Ever since Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, fans of superhero movies have been craving an installment in the MCU that could match that dark tone. Marvel has brought us a lot of incredibly enjoyable movies but the one thing they all have in common is a light, humorous tone. It has worked out for them so far, but most fans still want to see something with a bit more grittiness to it.
They have had no shortage of opportunities: Iron Man 3 featured a terrorist specifically targeting the hero, Captain America 2 featured an old friend coming back from the dead after being experimented on for military purposes, and Avengers 2 featured a man-made artificial intelligence that has become self aware and plans to destroy the human race. While all three of these movies had some gritty moments, overall they were hilarious.
I’m not saying humor is bad but a change of pace would be nice. Marvel’s first Netflix series, Daredevil, has been such a huge success partly because of how surprisingly dark it was. Now fans want to see that kind of story on the big screen.
Which character could bring us the first dark MCU movie? It would be tough to change the tones of the existing characters, but there are a few new characters set to make their debut in the MCU in the near future and one stands out to me in particular. That character is...
You may not think of Spider-Man as having a dark and gritty story but think about Marvel’s golden rule: “No one ever stays dead, except Uncle Ben.” Peter Parker has been through a lot. In fact, there are three reasons I think Spidey could be the one that brings the first truly dark movie to the MCU.
1. He has been surrounded by death
The Peter Parker that we’re going to get in the MCU is a Peter Parker that has already seen some stuff. He has lost his parents, he has lost his Uncle and he has lost the first love of his life, two of which died right in front of him. In some circumstances, Spidey has proven to be mentally unstable and has doubted his ability to protect the ones he loves, with good reason.
Sure, he always seems to be having fun trash talking Dr. Octopus or some other goon but deep down inside, he’s always hurting. Will we see some of that pain come to the surface in the MCU? I think it’s possible!
2. His enemies have different intentions
The MCU has had some great villains (and its fair share of bad ones), but the one thing they all have in common is that they want to rule in some way. Loki wants to rule Asgard, Red Skull wants to run the world and Ronan wants to rule... pretty much everything. They’ve been great but it’s almost like we’re watching Saturday morning cartoons.
Spidey’s enemies are different. Most of them are simply low-life criminals that are looking for money and will kill anyone that gets in their way. Then you have guys like The Lizard, who is an uncontrollable beast, Kraven, who is simply looking for the most challenging thing to kill, and Green Goblin, who is just a murderous psychopath with no regard for human life. These guys are a big reason Spider-Man could be a dark movie.
3. With great power comes great responsibility
There have been several times in the comics that Spidey has fought with his own conscience. For the most part he adheres to the famous lesson that his late Uncle Ben taught him. Sometimes though, it’s hard to know exactly what the right thing to do is.
Peter Parker has certainly been through a lot and Spider-Man has some very dangerous enemies. The two of those things combined put a tremendous amount of pressure on the young hero and make it difficult to always do the right thing. Not to mention, the first time we see him in the MCU, he will have to decide whether to side with Captain America or Iron Man. Talk about a tough decision to make!