It has become clear in the last year that every Marvel Studios project is linked to the wider MCU in some way. Some shows such as What If…? and Moon Knight are not as connected as others, but everything does have a place no matter how vague. In 2024, Spider-Man: Freshman Year will deliver an animated prequel series centering on Peter Parker, but a number of reveals during Marvel’s SDCC Animation Panel caused a little confusion about where the show will fit in the MCU canon. Producer Brad Winderbaum managed to clear up some of the surprising aspects of the series, which include appearances by Daredevil, Norman Osborne and Doc Ock amongst others.
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Spider-Man: Freshman Year will chronicle the early days of Tom Holland’s version of Peter Parker, who will be seen shortly after he becomes Spider-Man, and it will see him making his first suit, as well as tackling adversaries both well-known and more obscure. With the series having already getting a second season, there will be plenty of story to tell, but the fact the series seems to mix in villains that did not exist in the MCU at the time left many scratching their heads. While speaking to ComicBook.com while being interviewed on the Phase Zero YouTube channel, Winderbaum explained:
“Well, like we said, in the panel, it follows the pattern that you see in [Captain America:] Civil War. Down to Peter getting the broken Blu-ray player from the trash and he walks into his department 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 Osborn and that sends his life in an unexpected trajectory that collides him with many unexpected characters in the Marvel universe.”
Spider-Man: Freshman Year Will Be What If…? But Focused on Peter Parker
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From Winderbaum’s comments, it is clear that the timeline of Spider-Man: Freshman Year may be set before Captain America: Civil War, when Tom Holland made his debut as the web-slinger, but it is seemingly skewed by a multiverse angle, meaning it could possibly have no impact at all on the MCU, or it may set up a number of “incursions” that will come into play in future.
Marvel are yet to announce any of the voice cast for the series, or any further plot points, and with the series not debuting until 2024 there is going to be a little bit of a wait before the full details of the project are revealed. Although there has been no date set for it, Spider-Man: Sophomore Year will be the second season of the show, and will seemingly continue to follow Peter Parker through his second year as Spider-Man. How exactly villains like Doc Ock end up being part of the story is something that will all become clear in time, but with Spider-Man not seemly set to return in live-action before the animated series arrives, there is no telling what Marvel Studios have in store for the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.