What Spider-Man: Far From Home reveals about Phase 4 of the MCU

Marvel Studios’ epic Avengers: Endgame might have felt like the final chapter in a saga, but the latest chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (dubbed “Phase 3”) actually comes to a close with Spider-Man: Far From Home. The sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming hit theaters July 2, and as many fans predicted, it offered quite a few hints about what’s to come for the MCU.

Spider-Man: Far From Home featured Peter Parker (Tom Holland) embarking on a class trip to Europe while coming to terms with the post-Endgame environment — a world sorely missing some of its greatest heroes. Here’s what the film revealed — and in some cases, potentially hinted at — about the Marvel movie-verse.

(It should go without saying that there will be spoilers in the following article, but we’ll say it anyway.)

Officially gone

avengers endgame
Marvel Studios

There was some uncertainty regarding the fates of a few key characters in the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame, but Spider-Man: Far From Home wasted no time in clearing up some of that mystery.

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Early in the film, a school video shown to students at Midtown School of Science and Technology reveals that Tony Stark, Vision, Captain America, and Black Widow are indeed among the heroes believed to be dead in the current MCU. While Tony Stark’s fate was never really in question, there was some uncertainty regarding the other three characters given Captain America’s time-traveling activities and the fact that Black Widow and Vision have a movie and television series, respectively, currently in the works.

Black Widow’s movie was already expected to be a prequel film, but the premise for the WandaVision series now seems that much more intriguing, given that one half of the starring duo is, well… deceased (or as deceased as a synthetic being with alien-enhanced artificial intelligence can be).

No multiverse … yet

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We weren’t alone in getting excited about the potential of a Marvel multiverse, which was hinted at in early previews of Far From Home, and could have led to a cornucopia of crossovers and alternate versions of Marvel heroes and villains (and possibly a Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse connection). Sadly, the notion of a multiverse ended up being a red herring in Far From Home, with Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) tricking both the heroes of the MCU and Marvel movie fans with his alternate-Earth backstory.

While it looks like we’ll have to shelve the idea of an MCU multiverse for now, that doesn’t mean it’s entirely off the table. After all, the fact that it was brought up in Far From Home means that the studio is — at the very least — thinking about it.

A world without Avengers

Despite the presence of quite a few survivors of Thanos’ thwarted conquest, the post-Endgame world appears to have opted not to re-form the Avengers at this point. At various points throughout the film, Far From Home made it abundantly clear that the absence of Tony Stark, Captain America, and Black Widow is a void that no one’s attempted to fill — even months after the MCU’s heroes won their battle against Thanos.

Avengers Infinity War

Rumors that a new Avengers lineup would be teased in some form during Far From Home — most likely in its mid- or post-credits scenes in a nod to the team’s introduction at the end of Iron Man — proved unfounded in the end. That means that the MCU is currently without an official Avengers roster for the first time since 2012’s The Avengers.

This suggests that the first order of business in Marvel’s Phase 4 will likely involve putting together a new team of heroes.

The Skrull in the room

It didn’t introduce a new Avengers team, but the post-credits scene in Spider-Man: Far From Home did offer up a revelation about the MCU that seems small, but could be a big deal.

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During the brief scene, we discover that shape-changing Captain Marvel aliens Talos and his wife, Soren, were tasked with impersonating Nick Fury (Samuel Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) at some point in the past. That means it was the two Skrulls that were fooled by Mysterio, not the two S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. The scene also reveals that Nick Fury is currently somewhere in space aboard what appears to be a Skrull ship.

While the scene might seem fairly straightforward, it raises some big issues relating to the future — and recent past — of the MCU.

captain marvel skrull
Marvel Studios

There’s no indication given as to when the Skrulls replaced Fury and Hill, for example, meaning that they could have been on Earth for any number of years between the events of Captain Marvel and Far From Home. Why is that a big deal? Well, that means that any character in those films and everything set between them — including Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, to name just a few — could have been a Skrull in disguise.

It’s unlikely that Marvel would negate the impact of Tony Stark’s death in Endgame that way, but what about Vision or Black Widow? The possibilities are endless, really, and by establishing that the alien doppelgängers have been on Earth for the last three decades, the franchise has added yet another tool to keep fans from believing anything — even death — is entirely certain in the MCU.

Marvel Studios’ Spider-Man: Far From Home is in theaters now.

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.

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