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Characters In Spider-Man: Far From Home With More Meaning Than You Realized

Spider-Man: Far From Home is a trip. It's a literal trip, in the sense that it follows Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and his classmates on a school-sponsored and disaster-prone tour of Europe's top destinations, but it's also a head trip. As Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) says at one point in the movie, "Things aren't always as they seem."

That's true not only of the events of Far From Home, but also of a number of the characters who pop up to take part in the action. Some characters play outsized roles you may not have expected them to, while others have comic-book histories that inform their personalities and actions. Some aren't who they appear to be at all, and still others are a total surprise. And a couple don't actually appear in the movie, but their presences hang over everything that happens.

Here are some characters from Spider-Man: Far From Home with more meaning than you realized. Be warned: Spoilers are undoubtedly coming. That's no illusion.

Betty Brant

Betty Brant (Angourie Rice) is a pretty key character in Far From Home, appearing first in the Midtown High School news show, then cozying up to Ned (Jacob Batalon) on the flight to Europe, dating him for the duration of the trip. Her role is largely comic relief, with her sudden hyper-close relationship with Ned undercutting the tension in a lot of moments. It's also her curiosity that leads Ned to invent "Night Monkey," the great character find of 2019.

What you might not know is that Betty has as long a history in comics as just about any Spider-Man supporting character, first appearing all the way back in Amazing Spider-Man #4 in 1963. She never went to school with Peter in the comics; instead, she and Peter met as employees of the tabloid newspaper the Daily Bugle, where she was Publisher J. Jonah Jameson's secretary (a role she also filled as played by Elizabeth Banks in the Sam Raimi-directed Spider-Man films). She and Peter even briefly dated. Here's the kicker: after dating Peter, she dated, then married Ned Leeds, the comics version of whom doesn't share too many similarities with the movie incarnation. Quick rundown: he was a Daily Bugle reporter who was brainwashed into becoming a second version of the supervillain the Hobgoblin. Comics Ned died, and now Betty is an investigative reporter herself.

Tony Stark

Tony Stark is dead. Long live Tony Stark. Though Robert Downey Jr. doesn't have any scenes in Far From Home, his character hovers over everything like the Mark V armor. Obviously, there's his influence on Peter, from the continued presence of Happy Hogan to his Avengers connections to Peter being entrusted with "EDITH," the augmented reality system powered by Tony's glasses, whose initials stand for "Even Dead, I'm the Hero."

But then there's also his connection to Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal). The big reveal that Mysterio is a fraud and criminal is no surprise to comics fans, but the detail that he once worked for Stark Industries, creating the hologramatic "therapy" tool we saw Tony use in Captain America: Civil War, is something totally new. It immediately ties Mysterio into the MCU in a compelling way, and gives him something in common with the villain of Homecoming, the Vulture (Michael Keaton). It's ironic that Tony yelled at Peter for making messes in Homecoming, but Peter's had to clean up Tony's messes twice now.

And Iron Man does technically appear at one point, rising out of Tony's grave to attack Peter in one of Mysterio's illusions. Based on the character design, it's a moment that is a clear nod to fans of the Marvel Zombies comic series.


We've never seen Peter's Uncle Ben in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He's barely even been mentioned. That's probably because the story of Ben's violent death at the hands of a nameless crook teaching Peter the tough lesson that with great power comes great responsibility has already been told twice on film, in 2002's Spider-Man and again in 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man. Plus, in many ways, Tony Stark has fulfilled the role of Peter's father figure in the MCU.

But Benjamin Franklin Parker is there, in the background, in Peter's innate humility and his deep-down need to help the little guy. Peter carries his uncle's lessons with him. He also carries his suitcase. As Peter is packing up to head off to Venice, there's a quick shot of a set of initials on the suitcase Peter is taking with him: "BFP." It's the most overt reference to Uncle Ben in an MCU movie yet. As May observes at the end of the movie, Peter's bags got blown up on the trip, but Uncle Ben's still with him.

