The first attempt at an MCU clone was performed by Sony, the owners of Marvel’s most profitable hero- Spiderman. After a dour Dark Knight wannabe reboot in 2012, the tech giant released their far more polychromatic sequel The Amazing Spiderman 2 in 2014.

Closing this second film in their series with a garish teasing sequence hinting towards every supervillain with a Wikipedia page reeked of Marvel studio’s trademark post-credit teaser tradition but done with all the subtlety of an epileptic rhino.

Then the infamous Sony hack of 2014 happened (do we remember that? When North Korea declared war on Seth Rogen? Simpler times)  and evidence emerged from the leaks of a planned Aunt May spin-off movie (not a joke) as well as a Sinister-six instalment directed by Daredevil showrunner and excellent-name-haver Drew Goddard.

We were spared all this as, predictably, TASM2, the movie equivalent of a vindaloo starter, was a total mess and Sony promptly hit the emergency button and loaned Spidey back to Marvel-creatives resulting in the fantastic Homecoming. Now, though, with the success of that film behind them, It looks like they’re creeping out of the woodwork again with renewed confidence.

With a Venom solo movie on the way outside of the creative control of the MCU starring Tom Hardy, the most reliably ‘tumblrable’ poster boy on the market right now, Sony look to be attempting to be quietly having another crack at shared continuity with the guiding, fatherly hand of Marvel nervously propping them up.

The most appropriate visual metaphor I can conjure is of a cautious child pushing themselves away from the rail of an ice rink when all parties know the most likely outcome is a short thrill, a quick fall and tears for all involved.