WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS!
by Ainsley Burns
Spider-man: No Way Home is a movie that Marvel fans, Spidey fans and superhero fans have been waiting for since Marvel announced Phase 4. I was able to see the movie and, being the ginormous Marvel fan I am, I’m going to let you in on easter eggs, spoilers and my guesses where the next movies direction are going.
Let's start with the basics. I’m going to break down the MCU for all you newbies and first timers. The MCU stands for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is the universe that Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, etc. live in, along with Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. The MCU is a complicated and intricate movie series, with twenty-six movies, five Disney Plus series and more content on its way. It's one of the biggest and weirdest stories out there. The MCU began back in 2008 with its first movie, Iron Man. Soon the franchise grew into what it is today: a multi-billion dollar franchise with a ginormous fan base. The series movies are all connected beautifully and fit together in a way most film series couldn’t ever accomplish, and fans love it, including me. The MCU is a big deal to a lot of people, but so is Spider-Man, and this movie is one of the best Spider-Man movies out there. This has been a long-awaited film and is arguably one of Marvel’s greatest movies.
I’m going to start with spoilers because, my gosh I gotta get this off my chest! So if you haven’t seen the movie yet, I would strongly recommend you stop reading and go watch the movie. Ok here it goes… TOBEY AND ANDREW!!! I KNEW IT I KNEW IT I KNEW IT!!! This movie was a rollercoaster of emotions, and I can confidently say I screamed the loudest when Andrew showed up. This was a reveal that we were praying for to the Marvel gods and even Mephisto, and boy did Marvel deliver! For months, Andrew Garfield denied photos, accusations, literal evidence that he was going to make an appearance in this film even saying, “I feel like I’m in a game of mafia or werewolf. I am not the werewolf guys, I am not the werewolf.” Seems to me like Andrew was definitely the werewolf, and we all saw it coming. I loved both Tobey and Andrews' entrances; they were funny and nostalgic and just filled audiences with pure joy. It was amazing to see these two back on the screen and see all three Spider-Men share the screen.
While we’re talking about spoilers, the movie had two end credit scenes, something that Marvel is notorious for. The first end credit scene was of our favorite symbiot, Venom and his trusty vessel, Eddie Brock. I love seeing these two together; they’re just so fun. The end credit scene for Venom and Eddie's last movie, Let There Be Carnage, set up a very interesting look at Spider-Man: No Way Home. Let There Be Carnage’s end credit scene showed Venom growling at a tv screen with Tom Holland’s Spider-Man saying, “That guy,” in his creepy-alien-super-voice. Sadly, we didn’t get to see Venom in Spider-Man: No Way Home until the very end during the first end credit scene. Eddie is sitting at a bar that seems to be located in Mexico talking to a bartender. He is very confused and is asking about lots of events from the MCU storyline when, all of the sudden, he disappears just like the others in the film. But on the counter where he was seated, we see a small black goop that we can only assume comes from Venom himself. There are lots of theories I could go into, but this article is already quite long, so I’ll ask the question: What does this small goop of Venom mean? Could it be anti-Venom? Another form of Venom? Or could it have literally nothing to do with anything? That’s the exciting thing about end credit scenes: you just get a tiny taste of something you can’t see.
What about the second end credit scene with Doctor Strange? With The Multiverse of Madness being the next movie coming out in May, we have yet to see a trailer…until now. That’s right, the second end credit scene is the very first look at MoM (Multiverse of Madness). There are so many important details in this trailer that I could write a whole other article about, which I probably will do, but let's just mention the top things. The first thing I want to talk about is the freaking multiverse! What started in Wandavision with Chaos Magic, was made bigger in Loki with the TVA, and was exploited more than anything we’ve seen so far from Marvel in Spider-Man: No Way Home. MoM is a whole staircase into this crazy idea known as the multiverse.
This is an idea that hasn’t really been used before for a movie and definitely not a film series like Marvel. It's a hard idea to top, and to get it right really. There are so many ways this idea could go in a direction that could ruin Marvel, but it can also be something incredible that could change how we see movies, and with Marvel's track record, that's most likely the case. This beautiful idea is filled with ideas inside itself and is something only Marvel could come up with.
So what are some of the key things we need to know about this movie? Let's start with the question most of you are asking: who was the girl in the denim jacket? This my friends is none other than America Chavez, a superhero from the comics we have yet to meet. Why is she significant? One of America's powers is called star portal creation, the rare ability to smash open star shaped portals and travel the Multiverse--yep the multiverse. She is also a friend of Kamala Khan A.K.A Ms. Marvel who has an upcoming Disney Plus show. In the trailer, we see Dr. Strange falling through a star shaped portal that might have been created by America. I think America, though she hasn’t been mentioned much, is going to have a big role to play in MoM.
