The Internet lost its collective mind earlier this year when Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures announced a new alliance, finally bringing your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man into the larger MCU family. This is fairly exciting news. As fun as it’s been to watch how the world of The Avengers has unfolded over the past seven years, the absence of Spider-Man within the Avengers team has been felt by fans the world over - especially in the face of Sony’s recent attempts to reboot the character with the now-canned Amazing Spider-Man series.
With the announcement that Spider-Man will be brought into the larger world of the MCU, starting with next year’s Captain America: Civil War, came the news that Spidey would also be getting a new series of movies - completely separate from either of his two previous endeavors - this time starring Tom Holland as a young Peter Parker learning to balance adolescence with his newfound superhero abilities. The film is a surefire commercial success, yet you can’t help but wonder if Marvel is missing out on a bigger story-telling opportunity.
There can be no doubt that Spider-Man is a massive moneymaker. Even without direct involvement of Marvel Studios - which has evolved over the last few years into a multi-billion dollar money printing enterprise - The Amazing Spider-Man 2 made a fairly respectable $708 million worldwide. The reunification of Spider-Man and Marvel is sure to make somewhere in the vicinity of every available dollar in the world - or at the very least the rough equivalent of the GDP of a small, Eastern European country. But would (or could) the Spider-Man story be better served by a Netflix program?
Here are our reasons Why Spider-Man Could Be A Great Netflix Show:
The Infrastructure Already Exists
Marvel’s marriage with Netflix has already been a wild success. Daredevil was a strong reintroduction to the character after most of the world had largely written off the concept - after the poorly-received 2003 Ben Affleck movie. As solid as the Netflix series is - and popular, being one of the most watched shows Netflix had to offer this year - it was only the first chapter. Next month sees the premiere of Jessica Jones, which by all appearances could prove to be as good (if not better) than Daredevil. Next year, along with season two of Daredevil, we get Luke Cage, after he debuts on Jessica Jones; after that, the stage is set for the introduction of Iron Fist, which all culminates in the crossover team-up, The Defenders.
The common thread running through all of these series is the setting: New York City - and, as readers of the comics and watchers of the films already know, Spider-Man is a New York City based superhero. As tantalizing as the prospect of an MCU Spider-Man movie clearly is, especially as it pertains to the eventual team up with The Avengers, seeing a world where Spider-Man interacts with Daredevil and the Punisher and Luke Cage is tantalizing too - especially when you consider the fact that Spidey often faces down the same villains and the same local problems that these characters face in the comics (see, for example, Kingpin).
Given all the ground work that’s been laid already, Spider-Man’s inclusion in the Netflix corner of the MCU makes sense. Nobody’s saying that we couldn’t eventually see Spider-Man team up with The Avengers in other movies. In fact, that would be amazing because…
It Would Further Legitimize the Netflix Corner of the MCU
The MCU thrives on interconnectedness. Part of the fun of seeing a new Marvel movie or watching a new Marvel show is looking for Easter eggs and call backs to earlier entries as well as hints of what is to come. They’ve done what no studio has been able to do - in that they’ve created an intricate tapestry woven from the threads of otherwise standalone works. So far, however, the connections between the Netflix series and the larger MCU have been little more than a few throwaway lines about the Battle of New York and a brief reference to Carl Creel, a.k.a. The Absorbing Man, who was introduced in season two of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
While there’s already a precedent for characters jumping from movies to TV and from TV to movies within the MCU - Agent Coulson, Peggy Carter, Lady Sif, and Nick Fury among them - so far that has yet to happen with the Netflix series. While there remains at least a fair possibility that we’ll eventually see Daredevil or Luke Cage or Iron Fist fight along with The Avengers, especially in Infinity War, Spider-Man would be a great standard by which to set the precedent for future Netflix/MCU cross-over.
This would be a positively groundbreaking move that would firmly solidify Netflix’s larger standing within the MCU. The quality of the Netflix shows is legitimization alone but Spider-Man would create an even stronger tie - making the TV shows must-see events for everyone (rather than something cool for Marvel super fans and TV drama bingers).