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Why Marvel's Hiding Spider-Man's Civil War Debut

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is on the brink of Civil War, which marks the beginning of the third phase of the comic company's ongoing line of superhero films. The third Captain America film is even more notable for being the first Marvel Cinematic Universe appearance of Spider-Man, which is amazing news for fans of the web-slinger. Unfortunately, this particular character has yet to appear in any promotional material for the film, leaving fans confused. The Daily Bugle is out investigating why Marvel has kept Spider-Man's appearance in Captain America: Civil War under wraps.

Sony and Marvel's licensing deal

Marvel might not have the rights to use Spider-Man in any promotional materials for a non-Spider-Man movie. Sony still owns the rights to the Spider-Man film franchise—they're just allowing the character to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe through a licensing deal. Since the movie version of Spider-Man is still a Sony property, it makes sense that Sony might not be cool with their character being used to promote a film that isn't theirs. The reality could be that Marvel can use the character in the film, but just can't advertise his appearance in its promotional material. We're going to need Matthew Murdock to sift through all the red tape.

They don't need him

From Marvel's perspective, they really don't need to use Spider-Man in any promotional material. They've built one of the most successful movie franchises ever, and they've done so without the character so far. If Spider-Man wasn't appearing in Civil War, the film would still be a giant hit. It's the sequel to The Winter Soldier, and it features Iron Man, so it's not like Marvel's struggling to find selling points. Spider-Man being in the movie is like tossing bacon bits on macaroni and cheese—a great addition, but macaroni and cheese is still the main selling point of the dish. Marvel already announced Tom Holland was cast as Spidey, and photos of him on the set (in civilian clothes) have surfaced. Whether or not we'll see the new Spider-Man before the film hits theaters, it'll still do extremely well.

It's not worth the headache

No matter what Spider-Man's Civil War outfit looks like, somebody's going to complain about it. There are people who hate Iron Man's cinematic look, despite the fact it was taken directly out of the comics. Spider-Man's different movie looks have been remarkably faithful to the comic book versions, despite the character having a relatively outlandish costume. If the outfit looks too much like the character's previous incarnations, people will complain. If it's a new take on the ensemble, they'll get the same result. Now, Marvel gets to avoid all the lengthy rants about the quality of the look until after the movie's release, as it's a lot easier to deal with angry fans when the movie already became successful.

It's not a Spider-Man movie

When it was announced that Civil War would feature the first onscreen debut of the MCU Spider-Man, fans freaked out. Theories began popping up everywhere about Peter Parker's role in the story, which side he'd end up on, and how much of the plot would revolve around him. People seem to forget the movie is called Captain America: Civil War, which makes it pretty obvious who the main character is going to be. This is Steve Rogers' story, as it should be. While Spider-Man was involved in major plot points in the comic book the movie's based on, he wasn't a main character in that story. Would they replicate that iconic comic scene of Spider-Man revealing his secret identity to the world? We doubt they'd do that during his MCU debut. Maybe Spider-Man will be like Black Widow in Iron Man 2 and be a supporting character.

His role is probably a spoiler

We have a feeling this is it. There's probably something about his Spidey's appearance that gives away a major plot point. During the Civil War storyline in the comics, Spider-Man actually went through several costume changes. He went from his usual costume to an "Iron Spider" outfit after siding with Tony Stark in the big war. When Peter Parker switched sides halfway through the conflict, he went back to wearing his traditional costume. At the very end of the event, he switched to his black outfit. Many believe the MCU Spider-Man will go through similar costume changes, but who knows what will happen. Revealing the black or Iron Spider outfits would be ginormous spoilers for the movie, and we'd rather be surprised.

Marvel drastically altered everything about him

Marvel's always been so faithful to the comics...right? If the MCU could drastically change Iron Man's lead villain, the Mandarin, what's to stop them from doing the same to Spider-Man? There are all kinds of ways that Spider-Man could be introduced into the MCU (such as a student intern for Tony Stark). We're just going to wait until the war begins.