Spider-Man: Freshman Year had Marvel fans pretty fired up during the Marvel Studios Animation panel at San Diego Comic-Con last weekend. The series is being billed as taking place before Captain America: Civil War, following Peter Parker through New York City with characters like Doc Ock, Norman Osborn, Harry Osborn, Nico Minoru, Charlie Cox's Daredevil, Doctor Strange, and more. However, the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Earth-616 story seems to have plotlines which would contradict Spider-Man having interacted with those characters in the past. So, the question of, "How does Spider-Man: Freshman Year fit into the main MCU timeline?" has arisen and the answer seems to be, "It does not."
Brad Winderbaum has played an integral role at Marvel Studios through the years, serving as an executive producer on titles such as Thor: Love and Thunder, What If...?, and more with producer credits on previous projects, as well. Previously serving as an executive on production and development at Marvel Studios, Winderbaum now serves as Head of Streaming for the franchise and appeared on the Marvel Studios Animation panel, where looks at Spider-Man: Freshman Year were presented (along with the upcoming I Am Groot series of short films). In promotion of I Am Groot, Winderbaum spoke to ComicBook.com in an interview on the Phase Zero YouTube channel, where he opened up about Spider-Man: Freshman Year's place in the MCU.
"Well, like we said, in the panel, it follows the pattern that you see in [Captain America:] Civil War," Winderbaum said of the animated Spider-Man series. "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 include Nico Minuro of the Runaways, Lonnie Lincoln, Amadeus Cho, Harry Osborn, and more.— BD (@BrandonDavisBD) July 22, 2022
It is set before Captain America: Civil War.https://t.co/taavQtaKjd pic.twitter.com/9MR4UlMEfy
Originally billed as taking place before the events of Captain America: Civil War (which still seems to be true), Spider-Man: Freshman Year sounds like it will also be taking the angle of a What If...? episode as an entire series. In this show, it seems the question will be, "What if Norman Osborn became Peter Parker's mentor rather than Tony Stark?" The answer includes interactions with characters like Daredevil and Amadeus Cho, neither of which have been mentioned in Peter Parker's MCU journey on Earth-616 (as it was labeled in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness). It is unclear whether or not this will have any impact on the story in Earth-616, though as incursions between universes seem imminent with Avengers: Secret Wars being announced as the conclusion to the Multiverse Saga. Any of the stories Marvel Studios is telling across the multiverse can find themselves intersecting with Tom Holland's Spider-Man, should the writers see fit.
Spider-Man: Freshman Year is set to debut on Disney+ in 2024, with a Season 2 already on the way in the form of Spider-Man: Sophomore Year. There is no news yet regarding who will provide the voice of the show's Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, or other characters. Jeff Trammell of Craig and the Creek is writing and executive producing the series. The next project from Marvel Studios Animation is I Am Groot, a series of five short films coming to Disney+ on August 10. telling stories set between the events of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and its post-credits scene.
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