Marvel’s web 

Spider-Man No Way Home and it’s connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe

“Spider-Man: No Way Home,” (NWH)  is Marvel’s newest movie release, and has grossed more than $1.8 billion since its release on Dec. 17, 2021. NWH is the third Spider-Man movie starring Tom Holland and is already the sixth highest grossing movie worldwide. The all-time global chart shows the movie has surpassed many popular movies such as “Jurassic World” and “The Lion King.” NWH is also the first movie to hit the $1 billion mark in box office sales since the start of the pandemic. The movie picked up right after the end of that last Spider-Man movie, “Spider-Man: Far From Home ” (FFH).


FFH left off right after Quentin Beck, a.k.a. Mysterio, revealed Peter Parker’s secret identity as Spider-Man to the world. In NWH, Parker deals with the aftermath of his identity being exposed and the effect it has on his loved ones. After a series of tragic events involving rejection letters from college and constant media attention, Parker goes to Dr. Strange, another prominent superhero in the MCU who is a sorcerer who used to be a surgeon, to find a way to make the world forget his identity as Spider-Man. The main plot of the movie unfolds because a spell to make the world forget Parker was Spider-Man failed. As a result of the faulty spell, villains from other Spider-Man movie universes appear in Parker’s universe. 

Previous Spider-Men Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield had an appearance in the movie, to the surprise of audiences. Maguire starred in “Spider-Man” (2002) and the next two movies in the series, “Spider-Man 2” (2004) and “Spider-Man 3” (2007).  Garfield was Spider-Man from 2012 to 2014, starring in “The Amazing Spider-Man” (2012) and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” (2014). Until NWH, Tom Holland was the only confirmed Spider-Man within the MCU. Maguire and Garfield appeared a little more than halfway through the film to help Holland’s Spider-Man defeat the villains from their respective universes. The characters bonded over their similarities and differences; they were truly different characters as alternate-universe versions of Peter Parker. 

The Tom Holland Spider-Man trilogy is very different from the other Spider-Man movies. Aunt May is noticeably younger than the Andrew Garfield May and way younger than the Tobey Maguire May. Holland’s Spider-Man movies also do not include Uncle Ben, an essential character in Spider-Man’s origins in the comics and in both Maguire and Garfield’s movies. The only reference to Uncle Ben in Holland’s movies was in FFH, where Parker’s suitcase has Ben’s initials on them. The iconic line, “great power comes with great responsibility,” was delivered by May in NWH. In both comics and previous Spider-Man movies, this line is usually delivered by Uncle Ben. The Maguire series is acknowledged most like the comic books and cartoon television show from 1967, which is a personal favorite of mine. Parker’s boss at the Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson, featured in the Holland and Maguire Spider-Man movies. The only relationship he has with Parker was revealing to the world he was Spider-Man and being a minor antagonist in NWH. Garfield’s Spider-Man movies were missing Jameson as a character; and the Macguire movies were the only ones to have Parker interact with Jameson, work under Jameson, and have a job as a photographer for the publication. 

The love interests in the three separate Spider-Man movies were also similar. In the Holland movies, Parker is dating Michelle Jones, M.J. Maguire also dated an M.J., Mary Jane Watson, a classic comic book character. The love interest in Garfield’s movies was Gwen Stacy. In NWH, Garfield saves M.J. from Holland’s universe from falling to her death, a powerful moment after Stacy’s death in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” 

“Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends” (1981-1983), an animated television series based on Spider-Man comics, ran for three seasons and featured Spider-Man, Ice-Man, and Firestar. It was always a favorite of mine and what I would consider a massive part of my childhood. It would be really amazing to see a live action show starring Tom Holland after his Spider-Man’s clean start over at the end of the movie, Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man after the events of “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” or a completely new actor playing a new version of Spider-Man. There are so many different casting possibilities for Ice-Man and Firestar, characters featured in “Spider Man and his Amazing Friends” (1981-1983). It may be fun to see how Spider-Man further explores the multiverse. Fan theories include possibly seeing the cartoon and comic character Miles Morales in a live action movie with the other Spider-Man characters from different universes. There was also the inclusion of Venom in the end-credits seen on NWH, so Venom will eventually be incorporated in the Tom Holland Spider-Man universe at one point now that he is confirmed as part of the Spider-Man multiverse. The multiverse could also include Wanda Maximoff, who is more like her original X-Men universe counterpart in the recent television series “WandaVision” (2021).

