Spider-Man: No Way Home Explained (Heavy Spoilers)

Spider-Man: No Way Home has really upped the game again for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After Avengers: Endgame, the MCU was getting a little dull, but now they’re back in the game. In this article, we will go over all the spoilers, analysis of the plot, characters and the ending of Spider-Man No Way Home. Once again… spoilers ahead!

Let’s start with the most pressing question of them all!

Are Tobey McGuire and Andrew Garfield in Spider-Man: No Way Home?

Oh, hell YES and how! All those denials by the makers, Tobey and Andrew, were obviously a lie that most fans never believed anyway. There were enough leaks that proved without a doubt that this movie was going to have all three Spider-Men. What was really amazing was that Tobey and Andrew don’t just come in for a quick cameo in the ending; that would have been disappointing. 

There is a ton of screen time for all three in the film’s second half and tonnes of conversations that we’ve been waiting to hear for about 20 years. Like the fact that Tobey’s Parker doesn’t require a web-shooter, and if he can shoot webs only from his wrist or like Jack Black from other intriguing parts of the body. They even re-opened the conversation about his back, which was one of the funniest scenes in Spider-Man 2, “I’m back … My back”. We also get to know that MJ and Peter (Tobey) made it work and are happy together after all these years.

Andrew’s Spider-Man got its much-deserved closure with Tobey’s Spidey calling him amazing when Andrew calls himself “lame”. The third movie planned with Andrew Garfield was cancelled, and though he was very promising as Spider-Man, we never got to see what happened to him after Gwen died. In No Way Home, we hear his side of the story about how he became a more dark superhero who stopped pulling his punches. And, he saves a falling Michelle Jones, something he couldn’t do for his Gwen.

Each of the Peters becoming Spider-Man in a different era and falling in love with different women fell perfectly in line with the Multiverse setup. Their universes were dissimilar in so many ways. For instance, Tobey’s and Andrew’s realities never had The Avengers, and there was no Infinity War that caused people to be dusted.

Is Charlie Cox in Spider-Man: No Way Home?

Yes, Charlie Cox reprises his role as Matt Murdock, the blind lawyer who comes in to help Peter Parker and gang by lifting the charges on them. However, we don’t see him don the Daredevil suit in this film. But clearly, the future has excellent possibilities for a Spidey-DD team-up in the MCU!

What goes wrong with the spell in Spider-Man: No Way Home?

Spider-Man mj on the bridge

Because Mysterio happened to reveal Spider-Man’s identity to be Peter Parker, it affects the lives of his friends and family. Along with Peter, MJ and Ned get rejected from their college applications because of their association with Spider-Man. Peter goes to Dr Strange for help. Strange feels terrible for Peter and performs a spell to get everyone to forget that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. But Peter wants a certain few to remember his identity, namely MJ, Ned, Aunt May… but his list doesn’t seem to end. 

Strange’s spell is broken thanks to Peter’s constant interruptions. Given that the spell is tricky and crosses paths with known and unknown realities, this ruptures the fabric of their reality and causes people from other universes who know Spider-Man’s identity to enter Peter’s (Tom) universe. So now, not only does everyone in this universe retain their memories of Spider-Man’s identity, but we also have other people who know Peter’s secret coming in from parallel realities hunting him.

Who are the villains in Spider-Man: No Way Home?

Willem Dafoe reprises his role as the Green Goblin from Sam Raimi’s universe.

Alfred Molina is back as Doctor Octopus from Sam Raimi’s universe.

Thomas Haden Church returns as Sandman from Sam Raimi’s universe.

Rhys Ifans reprises his role as the Lizard from The Amazing Spider-Man universe.

Jamie Foxx returns as Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man universe.

Mid-Credits Scene: Is Venom in Spider-Man: No Way Home?

Oh, yes, Tom Hardy’s Venom is part of this film. He is shown in the Mid-Credits scene and is shown to not be from the MCU (and we already know that). Which universe he is from and how he integrates into the MCU will be known in the future as Venom film series does have plans to overlap with Spider-Man.

How are all the dead villains alive again in Spider-Man: No Way Home?

electro sandman lizard

Each of the villains (except Sandman) are transported to the MCU moments before their deaths. So all the villains are as young as they last were in their respective universes. This explains the enormous efforts to make Willem Dafoe and Alfred Molina look more than a decade younger.

Why have the other Spider-Men aged even though the villains have not?

The villains in each of the universes died fighting their respective Spider-Man. However, both Peters (Tobey and Andrew) grew older with time in their realities. Though the Spider-Men and their villains are from the same universes, they are from different times. 

For example, from Sam Raimi’s universe:

  • The Green Goblin comes from 2002. 
  • Doc Ock comes from 2004.
  • Peter (Tobey) comes from 2021.

