Once upon a time, the masses were confused about which studio owned what comic book property. The past 2 years cleared most of that confusion up. Fox own X-Men and Fantastic Four, Warner Brothers owns all DC, Marvel/Disney own the Marvel characters you care about, sans Spider-Man, which is used in conjunction with Sony who has the rest of the Spider-Man characters. Up until a few months ago, it seemed like Sony and Marvel were on good terms to where Spider-Man and his amazing friends came home to Marvel, but it seems like only Spidey is staying here. This is a problem in the long run, both for the sake of the fans, and for establishing a cohesive universe.
I don’t know how many times, in the past, I’ve had to explain what studio owns what superhero, but until Nick Fury was introduced in Iron Man, it really didn’t matter (I understand Franklin Richards was hinted at in X2), but once the prospect of crossovers came up, everybody wanted to see their favorite superheroes share the screen. Yes, the Avengers was a thoroughly satisfying cinematic experience, but the masses truly wondered “where is Spider-Man?” After 2 terrible films starring the co creator of Facebook, it finally sunk in that Spidey was stuck with the fantastic people at Sony, the studio which brought you such hits as: Pixels, Ghostbusters (2016), the Emoji Movie, the Smurfs, and Resident Evil. To be fair, there was an attempt made at Spider-Man showing up in the Avengers, but that fell through, fortunately for us.
When Spider-Man came home (no pun intended) it was like your best friend moved next door to you again, but somethings are just too good to be true. Amy Pascal, who is essentially the ambassador between Sony and Marvel has recently came out and said that the non Peter Parker people exist in a separate universe and it was bedlam on the internet. The questions were rapid fire, and the people were panicking. The main problem seemed to be that people finally got the relationship, they knew who belonged to which studio, and then Amy upset the apple cart. I’m not here to insult the masses, but people like the comfort of knowing where things belong. The unknown is scary, as Fry and Lurr explained in the Jenny McNeal episode of Futurama. Sony was finally getting the respect of the fans for stepping in the right direction, but some people need 2 bombs dropped to learn their lesson.
The reason I brought up the other Sony films that I did earlier was to emphasize what Sony has created by themselves. Sony Pictures Classics has put out many movies that I adore and I still am a big fan of Sam Raimi Spider-Man (yes, even 3), but lately they have been struggling to get a hit on their own, financially and critically. Marvel and Sony together is a perfect pair: their characters get to meet Iron Man and Star Lord, Marvel handles all the production decisions and Sony no longer has the burden to “make it right”. Now with the announcement of the Venom movie, starring, fan favorite, Tom Hardy, in the titular role, and a Black Cat/Silver Sable film in a universe that may or may not be in the Spider-Man universe, Sony has painted themselves back into the corner that got them to partner with Marvel in the first place. Should they decide to Bogart these characters, they will go the way of Punisher and Ghost Rider. To say Shane as the Punisher isn’t one of my favorite things to come under the Marvel umbrella would be a gosh darned lie, but I would have rather just had a good Ghost Rider, Punisher, or, perhaps even, Venom on the first try.
The home base is very simple now and this is a fine line that Sony is walking. People know who goes where, and they have a good idea on when/where to expect what. Spider-Man was called Homecoming predominantly because he is the most recognizable face in the entire Marvel stable, and this is where he belongs. Sony is a private company, and I really have no business telling a multi-billion dollar company what is in it’s best interest, but as a fan, I know what works for me, people around me, and what they/I want. At this point Sony needs to take a point from the first chapter of the Lost handbook, “live together or die alone” and accept that Marvel is their bread and butter. The real saying that applies to Sony and Spider-Man is, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” but it was broke and Sony needs to recognize that Marvel fixed it.