I’m not here to lay blame, point fingers, or say who should own/share who- all I want to point out is one simple fact– Our good pal Peter Parker is better off without the MCU.
Since his introduction in 1962, Spider-man has spun many tales, but at his core, Spider-man is at his best when he swings solo.
Where is Peter Parker headed next?
Think back to all your favorite Spider-man stories, all the best arcs, all the greatest adventures; it’s all just Spidey and his amazing (Spider)friends. Sure, Aunt May, Mary-Jane, Miles, Jonah, and the gang are there… but those are Spider-man characters that rarely ever interact with marvel heroes in the larger universe. (Marvel’s Yearly mega-crossover events are the exception, of course.)
In the comics, Spider-man has joined teams like the Avengers and the Fantastic Four numerous times… but, like at the end of Spider-man Homecoming, it never ends well and he always ends up going off on his own friendly neighborhood adventures.
Disney seems to think the future of the MCU (in TV and on screen is ) team-ups. They’re upcoming slate has Dr. Strange with the Scarlet Witch, Thor/Lady Thor/Valkyrie in the same film, The Eternals, Guardians, yadda yadda. These are all team-ups and crossovers; something Spider-man doesn’t do well in. Sure, he was fun in the Avengers and Iron Man made a few appearances in Homecoming, but his movies were great on their own.
Now, there’s one more thing that Peter Parker has been missing since his reboot, something at the heart of the character that has been pushed aside to make room for the MCU in Peter Parker’s life. Uncle Ben.
Uncle Ben is the single most defining character in Spider-man’s life. He’s the whole reason he’s Spider-man in the first place. But in this MCU, it’s as if he doesn’t exist. This is the man who said the most iconic line in comics, “With great power, there must also come — great responsibility!” and yet, he is nowhere to be found in the MCU. Instead he is replaced with Tony Stark as a mentor.
What about Uncle Ben?
In particular, this issue surfaces in one of the biggest moments in Spiderman- Homecoming. Peter is crushed underneath concrete and pipes, a seen below.
This scene is very similar to this iconic scene in amazing Spider-man 33. In the movie and the comic, Peter Parker is trapped and struggling to find the strength to continue fighting. In the movie, he thinks back to Tony Stark and find inspiration and to remember the hero he is. However, in all other incarnations of this iconic moment Peter thinks back to Uncle Ben for his strength. The moment is great in the movie, but the comic packs a significantly more emotional impact because of what Uncle Ben means to Peter and to Spider-man.
This is a reason for this. Uncle Ben is essential to Peter, not Stark.
I’m not advocating for a retreading of Spidey’s origin, but I do think the best sequels go back to the basics of a character to remain grounded. As Tony stark and the MCU grow distant in Spiderman’s rear view mirror, this is the time to look forward to what can and will make a great Spiderman story.
It’s not team-ups with other heroes or replacement father figures. It’s the characters and heart that have made Spider-man a hero for almost 70 years.
What does Sony do now?
Also, if you are worried that Sony might not have the talent or backing to make a great Spider-man movie on their own, I’d like to point out that Into The Spider-verse was all Sony… and, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest Superhero movies of all time.