Unlike Spider-Man: Homecoming, which did a solid job of rethinking characters from the comics in new ways in order to make yet another Peter Parker-centric story feel fresh for the big screen, Far From Home amps things up by cleaving ever-so-slightly closer to the source material. And it does so in ways both big and small.
In the movie, Peter tinkers with gadgets, makes more than his fair share of dorky quips, and finds himself torn between his vigilante responsibilities and his personal life.
He’s one of the world’s most popular Avengers, but he’s also a hormonal teenager who’s just trying to get a little downtime and hang out with his friends, and the conflict between those two aspects of Peter’s identity is a big part of what makes Far From Home feel like much more of a classic Spider-Man story than Homecoming.
But it isn’t until the film’s credits have begun rolling that the most surprising, and deftly-executed, contribution to the life of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Peter Parker pops up. It’s one that’s almost certainly going to change the shape of Marvel’s future films. Spoilers ahead, of course.
After defeating the Elemental threat endangering the world by learning the truth of Mysterio’s origins and his evil plan, Peter ends up more or less right back where we found him at the start of Far From Home.
Peter’s back in New York with his family and friends, and after years of having to keep his Spider-Man persona a secret from basically everyone close to him save for Ned and Aunt May, he can finally be open with MJ about why he’s always sneaking out just before some major Spider-Man related occurrence happens.
MJ learning about Peter’s secret puts the pair of them into interesting territory that’s Endgame), no one’s really thinking about villainous media manipulation.
While the world’s Infinity Snapped-population has returned, Far From Home makes clear that the world’s a different place now. Earth’s citizens are aware of the larger-than-life things going on because they simply can’t deny their existence anymore.
Everyone’s been affected by them in one way or another, and they look to superheroes like Spider-Man and the Avengers to keep them safe. That’s what makes Jameson’s report as compelling as it is devastating, because it pushes you to understand why the public would latch on to the “Spider-Man as a menace” narrative in the MCU.
How the public feels about Spider-Man has been different at various points in time depending on what he’s in the news for, what kind of suit he’s wearing, and what hero team he’s hanging out with, but it’s one of the most interesting things about his larger mythos because of what it represents.
Peter Parker’s always understood that there wouldn’t be a Spider-Man were it not for the friendly neighbours who accepted him as a Queens folk hero before he joined the big leagues, and the bad reputation Jameson’s hellbent on giving him might as well be a character in Spidey’s rogues’ gallery in and of itself.
Far From Home gives Spider-Man that new, yet familiar threat to face in a more than inspired way, and Peter’s going to have one hell of a time trying to disentangle himself from the messy conundrum the next time we see him swinging scrims the silver screen.