Spider-Man: No Way Home has officially reached theaters worldwide, finally giving fans the chance to experience the webhead’s Multiversal journey. Teaming up with Iron Man and fighting alongside the Avengers doesn’t even come close to the trials and tribulation Tom Holland’s Spider-Man has to endure in the threequel, with No Way Home quite possibly being his biggest solo adventure yet.
The film is already off to a monumental start commercially, managing to achieve the third-highest Thursday preview opening at the box office ever. With so many people already having watched the MCU threequel, discussions about the film’s shocking revelations have run amok.
The ending of the film also had major ramifications for how Spider-Man will continue in the MCU, severely shaking up Peter Parker’s status quo. But that might not be such a bad thing.
Spider-Man: No Way Home's Ending Explained
Warning - This article contains spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home.
In order to save the day at the end of No Way Home, Peter has to make the ultimate sacrifice: allow everyone he knows and loves to no longer know and love him. A Doctor Strange spell to erase everyone's memory of Peter Parker is the only way to prevent any more individuals that know of his identity from entering the MCU, ultimately leading to a worldwide mind wipe.
All the friends and foes that he's met across his MCU tenure have forgotten who he is, restoring Spider-Man's hidden identity but ridding the world of the memories of Peter Parker in the process.
No longer will Peter be remembered as Iron Man's protégé, nor will he be butt-dialed by a faux Nick Fury. And most tragically of all, his relationships with Ned and MJ have completely crumbled.
Peter tries to reconnect with his former friends but just can't bring himself to do so. But despite losing everything in his life and being forced to settle for a dingy apartment, Peter still seems to have a positive outlook in classic Spider-Man fashion.
So while the overall outcome is perhaps one of the most depressing conclusions in Spider-Man history, it might be just what the character needed.
Disconnected From Iron Man-Tech and the Avengers
A common criticism of the MCU's Spider-Man is his reliance (intentional or not) on others. Tony Stark gave more than a few helping hands in the costume department, providing him with overpowered suits-a-plenty throughout his various appearances. Parker's allegiance with the Avengers can even be seen as somewhat of a crutch, as No Way Home involves Peter directly going to a fellow member of Earth's Mightiest Heroes for assistance.
It's nice for Spider-Man to get a helping hand every now and then, but part of Peter Parker's character is his struggle to balance everything on his own. Having Iron Man in Homecoming, Nick Fury in Far From Home, and Doctor Strange in No Way Home is cool, but it's also a tad distracting.
Now, the web-slinger has the chance to stand on his own two feet. After learning important lessons from Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Aunt May, and more across his MCU tenure, it's time for Peter to make mistakes and figure things out on his own.
Now he's got no mentor to fall back on, no Avengers to hang out with, and no Stark Industries-tech to fix up his suits. In Far From Home, Spidey was able to synthesize new costumes just like that. Going forward, Peter will learn the pain of repairing suits with just a needle and thread. This will make it all the more satisfying when Peter gets new gadgets like web bombs and spider drones, as he will have done it all by himself.
Sure, he may have gotten inspiration from the gizmos he used to have, but a Spidey that's cobbling together tools with shoestring and duct tape and constantly having to conserve web fluid takes the character right back to how he was originally envisioned in the comics.
This means that fans get the best of both worlds with the MCU's Spider-Man. After getting to see a Spider-Man interact with so many different Marvel characters, now audiences can enjoy a Spidey that goes back to his roots in a similar fashion to the previous Spider-Man franchises. And a Peter that's going back to his roots means a Peter that's...
A Poor Peter Parker
...Poor! Although it's been suggested that Aunt May and Peter have struggled financially, it's no secret that Peter has had a bit of help on the side thanks to ol' Tony Stark.
Peter's working-class status is another major part of Spider-Man's identity, which the MCU has somewhat sidestepped up to this point. Adding financial instability on top of Peter's long list of items to juggle will only make him more relatable, with the homemade nature of Peter's shimmery new red and blue suit symbolizing the return to his roots.
Spider-Man's economic troubles will also open up new opportunities for him. In tandem with J. Jonah Jameson now forgetting his identity, empty pockets could end up leading Spidey to work for The Daily Bugle. While former classmate and current Bugle intern Betty Brant won't be able to give him a glowing reference, Parker should be able to do a couple of odd jobs for the news program in spite of the vitriol it spews out.
New Friendly Faces
Starting fresh also gives Peter the ability to explore other avenues of his comic book history that have yet to be covered in the MCU. Ned and MJ won't be forgotten forever, but their potential sidelining for at least a short period of time could provide plenty of room for other characters to step in.
MIT will have likely all but forgotten Peter Parker's application, meaning he could go to a different college or find another side-gig to keep him busy when he's not swinging about.
This could be how Marvel Studios introduces other classic Spider-Man allies to join his core cast, like Harry Osborn, Gwen Stacy, or even Miles Morales. The latter was previously teased in Homecoming by Aaron Davis and was hinted towards again by Electro's hope for a Black Spider-Man somewhere out in the Multiverse in No Way Home.
Thanks to the Blip and the five years it gave the MCU, it's possible that Miles is all grown up now and ready to set off for college. Perhaps he and Peter will attend the same university, paving the way for Morales to take on the webhead mantle too. This could create a unique dynamic between the pairing, similar to how Marvel's Spider-Man on PlayStation handled the duo.
The video game depicted a relationship where the two are swinging side-by-side, which could be carried over to the MCU's rendition. Marvel Studios could differentiate their version by having the two be the same age, resulting in Peter not always having the answers unlike the PlayStation version of the character.
It would ultimately be a shame though if Marvel Studios never returned to the trio established throughout the Homecoming trilogy, considering how much chemistry they all have when starring alongside each other. Given how contented Peter was with leaving his pals to live a perceived better life, there's a good chance that Marvel will give Ned and MJ some distance before having a grand reunion.
It's The Spider-Man Thing to Do
Above all else, Spider-Man: No Way Home's ending is good for the character because it stays true to his fundamental elements. Sure, it somewhat destroys Spider-Man's history in the MCU, but that's what Peter is willing to give up for the greater good of his loved ones and the world. And that's so Spider-Man.
On top of that, it unlocks even more storytelling possibilities to come. A layer of tension has been restored for Spider-Man's future stories, not just in that his identity could be revealed or compromised again but also the fact that he has a history with characters and he has chosen not to tell them. Marvel Studios may have hit the reset button on Spidey, but Peter's secret can realistically only linger for so long.
After six MCU appearances, Spider-Man can finally be Spider-Man.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is in theaters now.