How Did Spidey Get Pulled Into Marvel’s Civil War?

It has been a few days since the new Captain America: Civil War trailer dropped. While most casual Marvel movie goers may just be happy to see the wall crawler in the same feature as the starting line up of Avengers, if you’re like me ( and hopefully other Marvel comic readers) you may want a refresher on how the web head got pulled into a scuffle that pits Cap against Iron Man.

The road to the Civil War in the 616 universe is long, and sometimes (maybe most times) confusing. In the comic universe the Civil War is a culmination of several arcs that all converge.

Where is Spidey during all of this? The Parker family (Peter, M.J and Aunt May) have been living in Stark/Avengers tower since their home was destroyed. At this time, Peter discovers he is dying of some incurable disease and is trying to live out his last days with his family. In his last few days, Morlun (the same Morlun who’s family is central to the Spider-verse stories) confronts and publicly beats spidey to a pulp. When Morlun comes to the hospital where  to finish the job, Peter turns into a demon spider thing and kills Morlun and then dies himself.

After being brought back to life (comics) by a mythical, totemic life force that flows through all heroes that draw power from animals (comics….). Things seem to go back to normal, with Peter feeling devoted to Tony for taking care of M.J and his aunt in his absence. In hopes of protecting Spidey in the future, Tony builds the Iron Spider suit (very cool but only used for a few issues (Amazing Spider-Man 529-536). Indebted to Stark for all he has done, Peter continues to live in Stark Tower and takes to calling Tony ‘boss’.

How does that play into civil war?

In the days after spidey’s resurrection, of a group of teenage superheroes leads to the deaths of hundreds in a town called Stamford, Connecticut. Reacting to a rise in anti-superhero sentiment, the American government puts forward the Super-Hero Registration Act. Futurists like Tony Stark, Reed Richards and Hank Pym support the act while the more conservative (small c conservative) players in the realm of super-heroes disagree, arguing the government plans to use the law to turn metahumans (people with powers) into government employees. As Peter feels personally indebted to Stark, he becomes a poster boy for the registration act, going so far as to unmask on national television, but as the Civil War rages on, he begins to question what it is they are fighting for.

What does that mean for the Spidey we saw in the new trailer? Maybe the cinematic Peter feels some obligation to Stark? Maybe Spidey really does agree with the registration act? It seems to early to speculate at this point, but as we move closer to the release of Captain America: Civil War, we may be given more clues as to Spidey’s motives.

Michael Sparrow for