This article contains nothing but Spider-Man: Far From Home spoilers. We have a spoiler free review right here.
If you’re looking for Marvel Comics references and MCU connections in Spider-Man: Far From Home, you won’t be disappointed. Far From Home is a true follow-up the momentous events of Avengers: Endgame, and manages to tell a recognizably Spidey focused story while also dropping all kinds of fun clues and references to the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe. We’ve tried to round ’em all up in one place for you right here…
– Mysterio has been kicking around Spider-Man books since the earliest days of Marvel Comics. He was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko (Spidey’s parents) and first appeared in 1964’s The Amazing Spider-Man #13. However, in the comics, Quentin Beck wasn’t a Stark employee, but rather a frustrated special effects wizard who lost his job in Hollywood.
There’s a theme in the MCU Spidey movies about how regular folks are starting to feel squeezed out of their lives by superheroes, and that is definitely part of the equation in Far From Home. We wrote about this phenomenon in more detail here.
– Mysterio’s crew is made up of former Stark employees, including William from the first Iron Man movie. All of this plays on the themes of the common man’s frustration with the rise of superheroes that were introduced so well by the Vulture in Homecoming.
Speaking of Iron Man, Beck referring to Tony as a “boozy man-child” makes us wonder if Tony ever addressed his alcoholism privately.
– The hallucination sequence, where an enemy is using Peter’s own fears and neuroses against him, is just peak Spider-Man stuff, and has been used more times in the comics than we can count.
But in particular, Spidey’s hallucination of Iron Man crawling out of the grave feels like a callback to Marvel Zombies.
– Mysterio messes with Spider-Man by showing him a vision of MJ being thrown off a bridge. Of course, Gwen Stacy’s death is one of the most infamous moments in Spider-Man history (one rather botched in The Amazing Spider-Man 2) and the Green Goblin tried pulling the same trick on Mary Jane in the first Raimi Spider-Man.
Let’s just hope that Spider-Man getting dogpiled by the illusion of a bunch of attacking Spider-Men is the closest the MCU gets to the Clone Saga. Please.
– Mysterio has two key quotes that just feel eerily appropriate for America today:
“It’s easy to fool people when they’re already fooling themselves.”
“People need to believe, and nowadays they’ll believe anything.”
We’ll just leave it at that because we know some of you are too delicate for any kind of political messaging in your sci-fi and superhero stories.
– Mysterio is killed by a self-inflicted gun shot wound. He was a bit more direct with the self-inflicted gun wound in the comics, committing suicide right in front of Daredevil.
Avengers: Endgame Connections
Like Avengers: Endgame, this is the rare Marvel movie that has a pre-credits sequence, before letting the Marvel logo unspool behind a recognizable song (it was Traffic’s “Mr. Fantasy” in Endgame, and here it’s Whitney Houston’s version of inescapable The Bodyguard epic, “I Will Always Love You”). But just as we’re getting the SHIELD vibes here, a little mini-mission before the credits roll always brings to mind various James Bond movies.
- Vision not getting resurrected during Avengers: Endgame was no mistake, and it’s pretty clear that the world believes Captain America’s disappearance = his death. The same goes for Black Widow, and in case you weren’t aware, her upcoming solo movie is most certainly a prequel.
We most certainly will see Vision again, though, as part of the WandaVision TV series coming to Disney+. While there aren’t many hard details on that just yet, we will continue to speculate that Vision will only exist as a figment of Wanda’s troubled mind. Anyway (again)….
– The death of Tony Stark, of course, looms large over this movie. You can spot student artwork all over the classrooms of Midtown High, and of course there’s graffiti murals in NYC and shrines elsewhere in the world.
– “Thor was a myth and now I study him in physics class” is just another nice piece of MCU worldbuilding.
Spidey’s Amazing Friends
– Betty Brant and Jason Ionello are back. I don’t need to explain them again, since we already went into detail about them in our Spider-Man: Homecoming easter eggs guide. You DID read that, right? Of course you did.
This opening sequence is also super helpful because it explains how the world saw the events of Infinity War and Endgame. Referring to the sudden deaths and resurrections of half the world’s population as “The Blip” may seem a little cavalier, but it’s still a nice piece of worldbuilding.
– Sue Lorman doesn’t have any Marvel Comics counterpart, but…
Brad Davis sure does! Brad was created by Marv Wolfman and Keith Pollard, and first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #188 in 1979. Of course, there he was in college and known for football not basketball, but he was indeed a rival for Mary Jane’s affections in the comics.
