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Why isn't Spider-Man in Marvel's Avengers?

In the world of Marvel properties, you can't get any bigger than Spider-Man and the Avengers. 2002's Spider-Man helped kicked off the superhero movie boom. Then, the first Avengers film proved studios could cram the protagonists of multiple films into one blockbuster project to create a massive cinematic universe. Well, technically Godzilla did that first — many people forget monsters like Rodan and Mothra had their own movies before they fought Godzilla — but The Avengers showed that a cinematic universe could have widespread appeal. This popularity explains the hype surrounding Marvel's Spider-Man and the upcoming Marvel's Avengers game. However, one has to ask: why isn't Spider-Man in Marvel's Avengers?

Spidey has previously teamed up with Earth's Mightiest Heroes. The latest iteration of the cinematic wall crawler played a big role in the recent slew of Avengers movies, and Tony Stark returned the favor in Spider-Man's movie. Almost everyone who played Marvel's Spider-Man on the PS4 noticed the giant Avengers tower in the heart of New York City, and don't forget Spidey's important place in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3. So, why isn't he working with the Avengers in their upcoming game? Here's everything we know about this conundrum.

The Marvel multiverse is partially to blame

The world of comic books can be a confusing place, especially when previous backstories and powers don't gel with current iterations. To account for this, writers created the concept of the comic book multiverse. The Marvel Multiverse, for instance, explains how the main Marvel universe can exist alongside the cinematic movie universe, the Ultimate Marvel universe, and the Hostess Snack Cakes universe. This rule also applies to Marvel's Spider-Man and Marvel's Avengers, and explains why they will never cross paths.

During an interview with LADbible, Crystal Dynamics head of studio Scot Amos stated in crystal clear terms that Marvel's Spider-Man and Marvel's Avengers take place in "separate worlds, separate universes." While the Avengers exist in Spider-Man and Spidey likewise lives in Avengers, the characters are not the versions you know from their standalone games.

Eagle-eyed gamers might have used their Easter egg-sense to locate a The Daily Bugle reporter in the June 24, 2020 Avengers gameplay clip, but that might be the closest you get to seeing Spider-Man in the game.

Spider-Man could show up as a Marvel's Avengers DLC character

By this point, it's common knowledge that Marvel's Avengers will include DLC characters, but so far Crystal Dynamics hasn't said who it's considering. It seems like everyone excited for the game has made a "Top 10 DLC Characters" list, and the number of potential candidates is longer than Galactus is tall. Black Panther, Vision, Hawkeye, and yes, even Spider-Man are all possible.

While it remains unclear who is or isn't being considered by Crystal Dynamics, the developer has established that the characters won't be reskins. Amos revealed that every DLC character will have their own storylines and skills that will make them play differently from the game's core cast. This doesn't necessarily rule out any characters, but it implies that superheroes with unique powers that aren't comparable to those of other Avengers might make the cut.

With any luck Spider-Man will just be fashionably late to the Avengers party.