Spiderman, also known as Spider-Man depending on how fussy your pants are about these things, has been withdrawn from the MCU after business negotiations between film companies Marvel and Sony failed to reach an agreement.
Well, we say failed to reach an agreement, but they did reach an agreement. Sony agreed to keep Spidey, as he is also known, so it’s Marvel who has not yet arrived. Sony reached.
What is going on? Who are these things? Can someone please provide a simplified explanation to you? Yes. Me. I can and will, as follows.
There is an ancient American myth of a great hero named Spide-rman who rose from the city of Queens to save the world from evil.
Like most such legends he was made up by someone, but unlike most such legends, we know who cooked up the lie. It was a gentleman named Stan Lee.
Stan-Lee also made up several other heroes with names like Iron Man (Two words, no hyphen), Captain America, The Incredible Hulk and more. He put them all together in a company he called Marvel and began to publish their stories in books.
This was back in the 1960s when people not only read books but even bought them. Even the comic ones, which were mostly pictures. You could say people watched books if you like.
Spiderman was one of Stan’s most famous heroes, and when the world’s attention span reached that point when it preferred watching movies to books, someone came knocking on the window of Stan’s basement.
It was Sony. Sony was a radio and television manufacturer from Tokyo who had ventured into movies because he liked making more money. He asked Stan if he could make Spider M-an movies, and Stan said, why not, because Stan liked the Yen to the dollar exchange rate.
Then it happened. Superhero movies blew up. Movies about men and women who wear fancy tight-fitting costumes and break the laws of physics to fight and defeat those who break the laws of America’s penal code became all the rage, raking in all the money worldwide.
By then Stan’s company, Marvel, was able to move beyond just making comics and selling Spidermen to actually making its own movies. Like Sony, Marvel liked making more money so it did so, by launching an amazing and spectacular and, as time would show ultimate movie franchise.
Several Marvel movies later, it was all success and champagne except for one thing. Spidey was missing. Everyone else was in the Marvel movies, called the Marvel Cinematic Universe or MC-U.
Now, let me segue into a small drama to illustrate what happened next.
Two kids playing in the yard.
Macu: Can I play with Spidey?
Sonny: But you gave him to me.
Macu: We can share.
Sonny: Okay. Here.
And we had five great movies featuring Spidey alongside his comic book fellows Iron Man, Black Panther, Captain America, Hawkeye and those guys.
Everything was going great until, well, you know how kids are with toys.
Sonny: Gimme back my Spider-Man.
Macu: But you said I can play with him.
Sonny: I want him back. Now!
Macu: I’m even the one who made him.
Sonny: Yeah, but you gave him to me. He’s mine now.
Macu: Can’t we just share?
And as of the moment my research team reported findings, the kids had stomped away from each other in a huff. Sony had stuck Spiderma-n under his armpit and sulked off, leaving MCU to wail about how it is all Sony’s fault for being a brat.
As if Sony thinks they can possibly have a hit Spider-Man movie after pulling a stunt like this.