– Aunt May doing work for the Salvation Army is very on brand from the comics, where she spent considerable time working at a homeless shelter. This was introduced during “Brand New Day” in 2008 and played a prominent role in Aunt May’s life in the recent Spider-Man video game for PS4.
– Betty Brant and Ned Leeds were indeed a couple in the comics. It um… didn’t end well. Betty is also a reporter in the comics, which makes her gig as the school’s morning news anchor right on the money.
– Flash Thompson idolizing Spider-Man goes all the way back to the very earliest days of the Spider-Man comics.
– MJ figuring out that Peter Parker is Spider-Man is the most pure-MJ thing this version of the character has done. In Amazing Spider-Man #257, comic book Mary Jane also drops the truth bomb she knows Peter is Spidey after discovering his apartment in tatters from a supervillain fight and him beginning another strained lie. She announces, in fact, that she knew he was Spidey for years, having seen Spidey show up at the Parker house down the street. Thus begins their more mature relationship. That Zendaya’s MJ also isn’t fooled is a sweet touch. “You guys lie with such ease.”
– You’ll notice that a light switch in Peter’s room is taped up with a prominent “do not turn off” hand-lettered sign on it. While it isn’t explained, we do see Peter’s Stark-issued Avengers/Iron Spider costume is kept in some kind of stasis field. That light switch likely controls the power to that, hence the “do not turn off” sign.
– Spidey’s SHIELD issued stealth suit does indeed look like it comes from the comics and video games, and you can see just a hint of Spider-Man Noir from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, too.
Saying that stealth suit is “a little tight around the ol’ web shooter” is more than just a clever dick joke. Spidey’s origin story has long felt like a puberty metaphor, one made pretty explicit in the first Sam Raimi film. But that was even MORE apparent in the unmade James Cameron treatment, where the organic webshooters and their, um, product, were clearly meant as something else.
– The machine Peter uses to make his Spider-Man suit feels an awful lot like the machine he came across in the original Secret Wars. He figured it was a custom clothes-making machine and it wasn’t until much later that he found out that it was actually a prison for the Venom symbiote.
– The red and black Spider-Man design was popular in the early ’90s and was fairly interchangeable with the traditional reds and blues. The web wings are back, and those were part of Steve Ditko’s original costume design. They were a regular feature of the suit for nearly a decade, and they’ve made sporadic appearances since then. From the back, we wonder if the white spider is a slight nudge, nudge to the Spider-Man video game for Sony’s PlayStation 4.
Oh, and while we’re on the subject of that stealth suit…
There is no such thing as Night Monkey in Marvel Comics.
But there is a Hit-Monkey, who made his first appearance during a Deadpool and Spider-Man team-up!
Nick Fury, Maria Hill, and SHIELD
The movie opens in Ixtenco, Mexico, and for a couple of minutes, Fury and Maria Hill together feels like the Agents of SHIELD TV series we wish we actually had gotten. And no, that isn’t the Sandman, it’s an “earth elemental.”
– Nick Fury keeping tabs on Spider-Man was a feature of the Ultimate Spider-Man comics, where Fury told young Spidey that he was essentially going to be “drafted” into SHIELD service and official government superhero-dom at the age of 18. Of course, Nick is far more friendly in this movie, but there is plenty of additional precedent from the comics for SHIELD taking an interest in Spidey.
Like we saw and heard in Homecoming, this movie has a tremendously great soundtrack. Here are just a few highlights…
– The song playing in the bar when Mysterio and Peter have their heart to heart is The Jam’s “A Town Called Malice.” There’s no Marvel significance to that, it’s just a killer tune.
– AC/DC’s “Back in Black” plays while Peter takes off in Tony’s jet. The first two Iron Man movies leaned heavily into Tony’s AC/DC fandom. In fact, the band, who were never fond of releasing greatest hits records, actually allowed their one and only comp of that kind to be the Iron Man 2 soundtrack.
– Queens’ other favorite sons, The Ramones, make their triumphant return to the Spider-Man soundtrack with “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend.”
Miscellaneous Cool Stuff
– The Black Dahlia murder was a horrific crime in which Beth Short was abducted, drained of blood, dismembered, and left in a vacant lot in Los Angeles. The perpetrator was never caught, and his identity remains a mystery. The fact that the Black Dahlia necklace that Peter got for MJ ends up in pieces is probably no accident.
– The giant check from Happy Hogan is from Synchrony bank. No, that’s not a fictional bank, but it IS a Marvel reference. Wait…what? Yeah, for those of you who need a Marvel branded credit card (hint: you do not need one), Synchrony is the bank that backs them.
