(Warning: The following contains mild potential SPOILERS for the upcoming 'Spider-Man: Homecoming,' as well as the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole. Proceed with whatever level of caution your Spidey-Sense suggests to you is wise.)
Now, with recent murmurings suggesting that we may actually get to see the fan-favorite comic book plot line "Spider-Verse" reach the big screen in the near future (to say nothing of a potential Captain America cameo) it's arguably never been a more exciting time to be a Spider-fan. After all, with Spider-Man: Homecoming seemingly hiring additional critically-acclaimed actors on a daily basis, the future is very much bright.
The big question that brightness raises, though?
Just What Is Spider-Man: Homecoming's Arrival Going To Mean For The MCU As A Whole?
Well, let's take a look, shall we? Below are five of the most intriguing potential consequences of Spider-Man's arrival in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — all of them most likely extremely positive.
5. A Whole New Demographic Is About To Open Up For The MCU
So, here's the funny thing about re-defining superhero movies for an entire generation of kids, as the MCU has most certainly done: Eventually, they grow up. Y'see, kids who were four or five when Iron Man came out back in 2008 are now starting to hit puberty — and kids who were 10 or so are about to graduate high school. For that (substantial and particularly devoted) chunk of the MCU's audience, a movie about a geeky teenager struggling to balance schoolwork, a personal life and outside activities (albeit superheroism-themed ones) might just be perfectly timed.
What's more, if Spider-Man: Homecoming works out, there's a pretty solid chance that...
4. A New Generation Of Superheroes Will Have The Door Held Open For Them
There are, after all, a whole lot of beloved teenage heroes dotted around the Marvel Comic Book Universe, from the Runaways, to the Young Avengers, all the way through to the recently-introduced likes of Ms. Marvel and Nova.
If Spider-Man: Homecoming's essential formula — teen hero is mentored by experienced Marvel star (i.e. Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man) — works out, then there's every possibility that we could see a whole lot more teen-hero-centered projects make their way to the big screen. Meanwhile...
3. New York Is Set To Become The Center Of The Marvel Universe Again
One of the most striking differences between the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its comic book counterpart (beyond the presence of y'know, mutants) is the sheer extent to which the latter is based in New York. Marvel has taken steps in recent years to move its characters around the world a little more, but for the most part, New York is the Marvel Universe in the comic books.
In the MCU, however, much of the action has taken place around the world, and — with the exception of Netflix's more determinedly urban-based shows — New York's central role has been reduced as a result. Spider-Man's arrival — and inherently New York-based nature — however, may just be set to change that. What's more...
2. The MCU Looks Set To Find Its Feet In One Of Cinema's Toughest Genres
Specifically, comedy. With Spider-Man: Homecoming reportedly set to adopt a "John Hughes movie"-like tone, it seems we could well be set to see Marvel's first out and out comedic superhero movie (Ant-Man was funny, after all, but ultimately still a heist caper).
If that works out, then the chances of us seeing some traditionally more light-hearted heroes (Squirrel Girl, say, or She-Hulk) turn up in the MCU would seem to go up enormously. In fact, there's even a certain foursome that could well finally fit the MCU mold. Y'see...
1. A Precedent Is About To Be Set — That Other Studios Could Well Follow
Specifically, a major box-office success for Spider-Man: Homecoming would surely vindicate Sony's (arguably very risky) decision to team-up with Marvel Studios in the first place. Now, that would most likely lead to an expansion of Spider-themed projects within the MCU, but it might just also lead to a similar deal being struck elsewhere.
Fox, after all, has long struggled to make a Fantastic Four movie work in isolation. Could a similar deal to that Marvel struck with Sony finally bring Marvel's First Family back into the fold? After all, the exact same blend of comedy, action, accessible issues and a New York setting is probably exactly what the FF need — and a whole lot of that "Marvel money" wouldn't exactly hurt Fox's coffers.
So, uh, go Spidey, go! Do it for Johnny Storm!