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Thursday, March 28, 2024

Spider-Man: Home for the Holidays

A modest proposal for the next MCU Spider-Man film. 

Peter is studying at Empire State University, and his intent is to stay in the dorm over the Christmas break; none of his friends remember him, so there's no point visiting them. Besides, he's been spending more and more time as Spider-Man, spending most of his Peter time on his studies; and even then, he's taking courses and learning not for the sake of learning, but for pouring all that knowledge into how to be a better crimefighter. He's wisecracking less, and his jokes tend to be a little bitter now. And he's found himself in an intense but toxic relationship with cat burglar Felicia Hardy, who, of course, loves Spider-Man and doesn't even know Peter exists; she won't even let him take his mask off when they're intimate. 

Without his loved ones, Peter is losing perspective. Several of his dormmates and classmates--including a very intriguing blonde by the name of Gwen Stacy--offer friendship, but Peter politely but firmly holds back from making any real connections; he's too scared of the pain of losing people he loves again. The only bright side is that at least MJ and Ned got into MIT, so he doesn't need to feel guilty about that anymore. 

On the first day of the Christmas break, Spider-Man faces a truly humiliating defeat at the hands of the Kingpin and Bullseye--teaching him a lesson for (unknowingly) doing so much damage to the Kingpin's operation. This defeat happens right in front of Felicia, who runs away, disgusted and afraid, unable to deal with seeing her lover brought down so low. His costume in tatters, his body bruised to the bone, Peter staggers back to ESU but passes out just at the door to his dorm room, collapsing in the hallway. 

He wakes up later being ministered to by Gwen. It's lucky anyone was even at the dorm--everyone else had left for the holidays, and the only reason she hasn't is her father is late picking her up. When Captain Stacy finally arrives and sees Peter's condition, he and Gwen insist that he come home for the holidays with them--he's in no shape to stay at ESU alone. If he has no where else to go, why, of course he's coming with the Stacys. Besides, Captain Stacy can tell Peter's claim that he was mugged is hogwash, and he wants to find out what really happened.  

Over the break, the Stacy family makes Peter feel cared for the first time in a long time. Despite himself, his better nature yearns for this kind of connection, and his body--and soul--start to recover.

What Peter doesn't know is that he's not the only one to have vexed Kingpin. Under the sound leadership of Captain Stacy, the NYPD is making a dent in organized crime, too--and the Kingpin has marked Captain Stacy for death. Only Peter's spider-sense prevents the Stacy family from falling victim to a car bomb on Christmas Eve. Though Captain Stacy is grateful, he's still a cop; how could Peter have possibly known about the car bomb? Did he plant it? Were his injuries a ruse to get closer to Gwen--and him--in some kind of setup? 

Of course Peter can tell Captain Stacy isn't sure what to make of him, and he feels shame--he wants to trust this new father figure, and he's falling for Gwen. Once again, Spider-Man is coming between him and happiness, and once again, his dual identity is endangering people he cares about. 

The week between Christmas and New Year's, Spider-Man takes to the streets again, but this time he's specifically looking for members of the Kingpin's gang, working his way up the leadership ladder, sending a message that the Stacys are off-limits. But he's misjudged the Kingpin's ruthlessness; Wilson Fisk is not easily intimidated, and sends Bullseye to kill Captain Stacy. But Stacy has been changing his schedule around so that he's harder to pin down, and he's sent Gwen into hiding--or so he thinks. Gwen can't bear to leave Peter by himself, so she's at the wrong place at the wrong time when Bullseye shows up at the Stacy home. With no specific orders regarding the girl, he brings her back to the Kingpin, reasoning she makes an excellent bargaining chip to force Captain Stacy to offer himself up for assassination. 

It's New Year's Eve, and Spider-Man has to fight his way through Fisk Tower to pull off an improbable rescue...when it's all over, will the new year bring triumph or tragedy? 

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