Marvel has finally confirmed a fan theory about Spider-Man's backstory during the latest episode of What if...?, which is currently streaming weekly on Disney Plus.
During the latest episode (episode five), Earth is ravaged by a disease which turns people into zombies; Captain America, Iron Man, Happy Hogan (Tony Stark's right-hand-man) and Dr Strange are all affected.
Spider-Man (played by Tom Holland in the MCU) makes an appearance in this episode and reveals a small, but crucial, piece of information which aligns his backstory in the MCU with the original comic book series.
In the comics, the murder of Peter's Uncle Ben by a petty thief is what inspired him to be Spider-Man. Up until now, there has been no mention of Uncle Ben in the MCU Spider-Man movies, leaving fans to assume that he was killed off-screen or just didn't exist in the MCU altogether. That is until now, because Peter Parker and Marvel have now officially acknowledged the existence of Uncle Ben in this What if...? episode.
After losing Happy Hogan, the ironic name given to Stark's cranky head of security, who also looks out for Peter, Peter is asked how he remains optimistic with so much loss in his life. He responded with: "Practice, I guess... My mum, dad, Uncle Ben, Mr Stark... I've lost a lot. But my Aunt May says 'If we don't keep smiling when they can't, then we might as well be gone too.'"
In the MCU Spider-Man films to date, all we really know of Peter Parker's past is that he's been raised by Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), with no mention of Uncle Ben or Peter's parents.
Uncle Ben's death has played a crucial part in almost all other adaptations of Spider-Man, so the official confirmation about Uncle Ben's impact on Peter's life in the MCU is welcomed by fans.
Tom Holland made his debut in the MCU as Spider-Man in 2016, with a small but foundation-laying role in Captain America. These are the MCU films Spider-Man has appeared in, in order of release date:
Spider-Man's next appearance in the MCU comes this December, with the release of No Way Home in cinemas.
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