Another character we see is a creepier, darker version of Dr.Strange. At first, I thought it was Strange Supreme, a version of Dr. Strange from the What If…? Series on Disney Plus, but I’m not sure anymore. The team of this show has told us there will be multiple Doctor Strange variants throughout the movie, and I just don’t think that the What if..? Series is directly connected to the MCU. It just doesn’t make much sense, especially since this was an animated series, and bringing it into the live action area just doesn't seem like a good idea. There is also a second season of What If..? coming out after MoM will have already been in theaters. It doesn’t make much sense to have these two things connected. Even the comic books didn’t connect to the main story line. The What if…? comic series was written as something for Marvel fans to connect to, it was basically canon fanfic and that's what the tv series did too. It leaves us with questions like Who is this weird creepy version of Strange? Could it be Mephisto? Basically I just don’t think that the evil Doctor Strange we see is Strange Supreme.
Now let's finally get to the moment you’ve all been waiting for: Easter eggs! Where do I even start? This movie is chock full of references from past Spider-Man movies, comic artists and even Stan Lee the Great.
The first big one I'm going to mention is MJ’s full name. In the comics and past movies her name has always been Mary Jane Watson, but in No Way Home, we hear her real name for the first time in the MCU--Michelle Jones Watson. It just shows that the MCU is really diving into that multiverse stuff.
The next one that I am so freaking excited about is Matt Murdock AKA Daredevil. As you may have heard, Marvel Studios has confirmed Charlie Cox’s return as Daredevil, a character he played in a Netflix's show back in 2015. In No Way Home we get daredevils first appearance in the mcu as not daredevil but Matt Murdock. A lawyer who was blinded in an accident as a kid, he uses his heightened senses to fight criminals as the vigilante “daredevil”. In No Way Home, he is Peter’s lawyer and when a brick is thrown through the window with the note “We believe Mysterio,” he catches it right before it hits Peter in the head. Peter asks, “How did you do that?” with Matts response being “I’m a really good lawyer.'' It was a funny, and charming way to introduce him to the universe, and Daredevil fans everywhere can’t wait to see what's going to happen.
We finally get the famous “With great power comes great responsibility” line that Uncle Ben has said in the comics, and in both past Spider-Man series. It was the first time we have heard it in the MCU, and just like in the other Spider-Man films, the line comes with a price. In this film, we never meet Uncle Ben. He might not even exist in this universe, so instead of losing the wise old Uncle Ben, we lose the kind, loving Aunt May. There were sobs in the theater when Aunt May let out her last breaths. This was a very emotional scene, and like most MCU deaths, it hit hard and was acted out amazingly. We were finally given the famous words but in a different way--not changed by much, but changed. Aunt May says the words “With great power, there must also come great responsibility.” It's always a hard scene to watch and this one was harder than most.
Spiderman into the Spiderverse is a beloved movie and has a sequel coming up next year. Many have speculated that Mile Morales will soon join the MCU. In Spider-Man No Way Home, Maxwell Dillon A.K.A. Electro sits down with Andrew Garfeild’s Spider-Man. After he has been cured of his power, he tells Peter he thought Peter would be a black man because of the good work he does. He then says there's got to be a black Spider-Man somewhere in the multiverse. Myself and others think this is a direct mention to Miles Morales, hinting that he might make a cameo or appearance in a future film.
The last easter egg I want to talk about is MJ falling from the statue. In this scene, MJ is running from The Lizard when she’s knocked off by him. She falls, and it looks almost identical to 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Gwen Stacy scene. In the movie, Gwen Stacy, Andrew Garfeild’s love interest dies from falling off a building and hits her head before Peter can catch her. In No Way Home, Tom Holland's Peter jumps after MJ, almost reaching her before he is swept up by the Green Goblin. Andrew Garfeild sees MJ falling and leaps into action, catching her before she falls. When they land he asks “Are you ok?” with tears in his eyes. MJ’s response is “Yeah, are you?” Andrew simply nods. This was the scene that caused me to cry the most, and yes I cried more than once. It’s beautiful and lets Andrew have his redemption.
This movie was one of the most amazing movies I have ever seen. It was emotional and funny and different and dark and it was exactly how a Marvel movie should be. I loved it, and I hope you did too. Write in the comments if I missed anything!