We might be at the start of Marvel's Phase 2, but fans are still left wanting a few things before their Marvel Cinematic Universe dreams are complete. Yeah, like a definite casting for Black Panther. And some more confirmation on Luke Cage. And a casting choice for Doctor Strange. But, the one thing that keeps coming up as a sort of sore spot is Spider-Man. As in, "Is Spider-Man EVER going to take his rightful place among the Avengers?" That's especially true since producers have hinted that Spider-Man could actually join the Avengers.
If you look at comic canon, Spider-Man has been on the Avenger radar since the 60s, and either passed on joining or failed to make it in a couple of times, until finally becoming an official member during the New Avengers run in the 2010s.
We have a lot MCU future ahead of us. Anything can happen. There have already been small hints of the Spider-Man universe in Iron Man 3, and Iron Man in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Deep down in every Marvel fan's heart is the carefully preserved hope that Marvel and Sony will somehow find a way to make this work and make our hearts explode with joy. In the meantime, here are three speculative, comicbook-centric ways that Spider-Man could make his way onto the roster of the Earth's Mightiest Heroes on the big screen. Of course, things would probably have to be finagled a bit to fit the current MCU canon if Marvel were to actually put any of this into the pipeline, but this is what the starting point could be.
The New Avengers
The New Avengers story arc went on from 2005-2010 and chronicled the group of superheroes who refused to go along with the government-controlled superhero registration movement that becomes a leading factor for the Civil War story-line. In the first volume of The New Avengers, the team is made up of Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Woman, and Luke Cage. Even Wolverine gets on it at one point. Sure, there are other characters like Sentry, Echo but some pretty major MCU characters are already coming into play here. Later on, there was also a spin-off called The Dark Avengers that brought back Hawekeye and brought in Dr. Strange. That's convenient, isn't it?
The Illuminati are a behind-the-scenes group of superheroes consisting of Black Panther, Dr. Strange, Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, Sub-Mariner, Professor X, and even at times the likes of Captain America and Beast. Although in the taxonomy of the Marvel Universe they're a sub-branch of The New Avengers run, they merit their own chance to bring Spidey into the fold. In this case, it's also as a part of a Civil War arc. I've talked about the Illuminati before, but in the context of Hulk and a Hulk Sequel. Here, they might come together to help protect Spider-Man from becoming an unwitting martyr for superherodom in the face of an increasingly aggressive governement hero registration program. Again, lots of already big and currently developing characters come into play here and it would allow for not only Spider-Man to come into the picture, but also for some of the "newer" characters to the MCU to get some serious play.
The Heroic Age Avengers
The Heroic Age line-up takes place after the Civil War, and after The New Avengers was cancelled. This also comes following seven years worth of dark storylines pitting hero against hero (Iron Man vs Cap and Spidey); the heroic age was a breath of fresh air. The line-up for Avengers if the Heroic Age consisted of Thor, Hawkeye, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Captain America, Spider-Woman(one of my personal favorites!), Iron Man, and team leader Maria Hill of S.H.I.E.L.D. fame ( here's your chance!)
Of course, it could take a lot to swing it, and mind you these are just potential ways for Spidey to come into the picture. It could be that Marvel takes some elements from each to come up with the best way to get the most out of the characters they're putting their resources into.
Have other ideas about how the MCU could get Spider-Man into action? Let me know below.
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