Ever since the Marvel Cinematic Universe went into pre-production, fans have been abuzz with rumors and speculations regarding Marvel’s newest film, Captain America: Civil War. The Marvel Studios film will be the culmination of ten years of stories, providing the culmination of many of the universe’s largest and most iconic conflicts.

While details remain limited, what is known is that the film will examine the consequences of the choices made during the course of the previous ten films. With any luck, fans will be able to see Spider-Man make an appearance in one of the Marvel Studios films before the end of the year.

More Than Meets The Eye?

Although Marvel Studios hasn’t specified which of its films will focus on the ramifications of Captain America: Civil War, it’s probably safe to assume that it will be the case with the majority of them. With the main conflict taking place in a movie that will almost certainly be released after Captain America: Civil War, it will be the culmination of a decade of stories involving many of Marvel’s most beloved superheroes.

This could mean that the next phase of the MCU will see a shift in focus away from the core Marvel Cinematic Universe of superheroes and toward humanity in general. It’s an idea that has been hinted at in the past and, if true, could mean that the Avengers, X-Men, and even the Fantastic Four will see a change in their stories. After all, what’s the point of being a superhero if not helping humanity?

Why Spider-Man?

The last time we saw Peter Parker (with no hyphen), he was leaving Eddie Brock in his wake after giving him a fright. Since then, Spider-Man has mostly remained a background character, used to lend a hand with some problem or other when the Avengers, Fantastic Four, or X-Men need some help. With no big screen adaptation of Spider-Man slated for later this year, the webslinger will remain off-screen for a while.

Based on the events of Captain America: Civil War, it seems likely that Spider-Man will get the call to action he so desperately wants in a future Marvel Studios film. The events of that film will put a significant strain on the Spider-Man/Agent Carter relationship and could potentially see Spidey cross paths with the Fantastic Four or X-Men.

The Infinity Gauntlet

Since the dawn of cinema, comic book movie franchises have been responsible for some of the most significant changes in popular culture. By bringing together previously unaffiliated superheroes from various titles in a shared narrative, comic book movie franchises have been responsible for the creation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), which had a defining influence on cinema as we know it. As a direct result of their association, many of these superheroes share a unique item called the Infinity Gauntlet. Essentially an item of armor with a gauntlet on each hand, the Infinity Gauntlet is an extension of the God-like power that its wielder, the Mad Titan, Thanos, is capable of producing.

Thanos originally wielded the Infinity Gauntlet in the comics, but in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s been a core part of his identity. Since the character’s first appearance in 1976’s The Infinity Gauntlet, the gauntlet has been spotted in a variety of locations, with many fans assuming that it’s a key component of Thanos’ overall uniform. It’s highly likely that this will be the case in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War, as the Infinity Gauntlet will play an integral role in the main conflict.

Avengers: Infinity War

After the events of Captain America: Civil War, it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that several of the heroes involved will want to settle scores. While many might want to see Steve Rogers (Captain America) defeated, the reality is that he served a purpose in bringing the Avengers and the government together. For that matter, the very existence of the government, as we know it, is owed to Steve Rogers. In theory, this could mean that the government might not exist in its present configuration following the events of Captain America: Civil War.

According to various rumors, the fight for supremacy between the Avengers and their allies, the X-Men, could result in the former becoming a villain in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War. Considering how significant a role the Infinity Gauntlet plays in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War, it wouldn’t be surprising if this was the case. Unfortunately, we won’t have long to wait until we find out whether or not the Avengers are on the right track to defeat the Mad Titan.

Avengers: Infinity Gauntlet

Speaking of which, the Mad Titan, Thanos, is an important character whose impact on popular culture cannot be understated. Aside from being the primary antagonist in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War, he’s also one of the primary characters in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity Gauntlet. In the latter film, which screens shortly before the end of the year, Thanos is seen wearing a full-body suit of armor that includes the Infinity Gauntlet in its design. Based on the events of the Captain America: Civil War film, it seems likely that the titular character will be the one to give the Mad Titan his ultimate comeuppance.

Darkest Day

Although the Dark Phoenix Saga is one of the best-known stories in the X-Men franchise, it would be a massive oversight to claim that it’s the centerpiece or even the most significant story in that film series. Thanks to a shared universe established through Marvel and FOX’s budding partnership, the Dark Phoenix Saga serves as a bridge between the two franchises, acting as a prologue to the present day X-Men films. As a direct result of this shared universe, the Dark Phoenix Saga has become part of popular culture, inspiring t-shirts, lunchboxes, and an entire generation of film fans. As exciting as the Dark Phoenix Saga is, it would be a missed opportunity if the events of Darkest Day are entirely forgotten.

On the morning of June 28, 1992, a little over three months after the first X-Men premiered in theaters, a massive volcanic eruption rocked the world. Dubbed the ‘Darkest Day’, the eruption was the result of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines reaching a state of ‘super-eruption’, briefly becoming Earth’s largest volcano. Aside from darkening the sky, the eruption sent shock waves that disrupted technology and shattered windows as far away as North America. Although the worst of the damage was contained within the Philippines, it was still one of the most devastating natural disasters of the early 21st century. The destruction of Darkest Day is seared into the collective consciousness of those who experienced it firsthand and the resulting panic that ensued has been compared to a ‘perfect storm’.

Wedding Rings

Another important character whose story is told in the Spider-Man franchise is that of Gwen Stacy. The character’s story is told within the context of the larger overarching narrative, which essentially chronicles the life and times of Peter Parker. In the most recent films, the story of Gwen Stacy has largely been presented from a practical standpoint, focusing on her role as Peter Parker’s love interest. However, the fact that Gwen Stacy’s story is an important component of the larger Spider-Man narrative makes it likely that she will play a significant role in future Spider-Man films.

As mentioned above, the last time we saw Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy on film was in 2007’s Spider-Man 3. Since that time, there have been no discussions regarding a potential reunion between the two. While it is uncertain whether or not they will ever tie the knot, it seems safe to assume that Peter Parker will continue to find himself in the midst of an escalating struggle for supremacy between good and evil throughout the course of his life. Some fans have even taken to referring to the character as the ‘anti-marvel’ because of how frequently he gets in the middle of all these conflicts.

Spider-Man: Far From Home

The Spider-Man franchise has always been at the forefront of comic book movie adaptations, due mainly to the fact that Spider-Man is one of the most popular and recognizable superheroes of all time. Over seventy years and seventeen films after he was first introduced, the webslinger still manages to generate significant interest and excitement whenever his story is told. For a superhero so associated with commerce, it’s incredible that Spider-Man’s story still has the power to move audiences, especially those who have seen it so many times already.