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With Avengers: Age of Ultron hitting theaters this week, a huge event in the Marvel Cinematic Universe takes place. By now you would have heard the news about a certain web-slinger being due to make his appearance with the next big Marvel film to go into production, Captain America: Civil War. You also may have caught wind of the recent news dealing with Asa Butterfield (Hugo, Ender’s Game), being at the top of the list of actors to portray this new Peter Parker/Spider-Man and what’s more, this new Spider-Man is rumored to possibly join Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as an Avenger?
With a character as big as Spider-Man, who defines the very essence of the name Marvel, finally coming into the company that birthed him, there is a sense of his inclusion feeling like a sort of homecoming; something that should have happened back in 2008 when the MCU got rolling. There are obviously a lot of potential treats on the horizon for Spidey, but what does a move like this mean for him coming back to the public consciousness as a supporting player? Furthermore, what does this mean for The Avengers?
Before we get to an expanded Avengers roster, we would need to look at how Spider-Man would fit in to the MCU in the first place. For those who may not be in the know, the answer to that mystery is obviously the “Civil War” storyline from the comics. It was a major event in Marvel Comics history that pitted its greatest heroes against each other. For what? Well, it had to do with a little something called the Superhuman Registration Act, which dealt directly with giving up civil liberties in order to protect the country. Some heroes supported this, that group led by Iron Man, while others were in disagreement of this; that side of the argument was led by Captain America. Meanwhile, Spider-Man is in the middle and actually plays a significant role in the proceedings.
That said, we can guess that Iron Man and Captain America will be at odds in some way in the next Cap flick. Can we guess that Spider-Man will be in the middle in some way? That’s difficult to tell because the filmmakers would have to find a way to condense the entirety of the overarching Civil War narrative as well as the threads that effect Iron Man, Cap and Spider-Man into one two hour film! The Russo Brothers certainly have their work cut out for themselves.
Captain America: Civil War will already have two big characters fresh off of “Age of Ultron”, and though Spidey is a major player in his own right, he is essentially stepping into the MCU as a newbie. Given that, there is a feeling that this film could serve as a mere introduction to Spider-Man, laying the groundwork for when he eventually gets his own solo film in a couple years. Maybe he will have an important role to play in “Civil War” that would then lead into the “Infinity War” flicks where Spider-Man could very well join The Avengers. We will have to wait and see.
So, what does all this mean? Well, it could mean uncontrollable awesomeness to have Spidey in the MCU and fighting alongside (or against) any member of The Avengers. The nagging question though, is does Spidey’s inclusion give Marvel Studios an unnecessary and premature shot of adrenaline that could hurt the Marvel machine down the line? Hopefully, if the right people stay involved, by the time all is written, the MCU could be the only shared universe worth talking about for years to come.