When the news broke that Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures had struck a deal to allow Spider-Man to exist in the MCU, fans were over the moon. For the average moviegoer, however, it didn’t mean much more than another Spidey reboot. That all changed with the character’s introduction in Captain America: Civil War, which aligned Tom Holland’s updated web-slinger with the global popularity of Marvel’s movies.
To Marvel and Sony’s credit, the connection didn’t end there. In an effort to further promote Spidey’s solo debut in the MCU, they decided to add the franchise’s biggest star to the cast. With Robert Downey, Jr. appearing as Tony Stark/Iron Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming, the point is driven home to general audiences that Spidey and the Avengers not only operate in the same world, but team-up together for adventures. For comic fans, it’s the continuation of the promise offered by the shared universe model. For the average moviegoer, it’s a tacit guarantee that Sony’s new Spider-Man film will be on par with Marvel’s other movies.
All that said, it wasn’t much of a surprise when it was reported that Iron Man won't be back for Spider-Man: Homecoming 2. After all, it’s Peter’s story, not Tony’s. Luckily, Marvel aren’t done with their innovative marketing strategy and have said another hero will be making an appearance in the sequel—so let’s break down which character that might be.
On the surface, Captain America seems like the most obvious addition to Homecoming’s sequel. For one, he and Spidey have had a lot of adventures together in the comics. He also offers a sort of anti-Tony in terms of a mentor for Spider-Man. As Civil War and both Avengers movies have shown, Steve Rogers and Tony Stark have two very different philosophies when it comes to being a superhero. While Tony and Peter certainly have a few things in common, the wall-crawler is a lot more akin to Steve, what with his selflessness and gee-whiz demeanor.
Spidey and Steve have already connected a bit. In Civil War, we got a taste of the two New Yorkers' banter, and it would be great to see that expanded upon with a larger role for Cap in a Spidey story. Plus, the seeds for the appearance have already been planted thanks to the video Peter and Ned watch in gym class featuring Captain America.
Aside from the obvious comedy of Spider-Man and Ant-Man both having similar names, Peter Parker and Scott Lang would be a dream team of quips. Ant-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise are as close as Marvel’s gotten towards an outright comedy, and Spidey is well-known for letting his mouth get the best of him. Both Scott and Peter are awkwardly cocky, and seeing Tom Holland and Paul Rudd riff together would be amazing.
There’s always heart at the center of a Spidey story, but like with Tony, Ant-Man would ensure that humor was at the forefront of the Homecoming sequel. Plus, Ant-Man likely wants a rematch with Spidey after the web-slinger Empire Strikes Back’d him in Civil War.
Nick Fury may be the most obvious inclusion for the Homecoming sequel. Since the beginning of the MCU, he’s served as the connective tissue between various properties. His absence from Civil War, however, means that he’s yet to meet the newest Avenger. It’s unclear what the status of Fury or S.H.I.E.L.D. is at the moment—at least in the movies—so there’s no telling how connected the former director still is to the superhero community. Still, he’s the type of man that would be eager to vet the powerful, young hero swinging around New York.
There’s also likely no better pairing than the earnest smart alec and the cantankerous G-man. Watching Fury and Spidey go toe-to-toe would not only be hilarious, but it’d be as close to a live-action version of the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon as we’ll ever get. Fury will likely be back for Avengers: Infinity War, but with a number of appearances left in his contract, a trip to Queens could be in his future.
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