Why Spider-Man is The Right Property To Launch Marvel Phase 4

Spider-Man in Marvel Phase 4

The Marvel Cinematic Universe successfully rebooted Spider-Man. Now it's time for Spider-Man to help reboot the MCU. The Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it is coming to an end, with Avengers: Infinity War and next year's Avengers 4 serving as a finale to the franchise started in 2008. Looking beyond these two movies into "Phase 4", right now the future is something of a mystery. The only thing that's certain is that Spider-Man will be a key part of it.

Avengers 4 is scheduled to release in May 2019, then, just two months later, the MCU story will continue with the Homecoming sequel. Marvel has deliberately placed Spider-Man at the forefront of the MCU's future. Why have they done this? And how can we expect the Homecoming sequel to set up the next chapter in the Marvel saga? Let's look at how Peter Parker can shape the future of the MCU in Phase 4 (and beyond).

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Spider-Man Will Ground The Post-Avengers 4 MCU

Tom Holland as Spider-Man in Spider-Man Homecoming

Spider-Man has always been Marvel's greatest superhero, and there's one simple reason for it: he's the hero everyone can relate to. Tony Stark can brag that he's a "billionaire genius playboy philanthropist," Black Widow broods about the "red in her ledger," and Captain America stands as a symbol of physical perfection and moral integrity. Spider-Man, though, is grounded in a way none of these other heroes are.

Related: Predicting The Next 20 MCU Movies After Avengers 4

Peter Parker is the everyman hero. He's a wonderfully complex character, driven by a sense of responsibility and guilt that pushes him to make the hard choices. Those choices cost him dearly: he's the superhero who ditches his date at the Homecoming dance; he's the good guy who has to choose to put his girlfriend's dad behind bars. Life isn't a bed of roses for the webhead. Rather, it's a constant struggle, one that fans can perfectly relate to. Since 1962, Spider-Man has been a normal guy, desperately trying to work out how to pay the bills, making social faux pas, and getting distracted daydreaming in class.

The next two years will see the MCU head into space. Thanos is coming to Earth in Infinity War, and whatever happens there will lead into 2019's Avengers 4. These films promise to bring a decade's worth of superhero action to a head. If Marvel play this right, the movies will be cinematic spectacles like nothing Hollywood has ever seen before. But the risk is that they will actually lose something in all that bombast, or at least find itself so big by the end the future going into Phase 4 feels untenable.

After all that, Spider-Man will ground the franchise once again, allowing audiences to feel the impact of all the cosmic drama while returning us to the realm of the real.

Setting Up The Future Of The MCU

We're not just a come down though. If Infinity War and Avengers 4 are the end of one story, then the Spider-Man sequel is the beginning of the next. Homecoming saw Spider-Man team up with Iron Man, and there are reports that the sequel will feature another hero. That means the film won't just explore Peter Parker's reaction to the latest cosmic events. It will also focus on another character's journey, setting up their future in the MCU.

RELATED: Spider-Man Homecoming 2: Marvel Can’t Just Kill Gwen Stacy Again

Over in the comics, Spider-Man has always been a hero who plays well with others; it's become a running joke that every Marvel hero has an obligatory team-up with him. Again, it's because the character is an everyman hero; Peter reacts as we would, and stands for the reader (or, in the movies, the viewer). He thrills at a cosmic adventure, and fumes as the Punisher takes a life. Spider-Man makes for a perfect foil for almost any other hero, shining a light on their strengths and weaknesses, and allowing fans to understand them in a whole new way. Marvel clearly intend to repeat this formula in the movies, and it's a smart call.

Right now, the identity of the superhero guest-star remains a mystery. But it's safe to say that the Homecoming sequel will be setting them up for a major role in the MCU's future.

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Key Release Dates
  • Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
  • Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
  • Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
  • Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
  • The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
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