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Has the MCU Messed Up Peter Parker's Spidey-Sense?

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Fans will see that there's a lot to be exciting about after watching the exciting new trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home, like seeing those new suits in action or seeing Mysterio in a seemingly heroic role. There were a lot of great characters in that trailer, most of them introducing themselves in theatrical fashion and no one did that better than the master spy himself, Nick Fury.

The scene begins with Peter and Ned in their hotel room, casually talking about Peter's developing relationship with MJ. Suddenly, we see a dart shot into Ned's neck, knocking the poor boy out. Peter turns around and sees Nick Fury holding a dart gun, sitting quietly in the shadows. It's a pretty spectacular entrance, but does it really make sense given that Spider-Man possesses a famously preternatural sixth sense that warns him of even the smallest of dangers? An otherwise fantastic entrance is marred by the fact that the MCU hasn't really explored one of the young hero's signature powers: his Spider-Sense.

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In the comics, Spider-Man's early warning ability usually dances around the line between supernatural and mystically precognitive. In general, this superpower functions like an early warning system, warning Spidey of both distant and imminent threats. While there haven't been any definitive explanations concerning how it works, there have been various descriptions of how it feels to Peter, ranging from distinct tingling sensations to full on migraines that -- in conjunction with his superhuman reflexes -- allow him to dodge anything from punches to bullets.

After Aunt May was able to knock Spidey unconscious with a vase in Amazing Spider-Man #114 (written by Gerry Conway, art by John Romita Sr., Tony Mortellaro and Jim Starlin) it's been generally accepted that Peter's spidey-sense can distinguish between friend and foe. However, over the years, that particular feature of this sixth sense has been pretty inconsistent. There have been plenty of times when Spider-Man fought trusted friends and allies (no one he trusted more than Aunt May, but still...), and his spider-sense was there to help him.

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It's an important part of Spider-Man's arsenal, and every adaptation of the character has depicted his spidey-sense in a different way. In the animated series, there was discoloration; in the Sam Raimi trilogy, time seemed to slow down and it was depicted similarly the Amazing Spider-Man films. Each adaptation has tried to depict that superpower in a unique and interesting way, which is something the MCU hasn't really done. Is that intentional?

When Spider-Man was first appeared in the MCU, there wasn't a lot of focus on his spidey-sense, which is understandable. The film wasn't about him so we saw him fight and react the way others would. He had incredibly fast reflexes and that was good enough.

In Spider-Man: Homecoming however, we saw nothing regarding his sixth sense or how he uses it. When asked about what seemed like an obvious oversight, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige explained that, because previous films had explored it so well, there wasn't a need for the MCU to focus on it too intently. "We thought that we'd make it more of an internal, sort of second nature thing for him," he said, adding that it would be a really interesting thing to explore further down the line.

Then, Avengers: Infinity War arrived and we got our first real indication that Spidey's sixth sense is present and functioning in the MCU. When the alien Q-ship arrived on Earth, the hairs on Peter's arms stood straight up, and he seemed to know exactly where to look. Later, when on that same Q-ship with Tony and Doctor Strange, Spidey seemed to know that the Guardians were on their way, long before any sound could be heard.

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With the Far From Home trailer, it seems that that superpower might disappear once again. It's a perfect example of how the MCU has remained inconsistent in its use of this particular superpower... but that may not be a fault of the MCU's architects. After all, even in the comics, Spider-Man's spider-sense is wildly inconsistent. It doesn't warn him when friends and family are about to attack him, but it has warned him when they were about to see him take off his mask, for example. Sometimes it's a vague warning, and other times it allows Peter to know exactly what and where the danger is coming from.

So sure, maybe in Spider-Man: Far From Home, Nick Fury's entrance is just one of those times when Spider-Man's sixth sense doesn't feel like warning him of the other person in the room or the dart gun in his hand, or perhaps it didn't register because it was able to somehow discern that the threat was to Ned, not Peter. Whatever the case, it'd be nice if future MCU movies would bring a little more consistency to the wall-crawler's powers than the films that came before.

Opening July 5, director 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.

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