In order to differentiate their version of Spider-Man from what’d come before, the filmmakers of the MCU have decided not to directly reference the death of Uncle Ben, the iconic moment that teaches Peter Parker that with great powers comes great responsibility. But even though Ben has not appeared in the franchise, his loss has still been alluded to in subtle ways, and one fan has now spotted another that we never noticed.
In Captain America: Civil War, we’re introduced to Peter Parker when he returns to the Queens apartment he lives in with his Aunt May. In Spider-Man: Homecoming, the Parker residence is a more central location but what you might not’ve realized is that it’s a different, smaller apartment. We can infer, then, that May has had to downsize now that she’s providing for herself and Peter on her own.
Here’s a graphic we made which compares the two apartments, as inspired by a Reddit post from @Faradscrivencon:
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The Parker family money problems are a classic element of Peter’s life. Though he’s a bonafide superhero, Spidey’s part-time job at the Daily Bugle has rarely managed to give him and his aunt a comfortable living. That’s even more true in the MCU, as the teenage Peter is still in high school. That said, this iteration of May is younger than she’s normally depicted, so she presumably still holds down a job.
Event though Uncle Ben hasn’t been name-checked so far, there’s nothing stopping him from appearing via flashbacks in future MCU movies. Tom Holland even has a fancast for the part that would make Spider-Man lovers very happy: he wants to see his forerunner in the role, Tobey Maguire, play his beloved uncle. That’s an irresistible idea that we’d really like to see happen in next July’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, but something tells us it’s just wishful thinking – unfortunately.