Spider-Man: No Way Home is finally here. Bringing together friends and foes from all eras of the web-slinger's tenure on the big screen, Tom Holland's threequel is the ultimate celebration of Spider-Man. After months of intense fan debate, speculation, and leaks, all of the secrets are out there and waiting to be dissected.
Warning - This article contains spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home.
No longer does Andrew Garfield have to give his all protecting the intel that everyone already knew. There was, however, something which not a lot of people caught wind of before the film premiered: the Venom symbiote’s proper arrival in the MCU.
The post-credits scene of Venom: Let There Be Carnage showed Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock and his Lethal Protector get warped into the MCU. After No Way Home ends, fans get to catch up with him.
Unexpectedly, instead of venturing off into the wider universe, Brock is sucked back into his universe before any proper crossover could occur. Thankfully, Sony doesn’t leave audiences hanging.
In the final seconds, audiences can see a sliver of black goo left on the bar table, which moves as the screen fades. The symbiote is in the MCU for good. So what’s next?
The Black Suit
While yes, No Way Home did end with Peter Parker getting a brand new Spider-Man suit, but how would it look in black? The symbiote suit is the first step in Venom’s journey, and Marvel Studios now has the perfect opportunity to start it.
Given everything that happened in No Way Home, Peter is definitely still harboring some rage—it would be nigh impossible not to. So this is the perfect device to bring the symbiote into his life, to feed off of that energy.
It could give him that tempting power-up, in a similar way that Spider-Man 3 did. The question is, how does the MCU switch it up?
One idea that could throw Holland’s Parker through some loops is the potential additional knowledge of the symbiote hivemind, which was brought up in Venom: Let There Be Carnage. It’s a fairly original concept yet to be explored in live-action and is relatively new to comic lore in general.
Combine the symbiote’s darker nature with the added knowledge of said hivemind, and it might be far greater than Peter may, or should, be willing to handle. So naturally, he will have to ditch the symbiote at some point, leading to the next person on the list: Eddie Brock.
Venom - Eddie Brock
Eddie Brock's name is synonymous with Venom—so it’s almost a certainty that he’ll be introduced down the line at some point; yes, even with Sony’s franchise going on the side.
If Marvel Studios were planning on using Venom’s Tom Hardy, they’d have probably kept him in the prime MCU timeline. Instead, sending the character back indicates that the studio aims for a new face to bring its own version of Brock to life.
With Peter now on his own, a future at an outlet like the Daily Bugle—or maybe a more prestigious publication given the Bugle's MCU reputation—seems imminent. After all, he will have to pay rent somehow.
Enter Brock, a rival reporter. Marvel might want to dodge the angle of him plagiarizing and instead maybe focus on Eddie simply doing better than Peter at his job, potentially putting Parker’s position on the line.
When push comes to shove, eventually Peter would ditch his symbiote suit and it will formally meet Brock—giving fans what they’ve wanted for a long time: that beautiful spider symbol, and an MCU Venom, of course. There’s next to no chance the symbiote won’t pass through Spider-Man first while in Marvel Studios’ hands.
Unlike the Venom series, the symbiote will have a personal connection and vendetta towards Peter. He’ll also become the only person to know Spider-Man’s secret identity, allowing him to hold it over Spidey and paving the way for the classic dynamic between the two from the source material.
If Marvel Studios wanted to distance themselves from what has already been done, they might give the symbiote a new target out of the gate: Tony Revolori’s Flash Thompson.
The bully and Peter Parker already have a history (unbeknownst to Flash), as Thompson has been in the franchise for a while. Exploring that dynamic further, in a more adult and mature nature (outside of high school), could lead to intriguing results.
The interesting twist is how Thompson is not anywhere close to where the character in the comics is when he meets the alien goo. In the source material, Flash is a paraplegic Army vet, who, thanks to a government program, ends up bonding with the symbiote.
He then carries out missions for the U.S. Government, going by the name of Agent Venom. As one can imagine, it’s a vastly different version of the character than the one currently seen by audiences in Venom and Let There Be Carnage.
It would be hard to see Marvel Studios doing this as one of its opening moves with the symbiote, but playing on these stories could easily happen further down the line.
Mac Gargan: Scorpion, Venom, or Both?
One of the most prominent dangling threads for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is Michael Mando’s Mac Gargan. First introduced in Spider-Man: Homecoming, the film’s post-credits sequence sees the villain setting his sights for Spidey.