Wanda will also be in the new Dr. Strange movie, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” that is coming out on May 6, 2022. Dr. Strange was a significant character in NWH, and his  actions could be considered as the catalyst of the movie. The movie trailer shows Dr. Strange dealing with the aftermath of NWH and Wanda recovering from the grief of the events that happened in “WandaVision.” At the end of “WandaVision,” Wanda lost the man she loves again, lost her family, and escaped being trapped in that fake town by a witch.

NWH’s connection to Dr. Strange leads to connections in other parts of the MCU. Dr. Strange is connected to another recent Marvel movie, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” At the mid credit scene of the movie ” Wong, a Dr. Strange character, showed up to take Shang-Chi and his friend  to the Dr. Strange headquarters in New York to speak to other important Marvel characters.

To my surprise, Matt Murdock, better known as Daredevil, made a quick cameo in the beginning of NWH as Peter Parker’s lawyer. The appearance confirmed that the Netflix television series “Daredevil” was a part of the MCU. Matt Murdock is a crime-fighting blind lawyer who uses his heightened senses and sense of justice to keep New York safe. In the comic books, Daredevil often collaborates with Spider-Man, so, as a massive fan, I was very excited to see him in a Spider-Man movie. The short cameo was a fun reference for fans and hints at Daredevil finally taking a greater role in the MCU movies.

Daredevil is also connected to the recent Marvel Disney Plus show, “Hawkeye.” The main villain, and ringleader, in “Hawkeye” is revealed at the very end of the show as Kingpin. Kingpin is a Daredevil villain which could mean a future season of “Hawkeye” could include Daredevil, or a larger movie could merge “Hawkeye” and “Daredevil.” The actor that played Kingpin in “Hawkeye,” Vincent D’Onofrio, was also the actor who played Kingpin in the Netflix show “Daredevil.”

 “Hawkeye” also includes Yelena Belova who was Natasha Romanov’s (Black Widow) sister.  Belova was introduced to us in the “Black Widow” movie, in which the extra credit scene of that movie showed her newest assignment was to kill Clint Barton (Hawkeye).  Belova got her assignment from the mysterious Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, a character shown in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” who promoted Jonathan Walker to U.S. Agent in the show.

As of right now, all of the Disney Plus shows, besides “Loki”, tie into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is unclear what the future of “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” will be, especially with Belova being connected to Allegra de Fontaine. It is also uncertain what Loki’s role will be in the future (however a season two of “Loki” has been confirmed). “Loki” did include multiple variants and versions of Loki, so maybe “Loki” will be connected to the upcoming Dr. Strange movie.

As of now, all the different parts of the MCU are intertwined and connected somehow. Marvel has been using the Disney Plus Marvel shows as a precursor for the larger Marvel movies. Marvel’s Phase Three ended after “Avengers: Endgame.” Phase Four of Marvel includes everything that has been released through Marvel and Disney Plus after “Avengers: Endgame.” Upcoming movie additions to Phase Four include “Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness” (May 6, 2022), “Thor: Love and Thunder” (July 8, 2022), “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (November 11, 2022), “The Marvels” (February 17, 2023), “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” (May 23, 2022),  “Blade” (release date has not been released), and “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” (July 28, 2023). Phase Four television shows that are coming are “Ms. Marvel” (which connects to WandaVision), “She-Hulk” (that I am so unbelievably excited for), “MoonKnight,” Secret Invasion,” “Ironheart,” “Armor Wars,” and “I am Groot.”

It seems that in the newest phase of the MCU, the six original Avengers are not being replaced, but their roles are being filled by characters that are similar or connected to them in some way. There is the idea that there could be the “new” avengers. The concept of the new avengers in the multiple comic book versions have included characters like Wolverine from X-Men, Spider-Woman, Bucky Barnes as Captain America, Ronin, Ms. Marvel, Luke Cage, and Mockingbird. “Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow” from 2008 ran off of the concept that the new avengers were children of the previous avengers. The new avengers would almost be like a group similar to the previous ones, like the previous avengers had a mentor or parental relationship with. It could include people new MCU characters that could reference previous avengers members like Yelena Belova (Black Widow), Kate Bishop (Hawkeye), She-Hulk (Hulk), possibly Shang-Chi, Jane Foster as a female Thor, Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes (Captain America), Spider-Man (Iron Man), and other new characters in the MCU. The elusive Valentina de Fontaine could take on a Nick Fury-like role, or Nick Fury could reclaim his role in the avengers, or the new avengers could go in a completely non-government regulated direction. The new avengers could mean that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man could be a part of it and that there could be more in the future of Spider-Man. With the Spider-Man multiverse being confirmed, there are so many possibilities for the direction Tom Holland’s Spider-Man could take.