It was a long road ahead for Spider-Man, but he finally made his way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Captain America: Civil War, and Tom Holland’s brilliant performance quickly won fans over. After the end-credits scene that promised Spider-Man’s return, anticipations were extremely high for Spidey’s first solo film as part of the MCU. Then, Spider-Man: Homecoming arrived to rave reviews and already did quite a splash at the box-office. Finally, Peter Parker is home, and his movie has already earned a top spot as one of Marvel’s best films yet.
Homecoming left us wanting even more Spider-Man, and we already know that we’ll see him in next year’s Avengers: Infinity War. But what if we could see him much sooner? What if Spider-Man could appear in another New York-based superhero team-up that will hit our small screens next month? That’s right, the release of the Netflix series The Defenders is fast approaching, and we here at CBR believe that Spider-Man would be right at home in that series. Whether in a cameo appearance or in a small role that could lead to a bigger one in a possible season two, there are ample reasons why Spider-Man should appear in The Defenders… 15 to be exact!
15. NEW YORK CITY
It’s a mostly well-known concept that most of the Marvel heroes reside and operate in New York City. We saw that front and center in The Avengers, where Tony Stark remodeled his own building into the Avengers Tower. But now that the Tower is sold and the team has relocated, the Avengers are out of New York. But the Defenders, both in Harlem and Hell’s Kitchen, are all about New York.
Peter Parker lives in Queens, and New York City, as a whole, is his playground, which would make it all the more likely that he would hear talks about the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, Luke Cage, the Iron Fist and a private detective with quite the temper. Seeing as Spider-Man and the Defenders are all running around New York, it would only make sense to have them come across each other.
14. STREET-LEVEL SUPERHEROES
Compared to the cosmic threats of the Infinity Stones, alien invasions from wormholes in space and robotic uprisings that all look to annihilate life on Earth — threats that the Avengers deal with day in and day out — Spider-Man, like he says, is more of a hero for the little guy. He is a much more grounded character than the rest of the Avengers and their giant battles.
He is a street-level superhero, just like the Defenders, who all operate in the streets, in back alleys and dark neighborhoods. These heroes are all much more down-to-earth. They fight on a smaller scale, but the threats they face, while different, are just as bad, and their victories all the more heroic. These are characters with the odds stacked against them on a much grittier level. Something Spider-Man is familiar with.
13. TOM HOLLAND AND JON BERNTHAL AUDITIONED TOGETHER
Before Spider-Man: Homecoming and Daredevil season two, both Tom Holland and Jon Bernthal were working together on a movie called Pilgrimage. It was at that time that the roles of both Peter Parker and Frank Castle were being cast, and so the two actors helped each other out not only by training together but by filming audition tapes together to try and get Marvel’s attention.
And it seems that did the trick, because although they are divided by the big and small screen, now both actors are part of the MCU. Bringing Spider-Man into the Netflix series could allow for both actors to reunite and finally get the chance to actually play a scene in the roles that each helped the other get. It would be a very nice way to honor the road that led them both where they now are.
12. THE BRIDGE BETWEEN AVENGERS AND DEFENDERS
Avengers: Infinity War is a highly-anticipated and unprecedented movie that will feature most, if not all of the MCU superheroes we have seen in the movies so far, from Iron Man to Star-Lord and Spider-Man. But many fans are of the opinion that such a culmination of a movie wouldn’t be complete without the inclusion of the Defenders, even if it was only for a cameo appearance.
These four characters are now important and popular mainstays of the MCU on Netflix and while the logistics to include them might be complicated, Spider-Man could easily serve as the bridge to bring the Defenders into Infinity War. If Spider-Man were to appear and come to befriend the Defenders, he could then easily ask for their help when the battle gets too big, come the next Avengers film.
11. EXPAND SPIDER-MAN’S STORY
We’ve heard from Marvel Studios executive producer Kevin Feige that there is a five-movie plan for Peter Parker’s story, starting from his appearance in Captain America: Civil War to the Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel. We don’t yet know what those plans are, but we doubt that we’ll have much time to revisit Queens and Peter’s high school when he joins the Avengers to fight Thanos.
