WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Spider-Man: Far From Home, in theaters now.
Spider-Man: Far From Home has left Spidey's future in uncertain territory. At the end of the film, Mysterio frames Peter for his murder, outing Parker in the process. The vehicle for his revenge is The Daily Bugle, now re-imagined as an Info Wars-esque website. While loyal comic readers might feel this is too drastic of a departure, there is an opportunity for the next Spider-Man film to return to its comic roots by giving two old stories a facelift now that J. Jonah Jameson is in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The seeds for this plot were planted back in Spider-Man: Homecoming with the introduction of Mac Gargan. Mac Gargan might not stand out to most moviegoers, but comic fans know him as Scorpion.
Mac Gargan and Jameson
In the early Stan Lee/Steve Ditko run of The Amazing Spider-Man, Jameson promoted and created several of Spider-Man's iconic adversaries. When Mysterio appeared, Jameson promoted him as the greatest hero of all time who could stop Spider-Man, the public menace. Spencer Smythe showed Jameson a prototype machine designed to destroy Spidey? Jameson funded it.
But his most infamous moment came when Jameson helped create the Scorpion as a superpowered "hero" to counter Spider-Man. He convinced Mac Gargan to enter an experimental scorpion suit. The process granted him superior strength and incredible power, but also drove Mac Gargan insane. The suit could never be removed.
Jameson, in trying to stop a menace, created a massive, unstoppable one.
Jameson in the MCU
Theoretically, Jameson functions the same way in the MCU as he did in the comics. He is attempting to turn the city against Spider-Man by framing him for a crime he didn't commit. While the Raimi films presented Jameson as an ultimately harmless character, this isn't true of the character in the comics, where his actions have tangible consequences.
People often laugh when Jameson is called a Spider-Man villain. This is because they don't understand that Jameson, especially in the early Lee run, continuously put the wall-crawler in danger. The MCU interpretation of Jameson is the closest many have seen to the comic Jameson from that era.
It is highly possible that Jameson will continue his pursuit of Spider-Man, either by posting a huge bounty on the wall-crawler's head or by contributing to the creation of superpowered individuals capable of taking Parker down.
Mac Gargan in the MCU
Mac Gargan already seems eager to take down Spider-Man. It's thanks to Parker that Gargan was put behind bars in Spider-Man: Homecoming. In the end credits scene, he already mentions how there are others who want to take Spidey down. This could include characters like Shocker. It may ultimately include Michael Keaton's Vulture. But now that Gargan knows Parker is Spidey, he will be out for blood.
Jameson wants to stop Spider-Man. Gargan wants revenge. The two working together would align closely with Scorpion's comic book origin, while also providing Jameson with an almost tragic arc. In trying to stop a menace, Jameson creates one that ultimately destroys his life.
How Does Spencer Smythe Fit Into This?
Jameson isn't a scientist. He can't create Scorpion's suit. So, perhaps the source of Scorpion's powers comes from another well-established Spider-Man adversary -- one that Jameson also aligned with: Spencer Smythe, the creator of the Spider-Slayers.
Smythe is funded by Jameson in the comics, though the process of creating the Slayers poisons Smythe's body, which ultimately kills him. It's an intriguing opportunity to once more show the tragedy of Jameson's actions and the dangers of pursuing Spider-Man.
The MCU Spider-Man films so far have presented relatively sympathetic adversaries with understandable motivations. A scientist funded to stop a murderer who ends up poisoning himself? That's pretty tragic. It would show how Jameson's revenge ruins tons of lives, resulting in some rather awful consequences.
An alternative would be to bring back the Tinkerer to create the Scorpion suit and Spider-Slayers, as that would tie back to Spider-Man: Homecoming. The Spider-Man films have had several MCU callbacks so far, and this would only further add to the sense of continuity these films maintain.
But Who is the Main Villain?
If the filmmakers go this way, this would finally establish J. Jonah Jameson as the central antagonist in a Spider-Man film. However, J.K. Simmons isn't about to go blow to blow with Peter Parker, but it would introduce a more interesting conflict: the city of New York against Spider-Man.
So far, every Spider-Man film has shown Peter Parker aligned with NYC. The city loves him. They support him. Even when the city "turns on him" in the first Raimi film, minutes later normal city people start throwing debris at the Green Goblin and help Spidey save a train of kids. At no point in these films has public opinion truly turned on Peter the same way it frequently does in the comics.
Villains like Scorpion (and potentially others, like Kraven the Hunter or Vulture) will serve as manifestations of the greater conflict of this potential third film -- the neighborhood against Spider-Man. And that could make for, arguably, one of the best films in the entire franchise thus far.
Directed by Jon Watts, Spider-Man: Far From Home stars Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, JB Smoove, Jacob Batalon and Martin Starr, with Marisa Tomei and Jake Gyllenhaal.