Look around you–does the world feel different? Sure does. We’re living in the post-Spidey MCU world and it’s going to be fantastic. And while the deal to bring Spidey back into the fold may not be as clean as a full retreat by Sony it still has a lot of good stuff: Spidey in MCU films, Feige contributing in some way to make the standalone Spidey movies by Sony suck less, and the possibility of other MCU characters coming into the Spideyverse.
How this all happens is still up in the air but given that Latino Review broke this story weeks ago with not just the details of the deal but also how it would happen, it’s likely that their other news about the “how” of it all is also legit. And it’s huge. If you’d like to know what this means for Spidey and the MCU then keep reading. But be warned–
HERE THERE BE SPOILERS
Seriously. We’ll be revealing info from several MCU films and even Age of Ultron. Spoiler-puritans should stop reading now. Everyone else, let’s continue.
Much of this comes from the initial Latino Review report but a good chunk of this is further extrapolation based on the movies and stories in play. All of it could be wrong, but it could all be right too. Here we go. In MCU order, here are the potential spoilers.
1. Hulk will be gone after Age of Ultron. Whether he dies or gets shot into space remains an open question. But we’ve already been told that the Avengers will look very different after Ultron. That’s hard to imagine when 3 of the 4 core members have announced movies in the next few years. No, I don’t consider Hawkeye and Black Widow core members because they are easily replaced. In order for the team to look different I think Hulk is gone and the others are broken up–perhaps in how they view Tony’s responsibility for the whole mess, perhaps they break up over Hulk, Cap marries Yoko Ono, something.
Hulk dying is interesting but I think the more likely scenario is he gets shot into space to set up a future Planet Hulk movie or at least bring him back down the road. Marvel couldn’t announce a Planet Hulk movie during the big phase 3 event because that gives away too many details–maybe they announce a Planet Hulk movie once Ultron is out. And they still might heavily modify the comic story just as they’ve done for other arcs (like Winter Soldier). For those that don’t know, the original Planet Hulk story had Hulk blasted into space by his friends who didn’t want to put up with his temper tantrums that leveled cities. He crashed on a remote world, built a life, got married, became king, wife got pregnant, then some bad guys blew up the planet killing everyone but Hulk and making it look like Earth did it. So Hulk returns to Earth in order to seek his revenge, even turning Madison Square Garden into an arena to fight the people that sent him away. Then they figure out the misunderstanding and they all laugh and laugh. So that could be modified a bit to leave out the whole bad Earth stuff–maybe Ultron blasts him away and the others shrug and think “Works for us.”
2. There are no more Avengers in Captain America: Civil War but there is Spider-Man. Continuing the groundwork laid in Age of Ultron, the Avengers are no more, the Avengers are splitsville and it’s too soon for SHIELD to be back up and running at full strength so that means Captain America is on his own, fighting the good fight. Jimmy Impossible wrote a great summary of the comic Civil War story but I think that’s too intricate for the movie, instead I think the core elements remain: Captain America and Tony Stark are at odds with how superheroes should act for the common good and a younger superhero (Spider-Man) is caught in the middle. I think this all comes to a head when it’s revealed that Bucky Barnes, who Cap has been rehabilitating, realizes that he killed Howard Stark. Tony wants to arrest Bucky, Cap knows that Bucky can’t be cleared because no jury will believe the brainwashing, so they fight over Bucky (or at least are at odds).
3. Captain America dies at the end of Civil War. You cannot have a war without casualties and this is no exception. I believe they keep this other major plot point from comic Civil War and in the culmination of the major plot point of Cap 3 (like HYDRA in Winter Solder), Crossbones (villain set up in Cap 2) kills Steve Rogers. Bucky, owing Cap a lot for bringing him back, vows to take up the shield and keep the good name/fight alive. This is also why Marvel showed us this particular picture in their press release–it’s all the Avengers/super-powered heroes left when Cap 3 is finished. Hulk is gone and Bucky is Captain America. (This comes from our Marvel experts Jimmy Impossible and Tom Kelly, who assure us the picture used in the press release was initially a publicity shot from The Heroic Age, a storyline that took place in post-Civil War Marvel universe where Bucky was Captain America in that particular costume.)
4. Thor dies at the end of Thor: Ragnarok. The end of each Thor movie has been bittersweet. The first one ended with Thor cut off from Earth. The second one ended with a dead mother and Loki secretly ruling Asgard. It’s not too much of a stretch to have the third Thor movie end with Thor sacrificing himself to save the Seven Realms. Ragnarok in the title could mean one of two things. First, it could refer to the cyborg Thor that Tony Stark/Reed Richards created and unleashed during the comic Civil War; it wielded Mjolnir and ended up killing a hero, escalating the war between the two camps of superheroes. Second, it could refer to the event from Norse mythology–a series of epic battles that ends with the death of Odin, Loki, and Thor. Which sounds more likely to you?
Yeah, Thor bites it.
5. Infinity War Part 1 is all new Avengers. We have a series of movies introducing all our new friends: Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Ant-Man. But let’s face it–those three don’t have the mass market appeal of the original Avengers, even after their standalone films. But with Spider-Man in that mix, suddenly it’s interesting. Part 1 of the War could either take place on Earth or in some mystic realm that Doctor Strange brings everybody to make sure Thanos doesn’t get the last Infinity Stone. And you just know Thanos gets it, because that’s what happens when you tell people the worst thing ever will happen if…
Only Thanos getting the last stone opens the world up to what could be the greatest cliff-hanger of all time.
6. Everybody comes back for Infinity War Part 2. See, here’s the thing–Thanos worships Death. It’s a long story. Oh, wait, no it isn’t. He loves Death. Lady Death is his groove. So he wants the Infinity Gauntlet to reshape reality and make Death rule (and make himself powerful enough that she’ll love him back). So if he gets the Gauntlet and all the Stones and then the lines between Life and Death are blurred…BOOM! Captain America and Thor are back. Maybe Hulk too. And all the other heroes are already fighting. So now we have a truly epic war over all of reality against Thanos in an amazing film that brings back our favorite characters in a consistent story. And then we move into Phase 4 with…honestly, WHO KNOWS where they go? None of these stories involve Captain Marvel or the Inhumans or Guardians 2 so there’s more property to take advantage of or leave alone, but Marvel has a huge store of content to pull from and years to figure it out.
Yeah, I’m excited too. It’s the Golden Age of Geekdom.