Okay, let’s get the obligatory whinging about how Spider-Man’s nice and all, but I’ll be really excited when Disney cuts a deal with Fox to integrate the X-Men franchise so we can have a ten-plus movie saga detailing the events from M-Day to the Avengers vs. X-Men. I’m a ’90s kid, and the X-Men mash my nostalgia button, so they’re the ones I want to see interacting with all the hot Marvel properties on the big screen right now.
Alright, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get down to the business of speculating about what could be and what probably will be.
First, what probably will be: Peter Parker gets a third movie version of his origin and shows up to be that guy who’s all like, “I’m way out of my league here,” when he’s hanging out with Black Widow and Hawkeye who look at him like he’s a total putz (the first rule of any superhero team up is that you check your teammates’ powersets and if you don’t fall at the bottom of the power scale, then you don’t complain). It’s predictable, and while it might be fun it won’t be anything we haven’t seen before. Also, I don’t see how you integrate the existing version of Spider-Man into the MCU in a way that makes sense, considering he’s the biggest thing to ever happen to New York in his own movies, but the Cinematic Universe has as its first major event the Battle of New York. It’d be pretty absurd for Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man to just show up and have his entire history behind him in what is supposed to be the same city where the Avengers had their worldwide debut.
Now, what could happen (I hope): Peter Parker shows up for one movie (it’s been announced that Spider-Man will debut in the Cinematic Universe in Captain America: Civil War) to be killed off in a for-reals heroic sacrifice, and then we move forward with an introduction to Miles Morales. Miles has received pretty much no exposure outside of the comics (I admit that I don’t know much about him myself, other than the fact that he’s the Ultimate Universe’s current Spider-Man following Peter Parker’s death in that continuity four years ago), but he’s a really big deal because he’s been a pretty popular legacy character (Marvel’s doing a major event this summer that’s supposed to scramble up continuity, and the most consistent hope that I see expressed on the internet is that Miles will get imported into the primary comics continuity when the Ultimate line ends after the event), and he has the added benefit of being a person of color (the Avengers seriously need to up their diversity). Also, perhaps most importantly, Miles has absolutely no connection to Peter Parker except the fact that he develops similar powers after another accident with a genetically modified spider and he takes Peter as inspiration when he decides to become a superhero.
I think this second approach would be really refreshing, and it would lessen the sting of having two major movies featuring a person of color and a woman as the superpowered leads (Black Panther and Captain Marvel respectively) delayed to make room for Spider-Man’s introduction. It’d also mean that we’d finally escape the reboot loop with Spider-Man (I only want to watch Uncle Ben die tragically so many times). Of course, I doubt that it will happen this way. For all the great things about Spider-Man (most particularly the fact that because he’s completely hidden by his suit, he really can be anyone), the identity is most strongly associated with Peter Parker.
Maybe he’ll at least complain less about how difficult his life as a straight white male with freaking superpowers is once he meets the Avengers.