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- Marvel's Spider-Man
In what seems like a lose-lose situation, Sony has attempted to rip Tom Holland’s Spider-Man out of the famed Marvel Cinematic Universe due to the failure to make a deal with Disney. The actor will somehow still portray a character molded by Tony Stark without the ability to mention his mentor. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. This is comic books, the arena where no plot ever faces criticism for outlandishness. If Marvel can make a series of successful movies based on Ant-Man, Sony can surely find a way out of this mess. All it has to do is look through Peter Parker’s illustrious publishing history to find stories that fit their current context and provide expansions into the future.
Sony Spider-Man | Enter The Clone Saga
One of the real problems with this franchise going forward is just how much Tom Holland’s Peter Parker seems tied up in past films Sony can’t reference. Will the audience accept Tom Holland winking and nodding at the camera à la Deadpool to get around inconsistencies? Probably not. However, just having him die or jet into the sky Poochie-style is a missed opportunity. Instead of that, Sony can find its perfect Spider-Man and end Tom Holland’s story in one fell swoop. All it takes is a visit from The Jackal.
Throughout Spider-Man history, there have been several major storylines involving clones. In the most famous, it was proposed that the Spider-Man that existed at the time was actually a clone, and the real Spider-Man was a man named Ben Riley. That didn’t go down well back in the ’90s, but it could be the perfect plot thread to pick up in 2019. Marvel fans want to see Tom Holland eventually return to the MCU, so Sony’s films should cast him as a clone. Throw in a nod to the Scarlet Spider and a big bad guy and you’ve got a film that can rewrite history while avoiding a third origin film.
In fact, if you look back at the original Clone Saga narrative, you can also solve one of the big issues with the current Spider-Man status quo. With everything said and done in the comics, Norman Osborn is behind the entire ordeal. This is The Green Goblin, the Joker to Spider-Man’s Batman. He’s vital to Spidey’s world, linked to so many of his adventures. Not having him around is one of the reasons that Tom Holland’s run may have felt a little off. Reveal that Norman (or maybe Harry if you want to skew younger) had a master plan that put the existing Peter Parker into the spider suit. If you really want to go meta with it, you could even bring back Andrew Garfield for a redemptive arc that combines two franchises together. There are plenty of insane possibilities that all wipe the slate clean.
Sony Spider-Man | Bring on The Slingers
Perhaps you don’t want to throw out Tom Holland. Despite his films portraying a less than perfect Peter Parker at times, he shines as Spider-Man. If you want to preserve that while moving forward, you just have to find more protagonists. With Miles Morales currently killing it in the no doubt multiple Spider-Verse sequels in the works, we have to dig a little deeper. Enter The Slingers, heroes based on four alternate identities Peter Parker once used. The team of Prodigy, Ricochet, Dusk, and Hornet have been used sparingly in the comics, which means less baggage and more creative freedom for a possible feature film.
For the uninitiated, each Slinger has powers based on one aspect of Peter’s personality. Ricochet gains his acrobatic speed and his love of projectile weapons. Prodigy has Peter’s super strength and his sense of justice. Hornet gains his technical know-how and a flying suit of armor. Finally, Dusk represents Spidey’s tendency to lurk in the shadows. Dusk also has ghost powers from the Negative Zone, but explaining that is beyond the scope of this article.
It’s easy to see The Slingers being a pre-established team in Sony’s version of San Francisco (the setting of Venom). Spider-Man must travel to the city after seeing the Symbiote disturbance. After meeting and befriending Eddie Brock, the two webheads team up against The Slingers, who mistake Spider-Man as Venom’s accomplice. They brawl across the city before putting their battle on hold to stop the rise of a new threat, Carnage. Sure, it’s a classic story convention, but it’s a great way to get all the pieces moving for a new universe.
Sony Spider-Man | Finally, The Sinister Six
While not as original as the other two ideas, common sense does dictate that there’s money to be made with a Sinister Six film. In fact, that’s the idea Marvel was probably thinking about for their third Spider-Man outing, given the setup in Homecoming. In any case, if you want to play it absolutely safe and just do a pure Spider-Man film, this is the way to go. The only real issue lies in digging up six new Spider-Man foes to face. Thankfully, Spider-Man history has plenty more worthy adversaries.
First off, every team needs a little muscle. Also, six characters is a lot for any film, so a few of them probably won’t get much development. Therefore, throw in Tombstone, a mafia-style enforcer without much in the way of pathos. Next, someone who does machines, The Beetle. Basically, a flying Iron Man type with a less impressive suit. While Electro should get another shot at glory, we need a new take. Therefore, put in the newer incarnation, Francine Frye, sometimes known as Electra.
From there, we have the more important members of this villainous squadron. First off, Felicia Hardy, also known as Black Cat, should be in there. She would have a change of heart on her group after meeting Spider-Man, helping him and Venom (gotta get him in there!) take on the team. For some sort of comic relief, Boomerang should join the mix, if only for the joke about these sorts of movies always needing a man of his skills. Finally, revealed at the very end of the picture, Mysterio returns as the mastermind. Surviving the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home, the illusionist cons everyone to get revenge on the wall crawler.
Sony Spider-Man | Paging through back issues
Those are three ways Sony could make the best out of a bad situation. Will any of them come to fruition? Considering this was the studio that had a movie centered on Aunt May in production not too long ago, probably not. Still, it is proof that there are loads of interesting opportunities throughout Spider-Man’s history, and they’re all ripe for the picking. We all wanted to see what was next for Peter in the MCU, but perhaps a return to his own friendly neighborhood will end up even better.