The Winter Soldier, Civil War, Infinity War... Marvel Studios has a habit of adapting the titles of well-known comic book stories and partially drawing on their DNA to craft the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But what about its latest title, Spider-Man: Homecoming? "Homecoming" isn't exactly a well-known story title in the Spider-Man mythos (and there are a few of those), but it does have roots in his long comic book history. Could one of the Spider-Man stories that bore that name have some influence over Spidey's latest movie offering?
There are several stories titled "Homecoming" from throughout Spider-Man's history. For starters, the collected edition of 2005's Mary Jane miniseries which featured high school-aged versions of Spidey's supporting cast, is subtitled "Homecoming," and it centers around - you guessed it - a high school dance. This may not seem like a likely candidate to influence a new film, but given the age of the cast and the high school setting, it does have some commonality with Marvel Studios' stated plans for the movie franchise.
Meanwhile, there was also an issue of Spider-Man Family with a story that bore that title. This "Homecoming" was set in the Marvel Manga-Verse, and featured the Spider-Clan. While they played a role in "Spider-Verse", it's unlikely Marvel would muddy the waters of the film world with something like that yet - though Doctor Strange does focus on alternate worlds, so never say never.
Most importantly there are two major stories in Spider-Man lore titled "Homecoming." The most recent was the story title of Peter Parker's return to the role of Spider-Man after his arch-nemesis, Doctor Octopus, took over his body. It's a stretch, but given that we don't know the film's villain just yet, there could be a slight nod in the title.
But the primary "Homecoming" in Spider-Man's history is Amazing Spider-Man #252, which formally introduced the alien symbiote costume from Secret Wars that became Venom several years later. When Peter's costume was destroyed on an alien planet, a machine produced a new, all black costume for him. It turned out to be a living entity that was subverting Peter's mind, and became one of his primary villains when it bonded with Eddie Brock.
Without a long history behind him, telling a Venom story likely wouldn't carry the weight it had in comic books - and there's also the matter of Spider-Man 3's version of that story. But given Marvel's penchant for pitting its film heroes against their opposite numbers - Iron Monger, Red Skull, Yellowjacket - it's not completely off the table that Peter would take on an evil version of himself.
There are also rumors that Sony has not abandoned plans for a solo Venom movie it'd produce itself. Given the breakout solo success of the anti-hero Deadpool for 20th Century Fox, you have to think he's very much in Sony's plans.
Of course, Homecoming could just be soley a nod to Spider-Man being back under Marvel's purview, returning to the film version of the Universe that birthed him.
Either way, Spider-Man: Homecoming is scheduled to hit theaters July 7, 2017.