The post-credits scene of Spider-Man: Far From Home is a pretty big deal that hints at big things for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But the mid-credits scene features a seismic moment that will rock the world of Spider-Man forever and definitely reverberate into Spider-Man 3 (whatever Sony and Marvel end up calling it).
Besides a surprise, fun cameo from [REDACTED] as [REDACTED], the future of Spider-Man is suddenly in question. And in doubt. Here’s what Peter Parker’s future could look like by Spider-Man 3, one that may be influenced by the controversial 2007 storyline, Spider-Man: One More Day.
Major spoilers for the Spider-Man: Far From Home post-credits scene ahead.
In the mid-credits of Spider-Man: Far From Home, from director Jon Watts, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) takes MJ (Zendaya) on a date swinging through New York after their vacation in Europe. After Peter sets down a bewildered MJ, who tells him that she never wants to swing like that again, a big screen projected on the side of Madison Square Garden airs breaking news.
In exclusive “footage” obtained by The Daily Bugle (and introduced by J. Jonah Jameson played by, yes, J.K. Simmons), the trickster Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) is seen telling the world that Spider-Man actually caused the augmented reality “Elementals” mayhem in Europe. It’s doctored footage of course, but that’s the scary reality we live in now with easily edited videos and machine learning.
Anyway, just before the footage cuts out, Mysterio lets slip that Spider-Man’s real identity is, in fact, Peter Parker. Cut to Peter’s big face on the TV, and Spider-Man cussing out in shock. “What the F—?!”
Peter Parker revealing his identity as Spider-Man is a big plot point borrowed from the 2006 comic book event Civil War. In Civil War #2, Spider-Man willingly unmasks to the world as he joins Tony Stark’s pro-superhuman registration. The unmasking crashed the internet as people flooded Google with “Peter Parker” searches, and gave J. Jonah Jameson at the Bugle a heart attack.
A little over a year later, however, the unmasking would become an even bigger deal. The Kingpin orders a hit on Peter Parker, but the bullet instead pierces Peter’s beloved Aunt May. In his desperation, Peter turns to the only being with enough power to undo it all: The devil, Mephisto.
Hoping to spend just “one more day” with Aunt May, Peter makes a deal with Mephisto to save May. In return, Mephisto wants Peter’s love and marriage to Mary Jane, because a love like theirs only comes “once in a millennia.” Not only does Mephisto undo Peter’s historic marriage to Mary Jane (How historic was it? Put it this way: Stan Lee officiated in Shea Stadium), but Mephisto erases the world’s knowledge that Peter Parker is Spider-Man.
In other words, Peter’s identity was once again made secret.
The ramifications of One More Day, written by Joe Quesada and Netflix’s Sense8 creator J. Michael Straczynski, continues to this day in the comics, with Spider-Man’s identity once again a guarded secret. Only a handful of individuals know Peter’s identity, and ironically, one of them is J. Jonah Jameson.
What ‘One More Day’ May Look Like in the MCU
Let’s be clear about something: One More Day was not a popular story. Fans were outraged when Peter’s marriage to Mary Jane was broken up after two decades (they officially married in 1987). That it happened over just four issues also felt like an irrational decision.
To this day, fans are still quite mad about One More Day, though the story’s ripple effects in the Marvel Universe (Peter and MJ are still broken up) suggests there was at least a serious commitment to the bold idea.
But is the MCU looking to do One More Day in a way that could finally satisfy fans? You can already imagine a third Spider-Man: Home (no one knows the title, mind you, but come on, it’ll be another pun on “home”) that will deal with the fallout of Spidey’s identity reveal. Membership with the Avengers sure would help block out unwanted attention, for example.
At the same time, Spidey could look to drastic measures to undo his unmasking. But what will that look like for this Peter Parker? While it isn’t the same as marriage, it is still a big deal for Peter to finally be with MJ. Now, is Peter to sacrifice young romance to again keep his identity secret as well as the ones he loves safe and sound? Will Peter turn to Mephisto (who would understandably be a no-go for Disney-owned Marvel Studios), or someone else in the MCU capable of similar abilities? (If so, who could it be?)
Why Unmasking Is Such a Weird Choice
Without a clear idea where Marvel is headed in Phase 4, one has to wonder where the MCU is going with Spidey’s unmasking.
Not only that, but it is a choice that Marvel made a moment as momentous as Spidey’s unmasking into a mid-credits scene, and not an emotionally colossal story beat in the plot of a movie. At least Captain America: The First Avenger crammed Steve Rogers’ awakening in the 21st century as the last, last scene of the movie and not a mid-credits scene. (I’ll save you a Google: The post-credits of The First Avenger was a sneak preview at The Avengers.)
Although fans know to stay in their seats, Marvel is slowly turning its post-credits scenes into simply extra slots for scenes that the actual movies don’t have time for. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, especially given that Marvel wrote the playbook on how to make these teasers feel organic. But with scenes like Spider-Man’s unmasking, one has to wonder what’s to stop Marvel from taking on too much at once.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is in theaters on July 2.