As they have for a number of their now 22-movie deep Cinematic Universe, Marvel has published a graphic novel prelude to the upcoming film, Spider-Man: Far From Home. It not only recaps the first film in the series, Spider-Man: Homecoming, it also drops in several classic comics from which the film derives characters and potential plot points. With comics written by David Michelinie, Dan Slott, and Stan Lee himself as well as art by Todd McFarlane, Guiseppe Camuncoli, and John Romita, Sr. respectively, the comics cover Peter Parker/Spider-Man in London, a major moment in introducing Mysterio’s motivations, and an intriguing connection to Nick Fury.
The recap of Homecoming by writers Will Corona Pilgrim and Peter David and art by Luca Maresca captures the film well, getting the audience caught up on the Spider-Man portion of the larger story without getting into the events of the last two Avengers films. For anyone needing a quick, two-issue refresher on the film, this comic adaptation does the job admirably.
Stan Lee and John Romita’s addition, Amazing Spider-Man #95, brings Peter Parker and his web-swinging alter ego to London, following “Gwendy” Stacy to the United Kingdom as she mourns the death of her father. Spider-Man foils a terrorist plot involving Big Ben and an American diplomat, but worries about his secret identity being revealed. It is a solid, non-super-villain story that might hint towards Peter’s trouble with MJ in the film and her discovery of his secret revealed in the trailers.
David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane bring us Amazing Spider-Man #311 with the return of Mysterio, longtime villain in Spider-Man’s world. The master of illusion conjures enormous creatures of stone and brick, faking the death of an innocent man to break Parker’s confidence and — hopefully for Mysterio — lead to his eventual downfall. While Mysterio has been straight up portrayed as an ally of Spider-Man in the film’s trailers, I can’t imagine this will be the whole story. Could Hydro Man and Molten Man be illusions? Could the destruction of major London landmarks be all in Spidey’s head?
The final comics of the set, by Dan Slott and Guiseppe Camuncoli, are Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #9-10. These are the ones that I am most intrigued by their inclusion in the Prelude. Scorpio — who is actually Vernon Fury, nephew of S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury — wields the Zodiac Key and hacks a S.H.I.E.L.D. satellite to find a Zodiac Grand Orrery. This model of the solar system, when activated by the key, leads Scorpio to a vision of the future. If the MCU rolls that direction, we are heading in an interesting direction. The more direct connection to what we know about the upcoming film is the connection between Spider-Man and Nick Fury and their work together to try and unhack/save the satellite…from space. Rad.
These comics give us some solid background for the film and some intriguing hints towards what might happen in the film and the future of the MCU. With Far From Home being the end cap to Phase 3 and the launching point for Phase 4, there are a lot of places (and universes) that could be affected by the events that started in these pages.