Spider-Man: No Way Home is the perfect film to introduce the Fantastic Four into the MCU, despite there being no Phase 4 plans for Marvel’s First Family. No Way Home will supposedly pick up several months after the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home which pitted Tom Holland’s Spidey against Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio in a globe-trotting adventure. The film featured major character development for Peter as he dealt with self-doubt and striking a balance between his responsibility as an Avenger and his desire to live a normal teenage life.
Safe to say, No Way Home will have plenty of ground to cover as Peter deals with the fallout from Mysterio’s lies and the discovery of the multiverse. With a release set for December 2021 much of the plot has yet to be revealed, although confirmed appearances by Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange), Alfred Molina (Doctor Octopus), and Jamie Foxx (Electro) hint at the film’s definite exploration of the multiverse. No matter what the exact plot turns out to be, this film is set to be the most ambitious Spider-Man film to date. Although many expect the film to take on elements of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse, with possible appearances from Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire; this may be a major missed opportunity for the MCU.
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Uniting the Spider-Man franchises will be a monumental feat for the relationship between the MCU and Sony. However, No Way Home, with its multiverse of possibilities, would have presented the perfect opportunity to introduce the Fantastic Four into the MCU. One of the most practical reasons stems from the tone of the MCU’s Spider-Man franchise, which would mesh seamlessly with a new Fantastic Four, whose MCU debut is already set to be directed by MCU Spider-Man director Jon Watts. Regardless, there are many reasons to support the notion No Way Home should introduce the Fantastic Four, some of which are worth further discussion.
Honoring Marvel’s Original Team-Up
For those unfamiliar with Marvel comics, Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four have a long history of crossovers and comradery dating back to Spidey’s earliest appearances. In fact, Spider-Man first met Marvel’s First Family in The Amazing Spider-Man #1 (1963), Spidey’s first solo title. This comic featured a young Spider-Man hoping to audition to become a member of the Fantastic Four, New York’s superstar superhero squad. While Spider-Man didn’t make the cut, this was the start of a long and storied relationship between Spidey and the Fantastic Four. Given the first family’s appearance in Spider-Man’s first solo comic, it only seems fitting their MCU debut be included in what may be Marvel’s final Spider-man feature.
Including the Fantastic Four in No Way Home would also honor Stan Lee’s foundational work that went on to make Marvel what it is today. Seeing Spider-Man lost in the multiverse and discovering a team of heroes willing to help would definitely be the best homage to one of Marvel’s original team-ups would tease what the multiverse has in store for the MCU.
New Worlds, New Friends
Though many questions still surround Spider-Man: No Way Home there is no doubt Peter will find himself lost in the multiverse with “no way home”. With this in mind, it would likely be safe to assume that during this journey home Peter will come face to face with the likes of Electro and Doc Ock – meaning there’s also a good chance the universe’s respective Spider-Men will make appearances as well. While this will certainly make for a sensational film, it misses out on the opportunity to give Spidey some new friends that will be around for more than one film. Because that is arguably what Peter needs; friends he can learn from and develop relationships with.
Though younger heroes like Ironheart are scheduled to come to the MCU, Spider-Man is still the youngest Avenger, and since losing Tony hasn’t had fellow superhero friends or anyone to look up to or work with. No Way Home could introduce Spidey to the Fantastic Four as he searches for a way home and battles Electro and Doc Ock. In reality, the Fantastic Four could at the very least cameo in one of the universes Peter finds himself in and provide him the means he needs to keep going. Even this tease would plant the seeds of the Fantastic Four’s future relationship with Spidey and their ultimate role in the MCU.
A Fantastic New Mentor
If there is one critique to be made of the MCU’s Spider-Man, it would be his dependency on Iron Man. While Tony Stark was an amazing mentor to Peter, it encroached on Spider-Man’s ability to be a hero in his own right. Without Tony, Peter struggled in Far From Home and was easily manipulated by Mysterio who he saw as a potential new mentor. Obviously, that didn’t work out the way he hoped. Still, as a young hero, Spider-Man could still use a mentor. Not someone to be dependent on, but someone who will give him just the right amount of guidance. The Fantastic Four would provide him the perfect mentor.
Reed Richards, Mr. Fantastic himself, could be the perfect mentor for Peter going forward. Reed is a brilliant engineer, much like Peter, and would be able to support him in the same way Tony was able to. The only difference is Reed would be coming into Peter’s life after he has already established himself as a hero – though arguably this would only make the mentorship stronger, as it means Spider-Man is less likely to become dependent on Richards in the same way he could be seen to be with Iron Man. Because Tony gave Peter his suits and brought him into the Avengers, there was always going to be a sense of deferment to Tony. Already being a superhero would permit Peter and Reed to begin their friendship on mutual terms, allowing it to be a peer-mentorship. This is the mentorship Peter will need moving forward; someone who sees him not as a child, but as a hero in his own right.
While the Fantastic Four may not appear until the end of Phase 4, this will be a major missed opportunity for the MCU. No Way Home would be the perfect film to introduce the Fantastic Four to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Doing so would honor Stan Lee’s comic book legacy and pay homage to one of Marvel’s original crossovers, one before the Avengers were ever formed. More importantly, it would provide Spidey with friendships that could continue over the course of Phase 4 and supply Spider-Man with a mentor who sees him as an equal. With little still known about Spider-Man: No Way Home the possibility of the Fantastic Four’s MCU debut remains.
More: The MCU Needs To Avoid Spider-Man’s Oldest Continuity Problem
- Black Widow (2021)Release date: Jul 09, 2021
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Sep 03, 2021
- Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
- The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
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