It's time to talk about that Spider-Man scene in Avengers: Infinity War

This post contains spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War. 

In the lead-up to Avengers: Infinity War, everyone expected to see Spider-Man doing some pretty cool stuff, suiting up as the Iron Spider to take on Thanos and his kids. What we didn't expect was to leave the theater bawling our eyes out.

The conclusion to Marvel Studios' record-setting team-up movie might be the most despairing sequence ever filmed for a summer blockbuster, as the movie ends with half the population being blinked out of existence

Watching Earth's mightiest heroes (and almost all of the Guardians of the Galaxy) being turned to ash and disappearing is a haunting thing to experience, but the most affecting moment of the sequence comes from Tom Holland's Spider-Man, who gets a moment to realize what's going on before he collapses and fades away.

Falling into Tony Stark's arms, Peter pleads for his life, with his final words being an apology to his father figure for not being able to do better. Before Mr. Stark can so much as tell him to knock it off, he's gone. 

The fact that Peter of all people is one of the heroes to be snapped out of existence helps to establish the impact of Thanos' victory. It's one thing to see a grown-up, 100-year-old Winter Soldier meet his end at the hands of Thanos, but Peter's just a kid — a kid who literally ditched school to try and save the world. 

Seeing the teenage Spider-Man fade out is the moment that takes the climax from sad to truly heart-wrenching, making for a final reel that, anecdotally at least, is bringing many moviegoers to tearsTobey Maguire was great in the role and all, but can you really imagine that scene having the same impact if Spider-Man's nearly 30 years old?

It's only after leaving the theater that the implications of the snap begin to sink in. These characters aren't all really done for, right? Well, we'll see about the rest of them — but you can rest assured that Spider-Man at least is here to stay. 

You might not have thought about it in the theater, but a sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming was announced over a year ago, set to begin shooting shortly after the premiere of Infinity WarIt's not misdirection, either. In fact, Marvel Studios might have preferred the Spider-Man sequel to stay secret, but curiously, it's not really their call. 

Owing to rights issues that reach back decades, the film rights to Spider-Man are still owned by Sony Pictures, meaning Marvel couldn't put the character down permanently even if they wanted to. 

After the underperformance of Sony's The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures reached a custody agreement for the young webslinger, with Marvel taking creative control of the character for the purposes of effectively tying him into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

Under this arrangement, even if Marvel wanted Peter truly gone, Sony could bring him back with the snap of a finger.

Interestingly, Spider-Man was one of the 50% to survive Thanos' fateful snap in the comic book version of the story. 

In the first issue of Infinity Gauntlet, the 1991 six-issue series on which the majority of Infinity War is based, Peter is one of the first Avengers to realize something seriously bad is going down with the universal population. Joining up with the rest of the world's remaining heroes and taking the fight to outer space, he stays in the game against Thanos for almost the entire battle. 

So why did Infinity War make such a big change, and take out Spider-Man with Thanos' snap? Well, as strong as Spider-Man is, he's not essential in winning the battle. In the comics, the endgame of the fight takes place after the clock gets turned back 24 hours, landing Spider-Man back in New York City with a revived Mary Jane.

Afterwards, the final fight is led by Marvel's most mystical members and its heaviest hitters, with Dr. Strange, Adam Warlock, the Silver Surfer, Thor, Drax, Hulk, and Thanos' brother Starfox teaming up with an epic alliance of Marvel's cosmic entities to finish off the fight.

As cool as Spider-Man is, there's not much he can do in a battle of gods — and erasing him from existence is much more impactful than doing the Tony Stark move of benching him in the fourth quarter.

So dry your tears, true believers. Avengers: Infinity War may be one of the most audacious summer movies in recent memory, but nobody's crazy enough to really rub out Spider-Man.

The next movie in the MCU, Ant-Man and the Wasp, will be out in theaters on July 6. Check out the super-fun trailer for the smaller-scale team-up now.