The offices of Gabbing Geek are pretty giddy about the announcement about a deal between Marvel and Sony to bring Spider-Man into the MCU. The short version (as I’m sure if you’re like me you’ve read 800 articles about it last night and today) is that Spidey will appear in an upcoming MCU film (which we’ll assume is Captain America 3: Civil War) before starring in his next solo film in 2017. Geekdom has been praying for this since the disaster that was Amazing Spider-Man 2, the announcement that Cap 3 would be Civil War, and the abundance of the “where’s there’s smoke there’s fire” rumors about Spidey coming back to Marvel over the last few months.
Having him make his deput in Civil War makes all types of sense. “How can you make Civil War without Spider-Man?” has been a battle cry of many. No doubt he was a major player and as Tom Kelly alluded to in his Problems with Civil War write up just yesterday, the affects of Civil War are still being felt throughout the Spider-Verse.
But what aspects of Peter Parker’s life during Civil War will get translated to the big screen? I’m not in complete agreement with sitemate Ryan Garcia who thinks that Civil War is a complete headfake, and I think with the addition of Spidey, we get closer to it being an adaptation than ever. But I do think it will only be a component of Cap 3, not the main story. I think having Spidey opens up more avenues for them, but the whole point of the Civil War comic was
to make as much money as possible to have heroes squaring off against each other. And I think for the most part, the whole build up in the cinematic Civil War will be so that Cap can wipe that smug look off Tony Stark’s face.
Future speculation aside, let’s look back on what role Spider-Man actually had in Civil War and what, if anything might make it to the big screen.
One housekeeping item, the backbone of Civil War for the uninitiated,
was selling a whole boatload of comics is the establishment of the Superhero Registration Act (SRA). Basically, all superheroes were required to reveal their identities to the government (but not the public) and they have to undergo some basic testing and/or training and satisfy certain standards before they gain legal authorization to continue to use their abilities to fight crime. Iron Man agreed and sided with the government. Cap did not. Fight!
Iron Man recruits Spider-Man to the pro SRA side
I think this is one of the sure fire locks to occur if they stick at all with the core of Civil War. Introduce a “green” Spidey. RDJ butters him up with his “I’ll keep you safe from Ultron” promises. Bingo, bango. Peter is sipping martini’s with Pepper. However…
Stark gives Spider-Man a new “Iron Spider” suit
I don’t think that Marvel or Sony will be in any rush to immediately move Spider-Man from his familiar (though sure to be redesigned again for the MCU) duds to the red and gold Iron Man inspired outfit in his Marvel debut or going forward.
Spider-Man publicly reveals his identity
One of the most shocking moments of Civil War was when Spider-Man threw 40+ years of changing on rooftops and keeping his family safe by revealing he was Peter Parker to the world. And guess what happened? Peter loses his job at the Bugle. Villains began to target Peter and those close to him. Peter has to move (then wife) Mary Jane and Aunt May into Stark Tower for their protection.
This had to be one of the worst decisions in the history of comics and continued a gripe about Civil War characters acting out of character. It also set the stage for the shooting of Aunt May and the dreaded One More Day reboot. Regardless, there is no way this happens. In the MCU, Spidey’s revealing his identity would have little impact (unless they do an otherworldly job of setting him up in the beginning of the movie) and I doubt Sony wants to head into their next solo Spidey film with his identity revealed to the public. And while there is a chance we might see MJ and/or Aunt May, since I don’t think the identity reveal happens, I don’t think they’ll end up hanging in Stark Tower.
Cyborg Thor kills Goliath, Spider-Man starts to think “I might be on the wrong side here”
This is not so much something that Spider-Man did, but in the comics, the creation of a Cyborg Thor by Tony Stark and Reed Richards that violently kills another hero gets many of the pro-SRA thinking. Obviously Reed Richards won’t be around, and no word on Thor being in Cap 3, cyborg or otherwise. There will need to be some catalyst to push Peter to the resistance side, but it won’t be this.
Spider-Man vs Captain America. The winner: Spider-Man’s conscience.
Spider-Man and Captain America battle until Spider-Man gives up because, even if he wins, he can’t turn in Captain Freaking America. I think this happens. Much like the inevitable throw down between Cap and Iron Man. It will probably be a singular fight scene, but remember the golden rule of Civil War kids?
Make money! That’s right, heroes fighting each other. I can see this being the turning point where Spider-Man switches sides, ignoring most of what follows next.
Peter finally turns on Iron Man due to the inhuman conditions of the Negative Zone prison.
Well, first, I doubt there is going to be a Negative Zone prison. I think this would take it much more down the road of a true adaptation which I think they will likely avoid. Not to mention, one of the other problems with adapting Civil War for the big screen is that there are only a handful of heroes in the MCU currently. I doubt they want to introduce endless new heroes just so they can simply arrest them.
So Peter has had enough, tries to get MJ and Aunt May to flee Stark Tower (which isn’t happening, as above) and we get the obligatory Spider-Man vs Iron Man fight.
Iron Man sends the Thunderbolts to hunt down Spider-Man
Well, we do know that there will be a Zemo in Cap 3…but we won’t see the Thunderbolts. (And if you are not familiar with the original Thunderbolts concept, you should check it out. Has one of those secret twists that would probably never make it in today’s internet information overload society.)
The Punisher saves Spider-Man from the Thunderbolts
Now, this is an interesting prospect. Marvel does own the film rights to the Punisher and have no immediate plans for him. (Why is there not a Netflix Punisher series?) Maybe he can show up in some capacity to assist Spider-Man, albeit, not against the Thunderbolts. There is a whole thing after Punisher brings Spider-Man to Cap for medical aid and then, golden rule, Punisher and Cap fight. But we are getting into Batman and Robin territory now of just too many characters.
As an aside, there is an urban legend that the Punisher makes a cameo appearance in Captain America: Winter Soldier as the driver of the Penske truck that saves Nick Fury.
That pretty much clues up Spider-Man’s major involvement in Civil War. He joins the resistance. Fights the good fight. Aunt May gets shot. Back In Black. One More Day. Etc.
And I know we are all super excited about this, but keep in mind, this IS Captain America 3. How big a role will Spider-Man have, especially with Iron Man in there as well? There is only so much they can do with 2.5 hours of film. But whatever we get, it is better than the zero percent of Spidey that we were getting at this time yesterday.