Could we be about to see Spider-Man join the Avengers? If controversial comic industry figure Rob Liefeld is to be believed, it's not as far from the realms of possibility as you might imagine.
We recently discussed Liefeld's comments on Twitter, in which he suggested that Marvel will attempt to destroy Fox's Marvel movie franchises by undermining their marketing. What Liefeld implied, though - and outright predicted one element of - was that this would lead to a tactical alliance between Marvel Studios and Sony.
My un-informed prediction: Sony will split producing/financing w/Marvel on next Spidey film and open door for inclusion in Avengers 3.
This alliance could turn the whole world of Marvel movies on its head - especially if Sony's much-discussed financial problems are indeed - as rumors have suggested - leading them towards a point at which they would be forced to sell the rights to the Spider-franchise.
The idea of Spider-Man featuring in the Avengers got us thinking about just how Marvel could incorporate the web-slinger into their already established MCU. Should Sony eventually allow it, these are the ways we think we're most likely to see it happen:
1. The Cameo
Picture the end of Spider-Man 3. The Sinister Six, or Venom, or The Beetle has been defeated. All is good once more in New York - but the authorities still hate that pesky Spider-Man, no matter what the people may think of him. The credits roll, but what's that? A post-credits sting?
A police chief of some sort, and a newly introduced General Ross, approach a meeting room. They're discussing the Spider-menace, and how it can be dealt with. The man they're due to meet with about him is late - and they're pretty steamed about it.
Which, as he walks through the door to the astonished gasps of the cinema audience, is just how Tony Stark likes it.
"Gentleman, I think we've got bigger problems than Spider-Man", he grins.
Cut to black, and cue the internet breaking.
2. Civil War
What if Sony and Marvel don't decide to kiss and make up in time for a Spider-movie crossover. What if, then, either in an epic No-Thanos shaped twist or in The Inevitable Avengers 4, we finally see Marvel's huge crossover Civil War event? In that scenario, the storyline's fascinating central dilemma - that of Peter Parker having to decide between the two opposing superhero factions - would make for a terrific introduction to the MCU for the character.
Let's say one day he's just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, swinging about fighting Rhinos and Lizards, and then the next he's being seen as the key to a global superhero war, which threatens to tear society apart. And then, come the end, and the tragic death of whichever hero hasn't renewed their contract, he could take their place in the Avengers - sadly, but with a lot of pride.
Honestly, who wouldn't want to watch that?
3. The New Avengers
Maybe that's too big a move for the MCU, though. Marvel have been relatively cautious so far when it comes to their key heroes, and making them square off against one another might be a risk too far.
Could they follow the comics? Though Spider-Man had been a reserve member of the Avengers since the early 90's, it wasn't until 2005's New Avengers that he got his chance to step up to the big league. Following the break-up of the Avengers, a break-in at Marvel's super-prison, The Raft, led to a rag-tag team of superheroes, including Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Daredevil and Luke Cage joining up with Iron Man and Captain America to stop the world's worst possible prison break. They then decide (with the exception of Daredevil) to form a new Avengers lineup.
Picture the scene: The [Daredevil](movie:47230) and Luke Cage mini-series' have done well enough that Marvel are considering the possibility of writing at least one of them into the MCU. Robert Downey Jr's stepped down from the Iron Man suit, and Jeremy Renner has tired of being a hate figure for fans, and suddenly the Avengers have a spot or two open. Spider-Man and Sony are on board. Someone at Disney realises that Spider-Woman is awesome, and has a lot of spin-off movie potential.
In that world, what better way to introduce a whole bunch of new characters in an entertaining fashion, while simultaneously keeping hardcore fans happy, than creating a New Avengers, say by [The Avengers 3](movie:738027)?
What do you guys think? How would you add Spider-Man into the Avengers?