True believers, it has finally happened. For years fans have speculated on whether we would ever get to see Spider-Man on the big-screen alongside the rest of the Marvel heroes we love, struggling through reboots and attempts by Sony to create a Spider-Man Cinematic Universe that could rival the Universe produced by the films Marvel/Disney released. It seemed almost hopeless, as even the worst of the ‘Spider-Man’ and ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ films still made billions of dollars, meaning Sony would never allow the rights to revert to the company that made him famous in the first place.

And whom do we have to thank for this triumphant reversal? In my opinion: the fans. There had been rumors that Sony and Marvel had talked about the Oscorp Tower being in the New York skyline beside Avengers tower, but nothing ever came of it. There had been rumors that the studios had secretly been talking of a crossover, but nothing had been confirmed. Until the Sony leaks occurred in December. Then, everything changed for the web-slinger.

Emails came to light about actual talks between the companies, that Marvel wanted a reboot and would allow Spider-man to grace the screen alongside the Avengers, a group that has long held Spider-Man as one of their chief allies in the comics, often fighting alongside or as part of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

The fans saw hope, light at the end of the long and frustrating tunnel, and they made their voices known. Marvel clearly knows what they’re doing with their properties, while Sony floundered with movies over-burdened with too many villains, struggling to find the right tone for a character that Marvel knows all too well how to handle.

We were told that a Spidey Summit would occur in January, with the Sony executives deciding just what to do with our beleaguered hero. We heard tales of spin-off movies starring the ladies in Peter Parker’s life, another of a movie with all of his greatest enemies teaming up against a larger threat. And even of the company moving forward with ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 3,” an odd decision after the universal disappointment with how the second film had turned out, even if it had made billions.

And then the news came, and fans (including yours truly) rejoiced. Marvel and Sony had made a deal. A brand-new Spider-Man was going to make an appearance in ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ followed by a stand-alone film for our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. For any skeptics out there, it is a HUGE deal.  Marvel pushed back FOUR movies to insert a Spidey film, big films including the standalone film introducing the Black Panther, another delving into the epic Ragnorak storyline of the Thor comics, the first female heroine movie, ‘Captain Marvel,’ and the huge film introducing ‘The Inhumans’ to the cinematic universe. Marvel changed their release dates, something they were not even willing to do when it was discovered that ‘Captain America: Civil War’ would be releasing the same weekend as the DC tentpole ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.’

Why would they make such moves? Because Marvel loves Spider-Man, and knows their fan base does as well. Spider-Man is a pivotal character in the Marvel universe, a touchstone for humanity in any story he enters, especially when teamed up alongside gods, billionaire tech geniuses, World War II legends, and unstoppable muscled hulks. Every hero in the Marvel universe has some degree of respect for Spider-Man, whether it is for his genius, courage, or morality. In many stories, he is the voice of reason. Sometimes he’s a scientific college of Tony Stark and Reed Richards, often he’s a conscience for Nick Fury and SHIELD, and always he’s a friend and sympathizer to the Hulk. Even Captain America himself, the symbol of righteousness and justice in America, greatly respects and often defers to Spider-man’s judgment, and knows the good man he is within.

What does it mean for Spider-Man to join the Marvel Universe? It means that universe has regained its heart. There’s a reason Spidey has been the symbol of Marvel for all these years, a reason that he draws billions at the box-office, and that’s because everyone can relate to the man on some level. He doesn’t get accolades for his good deeds; he doesn’t have a massive fortune to back him up, supporting him when his heroic deeds interfere with his normal job. Yet despite all of that, he does good in the world. He fights for what he believes is right despite the consequences to his own life, and while it could be said that every hero does that, Spider-Man often receives little to no reward for his heroic actions. And yet he does it anyway.

And for the Marvel Cinematic universe, there is certainly a need for him to return. The stories of Iron Man are coming to a close as Robert Downey Jr. gets older, and Thor and Captain America are not far behind as their deals with Marvel come to a close. Spider-Man ensures a feature for the MCU, infusing it with a fresh and highly popular new face that has history with almost every character, stories that will allow him to crossovers into almost any film within the larger universe.

So yes, I do say we should rejoice that Spider-Man is joining the MCU. With any luck, he will be handled with the same deftness and reverence as the rest of the characters we’ve come to love.

What are your thoughts on Spider-Man entering the fray? Comment below!