– That poster in the Salvation Army cafeteria touts the arrival of “Crusher Hogan” for a Forest Hills wrestling match. While we haven’t seen the MCU’s Spidey origin, in the comics (and in a great scene in the first Sam Raimi film, albeit where the wrestler in question went by the name of “Bonesaw McGraw”), Peter took on “Crusher” as one of the first demonstrations of his Spidey powers.
– In Peter’s room, the fact that Spider-Man is absotively, posilutely, a canonical New York Mets fan is reestablished by another clear shot of the Mike Piazza pennant in Peter’s room.
– Aunt May referring to Peter’s um…”Peter tingle” is, of course, fucking hilarious. She is referring to the “spider sense” which warns Spidey of impending danger. In comics and cartoons, he would often say “my Spidey sense is tingling,” hence the…um…Peter tingle. They make up for turning this essential piece of Spider-Man lore into a punchline by basically giving us the single greatest Spidey sense moment in movie history in the film’s climax with Mysterio.
– The suitcase that Peter packs has the initials BFP on it. That stands for Benjamin Franklin Parker, Peter’s beloved (and departed) uncle, who has yet to appear onscreen in the MCU, but definitely existed.
– JB Smoove’s Mr. Bell doesn’t appear to have any Marvel Comics parallels, but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong down in the comments. I still think they missed a trick by not making him J. Jonah Jameson, but there’s a fine consolation prize at the end, ain’t there?
– One of the documentary options on the in-flight entertainment system is “Finding Wakanda” referring, of course, to the fictional nation we visited in Black Panther and other Marvel movies.
– When the first trailer for Far From Home dropped, fans went crazy over the water elemental, seeing it as “proof” that Hydro-Man would be in the movie. And while he isn’t, the film does at least confirm his existence in the MCU, mentioning the name Morris Bench, who is indeed the Hydro-Man of the comics. So yes, Far From Home DOES technically introduce Hydro-Man to the MCU!
– The old “Mister Strange” as opposed to “Doctor Strange” joke from the first Doctor Strange movie rears its head here.
– “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown” comes from Shakespeare’s Henry IV.
– Sadly, Dmitri doesn’t appear to actually be from the comics. Maybe he’s another Skrull.
– Mysterio refers to the main MCU earth as Earth-616, which has long been its designation. He claims to be from Earth-833, which is actually where the alternate dimension Spider-Man UK came from…and coincidentally, HIS world was also destroyed.
– “Big time superhero stuff” is just a phrase here, but “Big Time” was the name of a Spidey story arc early in Dan Slott’s very, very long tenure as Spider-Man writer. In fact, Slott also gets a shout-out in Venice, where we see a sign for “Calle del Slotto” which appears at the intersection of “Bendisio” and “Michelinio.” The former refers to Brian Michael Bendis, co-creator of Miles Morales and whose work on Ultimate Spider-Man had a profound influence on the MCU as a whole, not just the Spider-Man corner. The other is David Michelinie, who wrote The Amazing Spider-Man for a whopping seven years, and is co-creator of Venom and co-architect of a bunch of classic Spidey tales.
– No, EDITH isn’t from the comics. Though it should be noted that EDITH builds on the special glasses that Tony wears into battle in the beginning of Infinity War.
– On the bridge, there’s a car with the license plate “TASM 143.” The Amazing Spider-Man #143 is a comic about Spider-Man taking a trip to Europe.
The Mid Credits Scene
– Spidey taking MJ for a swing is, of course, iconic from the comics and particularly the first Sam Raimi film. However here, it’s the first time it’s presented as the utterly fucking terrifying and awkward experience it would actually be.
– Yes, that is most certainly JK Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson, returning from his flawless turn in the Sam Raimi trilogy. Only here in the MCU, JJJ is an Alex Jones-esque conspiracy theory slinging douchebag who is clearly nuttier than squirrel shit. Even the Dailybugle.net set looks like it was inspired by InfoWars. Amusingly, the Spider-Man PS4 game also took the same approach of turning JJJ into a disgraced journalist-turned-conspiracy theorist podcaster.
– Spidey’s identity being revealed to the world has precedent from the comics, particularly in the comics version of Civil War, only there, the circumstances were quite different, with Peter willingly unmasking.
The Post Credits Scene
– So it turns out that Fury and Hill were our pals the Skrulls from Captain Marvel all along! Although, the real Fury is off in space. Was his “vacation” simulator supposed to be Tahiti? After all, Agents of SHIELD brought Tahiti up nearly every episode during its first season.
So what did we miss? Let us know in the comments or hit us up on Twitter, and if it checks out, we’ll update this!