In 2008, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, Iron Man, kicked off more than a decade of connected superhero movies. However, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man: No Way Home featured characters from two very different Marvel continuities: Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man trilogy and Marc Webb and Andrew Garfield’s incredible films. With the maguire Spider-Man preceding Iron Man by six years, fans joked that 2002’s Spider-Man had become the new first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. however, is there any truth to the jokes?
Fans make a strong argument to consider Tobey Maguire’s ‘Spider-Man’ as first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie
spider-man: into the spider-verse marked a new cinematic property featuring seven different spider-people, each with a unique backstory. fans didn’t need prior knowledge to enjoy the film.
however, spider-man: no way home doesn’t have the same effect. Fans who haven’t seen the Maguire and Garfield Spider-Man movies can still enjoy the movie. however, there are many things they would not understand.
Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock, Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin and more villains talk about their deaths in previous films. the heroes and villains go through character arcs that tie directly into the failures of previous films.
To enjoy Spider-Man: No Way Home, fans must have seen the Raimi trilogy and the amazing Spider-Man movies.
what makes a movie ‘part of’ the mcu?
an important aspect to consider is what makes a movie “part” of the mcu. you can easily argue that technically everything exists in the mcu with the infinite multiverse. however, we want to narrow it down to what could be considered the first movie in the marvel cinematic universe.
According to the Marvel Database, each Marvel property has a place in the larger Marvel Multiverse. this includes movies, TV series, cartoons, and even games. However, no one wants to consider 1996’s Howard the Duck the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
can’t be narrowed down to only titles created by marvel studios, as marvel declared agents of shield and netflix shows daredevil as non-canon.
“If you want to understand everything in future Marvel movies, you’ll probably need a Disney+ subscription,” Kevin Feige told Bloomberg in an interview (via Forbes). “The events of the new shows will be taken into account in upcoming movies, such as doctor strange in the multiverse of madness.”
the main requirement to be part of the mcu is that fans need to see it to understand future marvel movies.
Should 2002’s ‘spider-man’ be considered the first ‘iron man’ movie in the marvel cinematic universe?
while iron man started the mcu itself, it has expanded to include much more. To understand everything about Spider-Man: No Way Home, fans must have seen five Sony Spider-Man movies, plus Tom Hardy’s two Venom movies, plus the rest of the Marvel movies.
with one movie, the mcu grew by seven movies.
And Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man movies are considered by many to have fueled the popularity of the superhero genre.
Without the spider-man movies of the 2000s, the iron man and avengers movies may not exist. While the decision is up to fans, some have begun to regard 2002’s Spider-Man as the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
related: how many post-credits scenes of ‘spider-man: no way home’ are there in the marvel movie?