One of the first building blocks of Spider-Man: Far From Home, according to its director, was that Peter Parker would be going on a European vacation. And the film delivers, with Spider-Man facing off against mighty foes in locations from Venice to London.
Much explanation is given in the film for why Spider-Man is almost the only superhero around to deal with these threats — Doctor Strange is unavailable, Thor is off-world, and we don’t even talk about Captain Marvel. There just aren’t that many super-powered hands to go around.
Not so in the Marvel Comics universe, where many of the places that come under threat in Spider-Man: Far From Home have friendly neighborhood guardians of their own. Come with me on a journey of who actually would have shown up to fight an elemental if Spider-Man: Far From Home had taken place in the comics — in every international location that appears in the movie.
[Ed. note: This post contains spoilers for Spider-Man: Far From Home.]
OK, so Spider-Man doesn’t visit Mexico in Far From Home, but Mysterio sure does, to stage the appearance of an elemental and his defeat of it. That plan works out just fine when there are no local Mexican superheroes, but in the Marvel Comics setting, there are plenty of folks who might have showed up to throw down.
The best known Mexican Marvel superhero might be Julio Richter, the seismic-vibration generating X-Man known as Rictor, born and raised in Guadalajara — but he could easily be off with the X-Men instead of hanging around his home country. Don’t worry, though, because there’s a whole gaggle of Mexican superheroes in Marvel comics, including folks like the speedster Velocidad; or María Aracely Panalba, known as Hummingbird, who just might be the reincarnated form of the Aztec god Huitzilopochtli.
Did you know that Italy is home to Gemini, a super-powered anti-terrorist strike team? Members include the cyberkinetic Balance, the teleporting Mandala, and brothers Suede and Grip, with fire and claw powers, respectively.
Now, sure, Gemini has never been seen outside of their first appearance in 1996’s Europa #0, but maybe they could come out of hiding for a water elemental attack in Venice. And if not, Venice has its own particular superpowered enclave.
Namely, the Ennilux tribe of Inhumans, who defected from the main Inhuman city of Attilan thousands of years ago and set up shop in the canal city. By modern times, they’d secretly organized into a sort-of-corporation, sort-of-mafia, complete with CEO/mafia don known only as the Capo.
It would presumably come under the Ennilux’s notice if there was a massive water elemental trashing Venice’s canals. That sort of thing is bad for business, and they’re a business that’s full of superhumans.
The Czech Republic
Now, Czech Republich isn’t as chockablock with superpowers as Mexico and Italy are, but the city of Prague itself has one ancient guardian all its own: the Golem.
The Golem of Prague is a figure of Jewish folklore, said to have been created by Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel to defend Prague’s ghetto from pogroms. And the concept of golems — clay figures brought to life by holy words to do man’s bidding — has been incorporated into a lot of modern fantastical settings, including the Marvel Universe.
In Marvel Comics, the Golem of Prague is very real, appearing in The Incredible Hulk, and Strange Tales. It even battled the Thing in a Marvel Two-in-One story. However, the Marvel Comics version of the Golem is greatly weak to fire — which might explain why it didn’t show up to protect Prague from a lava monster.
That’s fair, Golem. That’s fair.
The Marvel universe has a lot of characters of German nationality ... but most of them are not heroes. Among Germany’s more righteous men stands Markus Ettlinger, known as Vormund, who once battled Arnim Zola and hunted down the Red Skull alongside Captain America. His ability to redirect kinetic energy might have come in handy against all those bullet spewing drones in Berlin — provided he could have seen through Mysterio’s illusions.
As far as I can tell there are no Marvel superheroes in the Netherlands. So it’s a good thing Spider-Man made only the briefest of visits here, and Mysterio wasn’t involved.
Then again, maybe if there had been another superhero around, Peter wouldn’t have had to get a ride to London from Happy.
Marvel Comics have a wealth of United Kingdom-based superheroes, thanks to its long-running Marvel UK imprint, which brought Marvel Comics reprints and original stories to the British Isles. Among those British originals was Captain Britain, real name Brian Braddock, who was endowed with a suite of Superman-like powers by Merlin and charged with becoming Britain’s next great champion.
Needless to say, if a giant hurricane monster is attacking the Tower Bridge and armed drones are invading the Tower of London — Captain Britain would be on the case.
Which is all to say: Nick Fury really should have shared his Rolodex with Talos before heading to space, huh?