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Who’s Who in the MCU: Spider-Friends

Welcome back to another Who’s Who, the series where we over-analyze the Marvel Cinematic Universe to find things that casual fans may have missed. Last week, we took a look at the classic Spider-Man villains hiding in Spider-Man: Homecoming. This week we’re going to stay on the Spider-Man kick and take a look at some of his more noteworthy background classmates.

5. Betty Brant

Betty Brant
Source: Marvel Unlimited. Amazing Spider-Man #22. Art by Steve Ditko

Angourie Rice’s Betty Brant is hard to miss in Spider-Man: Homecoming. She is one of Peter’s classmates, friend of Liz Allan and host of the cheesy school announcement news program. This is a nod to her journalistic role in the comics, where she dropped out of high school to work at The Daily Bugle full-time. First debuting in Amazing Spider-Man #4, Betty has appeared in almost 700 issues. She was briefly Peter’s (first) girlfriend before eventually marrying Ned Leeds, one of the comic characters the film’s goofy sidekick Ned was inspired by.

4. Firestar

Liz Allan
Source: Marvel Unlimited. Ultimate Spider-Man #118. Art by Stuart Immonen, Wade von Grawbadger, & Justin Ponsor.

There’s no way you watched Spider-Man: Homecoming and missed Liz Allan, played by Laura Harrier. Liz is Peter’s crush and the daughter of Adrian Toomes, also known as the Vulture.  In the main continuity of comics (Earth-616), Liz is not the daughter of a super-villain; however, in the popular Ultimate Universe (Earth-1610), Liz is a mutant and secretly the daughter of X-Men villain Blob. Liz eventually takes up the mantle of the flaming Firestar, something Laura Harrier has admitted she would love to see adapted to the screen.

3. Bluebird

Sally Avril
Source: Marvel Unlimited. Untold Tales of Spider-Man #11. Art by Pat Olliffe, Al Vey & Pam Eklund

Very few of Peter’s classmates are slated to appear in Avengers: Infinity War, but one of these classmates is Isabella Amara’s Sally Avril – known to comic fans as the hero Bluebird. Complete with her sidekick Jason Ionello (portrayed by Jorge Lendeborg Jr. in the film), she only fought crime for a little over 100 issues before dying in a car crash on the way to a scene of the crime.

2. Silk

Cindy Moon
Source: Marvel Unlimited. Silk #7. Art by Tana Ford & Ian Herring.

Popular new character Cindy Moon, better known as the spider-hero Silk, was secretly the second and final student bitten by the radioactive spider that gave Peter Parker his powers. Unlike Peter, she can spin her own silk, giving her the name. In the film, the character is played by Tiffany Espensen and is on Peter’s decathlon team. She is only identified as “Cindy” in the film, but the actress has repeatedly acknowledged the character’s heroic origins on Twitter.

1. Agent Venom

Venom
Source: Marvel Unlimited. Venom: Space Knight #2. Art by Ariel Olivetti.

Usually a blonde, muscular, meat-headed jock, Tony Revolori helped take the character of Flash Thompson in a different direction (while still making him a bully and foil for Peter). Flash Thompson appeared alongside Spidey in his very first appearance, Amazing Fantasy #15, and has shown up almost 850 times sinceEnlisting in the US Army, Cpl. Thompson lost both his legs in the Iraq War. After bonding with a symbiote to restore his legs in an experimental military super-soldier program, Flash became Venom (and later Agent Venom), joining the Guardians of the Galaxy to discover the true origin of symbiotes.

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