Spider-Man: Far From Home is a game-changer for the MCU. As the official final film of the Marvel Universe’s Phase 3, it acts as a gateway between the world we knew—where Tony Stark was alive, Steve Rogers was forever 35-ish, and Thor was rocking a six-pack instead of drinking them—and the great unknown. (Literally, since as of this writing we have no idea what the MCU has coming down the pipeline.)
So it makes sense that Far From Home changes up the world of Peter Parker (Tom Holland, endearing as always) as much as possible. Taking the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man out of his native Queens, Far From Home brings Peter to the U.K. for a class trip accompanied by his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) and current crush M.J. (Zendaya). When giant monsters start emerging from the Earth at every sight-seeing stop, Peter teams up with S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and a superhero from another dimension named Quentin Beck, a.k.a. Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) to take the creatures down. But can everything really be as it seems when you’re dealing with a dude named Mysterio with a fishbowl on his head?
Far From Home often zigs when you expect it to zag, and we left the theater with a ton of questions once the credits—and those after-credit scenes!—were over. Let’s dive into them.
But first, your final friendly neighborhood *spoiler warning.*
How Does the World React to an Unmasked Peter Parker?
After a brief romantic swing through Manhattan between M.J. and Peter, Far From Home hits you with one of the more substantial mid-credits scenes in a while. The Daily Bugle broadcasts exclusive footage of Mysterio’s death—downloaded at the last minute by Quentin Beck’s former Stark Industries goons—that not only frames Spider-Man for Mysterio’s drone attack on London, but reveals to the world that the hero’s real name is Peter Parker.
So that’s…probably bad. But it makes cosmic sense that this moment would kick off a new era of the MCU. The climactic moment is basically the inverted negative version of what happened to Peter’s mentor, Tony Stark, at the end of the very first Iron Man, when he revealed his shinier alter ego during a press conference.
There’s also plenty of comic book precedent; considering Spider-Man is one of Marvel’s oldest heroes, it’s not surprising that his secret identity has gotten out more than a dozen or so times over the years. Most recently, comic-book Peter pulled a Stark during the 2006 “Civil War” arc, taking his mask off live on television. Before that, Peter’s been outed as Spidey by everyone from Green Goblin, to Daredevil, to Wolverine. Personally, I hope the MCU borrows from the very first time Spider-Man’s secret identity leaked, all the way back in Spider-Man #12 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, in which Doctor Octopus rips off Peter’s mask…and everyone immediately thinks it’s a trick because there’s no way Spider-Man could actually be someone as lame as photojournalist Peter Parker.
Is J.K. Simmons Back as J. Jonah Jameson for Good?
The other huge bit of news to come out of Far From Home‘s mid-credits scene is the fact that the Daily Bugle’s own J. Jonah Jameson is once again played by J.K. Simmons, an actor genetically engineered in a laboratory specifically to play J. Jonah Jameson. (As he did, perfectly, in all three of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films.) It’s a fantastic moment, but is it a permanent addition to the MCU or just a crowd-popping surprise for an after-credits scene?
Normally, the answer would be a no-brainer, but Peter Parker and a good amount of his accompanying side-characters are still being co-parented by both Disney and Sony, and some have more visitation rights than others. That’s why Tom Hardy‘s Venom still looks like an all-black Spider-Man despite living in a world where Spider-Man doesn’t seem to exist, or why Kevin Feige keeps having to send people that Mariah Carey “I don’t know her” GIF whenever people bring up Morbius. But according to this extremely helpful visual guide courtesy of The Geek Twins, J. Jonah Jameson is fair game for Marvel, much like Aunt May, Vulture, and Mysterio. (Also, I’m noticing that Lionsgate no longer owns the rights to Man-Thing. Put Man-Thing in the MCU, cowards!)
It’ll be interesting to see what a J. Jonah Jameson figure looks like in 2019, though, when The Teens are far more likely to get their news from Twitter than a daily newspaper. “Bring me TikToks of Spider-Man!” doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Is Mysterio Really Dead?
Well, Quentin Beck is almost definitely dead; the dude was drone-struck right in the stomach and Jake Gyllenhaal breathed a last breath straight out of Marion Cotillard‘s Talia al Ghul School of Drama. (Jake Gyllenhaal is delightful in Far From Home, to be clear.) But the entire point of the character is to not trust what’s right in front of your eyes.
