Thursday, February 12, 2015

Spider-Man and the MCU

I couldn't have been less excited when it was announced the other day that Sony and Marvel Studios had reached a deal that would allow Spider-Man to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

I know there were a lot of people who were excited by it and love the idea of Spider-Man finally fighting alongside Captain America on the big screen, but I'm not one of them. I think the MCU is as great as it is precisely because it doesn't have Spider-Man in it. It's been a blessing that Marvel Studios hasn't had the rights to Spider-Man, X-Men, or the Fantastic Four, because that's forced Kevin Feige and his creative teams to really explore and build up characters who are, well, less overexposed. Focusing on the Avengers has been one hell of a ride, and if we had to deal with a Fantastic Four or a Spider-Man movie getting mixed in there, do you really think Marvel would ever have taken a chance on Guardians of the Galaxy? I don't need to see Spider-Man again. I want to see characters I've never seen in a film before.

My first words to Becca when I read the news were: "Great, so they're pushing Black Panther and Captain Marvel back in order to remind us of Peter Parker's origin for the third time in fifteen years?"

I don't want to be disappointed in the MCU, and this... I just didn't like this. And hey, Kevin Feige has earned my faith as a fan, so I didn't want to get online and talk about my disappointment like an entitled fanboy. I'll just wait and see what happens. Who know, maybe it'll work.

Anyway, like a lot of people I'm seeing online, I immediately wanted to see Miles Morales instead of Peter Parker. Because there's something the movies haven't done yet, and since we have to wait longer to get Black Panther, they should give us Miles instead.

I had a whole idea in my head, but didn't bother to set it down until today. A gent I follow on Tumblr seems to feel like Miles Morales wouldn't make an interesting story because he's only been around a short while and doesn't seem to have a true nemesis or really be well established. He asked people to explain how they'd pitch Miles in the MCU rather than just yelling "This must happen!" So I finally wrote out all of my thoughts, and what the hell, here they are:

I don’t think Spider-Man will play a role in the Civil War movie because I think it’s too close and there’s no room, and no one’s going to care which side he’s on, because no one knows the kid yet in the MCU.

There’s been a theme in the MCU of experiments gone wrong, so the origin already fits, and you can bring Norman Osborn in, but just tweak it that Oscorp is attempting to make money by creating their own Super Soldier Serum. They’re testing on animals, Miles' Uncle Aaron tries to steal the formula, Miles gets bitten. I’d weave this into Civil War and show Miles as a kid who loves the Avengers and doesn't understand what he sees on the news and in the streets with the Avengers fighting among themselves. Then he gets really sick from the spider bite and they can play this as a moral dilemma: this new world of superheroes has created opportunism and tragedy, this kid is paying the price. He gets sick and, hell, maybe Captain America visits him in the hospital, feeling somewhat responsible.

And Miles appears to die in the movie.

Then, post-credits scene: Miles waking up in bed, no longer sick. In fact, he feels pretty amazing. And you end on this shot:

Cut to black screen. “Miles Morales Will Return in 2017”

Then I’d keep the kid far in the background through the Doctor Strange movie--just some mentions of a new hero called Spider-Man being seen--and then we’ll learn all about Miles in the Spider-Man movie. My only thing is that I think there should be another MCU character helping Miles along in the Spider-Man movie. And I think that character should be Sam Wilson.

The real opportunity they have in Phase Three is to introduce a lot of new heroes before the Avengers regroup in Infinity War. I feel like what they’re doing, starting with Age of Ultron, is getting a lot of our Phase One heroes out of the way. I have my suspicions about how they’ll do it, but I’m convinced that Thor and the Hulk won’t be around for Civil War because they won’t be around at all. The whole world of the Avengers is going to fray and fall apart, and who’s going to keep the dream alive? Characters like Iron Patriot and Winter Soldier, who can serve more or less as new versions of Iron Man and Captain America. Black Panther, who is going to appear in Civil War. Ant-Man.

And this is where you get the Falcon back in: as Miles’ superhero mentor. You start the Spider-Man movie with Miles already acting as Spider-Man, but still starting out. There’s been no real test yet against some kind of supervillain. Sam finds Spider-Man and is shocked as hell that he’s just a kid. I’d stick mainly with that Scorpion/Prowler storyline from the comics (especially since the Sony movies didn't use the Scorpion already), but put the Falcon in there, too, even if it’s just as a bookend. Let the lure of being an Avenger stand there and build.

And this is really why I think Miles could be such a good idea, and why I mentioned Captain America visiting him in the hospital: this is the first time we’re going to be able to see a young superhero who does what he does because he was inspired by the example of the Avengers. And in trying to do right by them, he introduces a streak of idealism into Phase Three that could easily pay off by the time Infinity War rolls around, because imagine Miles being instrumental in putting the original team back together to fight Thanos.

That’s really something I’d like to see. Just cut the Sony continuity off, don’t bother about Peter Parker (we all get what he’s about by now), and do something new.


abc said...

Works for me!

bliss_infinte said...

I'm just as unenthusiastic about Spidey in the MCU as you are and I hate the fact that they pushed Panther and Ms Marvel AND Inhumans back to accommodate this. The awesomeness of the Avengers wouldn't exist if Marvel still had the rights to those other properties. I also don't need to see another spidey origin story or Parker in HS. But the MCU does like to take chances and experiment and I like the Morales concept that you came up with so who knows? I'm really bummed that Panther and Ms Marvel got pushed back - did I mention that already?