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5 things casual Marvel fans need to know before ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’

Want to watch ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ but not all the other Marvel movies that tie into it? We got you covered. And we promise, no spoilers!

5 things casual Marvel fans need to know before ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’
[Photo: JoJo Whilden/Sony Pictures]

Spider-Man: Far From Home marks the second installment in the thrice-rebooted Spider-Man franchise. For Spider-Man’s previous iterations starring Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, the character was licensed out by Marvel to Sony Pictures. But after former Sony head Amy Pascal struck a deal with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige in 2015, Tom Holland officially brought the webslinger into the Marvel Cinematic Universe during Captain America: Civil War. Holland’s Spider-Man has since been in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, as well as his debut stand-alone film Spider-Man: Homecoming and now its sequel.

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Spider-Man: Far From Home finds Peter Parker adjusting to life without his mentor Tony Stark. On top of that, the question of who’s going to be the next Iron Man is putting too much pressure on him. A class trip around Europe is just the vacation he was hoping for, but a new threat of monsters made up of the four elements quickly squashes Parker’s plans of relaxing and getting some alone time with MJ (Zendaya).

Here are five things you need to know going into Far From Home.:

What is “The Blip”?

After Thanos gathered all the Infinity Stones in Infinity War and completed his mission of snapping away half of the universe (including Spider-Man), the Avengers devised a time-traveling scheme in Endgame to undo the damage. They were successful in collecting all the stones, and the Hulk is chosen to snap everyone back into existence (he’s the only one who could survive the energy and radiation emitted from the gauntlet). However, the Thanos of the past learns of the plan and unleashes his army against the Avengers to reclaim the stones once more.

During the climatic battle scene, Iron Man gets the upper hand against Thanos and uses the gauntlet and stones to destroy Thanos and his crew, killing himself in the process (he’s no Hulk, after all). On Earth, that five-year disappearance of a significant chunk of the population is referred to as “The Blip.” Those who were blipped away remained at their current age when they came back (e.g., Parker, Aunt May, MJ, etc.) while everyone else aged.

Jake Gyllenhaal (left) and Tom Holland (right) in Spider-Man: Far From Home. [Photos: Jay Maidment/Sony Pictures]

The history of Peter and Tony’s relationship

The mentor/mentee relationship with Parker and Stark started in Civil War. The government imposing regulations on the Avengers caused a rift in the team, with Captain America refusing to sign what’s known as the Sokovia Accords, while Stark, rife with guilt at the destruction they’ve done in the name of justice, is more than eager to sign. Once it’s clear that neither of them are changing their minds, they both start assembling their own teams—and Stark recruits Parker. The action in Civil War takes place a couple of months after Parker assumed his powers and started fighting crime in his neighborhood as Spider-Man. A YouTube video of him apprehending criminals is what caught Stark’s eye. Under the guise of winning a grant through his company, Stark whisks Parker off to Germany to help him apprehend Captain America, who’s gone rogue.

Tony and Peter’s relationship develops further in Homecoming. Tony takes Peter under his wing, giving him a new suit and urging him to take things slow and hone his skills a bit more. Peter gets impatient and tries to take on the film’s main villain, Vulture/Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton), on his own. Parker fumbles the mission, endangering innocent lives in the process and causing Stark to revoke his suit and his mentorship altogether. In the end, Parker winds up defeating Vulture and regaining Stark’s trust, as well as an official spot on the Avengers roster.

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In Infinity War, Stark and Parker are together again—this time on an alien spaceship with the goal of stopping Thanos from collecting all the stones. The whole team fails, and Peter is among those who get snapped away, eventually returning in Endgame only to lose Stark after he sacrificed himself to stop Thanos once and for all.

Who is Mysterio?

Mysterio is one of Spider-Man’s oldest nemeses, debuting in 1963’s The Amazing Spider-Man #13. In the comic book version, Quentin Beck is a special-effects genius who has dreams of being an actor. Once that dream is deferred, he turns to a life of crime, using his talents for illusions and magic to wreak havoc on Spider-Man. In Far From Home, however, Beck’s (Jake Gyllenhaal) backstory differs slightly. Without giving anything away, revisit the scene in Civil War where Stark is talking about his new technology B.A.R.F.

Peter and the “new” MJ

As iconic as Peter and Mary Jane Watson’s relationship has been in the comic books and in the original film trilogy, Far From Home is actually the first movie where there’s any hint of romance between Parker and the “new” MJ played by Zendaya. In Homecoming, Parker has a crush on his classmate Liz (Laura Harrier), and it’s not even revealed that MJ is MJ until the very end of the movie (she goes by just her first name, Michelle and her last name is Jones). Liz and her mom have to move when her dad is revealed to be Vulture and is sent to prison, paving the way for Parker and MJ’s budding fling. However, Marvel Studios’ Feige has said that this MCU MJ is supposed to be a brand-new character entirely.

“Well, we never even looked at it as a big reveal necessarily but more of just a fun homage to his past adventures and his past love. She’s not Mary Jane Watson. She never was Mary Jane Watson. She was always this new high school character, Michelle, who we know there’s an ‘M’ in Michelle and an ‘M’ in Mary,” Feige said in an interview with IGN. “So we’re so clever and we thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be neat if her initials were MJ?'”

Who is Talos?

Talos is a general among the shapeshifting alien race Skrull who made his first appearance in the MCU in Captain Marvel. Talos and his clan are initially seen as the villains, but in actuality they’re just refugees in search of a new home, which Captain Marvel helps them find.

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About the author

KC covers entertainment and pop culture for Fast Company. Previously, KC was part of the Emmy Award-winning team at "Good Morning America," where he was the social media producer.

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