‘Spider-Man’: Should the MCU Have Made Him More of a Villain?

Fans will never be satisfied with how movies portray their comic book heroes, and Spider-Man is a perfect example. Many fans are looking to Spider-Man 3 to bring back the Spider-Man they recognize, with one of his main antagonists, J. Jonah Jameson returning.

Some are concerned that another antagonist Morbius The Living Vampire, simply isn’t well known enough to deserve an entry before other better-known Spidey villains.

The truth is fans will always complain because Spider-Man has not stayed the same since his first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15 in 1962. He starts as a young kid in high school who is still a bullied nerd but compensated by becoming a cheeky vigilante.

One of the reasons fans loved him so much in Captain America: Civil War is he acts like that brash, cheeky kid stealing Captain America’s shield. But with Spider-man’s constant evolution in the comic books, will fans ever be satisfied with him in the MCU, and what do they see as the problem?

Tony Stark’s influence on Spider-Man

Tom Holland
Tom Holland | Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney

Some fans feel Stark/Ironman always steals Spider-Man’s spotlight. In Spider-Man: Homecoming, much of the movie is spent focusing on Stark’s new web armor, leaving Spider-Man feeling less like himself and more like Iron Spider.

In the next, Spider-Man: Far From Home, we spend a great deal of time dealing with the aftermath of Stark’s death. Mysterio only targets Spider-Man because Stark left him more power than a teenage boy should have, no matter how kindhearted. Finally, Mysterio and all his henchmen are all ex-Stark employees.

Although fans are relieved that Spider-Man will primarily have to live his own life after Stark’s passing, we now have the announcement that Doctor Strange will be in Spider-Man 3. Many worry that we’ll see the same interplay all over again with Strange taking Stark’s place. To shine, Spider-Man needs to stand on his own without living in the shadow of mentors.

Spider-Man the menace

Jameson will play a large part in Spider-Man 3, portraying Spider-Man as a menacing villain rather than a hero. This is entirely in line with the comic books where the Daily Bugle is constantly hounding Spider-Man no matter what he does.

A fan on a recent Reddit thread said it best,” but with the MCU this would have been a good opportunity to show some contrast between the Avengers being worshipped, and Spidey being seen as (kind of) creepy and weird.”

Another fan saw a golden opportunity in Spider-Man: Homecoming wasted. “They had hints of menacing in homecoming. Him slinging through queens, tearing up yards and rooftops accidentally. Also webbing the guy to his car who he thought was carjacking.”

Will ‘Spider-Man 3’ head in that direction?

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With the upcoming Morbius movie featuring he and the Vulture being released in March 2021 and Spider-Man 3 being released in December 2021, it seems inevitable that the two will connect somehow.

Then we have Strange slated to appear as a gateway to his next movie and Jamie Foxx as Electro allegedly joining the cast. It is anyone’s guess in what direction Spider-Man 3 is headed.

But with his secret identity revealed at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home and Mysterio framing Spider-Man as a villain, the movie may finally see Spider-Man as the hated hero they remember.

As a fan points out on Reddit, Spider-Man 3 could have an effect on that with the public permanently divided on Spidey, so there’s a lot of hate for the webhead even after the problem is fixed at the film’s ending.”