What does Spider-Man: Far From Home tell us about phase four of the MCU?
After the universe-altering Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: Far From Home is a refreshing change of pace. All the talk of Infinity Stones and mad titans is swept aside, and we’re treated to a good-old-fashioned high-school romance. That being said, despite its smaller scale the film could prove pivotal in the MCU going forward. It’s no coincidence that this movie was chosen to finish the Infinity Saga, despite Avengers being a more natural conclusion.
If Endgame was the end, then this is the beginning.
It’s chocked full of clues on where the future will take us. We’ve picked out the biggest things that Spider-Man: Far From Home tells us about phase four.
Peter’s “spidey sense” is tingling so there will be SPOILERS from Spider-man Far From Home and the MCU to date.
He may be gone, but Tony Stark’s legacy is all over this movie. His sacrifice is still felt. His picture is plastered across the world and his technology is everywhere. But his greatest legacy, undoubtedly, is Spider-Man. Something which seems to weigh heavy on the young heroes’ shoulders. The pressure of filling those shoes looms large, with Peter questioning his ability to live up to his mentor. By the end, however, he overcomes his doubts and tries to be the hero Tony knew he could be. This coming of age, combined with Far From Home rounding out this saga of the MCU, points towards the character being front and centre in phase four.
Tony had been the focal point of the franchise for the last decade. Most of the important story beats revolved around his struggle and his demons. Spider-Man is the perfect replacement for many reasons. He was molded to be a successor and has a strong foothold within the universe. He is young and charismatic enough to lead the Avengers for years to come. The scene where he designed his own suit showed some compelling symmetry between him and Stark - AC/DC and all. Proving that he can be the driving force of the team. We might have just witnessed the beginning of the "Spider-Man era".
There was a time where secret identities were a staple of any superhero story. Time and again we’d see characters hide behind an alter-ego to keep some kind of normality in their lives. The MCU, on the other hand, prefers to place its heroes firmly in the public eye. The famous “I am Iron-Man” being the prime example. Spider-Man up until this point had been the exception, keeping his identity a secret to protect those around him. Now, it seems that the web-slinger is headed in a similar direction to Stark and co. During the mid-credits scene J. Jonah Jameson, (played again by J.K. Simmons, which is awesome), outs Peter to the world. This reveal is huge for where his character can go from now on.
Tony Stark was as much the face of the Avengers, as RDJ was the face of the MCU as a whole. With Tony gone and the world knowing Peter’s identity, he automatically becomes the new frontman. The touchstone between the rest of the world and Earth’s mightiest heroes. He will have to bear the weight of their failures and be the glimmer of hope that the world saw in Iron-Man. All this pushes him further into the leadership role that he never really wanted. After all, being the boss is a tough gig. We’ll likely see him dealing with S.H.I.E.L.D, designing new gadgets and keeping his fellow Avengers in check. A tall order for a kid who’s barely out of puberty. However well he does, it looks like phase four will belong to Spider-Man.
During the post-credits scene we get the shocking reveal that Nick Fury and Maria Hill were really Talos and Soren. The peaceful Skrulls we met in Captain Marvel. The last time we saw them, they were shooting-off into space with Carol in search of a new home. We don’t currently know how they ended up on an enormous Spaceship with Nick Fury, but that’s something for the Captain Marvel sequel. The Skrulls raised a lot of questions when they were first introduced. Mainly because they were radically different to their comic-book counterparts. It was unclear at the time if they would have a bigger role to play in the future of the MCU, but this scene gives us an answer. This is our biggest hint yet at a big-screen adaptation of ‘Secret Invasion’ – one of Marvel’s most popular storylines.
Talos imitating a figure as recognisable as Nick Fury, without anyone batting an eye, shows the potential. But, how would they get there? The set-up would have to be different from the original, as the Skrull have been a sympathetic race in the movies so far. Perhaps their leader being so quick to jump into bed with Nick Fury and Earth will cause some tension in the camp. After all, they’re stuck floating through space, while the humans have an entire planet to themselves. An ongoing struggle between Talos and the rest of his army could boil over and cause a rift between his people. All it takes is one radicalised group to splinter-off on their own and you have all the motivation needed to tackle that story.
Sword and Shield
While Mysterio was causing chaos all around the world, the real Nick Fury was relaxing on a beach, a fake beach...in space but to each to their own? Either way, we have every reason to believe that this ship is an early version of the Sentient World Observation and Response Department – aka S.W.O.R.D. This makes perfect sense when you consider all that has happened over the last decade. When S.H.I.E.L.D was created, it was focused on identifying and dealing with threats on our world. In recent years, however, the lion’s share of hazards came from the stars. So, it makes it sense that Fury would be keeping an eye out.
What this hints at for the future of the MCU is a greater emphasis on the cosmic side of things. Having a base of operations to act as the middleman between us and everyone else, suggests there will be much more crossover in the years to come. We’ve seen this leaned into already with the introduction of Captain Marvel and Thor taking off with the Guardians. The door is well and truly open for more heroes to travel further afield if they are needed. Factor in the characters, good and bad, we now are on the horizon and it’s clear that the MCU is aiming bigger. With each passing film, the idea of space, magic and aliens becomes more and more normal to the Avengers. The introduction of S.W.O.R.D is just the last stepping-stone before they fully embrace what’s out there.
Spider-Man will always be a favourite amongst Marvel fans. And if choosing this film to end this era of the MCU means more of him, then sign us up. Naturally, we won’t know for sure what comes next until Kevin Feige unveils his master plan this summer. But until then, we have more than enough to chew on. Let us know where you think phase four will go, and what Spider-Man’s role is within it, on our social media pages!