Marvel Studios’ Spider-Man: Homecoming trilogy (that’s why we said “Spider-Man 3”) has set itself up for a dramatic conclusion. Mysterio, as a final act of revenge, revealed Peter Parker’s identity to the world. It is currently unknown what comes next for the MCU’s Spider-Man, except that it’s been described by Kevin Feige as a “Peter Parker story never told before“.
But even if Spider-Man 3 will be a story that’s never been told before, there’s a source material that cannot be ignored: the comics.
There are a ton of stories that Spider-Man 3 could use for inspiration. From Spider-Man being hunted down to Peter giving up the Spider-Man title all together. And let’s not forget that Peter Parker’s identity has been revealed in the past.
So here are comics from which “Spider-Man 3” can take inspiration!
Spider-Man No More!
In this story, all the hate Spider-Man gets from the media starts influencing his mental health. Peter even wonders if J. Jonah Jameson is right. Maybe Spider-Man is really doing more harm than good? As a result, Peter decides to finally grow up and drop the costume.
This is also the story where Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin, makes his very first appearance. Fisk takes advantage of Spider-Man’s disappearance to start a hostile takeover of New-York’s underworld.
While there’s nothing official, set photos from Sony’s Morbius have given credibility to the theory. Having Wilson Fisk appear in Spider-Man 3 seems unlikely, especially if it’s the Vincent D’Onofrio version. However, having Spider-Man retire, only to return over a similar rise in crime is a possibility.
In the Ultimate continuity, Max Dillon (aka Electro) is originally introduced as the Kingpin’s bodyguard. Jamie Foxx‘s MCU version of the character could be given a similar role.
Unfortunately, this one’s been done before, flawlessly. But here’s something that hasn’t been done before…
Kraven’s Last Hunt
Considered one of the best Spider-Man stories ever told. Sergei Kravinoff, also known as Kraven the Hunter, is ready to die. But first, he is determined to hunt down Spider-Man for good. He then begins a two-week plan to not only kill Spider-Man, but to prove himself as the ultimate hunter by replacing Spider-Man.
I won’t get into spoiler territory because this is one you must read for yourself. But the interesting thing about this story is that, at the very end, Kraven genuinely believes he defeated Spider-Man. Whether he did or not is left open to interpretation.
Considering where Peter’s story was left at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home, adapting this story is a no-brainer.
Peter Parker’s identity is now public knowledge. Sergei Kravinoff wants to hunt down Peter Parker to not only prove he’s a superior being, but a superior hero as well. The story of Spider-Man 3 could be about Peter Parker’s competence as a hero in his two years as Spider-Man.
Tom Holland‘s version of the character has been the subject of criticism. He’s been described as too immature, not able to stand on his own, or as a glorified Iron Man sidekick. Considering the criticisms Spider-Man has received, this could be an interesting way to address them while still adapting a beloved classic.
Death of Jean DeWolff/Venom
The death of Jean DeWolff is probably one of the darkest Spider-Man comics. In this story, Spider-Man’s long-time ally and friend, police officer Jean DeWolff (think of her as Yuri Watanabe’s comics counterpart) was found killed in her apartment. Enraged, Peter goes after her killer, the Sin-Eater.
There currently isn’t a Jean DeWolff in the MCU, but Spider-Man 3 could be about Spider-Man seeking revenge after someone he cares about gets hurt.
Also, the story depicts Daredevil going after Spider-Man. Daredevil suspects Peter will let his emotions get the better of him, and kill the Sin-Eater, which he almost does! Introducing Daredevil into the MCU as an adversary might not be what fans wanted, but it’s an interesting idea.
Something About Venom…
The Death of Jean DeWolff storyline later served as Eddie Brock‘s motivation against Spider-Man. Eddie lost everything when he accused the wrong man of being the Sin Eater. He blames Spider-Man for ruining his career.
Think about it: Eddie Brock finds concrete proof Peter Parker is Spider-Man. However, Parker (somehow) proves his innocence. It would be a comic-accurate and believable catalyst to their on-screen rivalry.
A Brand New Day
Due to the events of Civil War, Peter Parker’s identity became public knowledge. As a result, Aunt May gets shot by an assassin hired by the Kingpin. Peter, desperate, turns to the demon Mephisto. The deal? He alters the timeline, and restores Peter’s identity. He also saves Aunt May, but in exchange Peter gives up his marriage with Mary Jane.
The “Brand New Day” storyline explores this new status quo, but in “One Moment in Time,” Mephisto’s actual changes are revealed: Tony Stark, Reed Richards, and Doctor Strange conspired together to find a way to restore Peter’s identity. Aunt May was saved through CPR (yes, really), and the stress of being Spider-Man’s girlfriend led to Peter and MJ’s breakup (yes, really).
While the story decisions were questionable, the saga did have good ideas.
Marvel Studios and Sony can use said elements to create a better story. One that could (if necessary) smoothly transition Spider-Man out of the MCU…
As we all know, Spider-Man has a lot of enemies. After tragedy hits, Peter goes to Doctor Strange for help, but Strange says it comes at a price: Everyone would forget Peter is Spider-Man, including Ned, MJ, Happy and Aunt May. That also includes the Avengers, and Peter’s adventures with them will also be forgotten. It’d be as if they never happened. It’d be as if Spider-Man was never part of the MCU…
Comics don’t always translate well in film, but the opposite is also true. I believe that, in a different medium the One More Day saga could work. Giving a failed story a second chance is a daring move, and we all know Kevin Feige is all about taking risks right now.
Amazing Fantasy #15
We all know the story: 15-year-old Peter Parker is a shy Midtown student. On a faithful field trip, he gets bitten by a spider. At first, he tries to have fun with his new powers and make money off them. But when he inadvertently causes the death of his uncle Ben, he decides to use his powers for good. He becomes Spider-Man.
Spider-Man not having an origin story shown to us just doesn’t feel right. Even if we already know how it all happened. Having Peter dealing with the aftermath of his identity being exposed is the perfect opportunity to re-explore his origin.
Now everyone knows Peter is Spider-Man. People will want to know how Peter can do whatever a spider can. And I believe that was the plan all along. Speaking with CinemaBlend regarding the lack of origin story, Kevin Feige said:
“[…]That was a very purposeful decision we made to not retread that ground. There are little things that are said here and there that people can read into. What the specific facts are in the past, we don’t… we haven’t revealed yet.“Kevin Feige
It could tie-in with my Spider-Man No More theory: Peter considers quitting as Spider-Man, only for someone to remind him why he does it in the first place. It could even tie-in into my Kraven’s Last Hunt theory, as I already mentioned what I’d like that story to be about.
There’s always a new and refreshing way to retell a story that has been told many times. We need a sequence that fits within the themes of the film. Something of emotional weight that highlights Peter’s growth since Captain America: Civil War. Something that reminds us why we love Spider-Man.
But what we really need, is the famous line: “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility“. If they find a new way to use that line, Spider-Man 3 will be a perfect movie.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is an amazing achievement. However, it wouldn’t be the powerhouse that it is today if it weren’t for its source material: the comics.
There are a ton of amazing comics out there, and so far both Marvel and Sony have shown they aren’t ashamed of their comic-book roots.
Kevin Feige and Amy Pascale clearly love Spider-Man. I’m certain that whatever they do with Spider-Man 3 is going to be worth the hype. The MCU has a lot in store for everyone.