Warning: There are spoilers ahead if you have not seen “Captain America: Civil War.”
“Captain America: Civil War” is in theaters, and while the film asks fans to side with Captain America or Iron Man it’s clear Disney and Marvel want audiences to be siding with at least one other hero long after the film is done.
We’re not talking about Black Panther (though he’s certainly one of the film’s highlights).
No, upon my second viewing of the film it became overly apparent just how much the movie really wants to make sure you’re invested in Spider-Man. In fact, you can say the entire movie is a giant ad for Hollywood’s third try at the superhero.
Of course, you’ll be talking about him after you see “Civil War.” Tom Holland’s Spidey is an absolute scene-stealer throughout the film, but if you take a closer watch of the film, there’s one word, repeated several times throughout the movie, that seems to have been inserted just for viewers.
Last chance to head back before spoilers.
At the film’s start, we see get a flashback to the Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes in 1991. He’s undergoing experiments where he’s given a series of trigger words and phrases to carry out a posthypnotic suggestion. The words seem pretty trivial until you hear the last few phrases.
Here’s the full list:
Do any of those stand out?
If “Homecoming” sounds familiar to you it’s because that’s the name of Marvel and Sony Pictures’ standalone Spider-Man teamup movie out next summer.
Out of all of the cue words to use, it seemed pretty obvious that Marvel was using “Homecoming” to get the idea of the future Spidey reboot in viewers’ heads. If it occurred once in the film, it would have been a nice wink to Marvel fans, but we didn’t just hear and see the word on screen once.
We saw it three times before Holland even appeared once on screen. The second time the word was uttered Zemo was practicing a handful of the words needed to put Bucky into a trance.
One of the words selected to appear on screen? Homecoming.
Just as Bucky was coerced into doing Zemo’s bidding by the trigger words instilled in his brain, it seemed like Marvel was implanting the word homecoming into viewers’ heads.
If the “homecoming” bit didn’t feel a bit forced by the third time it appeared on screen, there was one last reminder of your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man before leaving the theater. In the second post-credits sequence, Peter Parker is messing with a gadget on his wrist only to unveil a round Spider-Man logo on his bedroom ceiling.
If you’ve been following Marvel news, you’ve seen that logo before. It’s being used in the title for the new Spider-Man film, conveniently inside the word “Homecoming.”
You’ll probably recognize this word long after you leave “Civil War.”
After the second post-credits scene rolls, a message pops up reading, “Spider-Man will return … ”
For a movie centered around Captain America and Iron Man, it seems a bit odd for the movie to end with those words, even if Spidey is in the final post credits sequence. Surely, it would have made sense to say that Captain America would return. I get that Marvel is teasing it’s future standalone Spider-Man movie. It’s clear a lot of fans are already stoked for it from the positive reception he’s been receiving from crowds. I know I am.
Sony Pictures must be over the moon after its last Spider-Man reboot underwhelmed at the box office.
In the end, we don’t even need the subliminal messaging. Holland pulls off the role of a younger webslinger effortlessly. His dynamic with Tony Stark on screen is one of the most delightful interactions in the film.
July 6, 2017, when the rebooted “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is expected to be released, can’t come soon enough.