Spider-Man Homecoming and Marvel Cinematic Universe Comics
The story of Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is a long tale of Spider-Man stuck between the character's movie rights being owned by Sony, and all other copyrights owned by Marvel (eventually under Disney). While at the time having Sony doing a Spider-Man movie in the early 2000's was a fantastic thing, 15 years later fans didn't know that a long series of circumstances and buying and selling would lead to those initial Sony movies being a huge problem for Spider-Man to share the silver screen with other Marvel Universe characters. To fans this became a huge issue, to regular movie goers, all the talk of rights and who belongs in what movie universe is just boring talk. Fans are well aware of the back and forth, Sony allowing Spider-Man to appear in Captain America Civil War so that Marvel Studios would then work with Sony to release their own MCU based Spider-Man movie that Sony would reap most of the money from. That movie was Spider-Man: Homecoming, the first in the series of MCU Spider-Man Sony movies.
Now the Marvel Cinematic Universe has a short list of tie-ins for over 20 movies having been released. Comic book tie-ins, despite Marvel Comics being (at least on the surface) a part of the giant Marvel machine, which also includes Marvel Studios, are rare. Marvel does usually just one tie-in comic per movie, though not always even that, and those tie-ins are often just movie adaptations. A few "original stories" were done at the beginning of Marvel Cinematic Universe, such as Marvel's The Avengers: Black Widow Strikes, but by 2013 Marvel's official stance was that comic tie-in's were not to introduce new material as it was important to "keep all possibilities open for potential film and television development." (The quote comes from an Newsarama article from 2013 in which Fred Van Lente was interviewed as he spoke about his proposal of doing a comic set in the MCU, which was turned down. The article has been lost to time, and GamesRadar, but broken links can be found on Wikipeida). So since 2013 Marvel Comics has not produced much in terms of original content for the MCU, except Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier Infinite Comic, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Infinite Comic – Dangerous Prey, Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron Prelude – This Scepter'd Isle, Marvel's Ant-Man – Scott Lang: Small Time, Marvel's Jessica Jones, Marvel's Captain America: Civil War Prelude Infinite Comic, and Marvel's Doctor Strange Prelude Infinite Comic – The Zealot. All of these comics, except Marvel's Jessica Jones, were part of Infinite Comic line (and the Jessica Jones comic's place in MCU continuity is probably very muddled anymore). Marvel has done a series of MCU inspired comics, which can fit in the MCU continuity, but are not recognized as being "official" tie-ins such as Captain America: Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy: Galaxy's Most Wanted, and Ant-Man: Larger Than Life. Of these "inspired" tales there are about fourteen, but Marvel Comics is not in the business of stepping on the MCU continuity's toes. Sony though, when it came time to do Spider-Man: Homecoming, didn't seem to care as much.
Obscure Comics: Spider-Man: Homecoming: School of Shock
When it comes to comic tie-ins Sony loves doing them for Spider-Man, be it the comic book adaptations for Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, The Amazing Spider-Man, or the tie-in comics for Spider-Man 3, Sony likes a good tie-in. So it is no surprise that when Sony teamed up with Marvel they set out to do Spider-Man: Homecoming tie-in comics.
The first one to talk about is Spider-Man: Homecoming: School of Shock produced for and released with the Target Special Edition of their Blu-Ray/DVD release, which came with the brand new comic and a bonus exclusive DVD. The comic picks up shortly after the events of the movie as Peter Parker is in Chemistry class hoping his mental prowess and detailed notes will impress his reluctant lab partner Amy. However, class is interrupted by Herman Schultz, who has resumed his life of crime as the Shocker. Now armed with two gauntlets, instead of just one, he is fleeing the police after having robbed a bank. Skipping out of Chemistry class Peter changes into Spider-Man to give chase and confront the Shocker once again.
It is a quick tale, but one that gives us something rarely seen in the MCU, a return appearance by a villain, as Spider-Man confronts the Shocker again in middle of New York. The comic also includes a great homage to the Shocker's first appearance back in the Amazing Spider-Man #46, with a cover based on the original. Written by Brian Smith and drawn by J.L. Giles it is a fun little story, not essential to track down, but an obscure part of the MCU.
Somewhat Pricy, and Never Re-Printed
The most recently published Obscure Comic looked at so far, it is also one of the more expensive to come across as copies are hard to find sold without the Target Collector's Edition, which is out of print. Some used copies of the Collector's Edition can be found for as low as $18 on eBay, but most often the set goes for at least $25, and most selling the comic solo want that too. Not worth $25 for 10 pages that are digest comic sized, but it has never been reprinted so that is the only way to read it.
Next time we'll talk about the other obscure Spider-Man: Homecoming comic.
This post is part of a multi-part series: Obscure Comics.
- Obscure Comics: The Forgotten Blade Trinity Comic and Manga
- Obscure Comics: Stan Lee, Xavier, Magneto, & X-Men: The Last Stand
- Obscure Comics: Spider-Man 3 The Black With Bendis & Bagley
- Obscure Comics: Spider-Man, Buscema, Doc Ock, & Bubble Gum
- Obscure Comics: He-Man & The MOTU Episode 40, "Captured"
- Obscure Comics: Elektra On The Rise with Palmiotti, Gray & Leonardi
- Obscure Comics: Building Turtles, TMNT Mega Bloks Mutant Mayhem
- Obscure Comics: Street Fighter Hyper Looting Crate
- Obscure Comics: Spider-Man: Homecoming Part 1, School Of Shock!