Spider-Man: No Way Home has officially swung into theaters, and fans can't get enough of the Multiversal adventure and all of its shocks and surprises. From the outstanding box office results to viral campaigns for Sony to reconsider past Spidey projects, the Tom Holland-led threequel has set the fanbase alight with excitement.
Now that fans have gotten the chance to analyze the film and all of its shocking revelations, a couple of questions, inconsistencies, and plot holes have come to light. Many have questions about No Way Home's bombshell of an ending, which may have sent shockwaves throughout the history of the MCU.
Another plot hole has been pointed out in No Way Home's narrative, but there may be a few plausible explanations.
No Way Home’s Potential Plot Hole
Warning - This article contains spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Doctor Strange’s botched spell that brought over Peter’s Multiversal foes had one rule: they all knew Peter Parker’s identity.
Or were they? There may be some explanations as to why Electro and Venom were brought over. Let's start with Electro, who has an exchange with Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man that some are interpreting as implying that the electrifying villain was shocked by Peter's real identity when he made the jump to the MCU:
“Can I tell you something?…You got a nice face, you’re just a kid. You’re from Queens. You got that suit, you help a lot of poor people. I just thought you was gonna be Black.”
This could be Max reflecting on having just recently learnt Peter's identity, as was interpreted by some fans. However, Electro's non-specific wording could suggest that he previously believed Spider-Man was Black for a time but then later found out prior to No Way Home, with now being the only chance that Max has had to tell Peter; Electro was too busy trying to become living energy the last time they met, so he didn't exactly have a cool head to question who was under the mask.
While it's true Max seemingly never learns Spider-Man's identity in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, there may be a few ways that he could have learnt the truth.
Venom, on the other hand, is a harder symbiotic nut to crack. Eddie Brock, the buffoon that he is, has no relation to Peter Parker, only learning of the guy when he shifted universes.
There may be a simple explanation to both of these predicaments though...
Okay, hear me out. The five primary villains that crossed over No Way Home's narrative have to be Variants. If they weren't, Tobey Magure and Andrew Garfield's Spider-Men would have remembered their villainous encounters occurring a bit differently, as they would have recalled their foes being plucked out of their universe before being spat right back where they left. So while the villains are from similar universes to their original movies, they aren't exactly the same versions.
Therefore, what if Electro is simply a Variant that learnt of Peter Parker's identity somewhere in his version of The Amazing Spider-Man 2? Max was shown to be a mega Spider-Man fan through his apartment, so perhaps another version initially believed that Spider-Man was Black before figuring out that it was Peter Parker under the mask.
But how on Earth could Eddie Brock's Venom be a Variant? He has to be the same version as the one from Venom: Let There Be Carnage's post-credits scene...right? Well, a plot hole may just explain another plot hole here. When Brock makes the jump to the MCU, the Daily Bugle news report shows footage of a maskless Peter Parker. The only catch is that this never actually happens in Far From Home or No Way Home, as Peter never takes his mask off amongst the crowd.
What if the Venom that is seen in the post-credits scene of No Way Home is actually a Variant of Tom Hardy's Eddie Brock that is aware of Peter Parker's identity through a Spider-Man from his universe? This would mean that the Eddie Brock in the Let There Be Carnage post-credits stinger has been sent to a slightly different version of the MCU...for whatever reason.
If that theory seems too farfetched, the comics may offer a more reasonable, comic-based explanation.
The Symbiote Hivemind
In the pages of Marvel Comics, there exists a concept known as the symbiote hivemind, which has the ability to connect the minds and memories of symbiotes across time, space, and universes. If another symbiote that is part of the hive knows of Peter's identity, then Tom Hardy's Venom would have this knowledge as well, even if Eddie Brock doesn't realize it.
Perhaps this was the key that allowed Doctor Strange's spell to cherry pick Venom and bring him over.
This does raise the question of why Topher Grace's Venom wouldn't also be transported over, as he explicitly knew Peter Parker's identity and died at the hands of Spider-Man. If the Venom from Spider-Man 3 had access to the symbiote hivemind too then he would've known Peter's identity twofold, making Grace's Eddie Brock doubly eligible for Strange's spell.
Reassessing The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Returning back to Electro, there might be a brief moment that Max Dillon may have figured out Peter Parker's identity in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 -- or at least seen the man underneath the suit.
During the final battle between Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man and Electro, the electrifying villain turns himself into pure energy and collides with the web-slinger multiple times. Perhaps when Dillon electrocutes Spider-Man in his energy form, -- and stay with me now --- his atomic composure allows him to get close enough in proximity to see what's underneath Spidey's costume. A bit perverse maybe, but this might be the only time that Electro would be able to make this discovery.
It might be a bit odd for Dillon to find this out and then not bring it up, but hey, they're in the heat of the moment; there were more pressing matters to worry about.
Doctor Strange Screwed it Up
We started with a dumb theory, and now we're ending with another dumb theory (or maybe all of these theories have been dumb?). What if the former Sorcerer Supreme simply messed things up a bit more than he previously thought?
While the heroes established a few commonalities between the Multiversal visitors, there's always the chance that a couple of anomalies slipped in somehow. Perhaps the spell analyzed the universes, saw an Electro and Venom that knew Peter Parker's identity but then plucked the wrong ones.
Regardless of the reasoning behind these blunders, this plot hole might impact the film's internal logic but it ultimately doesn't take away from the absolute joyride that No Way Home delivers on. Spider-Man: No Way Home provided a fun caper with Multiversal villains while also including necessary closure for them in the same breath.
One can nitpick the finer details, but the ability for Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures to bring all of these actors together for one massive blowout is an enormous feat. Perhaps once the spoiler grace period has lifted, someone involved with the film will be able to provide a suitable explanations for these lingering questions.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is in theaters now.