Marvel’s Multiverse – Spiderman: No Way Home


Chip and Company

From college admissions to a multiverse, Peter Parker faces new challenges in Marvel’s third Spiderman movie.

*Disclaimer: Spoilers Ahead*


Spiderman: No Way Home, one of the most highly anticipated films of 2021, did not disappoint viewers. Amassing a little over 1.5 billion dollars in box office records and having a certified freshness of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, avid Marvel and Spiderman fans, as well as those who may have been looking for a good movie to watch during the holiday season, rushed to theaters to see the movie. In No Way Home, the audience was reunited with familiar characters such as Daredevil’s Matt Murdock as well as introduced to ones from another universe which may be familiar to you from previous Spiderman films….  

In the latest Spiderman movie, Peter Parker – not so much your neighborhood friendly spiderman anymore – has new responsibilities to assume: ranging from submitting a college application to MIT with his best friend Ned and his girlfriend MJ to dealing with the new problem of having his identity revealed to the world (courtesy of Mysterio at the end of Spiderman: Far from Home). If we didn’t already hate Jake Gyllenhall after listening to Taylor Swift’s 10 minute version of ‘All Too Well,’ we do now. As seniors who have just recently seen the light at the end of the tunnel in the college applications process, we can imagine how frustrated Peter must have felt when his friends and himself had to open their rejection letters from their top choice university due to association with Spiderman. 

The major conflict in the movie, apart from getting rejected from MIT of course, is Dr. Strange and Peter Parker accidentally opening the multiverse. In an effort to get his friends into MIT, Peter formulates a plan with Strange to erase the link between Spiderman and Peter Parker that exists in everyone’s memory via a spell. When Strange’s spell goes awry, villains from past Spiderman movies and Spiderman comics – Green Goblin, Doc Ock, Electro, Sandman, and Lizard –  come to Peter’s universe, and it is up to him, MJ, and Ned to send them back. However, it’s not as simple as that. Peter learns that once the villains are sent back to their universe they will live out their fate –  killed by their version of Peter Parker. Though Peter is tempted to brush off this outcome as something that is out of his control, a heart-to-heart discussion with his Aunt Mae reminds him that as a standing Avenger, fate does not dictate Peter’s responsibility – his compassion does. And so, Peter ensues on a mission from the comfort of privacy in one of Happy Hogan’s apartments to send the multiverse villains back to their home safely. 

His plan seems to be working well and the villains are on board with the solution Parker has found with the help of Dr. Norman Osborne (Green Goblin) and Dr. Octavius’s (Doc Ock) scientific expertise. When Peter has successfully cured Doc Ock’s condition that previously led him to his death, he begins to help Electro. However, his infamous ‘spidey senses’ cause a falter in his operations. Dr. Osborne, who suffers from an uncontrollable dual personality between himself and the Green Goblin, begins to lose senses. Now consumed by the Green Goblin, Osborne derails the plan to cure the multiverse villains and wreaks havoc. He convinces the other villains to leave Parker and bombs the building in order to escape. Caught in the consequences, Aunt Mae struggles to keep her breath as she tries to get her final words across to Peter. Sending chills across the audience with the familiar phrase ‘with great power comes great responsibility,’ Aunt Mae reminds Peter not to lose his spirit. 

Not having heard from Peter in a while, MJ and Ned decide to look for him. Ned, having obtained Dr. Strange’s sling ring (a tool used by sorcerers to open portals), opens a portal, saying to show him Peter Parker. In the portal, MJ and Ned see Peter in the Spiderman suit, only for him to jump through and reveal himself to be a Peter Parker from a different universe. Fans will immediately recognize this as Andrew Garfield’s version of Peter Parker from The Amazing Spider Man movies released in 2012 and 2014. After proving himself to truly have spiderman powers to the duo, Ned decides to try opening a portal to his Peter Parker again, only this time, Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker steps through (your ears would be bleeding at this point from all the screaming and applause in the theater). At a loss for where to find their Peter, MJ and Ned question the other two Peters as to where he may be hiding. The two have an easy answer, saying anywhere he would go to be alone. They find him quickly after that.  

Sitting on top of a roof grieving the death of his aunt, MJ and Ned come to comfort Peter (Holland). They soon reveal Peter (Garfield) and Peter (Maguire) to Peter (Holland). (Apologies for the confusion) At the loss of Mae, Peter has resigned from all attempts to help the multiverse villains and tells his company he is fine with leaving them to their fate. Peter (Garfield) and Peter (Maguire) comfort Peter (Holland), explaining their own losses of their Uncle Ben and girlfriend, Gwen Stacy. The three relate to each other as they all feel they were responsible for their loved one’s death. But, they know there is a price to being a hero, and the three Peters emphasize the phrase they were all told, “with great power comes great responsibility.” Understanding that Aunt Mae, Gwen, and Uncle Ben would have wanted their Peters to continue doing the ‘right thing’ they plan to continue curing the villains and send them home safely. 

After finishing all the cures in a lab, the Peters, MJ, and Ned set out to administer them to each of the villains. In a grand fight scene that is everything Marvel fans ever wanted, the Peters seem to be succeeding in the plan. When Dr. Strange returns, Peter (Holland) must explain to him that they are extremely close in curing them, with just Green Goblin left. Green Goblin ends up taunting Peter (Holland) over the death of Aunt Mae. Peter (Holland) fights him and comes close to killing him, only to be stopped by Peter (Maguire), knowing that’s not who Peter (Holland) is. Once Green Goblin is cured, they are ready to return everyone back to their universe. 

Once Dr. Strange completes the spell, the multiverse tears open and everyone who knows Peter Parker in any universe tries to come through. The only way for Dr. Strange to stop that from happening is to go through with the initial spell froman, he has to make everyone across the multiverse forget who Peter Parker is. Peter shares a heartfelt goodbye with MJ and Ned, promising to explain everything to them once they forget, and Dr. Strange goes through with the spell. 

Keeping his promise, Peter goes to see MJ and Ned, yet decides to not explain everything as he sees how great their lives are without the danger they would be put in with him. He leaves, and gets a new apartment, where he makes his own new suit and continues to swing around New York City as a friendly, neighborhood Spiderman. 

As the screen cut to credits, we were most definitely racking our brains for a response to the movie. Not only did it fulfill its standard to entertain, but the integration of older Spidermans and characters made the film a link between generations of superhero fans. This film was thrilling to every Marvel fan, but it also promised a bright future with the incorporation of the multiverse, expanding the possibilities for where the MCU can go from here. And, like always, you can count on Marvel to give us a sneak peek of what they have in store. With two end credits scenes – one being the trailer for the next Dr. Strange film – left us on the edge of our seats as it was revealed that the problem of an opened multiverse was far from over. Spiderman: No Way Home was most certainly a strong end to Marvel’s 2021. We cannot wait to see what 2022 will bring for the long-renowned franchise. 


Anna Rose ‘22 & Spandana Vagwala ‘22, Staff Writer & Co-Editor-in-Chief &