When Spider-Man wins, it’s Peter Parker who is defeated: the explanation of the final moments of the new Marvel Cinematic Universe film.
Spider-Man: No Way Home (Rating: 8.5 – Review) is a real treasure for Spidey lovers, thanks to the choice of bringing back a number of heroes and villains beloved by fans in an adventure that concludes the journey of Peter Parker in the MCU (or at least for the moment). A lot has changed for our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, and not necessarily for the better.
Did the ending of No Way Home leave you perplexed? Are you confused about how Peter’s secret identity restored thanks to Doctor Strange works, or the possibility that Spider-Man is still part of the Avengers? Let’s break down what exactly happened and why Spider-Man’s future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be very different from what we’ve seen so far.
No Way Home ending explained: how does Doctor Strange’s spell work?
No Way Home ends with a rather bleak moment for an MCU movie: after successfully dealing with the invasion of multiverse villains and saying goodbye to Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s two alternate incarnations of Spider-Man, the Spidey by Tom Holland gets the help of Doctor Strange who makes the whole multiverse forget his secret identity. However, there is a significant problem: the world remembers Spider-Man, but no one seems to have any memory of who Peter Parker is. This includes his two closest friends, Ned and MJ.
This global brainwashing is reminiscent of how Marvel Comics restored Spidey’s secret identity in the aftermath of the Civil War (2006) comic. In that case, Doctor Strange, Mister Fantastic and Iron Man collaborated on a sort of hybrid between spell and technological machine that made all the inhabitants of the world forget who was under the mask of Spider-Man. However, the key difference is that no one in the comics actually forgot Peter’s existence, only the fact that Peter foolishly chose to turn out to be a superhero at an internationally broadcast press conference (reminds you of anything, MCU fan? ).
In the cinematic universe of the House of Ideas, it seems that Peter Parker has suddenly become a perfect Mr. Nobody. Peter even denies his promise to reappear to Ned and MJ, deciding that his friends better not be involved in the Spider-Man dramas anymore. Now he’s completely alone in the world, which in all honesty is a pretty depressing way to end a superhero movie.
The question that will no doubt be explored in future Spider-Man films is: what will Peter do with this “gift”? Will he devote himself fully to his Spider-Man career? Will he try to rebuild his private life from scratch, even after losing Aunt May and becoming a stranger to Ned and MJ? Could it be thanks to this “blackout” that other historical comic characters, such as Harry Osborn and Gwen Stacy, will finally come into play? Is there still room for Ned, MJ, Flash Thompson and all of Peter’s other long-lost friends? We will most likely find out in Spider-Man 4.
Is Spider-Man still an Avenger?
If it’s true that the whole world has forgotten Peter Parker’s existence, what does this mean for his relationship with the Avengers (or whatever is left of the team after the events of Endgame)? Based on what we know of the effects of Strange’s spell, the world still remembers Spider-Man’s past exploits: the Avengers will remember fighting alongside Spidey in Civil War, Infinity War and Endgame, however they will no longer remember who. was under the mask of Spider-Man.
Essentially, Spider-Man’s story as the Avenger will remain intact, but the team should no longer have a way to contact him in the event of a new emergency. The ball will pass entirely to Peter, who can then decide whether he will continue to work alongside the most powerful heroes on Earth or not. This could also have repercussions on his character in the future of the MCU: will he try to work alone, or will he try to make new allies?