Comics on Film: Spider-Man Will Return in the MCU, and Here's What We'd Like to See


Comics on Film: Spider-Man Will Return in the MCU, and Here's What We'd Like to See

Sep 01, 2017

When Spider-Man: Homecoming finally made its way into theaters this past July, it had a significant amount of pressure on its shoulders. While we'd never seen what it would look like for Peter Parker to stand on his own in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, movie audiences the world over were, of course, already very familiar with the Webhead from his five previous major motion picture releases.

Following in the footsteps of genre-defining films by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire, along with respectable efforts from director Marc Webb and Andrew Garfield, it was necessary for Homecoming to make a definitive statement on how it would be different from what we've seen before, while also reminding us of everything that makes Spidey such a compelling hero. Thankfully, that's exactly what Homecoming managed to pull off.
 
Now that we're reasonably aware of the fact that the entire original creative team of Homecoming will be returning in its forthcoming sequel, it's worth asking: what do we want from Spider-Man's second solo turn in the MCU? We have a few ideas:
 
 
 
Another Singular Villain
 
One of the major problems that both the Sam Raimi-directed Spidey films and the Marc Webb-directed efforts had was the overload of antagonists for the hero to face off against. It's not a problem exclusive to Spider-Man, by any means, but one of the factors that likely affected the critical receptions for both 2007's Spider-Man 3 and 2014's The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was an overload of villains that Spidey had to square off against, which ended up making both of those films' stories a bit narratively haphazard.
 
One of the more refreshing aspects of Homecoming was that it featured only one, primary villain in the form of Michael Keaton's Vulture. Still, though, Homecoming found a way to have its cake and eat it, too, by including perhaps more recognizable comics-based villains than any other Spidey movie to date, but the critical component in the new film's case was that those villains weren't main obstacles for Spidey to overcome. Rather brilliantly, Homecoming hinted at the larger world of villainy that awaits Peter outside the confines of Queens, while still keeping the core conflict focused solely on Peter uncovering – and later attacking – the criminal exploits of the Vulture.
 
The follow-up to Homecoming would likely be served similarly well by this approach. As we saw in the end of Homecoming, Spider-Man now very clearly has some capable criminals hunting for him, all the more eager to be the one that takes the young hero out for good. While he seems like he might have his enemy the Vulture covering for him to a degree, a new film can further test the young Peter's heroic resolve by directly challenging him in a more deeply personal and threatening way. The concept of multiple villains likely need not be revisited any time soon, so sticking with Homecoming's strategy in this regard would be a good thing.
 
 
 
A New Team-Up
 
One of the coolest aspects of Spider-Man: Homecoming that arises out of the character's long-awaited inclusion into the Marvel Cinematic Universe was the presence of Robert Downey, Jr.'s Iron Man in the film. While the pre-release materials and trailers seemed to indicate that Iron Man would have a more sizable role, the final film didn't really include a significant amount of screen time for Tony Stark. This was good, though, because while Iron Man's presence helps reinforce that Peter has arrived exactly where he belongs in the MCU, it was still very much his own movie.
 
To that end – and since we have no reason to believe that this partnership between Sony and Marvel Studios is exactly long term – it would be fun to get another solid team-up in with the Webhead while we can get it. It doesn't even necessarily have to be as pronounced as the relatively limited Iron Man appearance, either: whether it's an older Avenger that gives him advice or something of a foil for Spidey himself, having Tom Holland's Peter Parker have one more cool team-up would be fun to see, which can also be reflexive of Peter's overall position in next year's Avengers: Infinity War.
 
As for who we'd like to see occupy this team-up spot, we already wrote a piece previously that went over five solid candidates to stand alongside Peter in a future team-up. The one that excites us the most? Finally breaking down the barriers between MCU movies and TV, and giving us an awesome Spider-Man/Daredevil team-up that sees both heroes go after a shared enemy from the comics: the Kingpin, as played by Vincent D'Onofrio.
 
Hey: we can dream!
 
 
 
A New Villain
 
Piggybacking off of our first point, one of the elements that made Homecoming interesting for followers of Spider-Man is that they chose to go with a new villain beyond what we'd seen on film before. So, if possible, it'd be great if the next film can avoid Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Sandman, Venom, the Lizard and Electro. Thankfully, that shouldn't be a particularly difficult task because of the characters in Spider-Man's world within the Marvel Comics Universe.
 
While Marvel Comics is home to some truly wonderful, timeless villains, a lot of fans would probably agree that Spidey's collective rogues' gallery is likely Marvel's best unit of villains. Just as many of DC's best villains face off most regularly against Batman, Spider-Man's rogues' gallery covers a wide gamut of power sets and personalities to make the villains he faces some of the most imaginative in all of comics. As we already alluded to, Homecoming hinted at a lot of other Spider-Man villains while still remaining focused on the Vulture, including the likes of Shocker (two versions, no less!), Prowler (young Miles Morales' uncle), Scorpion, and the Tinkerer.
 
So, who does that leave that's worthy of a movie? Some of the secondary villains that appeared in Homecoming could likely support their own standalone villain status, but one fascinating character and story that would likely be worthy of an adaptation, that hasn't yet appeared in a live-action film, is Kraven the Hunter. Using the legendary comic book story "Kraven's Last Hunt" by J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Zeck as a basis could likely make for a really cool movie, but that's of course just one possibility.
 
What do you want to see from the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming? Would you like to see a team-up, or a full solo effort? Which villain would you choose for the Webhead to face off against? Sound off below, have a great Labor Day weekend, and we'll see you next week!

Chris Clow is a comic book expert and former retailer, and a writer with work having appeared in the Huffington Post, Fandango and others. He also hosts the podcasts GeekPulse Radio and Comics on Consoles. You can find his weekly Comics on Film column every week here at Movies.com, and you can follow along on Twitter @ChrisClow.

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