Jordyn Rose | staff writer
* This article contains spoilers for the Spider-Man franchise
The newest Spider-Man movie, Spider-Man: No Way Home, starring Tom Holland, has opened up a new world of possibilities for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
The movie follows Peter Parker after his identity as Spider-Man is revealed, and after he is framed for the murder of Mysterio, causing a division in the community support surrounding Spider-Man. Parker’s life shortly turns upside down as well as the lives of those closest to him, resulting in his girlfriend, MJ, his best friend, Ned, as well as himself not getting into college due to the recent controversy.
Feeling guilty about ruining his friend and girlfriend’s chance at college, Parker visits Doctor Strange and asks him to cast a spell to make the public forget that he is Spider-Man. The spell malfunctions, and ends up pulling everyone into Parker’s universe who knows that Peter Parker is Spider-Man, including the villains from the previous Spider-Man films starring Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. Together, they create cures for the villains and work to administer them.
As a whole, this movie is shifting the MCU into its next phase of content surrounding the multiverse.
The show Loki, released earlier in 2021, introduced the MCU to the concept of the multiverse, with the finale resulting in the disorder and branching of different universes, allowing for the possibility of individuals to travel between these realities. Later in 2021, the animated show, What-If?, was released, which displayed different realities and possibilities for certain characters.
With this newfound information from these shows, Spider-Man: No Way Home allowed for these possibilities of different universes and the travel between these universes to come to life on the big screen, permitting for a nostalgic reality for Spider-Man fans.
Despite the danger of the multiverse seeming to be solved at the end of the film, the second end-credit scene at the end of the movie displays the first teaser for Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness, which highlights that the multiverse is still an issue despite Doctor Strange’s efforts in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Therefore, this Spider-Man movie has permitted for a deeper understanding of the multiverse, which will be beneficial to know for future MCU films.
Along with this Spider-Man film being different by opening up the MCU’s possibilities for applications of the multiverse, this movie also allows for a tonal shift from Holland’s previous Spider-Man films as well as more of an insight into Holland’s Parker’s character.
Holland’s previous Spider-Man films revolve around Parker trying to figure out who he is and what kind of hero he wants to be, while he simultaneously juggles the awkwardness of being a teenager, his responsibilities and life outside of being Spider-Man. In Spider-Man: No Way Home, Parker still seems to struggle with who he is, although now the struggle seems to be revolving around his morals.
For example, at first, Parker believes the best thing for the villains is to send them back to their own universes before May points out that sending them to die would be better for Parker and not necessarily for the villains. This changes Parker’s mind and eventually leads to his attempts at curing them.
Additionally, toward the end of the film, there is a more graphic fight scene as compared to previous films from the franchise, which comes as a surprise to fans.
Holland’s Parker undergoes many emotional dilemmas throughout the film as he tries to navigate his morals and his overwhelming anger and grief toward the looming death around him, during which he receives advice to be true to himself.
These dilemmas contribute to a darker tone and display a vengeful, more troubled aspect in Parker’s character as opposed to the awkward teen depicted in Holland’s previous Spider-Man films.
With this enhanced insight into the darker aspects of Parker’s character and the implications of the multiverse, the MCU has been propelled into a more mature depiction of Spider-Man and his capabilities. They have allowed for the possibility of content that used to just be a dream for Spider-Man fans.
It is safe to say that anything is possible heading into the next phase of the MCU thanks to Spider-Man: No Way Home.