to war when Marvel’s Phase Three comes to a close. Now that Spider-Man has been inducted into the MCU, there’s no way directors Joe and Anthony Russo aren’t planning on incorporating him into the next two Avengers films, which will address the lingering threat of Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet. This will give Spider-Man a key role as a member of the Avengers at last and — along with new characters like Doctor Strange and Captain Marvel — help set the stage for Phase Four and beyond, centering on the next generation of MCU heroes.

Yet another Stan Lee cameo

Stan Lee in Thor Marvel Studios

Stan Lee in Thor | Marvel Studios

There comes a point in almost every Marvel film wherein this geek icon makes a brief appearance, to the point that some fans have concocted an elaborate theory connecting all of his various roles. Seeing as Lee is best known as the creator of Spider-Man, there’s no way he won’t show up in this film. Of course, the exact nature of Lee’s role has been kept secret (as usual), but his very presence signals that Spider-Man has truly come home.

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