J. Jonah Jameson

We warned you about spoilers, didn't we? The biggest one of all, arguably, is that not only does blustery newsman and Daily Bugle Publisher J. Jonah Jameson appear in Far From Home's mid-credits scene after Spider-Man gets framed for Mysterio's crimes, he is also played by the actor who played him in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy, J.K. Simmons (it's also not a spoiler if you checked IMDb, which sadly gives it away).

He looks a little different than he did in the Raimi movies; Simmons' naturally bald head has replaced the comics-accurate flat top he sported in the earlier films. But he's perfectly Jonah in every other way, stoking public sentiment against Spider-Man and painting the superhero as a threat. Or possibly a menace. Jameson's appearance and the news report that accompanies it sets a whole new status quo for the MCU Spider-Man going forward, in which he'll surely be regarded with a lot more contempt from the public. Can the Anti-Spider Squad be far behind?

Nick Fury and Maria Hill

Once Mysterio's plan involving the holograms and drones is revealed, the audience is left to wonder when the Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) they've been seeing have been the real ones, and when they've been fakes generated by Mysterio's tech. But then comes another twist.

Certainly it's worth parsing the movie to see when the two former S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives are holograms and when they're not, but even the "real" Fury and Hill aren't who they seem to be. In the post-credits scene, it's revealed that they've been Talos and Soren, the husband-and-wife Skrull leaders from Captain Marvel, the entire time. Fury has asked them to take his and Hill's place for a bit while they relax on vacation in space. That is, until everything goes haywire with Mysterio and Talos has to call Fury to come back.

Knowing that recontextualizes every scene with Fury and Hill, and invites a second viewing. Also, Soren's a pretty great shot with a sniper rifle, huh?

The Elementals

Though Mysterio builds them up as hyper-powerful mythological beings, we soon discover that the Elementals are little more than a trick of the light. They're realistic projections emanating from the holographic technology Quentin Beck created as a Stark Industries employee, and the damage they do comes from the drones built by fellow ex-employee William. But, as Mysterio observes, people believe they're real in a post-snap world, because they'll believe anything.

They're really close to being believable for the comics fans in the movie audience, too, because three of them closely resemble Spider-Man villains who originally appeared in the comic-book source material: Sandman, Hydro-Man, and Molten Man. At one point, Flash Thompson (Tony Revolori) even reads a Wikipedia entry for Morris Bench, the comics alter-ego of Hydro-Man, reciting a creation story that pretty closely resembles Hydro-Man's comics origin. It clearly seems like a fake-out directed at all the Hydro-maniacs sitting in the theater.

A couple classmates

Brad Davis (Remy Hii), who didn't get snapped and therefore had five extra years to grow up and get handsome without any of the people who did get snapped noticing, serves the role of Peter's romantic rival. Peter's so desperate to beat him out for MJ's affections that he almost kills him with a drone. It all works out. Don't worry.

There was a version of Brad who appeared in exactly one comic issue: 1979's Amazing Spider-Man #188, in which Mary Jane Watson goes on a couple dates with him while on a break from dating Peter. He's an Empire State University football star and kind of a jerk, but he doesn't take any pictures of anyone with their pants down like the movie version does.

Also worth noting is Jason Ionello (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.), who appears as Betty Brant's co-anchor on the Midtown High news show. He was a recurring character in the comic series Untold Tales of Spider-Man, where he ran with Flash Thompson and a group of other popular teens, often picking on poor nerdy Peter Parker.


Dimitri (Numan Acar) appears to be Quentin Beck's right-hand man through much of the first half of the movie, staying mostly silent while ferrying Peter back to his Venice hotel and driving the bus that took the Midtown High students to Prague. But there's got to be more to him than just being some vaguely threatening Uber driver, right?

We never quite figure out what his deal is in Far From Home. After the big reveal that Mysterio has a whole cabal of former and embittered Stark Industries employees working with him on his devious plan, Dimitri sort of just disappears from the movie. Pre-release rumors pegged the character as Dimitri Smerdyakov, also known as the Chameleon, one of Spider-Man's oldest villains. And who knows? Maybe he still could be. Someone had to hand that doctored video of Spider-Man and Mysterio over to the Daily Bugle, after all. And, like the Skrulls, the Chameleon can change his appearance to look like anyone. He could be hiding in plain sight.