In the comics, Gargan becomes the villain Scorpion thanks to an experiment sanctioned by none other than J. Jonah Jameson, which ends up permanently bonding the criminal to a scorpion-themed suit.
This leads Mac Gargan to go on and hunt down not only Spider-Man, but also Jameson himself. Given J. K. Simmon’s reintroduction as the character, this storyline seems inevitable.
What makes it more interesting is that the character eventually gets the Venom symbiote, albeit briefly. Though, that’s enough to make it possible for Marvel to take this route with the character.
Maybe Peter, in his symbiote suit, ends up fighting Gargan in his original Scorpion suit. Parker’s anger leads him to go too far, leaving Mac on death’s door. What if remnants of the symbiote make their way to Scorpion? This would not only give him a second chance to kill the Spider, but also present to audiences a Venom that they’ve never seen before.
Anti-Venom Cures All
With the symbiote in the MCU now, its future will be long and fruitful. It will endure many steps in its story. One of those steps could be the white symbiote known as Anti-Venom.
In the comics, Martin Li, aka the supervillain Mister Negative, ends up using his healing powers to cure Eddie Brock’s cancer. Unfortunately, as uplifting as that seems, this causes dormant Venom cells in his body to mutate, turning Eddie into Anti-Venom.
The character couldn’t be the first step of the symbiote's journey, as it requires that Eddie Brock (or somebody, at the very least) once had contact with the alien goo.
This new symbiote is known for his healing abilities, which can cure all diseases—sometimes to a fault, such as almost draining Spider-Man of his powers. Another quality that separates Anti-Venom from his brethren is how it is completely mindless. Whenever its user changes forms, they are in complete control, with no competing voices or personalities.
They also happen to be more of an anti-hero than a villain, which is an aspect that can easily be twisted to better fit an antagonist role in a future Spidey film if needed.
No Way Home gave FEAST a more prominent role in Peter’s life, and in honor of Aunt May, Parker might take to spending more time at the organization. This could pave the way for fans to see Li and Mister Negative in the MCU, leading to Anti-Venom being a possible plot thread in the future.
Let There Be Carnage (Again)
It’s hard to know if Marvel Studios will want to go the Carnage route again, given that he was the antagonist in the latest Venom movie. But, while they may be hesitant, fans want nothing more than the character-given justice in the MCU.
The rivalry between Venom and Carnage is just as famous as the black symbiote’s spider obsession. The villain is iconic and deserves the attention and possibilities that the MCU can give him.
The brutal and violent villain could also be a perfect foil for a Peter Parker facing the world on his own post-No Way Home.
When it comes to more unique connections that the Marvel Studios could utilize, a recent comic storyline has Carnage get a hold of the Darkhold to cause chaos. Given the book is at play in Wanda’s hands, this could be a viable angle to approach with the character if given a second shot.
Hopefully, the character will last more than one film. After all, there’s plenty that can spin-off of just Carnage alone; characters such as Toxin or Hybrid come to mind.
Knull, the Symbiote God
Given the expansive nature of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, if the symbiote is in play, that means Knull is fair game. It would also be the perfect opportunity for Sony to connect both Venom and the MCU’s Venom––Knull can be a Multiversal threat, after all.
Also known as The King in Black, the character is a more recent invention of Marvel Comics. He’s one of the first entities in existence and is an eldritch god of darkness. He also happens to be the creator of all symbiotes—or the Klyntar.
Knull is a significant enough threat to be the foundation for a massive event that spans far wider than just Spider-Man and Venom. It could be Endgame-level big; it’s all in the execution.
Building the way for this story also allows for the exploration of the symbiotes’ cosmic origins, something which has never been explored in live-action. The Eternals and Guardians of the Galaxy franchises could be suitable vehicles to explore where the Klyntar come from, Marvel’s already established cosmic playground where the concepts would fit perfectly.
A Symbiotic Second Chance
General receptions to Venom, and Sony’s handling of the franchise as a whole, are mixed at best. Unfortunately, the same could be said about what many thought was the official merging of Tom Hardy’s world and the MCU.
So now, the symbiote has been given a second chance at life, finally getting the opportunity to explore the Spider-Man connection unjustly excluded from the character’s portrayal in Venom. Not only that, but it can all happen without taking away from Sony’s current franchises; bless the Multiverse.
Sadly, seeing how the symbiote actually shapes up in the MCU is a long way out, although a second Spider-Man trilogy is currently being negotiated among Sony and Marvel Studios. But, hopefully, it ends up being everything fans could have dreamed of and more.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is playing in theaters worldwide.