But if Peter were to appear in The Defenders, this could give us more time to see him live his day-to-day life before the big battle. We could see a little more of his family and friends, a little more of his own neighborhood and more of his time in high school — relatively small and simple moments that could work to expand and deepen his story time.
10. PETER COULD LEARN A LOT FROM THE DEFENDERS
As a young superhero, Peter Parker has a lot to learn, as we saw in the relationship Tony Stark had with him, as his mentor. But Peter is only starting out his career as a superhero, and he still has much to learn. Sure, Captain America and Black Widow could have some very interesting character-building and even possibly hilarious advice to give him, but the Defenders know what it’s like to live that life, day-to-day.
They have all seen rock-bottom, fought for scraps and come out the other end stronger. And even then, they always barely get by, because something else, something worse, always comes along. Matt, Luke, Jessica and Danny all know what it’s like to try and live a regular life in a way the Avengers simply don’t. And that is some advice Peter could sure use more of.
9. THE INTRODUCTION OF THE DAILY BUGLE
One of the most classic and well-known elements of the Spider-Man mythology is that Peter Parker eventually gets a job as a photographer for the New York-based newspaper, the Daily Bugle. While it hasn’t been seen or heard from as of yet in the MCU, a Defenders appearance from Spider-Man could work to establish that.
We’ve already seen a little bit of the New York newspaper world in both seasons of Daredevil, with both Ben Urich and Karen Page working for the New York Bulletin. If Peter were to become a part of this world, he could start by looking for a job at the Bulletin to make a little bit of money, a job hunt that could lead him to walk through the doors of the Daily Bugle.
8. SCIENCE VS. MAGIC
The world of The Defenders is one that is increasingly falling into the mystical territory. Both in Daredevil and Iron Fist, we have seen the rise of the mystical order of The Hand. Operating in the shadows, we don’t know much about them, but we know they can bring the dead back to life in some way. Similarly, Danny Rand and his time in K’un-Lun have added more depth to this magical corner of the Netflix MCU.
As we’ve seen from his two appearances so far, Peter Parker is quite the science prodigy, going so far as inventing his very own incredibly powerful spiderweb and web-shooters. Peter is no stranger to science, and his arrival into the Defenders sphere could bring a new analytical approach to a more mythical world. That, in its own way, could lead to Peter helping the Defenders in a much different way.
7. EXPAND THE SPIDER-FAMILY
One thing that Spider-Man fans know, from his comics, his cartoons and his video games, is that he has a very large supporting cast of allies that adhere to the Spider-motif. Without even going into the alternate universe, reality-bending twists of the Spider-Verse or Web Warriors events, there is a clone of Peter that goes by the identity of the Scarlet Spider, a girl bitten by the same spider as Peter who goes by the name of Silk, and a fellow crime-fighter and spy, Jessica Drew, aka Spider-Woman.
It’s highly unlikely that there would be room for these characters in Spider-Man’s previously mentioned five-movie plan. For that reason, his appearance in The Defenders could open up the door for the introduction of Spider-Woman and Silk (considering that staying away from clones would probably be a good idea), and the possibility of having them spin-off together in their very own Netflix series: Spider-Women.
6. NORMAN OSBORN AND A DARK REIGN
Norman Osborn is probably one of Spider-Man’s most recognizable villains, having appeared in some way in both previous film series, and in most animated series starring Spider-Man. As the Green Goblin, he is a formidable recurring foe to Peter Parker, but there was a time in the comic book world that Norman Osborn was not just a Spider-Man villain. He was also the Marvel Universe’s biggest threat!
During the Dark Reign storyline, Norman Osborn was at the head of H.A.M.M.E.R – who had taken S.H.I.E.L.D.’s place in worldwide “security” – and was hunting down Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Spider-Man and many other street-level heroes who were forced to operate underground. With Spider-Man showing up in The Defenders, the seeds to an adaptation of this story could be planted for a possible second or third season.
