Though fan excitement is still high after Marvel Studios' multiple Comic-Con panels, there are plenty of questions that have been brought up because of all that was announced. Things like who will be directing Avengers: Secret Wars? Where the heck was Armor Wars? And is Spider-Man: Freshman Year canon?
After Marvel Studios went deep into the upcoming wall-crawling animated epic, fans have been scratching their heads at where in the MCU this Disney+ series fits. The project was originally described as following a young Peter Parker "on his way to becoming Spider-Man in the MCU."
However, things began to fall apart for some when Marvel revealed that the likes of Doctor Octopus, Daredevil, and Norman/Harry Osborn would appear in the show, all of whom have either never shown up in the MCU or were a big deal when they did in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Well, concerned fans of Marvel's webhead may finally have some answers to where Freshman Year sits in the MCU canon.
Spider-Man: Freshman Year's Place In the MCU Multiverse
Speaking on Comicbook.com's Phase Zero podcast, Marvel Studios producer Brian Winderbaum addressed where in MCU canon Spider-Man: Freshman Year sits.
Winderbaum said that the show "follows the pattern that you see in [Captain America:] Civil War," but "because of things that happen in the multiverse", small changes from the MCU Spidey origin fans know, like Norman Osborne showing up in Tony Stark's place, are made.
This Multiversal twist sends young Peter Parker on an "unexpected trajectory that collides him with many unexpected characters in the Marvel universe:"
"Down to Peter getting the broken Blu-ray player from the trash and he walks into his apartment for the famous moment where Tony Stark is waiting for him to offer him the Stark internship and take him to Berlin. But because of things that happen in the multiverse because of new, random occurrences, it's not Tony Stark who's waiting for him there. It's Norman Osborne and that sends his life in an unexpected trajectory that collides him with many unexpected characters in the Marvel universe."
A Multiversal Cop-Out
For those still wondering, "Is Spider-Man: Freshman Year canon?" Well, not technically. It is at least not canon in the 616 universe fans know now as prime-MCU. This will be a retelling of some familiar moments fans know of Tom Holland's Spider-Man with a Multiversal twist.
When Marvel Studios says that this series will follow Spidey on his way to becoming the MCU's wall-crawler, they are not lying. The first episode of Freshman Year will likely feature some events very familiar to those who have seen Captain America: Civil War. Winderbaum even references"the broken Blu-ray player from the trash" that Peter collects in the film, but from there it will deviate, as this is a different reality to the one fans know.
Some will see this Multiversal nugget as a cop-out. Many were itching to see the origins of the Earth-616 Peter Parker, following the young hero as he navigates his freshman year and comes to grips with his newly acquired Spider powers. But that doesn't seem to be what Freshman Year is.
By setting this animated show in a distant branch of the Multiverse, Marvel Studios has way more room to play, allowing for the likes of Otto Octavious, Harry Osborne, and Matt Murdock to appear where they may not have in the MCU proper.
Spider-Man: Freshman Year is expected to debut sometime in 2024.