Where the MCU Stands Before ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’

After Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame broke a multitude of hearts and box office records this May, the MCU as we know it was left in disarray. The deaths, finger snaps, and time travel shenanigans audiences saw during the last outing of the original Avengers team will likely have lasting consequences for future films, starting with this summer’s Spider-Man: Far From Home.

So, before that movie releases on July 2, read this much-needed refresher on where all your favorite superheroes stand post-Endgame.

The Time Jump

Spider-Man Far From Home GIF by Spider-Man

At the beginning of Endgame, it is shown that five years passed between Thanos’s decimating snap in 2018 and the remaining Avengers’ “time heist.” This means that their final battle with Thanos takes place in 2023, and since it’s been stated by producer Amy Pascal that Far From Home takes place minutes after Endgame, it’s safe to assume that Peter Parker’s next adventure takes place in 2023 as well.

Who’s Still Alive, and Who’s Retired

Spider-Man Far From Home GIF by Spider-Man

In the fight against Thanos, Tony Stark and Natasha Romanoff proved themselves to be true heroes, with Natasha sacrificing herself for the Soul Stone and Tony donning the gauntlet to snap away Thanos and his army. As we saw in Far From Home’s second trailer, Peter will begin this film mourning his father figure’s death (and probably making us all sob ugly tears in the process).

As for the other four original Avengers, they seem to be retired from saving Earth (at least for now). Bruce Banner remains in his peaceful “Professor Hulk” form, most likely living a normal life and focusing on his scientific work. Clint Barton (Hawkeye) lives on his farm with his family. Thor is off gallivanting with the Guardians of the Galaxy. And Steve Rogers, the original Captain America, is an old man after traveling back in time to live out his days with his true love, Peggy Carter.

The newer Avengers are scattered as well. Sam Wilson, anointed as the new Captain America by Steve, will likely begin navigating this new identity in the upcoming Disney + series Falcon and Winter Soldier. Scott Lang (Ant-Man) is shown reunited with Hope and his daughter at the end of Endgame, but the future of the Ant-Man film franchise is still up in the air. T’Challa has returned to rule Wakanda. Doctor Strange is still in charge of the New York Sanctum Santorum, and has a sequel forthcoming. According to Nick Fury and Maria Hill in the Far From Home trailer, Captain Marvel is spending her time dealing with bigger and better things in space (as usual).

It seems that Spider-Man is  the only Avenger remaining and arguably the best candidate to be the “new Iron Man” that the world needs. Naturally, this is cause enough for Nick Fury to interrupt his school trip and recruit him to save the world. Will poor Peter Parker ever catch a break?!

Multiverses and Mysterio

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Nick Fury states in Far From Home’s trailer that Thanos’s snap “tore open our dimension,” opening up the multiverse. This means that there are countless alternate universes other than the current MCU, a concept that Endgame touched upon when the Ancient One explained how the removal of Infinity Stones from the main timeline would bring about branched, parallel realities.

Mysterio claims to be from one of these alternate Earths, but savvy comic book fans will remember his reputation for deception. If Mysterio is to be believed and the multiverse exists, then it would be possible for the MCU to bring back dead or retired characters from parallel realities, or to orchestrate crossover events between the alternate Earths. We’ll have to wait until Far From Home releases to find the true status of the multiverse, and to figure out whether we can trust Jake Gylenhaal’s unfairly hot Mysterio.

Peter’s Family and Friends

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During the five year gap between Thanos’s fatal snap and Banner’s restorative one, half of Peter’s classmates graduated high school while the other half haven’t aged since 2018. Luckily for the screenwriters of this movie, all of Peter’s friends —  including MJ and Ned Leeds — were snapped away by Thanos and remain in Peter’s grade, meaning they can feature in Far From Home.

As of Homecoming, only Ned and Aunt May know about Peter’s secret identity. But from what we’ve seen in the trailers for Far From Home, it’s looking like MJ will soon be a member of that club, too.

Far From Home is the last installment of Phase 3, and so it’s bound to  forge a new path for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We hope this quick crash course answers any lingering questions you might have before everyone’s favorite web-slinger returns to movie theaters on July 2!

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