5. JESSICA JONES REALLY LIKES SPIDER-MAN
In the comic books, Jessica Jones and Peter Parker have a little bit of history. They both attended high school at the same time, where Jessica had a massive crush on Peter. Then, after she got her powers, she saw Spider-Man fighting against one of his villains and he inspired her to user he powers to help people as Jewel. Later, as a private investigator, she would be hired to discover Spider-Man’s true identity. But more than anything, the two of them share a great bond of trust.
While there is quite an age difference between Jessica and Peter that prevents them from being classmates in the MCU, we could still see Jessica develop an admiration for New York’s newest hero, and her being hired to discover his identity could lead to a perfect introduction of Spider-Man into the Defenders’ world. We can only imagine her reaction once she would find out he is only a teenager.
4. SECRET IDENTITIES
Peter Parker trying to balance his normal life with his friends, family, a job and his life as a superhero is one of the staples of the Spider-Man comics. Peter always struggles to keep his identity a secret from those closest to him in order to protect them, but from what we have seen from the Avengers and their respective movies, secret identities aren’t much of a concern for any of them.
But Peter is different. Like we have seen in Homecoming, it’s important his secret identity remains just that: secret. And if there is someone who can teach him all about trying to find the right balance, it’s Matt Murdock. As Daredevil, Matt knows just how much of a toll keeping his identity a secret takes, and what it does to the people he cares about. He knows just how important it is to remain hidden.
3. MORE MCU CONNECTIONS
If there is one criticism that MCU movie fans have regarding the Netflix shows, it’s that sometimes they aren’t going as far into the shared aspect of the universe as they would want. Other than a few mentions, more often not even by full-name, there isn’t all that much to connect the Netflix series to the movies. But seeing as Spider-Man hails from that side of the cinematic universe, he could change all that.
As a direct line to the movies, Spider-Man could easily talk about his time fighting alongside Team Stark, or visiting the Avengers Mansion, which could lead to the Defenders talking more about the world they inhabit; like Danny Rand discussing his business relations with Stark Industries or Luke Cage talking about how much Captain America is an inspiration. Besides, this could also bring some notorious Spider-Man-related crime lords like Hammerhead to the streets of New York.
2. SPIDER-MAN VS. KINGPIN
Spider-Man has a very extensive rogues gallery, with villains ranging from Doctor Octopus to the Vulture, but there is one villain, one that is very closely associated with Spider-Man, that we haven’t seen him fight in live action yet. This is a villain a lot of fans would love to see take a swing at Spider-Man; a baddie that Spider-Man shares with The Man Without Fear: Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin.
Brilliantly portrayed by Vincent D’Onofrio in both seasons of Daredevil, the Kingpin was a formidable villain that had an unmatched presence. Introducing Spider-Man to this corner of the MCU would finally allow for these two very different rivals to finally meet. Ever a thorn in Fisk’s criminal enterprises, Spider-Man is a hero Fisk would like to crush more than any other… other than Daredevil, that is.
1. THE BENDIS NEW AVENGERS RUN: FAMILY UNIT
There are many classic Avengers comic storylines, but few come close to Brian Michael Bendis’ New Avengers run, which all started with Spider-Man and Wolverine joining ranks with the Avengers. Over time, this book came to star more and more street-level heroes, to the point that Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Peter Parker, Spider-Woman Jessica Drew and a few others became not only a team, but a real family unit.
Bendis’ run is both classic and modern, an iconic jumping on point that any fan of the Avengers should read. It cemented the idea that these street-level heroes can be just as good, maybe even better, than the proper Avengers. This is a series that would be a perfect blueprint to adapt in The Defenders, a perfect inspiration to introduce Peter Parker into the Netflix fold.
Would you like to see Spider-Man in The Defenders? Let us know in the comments!
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