Director Jon Watts made a point to show that Beck’s cronies downloaded all they needed before making their escape, data they already put to use by framing Peter Parker. The movie also makes it clear that the drone technology is perfectly capable of recreating a Mysterio hologram realistic enough to fool even S.H.I.E.L.D. The wildcard in this situation is probably Gyllenhaal himself, an actor I still kind of can’t believe is in a Marvel movie. I’m assuming he only signed on to play Beck in Far From Home, so a return to the character would have to be a tech-enhanced hologram or someone else beneath the illusion. But Mysterio also seems like a character primed for a return—he’s one of Spidey’s main adversaries—especially when you remember that, at one point, Sony was really high on the idea of forming the Sinister Six.
Jail, presumably, since that’s where we left Michael Keaton‘s winged menace in the mid-credits scene of Spider-Man: Homecoming. (The same scene that seemed to subtly suggest the arrival of Scorpion, although I’m also going to assume the scorpion tattoo count in any given prison is high.) But the important thing is that Adrian Toomes is alive and, more importantly, knows Spider-Man’s secret identity. Now that the entire world is privy to this info, what role does Vulture play in the future of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, if any?
Like I said, there have been rumblings about a Sinister Six movie since Andrew Garfield was under the mask, with Cabin in the Woods filmmaker Drew Goddard attached to write and direct a spin-off focused on Spider-Man’s most dangerous foes. Interestingly enough, former Sony CEO Amy Pascal said she was still interested in Goddard’s Sinister Six as recently as December of last year. (She’s since departed Sony for Universal.) For the record, the OG Sinister Six lineup consists of Vulture, Mysterio, Doctor Octopus, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, and Sandman. Unfortunately, with no movement on the project and no word from Sony or Disney, it’s not really worth speculating who could fill out the remaining roles.
I’m kidding. It’s never not a good time for wild speculation. Here are the objectively correct choices, I will not be excepting rebuttals at this time:
- Kraven the Hunter – Michael Shannon
- Doctor Octopus – Peter Dinklage
- Shocker – Lakeith Stanfield
- Sandman – Brendan Fraser
What Is Nick Fury Up to With the Skrulls?
Far From Home‘s final credits scene is a bit weightier than the Goose-vomiting variety we’ve seen lately. It’s revealed that the “Nick Fury” and “Maria Hill” we’ve seen throughout the movie were actually two Skrulls in disguise, leaving the real Nick Fury free to vacation in outer-space aboard a ship filled with more Skrulls. (It also might explain why Cobie Smulders had like, 4 lines total.) It’s a fun gag, especially because it marks the return of the ever-delightful Ben Mendelsohn as Talos, the soda-sipping Skrull we met in Captain Marvel.
But is there more at play here? It’s an important moment just as a reminder that the Skrulls are still around in the MCU, given their huge presence in the Marvel comics over the years. The epic Secret Invasion storyline that saw the alien shape-shifters infiltrating every major power player on Earth has been rumored to be coming to the MCU for years, but it seems less likely in the far friendlier light the Skrulls were painted in during Captain Marvel. But Far From Home does offer a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it hint that the Skrulls and their nemeses the Kree are still at war when “Nick Fury” complains to an unknown person over the phone about Kree “sleeper cells”. The Kree-Skrull War of the comics played out over nine Avengers issues in 1971 and 1972. Written by Roy Thomas with artists Sal Buscema, Neal Adams, and John Buscema, the crossover storyline involved, among other things, Captain Marvel returning to Earth after a long hiatus, Ronan the Accuser plotting to de-evolve the Earth to prehistoric times, and the Avengers disbanding after public opinion turns against the way they conduct superhero business. (Which overlaps quite nicely with Far From Home turning Spider-Man into a fugitive.)
The Kree-Skrull war also features a moment where three Skrulls absolutely wreck Vision while disguised as cows. I know Vision is dead in the MCU, but that Disney+ series WandaVision should take notes, is what I’m saying.
What Does Marvel’s Phase 4 Look Like?
Extremely hard to say. Far From Home hits theaters just a few weeks before San Diego Comic-Con, where Marvel Studios will host its own Hall H panel after sitting out the convention in 2018. Nothing is confirmed, but it’s likely that we’ll get some news about Marvel’s new slate, assumedly stretching out into the distance future in classic Marvel fashion. There’s always the chance for surprises, but the likeliest of titles are the Black Widow standalone movie, The Eternals, Shang-Chi, Doctor Strange 2, and possibly Black Panther 2.