From The Amazing Spider-Man universe:

  • The Lizard comes from 2012.
  • Electro comes from 2014.
  • Peter (Andrew) comes from 2021.

Why is Electro Golden Yellow and not Blue?

As Max Dillon mentions, this is a different universe, and he feels the power differently here. Also, he’s powered by Tony’s Arc Reactor. Above all, many didn’t like the blue rendition in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Yellow is closer to the comics.

How can Spider-Man’s body move despite having his astral form separated?

Spider-Man No Way Home Astral

Spider-Sense! Spider-Man’s tingling is involuntary, and his body responds to what his mind considers a threat. Strange trying to grab the spell-cube is a threat, and Spidey’s body simply responds by not letting Strange touch the cube. I’m not sure how Peter can swim back into his body at will. In Endgame, Bruce can only get back into his body when The Ancient One allows it. Please put your thoughts on this in the comments section below.

How does Spider-Man defeat Dr Strange in the Mirror Dimension?

The mirror dimension is a distorted reality but conforms to specific geometrical patterns. Given Peter Parker is a math geek, he’s able to quickly calculate his relative position to Dr Strange and multiply his webs to trap Dr Strange and exit the Mirror Dimension with his Sling Ring.

Aunt May’s Death

While initially, Peter Parker wants to send everyone back to their universes and let them handle their fates, and in many cases, certain death, Aunt May believes everyone needs a second chance. Peter fights Doctor Strange and stops him from terminating the spell and sending everyone back home. Some of them agree to be “cured”, and Doc Ock’s inhibitor chip is replaced, putting him in control of his robotic arms again. However, the Green Goblin personality takes over Osborn, sabotaging the setup allowing everyone to escape. The Goblin tosses a bomb at Aunt May, and she dies from her wounds.

If the Villains are “cured” won’t this change the flow of time in the other two universes?

Yes, curing the super-villains will alter the flow of events in both the other universes. Which should also alter both Peter’s lives over the years leading up to 2021. Causing some major paradoxes because we already know messing with time only causes it to mess back. But the film doesn’t go into that knowing it much like opening Pandora’s Box.

Here’s an example – Norman is cured. So back in his universe, he doesn’t try to kill Spider-Man and therefore not impaled by his glider. This would result in Harry being a happy kid and not obsessing over his father’s death and finding that his friend is Spider-Man. As a result, Harry wouldn’t turn villain and die in Peter’s arms. This would go back and erase that little joke where Ned promises to never become a super-villain.

The only logical conclusion to this paradoxical situation is what was presented in Avengers: Endgamethe past can not be changed. If there will be a new set of events in the lives of these villains, it will be in new timelines. As a specific example – a non-maniacal Norman will exist in an alternate timeline with events very different from what we saw in Spider-Man Part 1. And by extension, Peter (Toby) and Norman that we see in No Way Home are from different timelines because Peter (Toby) remembers Goblin being impaled and killed. This logic applies to all the characters that are from the past.

Spider-Man: No Way Home Ending Explained: What Happens To Peter Parker?

Dr Strange is unable to contain the many entities that begin entering from various other realities. All of these beings are those who know Spider-Man’s identity but are crossing over to the wrong universe. Peter (Tom) offers the only viable solution – to erase the memory of Peter Parker from everyone’s minds in his universe. The mix-up of the multiverse was thanks to the spell, drawing people from other realities to come after MCU’s Peter Parker (the wrong Peter). If Peter became unknown in his universe, they’d stop coming for him. At the end of Spider-Man: No Way Home, Peter bids goodbye to MJ and Ned and Dr Strange casts the spell making everyone forget Peter. 

Does this mean Peter is erased from existence in the MCU?

No, Peter (Tom) is not erased. Everyone on the planet has merely forgotten that such a person was in their lives. His school will still have records of him, and his teachers would probably wonder why they never paid attention to this brilliant student. Given he’s out of school, it’s fine timing as he can begin a new life in college. That said, the world has not forgotten Spider-Man. The Avengers would know of Spidey, but not his true identity. In the end, Peter plans to meet and tell MJ everything but holds back, realizing he’s only going to put her at risk if she becomes part of his life.

That apartment in Spider-Man: No Way Home

Peter moves into an apartment to begin his new life. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this looked exactly like the place Tobey’s Peter lives in Sami Raimi’s universe. A lovely touch!

It’s fantastic to see how Peter has now made himself a new suit free of any Stark tech and will now be his own [Spider-]man!

Post Credit Scene of Spider-Man No Way Home

This was a deep dive into what we can expect from the movie Doctor Strange: In The Multiverse Of Madness that shows Wanda, Kang and what appears to be an Evil Dr Strange similar to what we’ve seen in What If…