This article contains nothing but Spider-Man: Far From Home spoilers. We have a spoiler free review right here.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is the breath of fresh air we need after all the fallout of Avengers: Endgame. Characters have died or gone into retirement. Countless people have endured loss on a scale unheard of, only to have it undone in a way that is far from convenient. It’s the perfect setup because after all that Thanos stuff, we really, really need a vacation.
Far From Home paints itself as an uplifting adventure where everything comes up Parker in the end (mostly). He’s in a relationship with someone who knows his secret, the bad guy is defeated, the authority figures show him respect, and life goes on. The last thing we see is Spider-Man swinging around with MJ, which is on-brand because “Spider-Man swings around” is the way most of his movies end.
Then…the initial credits end and we pick up back where we left off. In under two minutes of footage, we get three very, very major revelations. Let’s go through them.
Mysterio the Martyr
Quentin Beck’s grand scheme was to pull the old Thunderbolts gambit (that really is going to take the wind out of the sails if Marvel ever tries to make a Thunderbolts movie). Anyway, as Mysterio, he pretends to be a superhero, fakes some villains to thwart, earns the trust of the public, and works towards earning more powerful resources to use at his leisure. He’s defeated by Spider-Man with the assist of Nick Fury, Maria Hill, and Spidey’s amazing friends.
Mysterio dies from the ricochet of a drone’s bullet, but sure doesn’t act defeated. We even see his top henchman download some information and leave the scene. It’s mentioned that he tends to have contingency plans, but after his fake-out attempt to shoot Spider-Man at point blan range fails, we’re left to think that he’s out of tricks.
And so, during the mid-credits, a news report shows footage of Mysterio pleading to a camera that Spider-Man is coming to kill him and is using a bunch of drones made by Stark Industries. This is mixed with footage of Spider-Man commanding EDITH (the current version of JARVIS) to “execute” the drones. Seeing Spidey on video yelling, “Yes, execute them all!” sure does not work well in his favor.
It’s there that we see the biggest loose end that Spidey never got around to wrapping up: people never stopped thinking Mysterio was a hero and only a very select few know the truth. Now Spider-Man is considered a psychopath. He always had a public relations problem.
Much like Batman in The Dark Knight, Spider-Man ends his sophomore movie by being wanted for the murder of a secretly psychotic “hero” and is now going to end up public enemy #1.
JK Simmons is J. Jonah Jameson
The news story is broken by The Daily Bugle, in this world an online news vlog similar to the kind of reactionary nonsense peddled by sites like InfoWars. It’s also very similar to how J. Jonah Jameson has been using the internet to promote his views in both the recent comics and in the PlayStation 4 Spider-Man game. We get our first look at Jameson in the MCU and – holy crap – it’s JK Simmons reprising his role!
Simmons played the part of Jameson in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy and is considered by many to be the best piece of casting in all of them. He owns every scene he’s in and helps make all three films worth watching due to his confident, long-winded, motor mouth persona.
It’s been said that when the X-Men are eventually and inevitably integrated into the MCU, the only casting that will remain the same is Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool. After all, Ryan Reynolds is Deadpool in the mind of the public, and you don’t recast that unless you absolutely have to. You can even consider bringing back Simmons to play Jameson here as setting the precedent for Reynolds’ return as Wade Wilson. I don’t care if it’s been nearly 20 years since his first crack at the character. Don’t mess with perfection, buddy.
Everyone Knows Peter Parker is Spider-Man
Throwing gasoline onto the fire, the news report continues with more footage of Mysterio’s desperate video rant. He tells the world that Spider-Man’s real name is Peter Parker and Peter’s picture is broadcast on screens all over the world. The last thing we see is Spider-Man clutching his own head in horror and rightfully so.
Outside of Daredevil on Netflix, Spider-Man has been the only MCU hero to really go all-in on the double identity gimmick. It’s something that Tony Stark spit in the face of at the end of the very first Iron Man movie and now his protégé is getting the same treatment in a very, very different way. “I am Iron Man,” is a moment of defiance while, “Spider-Man’s real name is Peter Parker,” is that of damnation.
Through various comics, both in and outside of canon, Jameson has discovered the truth about Spider-Man’s identity. A lot of the time, he’s angry at himself for being a failure of a newsman. Sometimes he’s ashamed to discover that all this time, he’s been antagonizing someone that he actually cares about. This time, there’s no need for any of that because he has no personal connection to Peter. Peter has never worked as his photographer and he never will. Jameson only sees him as a menace who needs to be wiped out to avenge the death of Mysterio, the greatest superhero ever.
Actually, this mid-credits scene feels an awful lot like “What If Gwen Stacy Had Lived?,” a story from the first volume of What If? which had Spider-Man rescue Gwen from the Green Goblin, then fail to kill the Goblin later on. Peter is able to help Norman Osborn conquer his demons and get the mental help he so desperately needs. Then, on Peter and Gwen’s wedding day, Jameson busts in with the cops, demanding Peter be arrested.
Turns out that in-between escaping death and that final battle with Spider-Man, Green Goblin sent proof of Spider-Man’s secret identity to various journalists as an insurance policy. Spider-Man ends up a fugitive and Robbie Robertson punches Jameson in the gut for being a gigantic asshole.
So where do we go from here? It’s likely that Spider-Man is going to be on the run. His normal life is over mere hours after conquering his double life.
But the real thing to wonder is this: who will follow-up on this? This is Mysterio’s last laugh, but that’s all it is. The final middle finger from a dead man. You don’t make a new installment out of that. He has his followers, sure, but are they going to create the next threat for Spider-Man?
Oh, man. What if those guys put together the Thunderbolts to bring Spider-Man in? Vulture could absolutely fit the Beetle/MACH role if they do it.
Gavin Jasper writes for Den of Geek and had a failed theory that Mysterio was going to be revealed as Space Stone Loki from Endgame. Ah, well. Read more of his articles here and follow him on Twitter @Gavin4L