Back in Spider-man: Homecoming, the movie caught comic fans on tenterhooks as we watched Tony Stark go through the motions of holding a press conference for Peter Parker as Spider-man before Parker declined at the very last second.
The scene is taken straight from the Civil War comics where Spider-man reveals his identity at a press conference under pressure from Stark to do so which causes dire consequences such as Aunt May dying, losing his career, his marriage destroyed, him being beaten to an absolute pulp and just about everybody he loves getting brutally attacked by pretty much every villain with a score to settle with him.
It is, therefore, such a huge relief when Peter doesn’t fall for this mistake in the MCU, carefully sidestepping the start of the disastrous decisions that snowball to his downfall in the comics back in 2007. But this particular snippet in Homecoming begs the question: could Peter Parker reveal his secret identity to the public in the MCU?
Early on in the trailer for Far From Home, we see Spider-man (thankfully fully masked) on stage addressing an audience for a charity event supporting the homeless shelter. What is noteworthy about this though, is it mirrors the artwork in the Civil War comics exactly, right down to the curtains, Spider-man’s positioning, his aunt standing beside him where Tony Stark stood in the comics and the crowd directly in front. Are they teasing us by hinting to the comics or is this a sign of things to come?
We’ve already seen Peter share his secret with Ned Leeds and nearly given his Aunt a heart attack when she accidentally stumbled across his identity. He’s already so close to Iron Man, suspiciously uncomfortable with his and Stark’s relationship, which means at some point their friendship and mentorship surely must completely fall apart just like in the comics. Even in Homecoming, with Parker feeling constrained by Tony’s babying and ‘assistance’, it is all pointing towards their partnership eventually falling through, perhaps sometime mid-way through Phase 4.
In the MCU Peter Parker seems particularly careless about the efforts to conceal his secret identity. In Homecoming alone, two people already accidentally found out. In Infinity War, he climbs out his school bus, clinging to the side, fully clothed and not costumed. In Far From Home, we see him spider-like in preparing to fight against Mysterio in London, yet again, he is just Peter Parker with no costume in sight. It is extremely exciting for the fans, to see Peter in action, not in costume, so it could be that this is just a little crowd pleaser. But surely, being so obviously on view and exposed, someone would notice? Will his identity become public?
We’re treated to his school peers chatting about Spider-man. Its the first time we start to see the formation of Flash’s fan club and adoration of spider-man develop whilst still hating on Peter Parker. It’s also the first time you start to see the turning point when they will become friends in the future and we see a different side to Thompson. It is also a moment of dramatic irony where the audience and Peter are both aware of how funny this is but the character’s speaking don’t. This immediately makes the audience think if only they knew! What if they found out the truth? What would they say then? How would Peter’s relationships change and evolve, what new and exciting on-screen material and interaction would the writers suddenly have to play with that haven’t appeared in live action before?
Spider-man is definitely trying to make its angle, new different and fresh, revealing Spider-mans identity in the future could be another way to do that.