For comic book movie fans, recent months have been both the best of times and the worst of times. Spider-Man: No Way Home was a gift in that it not only completed Tom Holland's first trilogy but also united all three of cinema's live-action Spideys on the big screen. But then, as a chaser to Marvel and Sony's Multiversal web-slinging epic - and as a preview of what Sony has planned for its adjacent Venom Universe - the latter studio presented Marvel fans with Morbius.
Starring Jared Leto as the good-hearted doctor turned vampire, Morbius finally made its theatrical debut on April Fools' Day. While it was intended to be Sony's next film in its growing universe, Morbius largely disappointed audiences and drastically lowered expectations for the studio's future plans.
While both fans and critics alike have their grievances with Morbius' editing, story, and some of its performances, one of the biggest objections was to the film's two post-credits scenes and their lackluster, if not offensive, attempt to tie into the MCU.
However, for fans who have been personally victimized by Morbius' post-credits sequences, a certain detail - coupled with a corresponding theory - may help with the frustration. Could it even offer some hope as well?
Not What the Doctor Ordered
Before diving into the good news and its possibilities, here's a refresher of just what went down in Morbius' post-credit story beats.
In the first scene, Spider-Man: Homecoming's Adrian Toomes aka the Vulture, played by Michael Keaton, suddenly finds himself in jail far from home. Apparently, this strange circumstance is courtesy of that Multiversal purple rift in the sky from No Way Home's third act.
Just how this makes sense given the parameters of the recent MCU film is anyone's guess.
The second scene shows Morbius meeting Toomes, where he not only invites the doc to team up but also believes Spider-Man is to blame. The most glaring question from this exchange, however, is why he's now wearing his mechanical Vulture costume.
The suit, which was made from salvaged metal and Chitauri tech from The Battle of New York in the MCU, wasn't with Toomes when he crossed universes. But he's wearing a very similar-looking suit when he's seen talking with Michael Morbius.
While this appears to be yet another plot hole and example of Sony oversight, there could be another answer.
Michael Keaton's Vulture Has a Stark Tech Suit?
While Toomes appears to be sporting his Vulture costume from Spider-Man: Homecoming in this Morbius scene, there are a few differences, including the presence of additional thrusters.
This is actually something Morbius' director Daniel Espinosa first pointed out when he was asked how Vulture obtained his signature suit, confirming that "it is not quite the same suit as Homecoming" and that Toomes is "a resourceful guy:"
"If you look closely, you will see it is not quite the same suit as Homecoming. He is a resourceful guy."
Since the suit is definitely not the same one audiences saw the "resourceful" Toomes wearing in Homecoming, he had to obtain the tech from somewhere. And, since Toomes is new to the Venom/Morbius Universe, it's possible that he wouldn't know where to obtain that tech unless it was a person or industry familiar to him.
So here's a possibility. What if a Variant of Tony Stark and Stark Industries also exists in this universe? Not only would it be the perfect revenge for Vulture given his distaste for Stark, but there's already a precedent for it.
After seeing Stark Tech at work in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Andrew Garfield's Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 took an arc reactor and used it as his own personal upgrade. If Sony did it once, why not a second time?
Also, many fans are anticipating Iron Man Variants arriving in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. It wouldn't be a stretch for one of them to be from this dimension and likely different from his MCU counterpart.
Is Superior Iron Man From the Venom Universe?
While Sony has yet to reveal which Spidey lives in its growing universe, in No Way Home, both Garfield and Maguire's Peter Parkers confirmed that the Avengers don't exist in their timelines.
Therefore, if a Tony Stark does exist, he probably never built a suit in a cave from a box of scraps and had that exchange with Nick Fury. In fact, given his ego, he could be a villain or even the Superior Iron Man.
In the comics, Superior Iron Man was the product of Marvel's AXIS event, where comic book heroes became bad and villains became good. Of course, villains becoming good is something that audiences have just recently seen.
Also, Superior Iron Man's armor came from elements extracted from a Symbiote, similar to that of Venom. Clearly, all the pieces are there for a Superior Iron Man to exist in Sony's world.
Other Familiar Faces from Stark Industries
Michael Keaton's Vulture isn't the only Spider-Man antagonist whose villainous origin story is rooted in the acts of Tony Stark.
Jake Gyllenhaal's Quentin Beck (aka Mysterio) turned into a revengeful malefactor after Tony lay claim to his illusion tech and renamed it B.A.R.F. If Stark Industries exists in the Venom/Morbius Universe, why not a Variant of Beck?
If so, this could explain why initial plans for Mysterio's return were scrapped in No Way Home. And, considering Mysterio falsely presented himself as a Multiversal hero in Spider-Man: Far From Home, it would only be fitting for him to actually become a Multiversal character down the line.
The existence of Stark-related Variants could allow for other versions of familiar MCU faces, such as Happy Hogan, War Machine, and even Iron Man villains like Stark Industries' Obadiah Stane or Justin Hammer.
A New Spider-Man and Stark Relationship?
In the MCU, Tom Holland's Spider-Man story was directly influenced by Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man. While, again, fans don't know if an Iron Man exists in an alternate Spider-Man timeline, it would be fascinating to see another Stark and Spidey team-up.
It's also worth noting that - unlike their respective villains - neither Maguire nor Garfield's Peter Parkers saw much, if any, Stark Tech in No Way Home. Also, while Holland's Peter did mention fighting Thanos in space, they are seemingly unaware of Tony's relationship with Peter and his sacrificial Endgame snap.
Therefore, there is an opportunity for either of those Spideys to interact with an alternate Tony Stark and even for their roles to be flipped. Who knows? Maybe Tobey's Spidey won't mentor a young web-slinger but rather a young, brilliant inventor?
If Not Stark Industries, What About Oscorp?
Something interesting to note is that Morbius' director has expressed interest in having Willem Dafoe's Norman Osborn cross paths with Michael Morbius one day. Not only is this a hint of which Spidey exists in Sony's new universe, but it's also a hint towards the potential continued presence of Oscorp within Sony's Spider-Man timeline.
If so, it seems unlikely that Sony will need Stark Industries for technology or as a catalyst for creating villains. Plus, having Oscorp serves to differentiate Sony's world, especially in the wake of Dafoe's Norman Osborn confirming that there is no Oscorp in the MCU.
Considering these facts, what if Vulture actually used Oscorp tech to build his new suit? After all, from Vulture's perspective, Oscorp and Stark Industries are similar in that they both have towers in New York City and are in the weapons and technology business. If so, it will be fascinating to see how the now-cured Norman Osborn could potentially get involved.
Has Sony Already Struck Out?
While the fan response to the haphazard handling of Morbius' post-credits scenes is understandable and deserved. Given the Multiverse and Vulture's new suit, future Sony storytellers have quite a bit to work with.
The question, of course, is whether they will. Not only does the studio have a history of failing to capitalize on its potential, but due to Morbius' poor reception, the future of Sony's adjacent Marvel universe is somewhat uncertain.
Since Kraven the Hunter, starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, is set to follow Morbius and serve as the next chapter in this universe, it already faces an uphill battle. If it fails to bring in audiences and positive reviews, the early days of Sony's Multiversal universe may have, in fact, been its last.
Morbius is playing in theaters worldwide.