But even without specifics, Far From Home gives us a pretty good idea of what the MCU looks and feels like in a post-Endgame world. People certainly aren’t ignoring the fact that half the world disappeared and returned after five years, an event that is officially called “The Blip”. Far From Home confirms that the people who were left behind aged while those who got dusted did not, and that Tony Stark’s universe-saving snap brought the dusted back right in the middle of humanity living their everyday lives. You have to assume that, for a while, any new MCU film set after Endgame will have to address this monumental thing in some shape or form.
We’re also dealing with a world without Iron Man, Steve Rogers, Black Widow (minus the prequel), and even Thor if he’s off galavanting with the Guardians. The Avengers’ B-Team, which I say with the utmost affection, will be stepping up in the coming years. Black Panther. Scarlet Witch. Ant-Man. All presumably led by Anthony Mackie in his adopted Captain America costume—no mention of that in Far From Home, and I’m interested to see when it first pops up—and all presumably trying to deal with a world who thinks their friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is a murderer.
Will Ned Ever Get to be Hobgoblin?
So this is in now way teased in Far From Home, but it is worth pointing out that, in the comics, Ned Leeds is the third person to take on the mantle of the Hobgoblin. (In his defense, he had been brainwashed by Roderick Kingsley, the second Hobgoblin. Comics!) Jacob Batalon told Digital Spy during the press tour for Far From Home that he’d totally be down to don the orange cloak.
“I’ve been saying since 2016 that I want to be a villain…I want to do villainous stuff and have us fight each other and punch each other in the face in real life.”
Let Jacob Batalon do villainous stuff with his friends!
First popping up in 1983, Hobgoblin is pretty much the Green Goblin except, if you can believe it, with more pumpkin-themed weaponry. Writer Roger Stern and artist John Romita Jr. were tasked with doing another Green Goblin story, but didn’t feel like bringing former Goblins Norman Osborn or Bart Hamilton back from the dead. Thus, the Hobgoblin was born, a recurring Spidey villain that’s since had six different men under the mask. To have all that history and not put Jacob Batalon on a flying boogie board at some point would truly be a shame.
When Will We See a Live-Action Miles Morales?
Miles Morales has never been more of a hot-item Marvel character than in the wake of Sony’s Oscar-winning animated film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. It certainly feels like it’s only a matter of time before a live-action Miles hits the screen but again, the logistics of the Sony-Disney partnership make anything impossible to set in stone. But both Homecoming and Far From Home set a tiny bit of groundwork. In Homecoming, Donald Glover‘s Aaron Davis tells Peter “I got a nephew who lives here.” Davis’ is, of course, Miles’ uncle. In Far From Home, Peter spends a night gazing at an Iron Man mural, while Into the Spider-Verse established Miles as a graffiti artist. Small stuff, but Marvel loves retroactively turning small moments into story beats. (Like the nameless Stark Industries employee accosted by Jeff Bridges‘ Obadiah Stane in Iron Man who turns up in Far From Home.)
The complication with introducing Miles is the same thing that’s been complicating comic books since…forever? The multi-verse. The Miles Morales created by writer Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli originated in the Ultimate Universe, Earth-1610. The Miles Morales of Into the Spider-Verse lives on Earth-TRN700. The original Peter Parker created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko lives on Earth-616, the main Marvel comics universe. In Far From Home, Mysterio tells Tom Holland’s Peter he also lives on Earth-616, but it’s been established for years that the MCU is designated Earth-199999.
Yeah, a lot going on. And it all might be a moot point anyway, considering this last question…
Does the MCU Have a Multi-Verse or Not?
Part of the hype in the lead-up to Spider-Man: Far From Home was that it would be the first MCU film to confirm the existence of Marvel’s many alternate universes. After all, Quentin Beck tells Peter that he comes from Earth-833 and that he’s traveled to Earth-616. That does happen, but then the movie goes on to reveal that Quentin Beck is…completely full of shit. About everything. It’s kind of his entire thing.
So where does that leave his multiverse reveal? “Nick Fury” and “Maria Hill” weren’t disputing the idea, but then the movie also revealed that wasn’t Nick Fury or Maria Hill at all. (And the after-credit scene suggests that Talos pretty much botched this thing from the start.) Was the multiverse part of Quentin Beck’s lie, or a real phenomenon used to make that lie more believable?
Either way, the minds behind the MCU would have a pretty solid reason for wanting the multiverse to exist. After all, they’re gonna have to explain where all these mutants came from pretty soon.