The Ultimate Marvel survival guide for ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’

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Credit: @tomholland2013 on Instagram

Mikayla Meachem, Contributor

The long-awaited “Spider-Man: No Way Home” is set to be released in theaters on Dec. 17. Theories have flooded the Internet since the movie was announced in 2020 and now with the final trailer out, fans are caught in a web of anticipation and excitement. Whether you are a diehard Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) fan or not, here’s a survival guide before jumping into the Multiverse. 

Previously on Spider-Man…

Following the events of “Avengers: End Game” and the death of Spider-Man’s mentor Tony Stark, “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” the second film with Tom Holland as the web-slinger, follows Peter heading abroad on a school trip in hopes of having a summer of romance with crush MJ, played by Zendaya. The vacation quickly turns into an unexpected battle with new villain Mysterio, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, who previously worked for Tony Stark until he was fired. Mysterio’s ultimate plan was to become the next great superhero by battling holograms he created, using stolen Stark Tech that was left for Peter. Peter later meets Nick Fury who we learn is Talos (a Skrull General, a shapeshifting creature seen in “Captain Marvel”) who is disguised during the end credits. At this point, Peter gets a wake-up call that he’s more than a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. At the end of “Far From Home,” Mysterio reveals to the world who’s under the Spider-Man suit and as the screen cuts to black, audiences were stunned to see where the third film would pick up.

 

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What to expect in “No Way Home”

Peter takes to Greenwich Village, home to sorcerer Doctor Strange and the Time Stone for help. From the trailer, fans see Peter ask Dr. Strange to cast a spell that will erase the world’s memory of Spider-Man’s identity in an effort to clean up the mess Mysterio left for him. The spell goes terribly wrong and unleashes villains from other timelines. “No Way Home” sets up Marvel’s Phase Four for the concept of the Multiverse.

The Multiverse is the various alternate dimensions that exist within the Marvel Universe. As a result of events that change the timeline, branches are created with different realms of existence.

Watching the Disney+ series “Loki” before diving into “No Way Home” will help explain the effect Doctor Strange’s spell will have on the timeline and the alternate realities, and how it resulted in the opening of other universes when Spider-Man’s villains are brought to Greenwich Village.

“No Way Home” features characters from the original Spider-Man movies, so as we eagerly wait for the new release, get acquainted with the supervillains making a comeback. The 2002 “Spider-Man” is the iconic first Spider-Man film that includes Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin and Toby Maguire’s Spider-Man. Norman Osborn, a.k.a. The Green Goblin, is the CEO of Oscorp and the father of Harry Osborn, Peter’s best friend. After exposing himself to the goblin serum, Osborn’s evil alter ego attempts to destroy Spider-Man and everyone he cares about. 

Next up on the watch list is “Spider-Man 2” with Alfred Molina’s Dr. Otto Octavius as the villain seeking revenge following the tragic death of his wife in a nuclear explosion. To understand Octavius’ reaction we see in the “No Way Home”  trailer, where he says, “you’re not Peter Parker,” this movie is a must-see as fans seem to think Doctor Octopus may team up with Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. 

Next in Sam Raimi’s trilogy is “Spider-Man 3,” featuring Sandman, played by Thomas Haden Church, and Venom, played by Topher Grace. The third movie follows Peter Parker in a battle against himself as his iconic Spider-man suit is taken over by a sentient alien. This movie leads many fans to think Venom, now played by Tom Hardy, may appear in “No Way Home,” especially with a sneaky post-credit scene in “Venom: Let There Be Carnage.” 

Marc Webb’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” films are also critical to understanding the plot of “No Way Home.” In the 2012 release of  “The Amazing Spider-Man,” fans were introduced to ​​Dr. Curt Connors/The Lizard, played by Rhys Ifans, who will appear in “No Way Home.” This is the first villain that Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man fights with his new powers. 

In “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” Electro, played by Jamie Foxx, teams up with Harry Osborn/The Green Goblin to fight Spider-Man. Fans are most excited about Electro’s makeover in the new film, as well as the Stark gear all the villains are sporting. 

From Marvel Studios, starting off with “Doctor Strange” will give viewers the backstory of Stephen Strange and how he came to be involved with the Time Stone. The Time Stone is one of the six Infinity Stones that can manipulate the past, present and future which will be crucial in “No Way Home.” We are given insight into the dark forces that can be reality and how critical it is to protect the Time Stone. 

As mentioned before, Peter undergoes several life-changing events in “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” including the beginning of his love story with MJ. The plot of this movie gives all the information that you need for “No Way Home.” 

In the Marvel series “Loki,” played by Tom Hiddleston and his variant from an alternate universe, Sylvie, played by Sophia Di Martino, team up to uncover the secrets of the Time Variance Authority and The Time Keepers. Fans begin to understand the confusing timeline that is the Marvel Universe as we learn that the TVA and Time Keepers are who control the reality that we see in the movies. At the end of “Loki,” we find out that He Who Remains is behind the image of the Time Keepers, and the Multiverse is unleashed when Sylvie sticks to her mission of getting revenge. From this series, viewers will get context on the events that will lead up to “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” the sequel to the first installment of the Doctor Strange series. 

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is not a must-watch unless you support the theories of a possible Miles Morales appearance in “No Way Home.” “Into the Spider-Verse” can give insight into how the Multiverse would look if multiple Spider-Men were featured in “No Way Home” and can be an accessible way to understand the inner workings of parallel universes. 


Based on the trailer and current information, “No Way Home” has now confirmed that five of the villains from the Sinister Six will be battling Spider-Man, and no matter how many comic books you may have read before the movie, the future of Peter Parker remains uncertain in the MCU. The returning villains come from the other films in the Spider-Man franchise and with each enemy being reprised by their original actor, many fans are questioning and hoping that all three Spider-Men will be seen together in one movie.

More speculation led fans to believe that Miles Morales will also be making an appearance with his experience of the Multiverse in “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” We know that he does exist in the MCU with his Uncle Aaron, played by Donald Glover, appearing in “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” Some fans believe that Marvel is setting up for Miles to be the next face of Spider-Man in the MCU. There is definitely a spider infestation with the animated multiverse making a comeback as the trailer for “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One)” dropped just days following the “No Way Home” trailer.

In the trailer, we see MJ falling, mimicking an extremely intense scene from “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” Gwen Stacy, played by Emma Stone, is held captive by the Green Goblin and as Spider-Man struggles to fight Harry and keep Gwen from falling to her death, he (spoiler alert) unfortunately doesn’t save her despite his attempts. Taking a closer look at the trailer, many fans believe it isn’t Tom Holland’s Spider-Man reaching for MJ, but rather Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man, as a noted suit difference is seen. If it is Garfield’s Spider-Man, this is his moment to avenge his mistake of not being able to save Gwen. 


Some Redditors believe that the sixth villain of “No Way Home” is Ned, Peter’s best friend. In the comics, Ned turns on Peter, becoming the Hobgoblin, however, there are no easter eggs in the trailers to confirm this possible theory. 

Although we don’t know what to expect from the secretive Marvel Studios, Tom Holland confirmed another Spider-Man trilogy in the future, this is a great movie to wrap up a year of madness. Over winter break, grab some popcorn with this long list of amazing Marvel movies! To prepare for “No Way Home,” take a trip to the Reddit rabbit hole of theories that will leave you hanging on by a web.