Did Marvel Just Reveal How Spider-Man: No Way Home Solves Its Villain Problem?

By John Ross Bradford Updated:
Spider Man No Way Home villains box

What If…?’s finale featured the Guardians of the Multiverse going toe-to-toe with Infinity Ultron, but it was Doctor Strange Supreme that carried them to victory. 

Placing individual protection spells on his entire team and absorbing the power from a full set of Infinity Stones are just a couple of over-powered feats from the twisted Master of the Mystic Arts. Even so, Strange’s final act of the episode is the one that raised some eyebrows. 

Multiverse Pocket Universe

When Zola Vision and Killmonger in Ultron’s armor locked themselves in a seemingly endless struggle over the Infinity Stones, Strange Supreme trapped them both in a pocket dimension to contain the chaos.

Who would’ve thought that would be an actual MCU scenario? This solution brought an end to the battle that The Watcher needed them to fight. What’s implied later is that this is exactly what The Watcher intended to happen. 

What If Multiverse

Uatu’s ideal solution to fixing the Multiverse was to create a multiversal prison to hold Ultron and Killmonger captive, presumably for eternity. 

It seems like a rather risky plan, especially to be left in the hands of the sinister Strange Supreme. But it provided the necessary fix for The Watcher to return to his duty of overseeing the vast prism of realities. 

Doctor Strange

Though the Watcher may not be able to rest for long, as another Marvel project approaches that’s bound to wreak further havoc on the Multiverse. 

What’s Doctor Strange Doing in Spider-Man 3? 

Spider-Man Doctor Strange

The debut trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home has only been out for a couple short months, but that already feels like an age-old question. 

The teaser footage shows Peter Parker seeking out the help of Doctor Strange in an attempt to make the world forget that he’s Spider-Man. 

The Sorcerer Supreme surprisingly agrees and eagerly casts a spell that he thinks will work, despite Wong’s warning of how dangerous it could be. And whether it was Strange who messed it up or Peter’s interference that caused it to go wrong, it definitely didn’t seem to go as planned. 

The trailer depicts the confines of the Sanctum Sanctorum cracking and falling apart to reveal that Strange and Peter are floating on a platform somewhere in the cosmos. 

Later on in the footage shown, Peter deals with a variety of threats that are quite foreign to him — the most apparent being Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus emerging from a river to greet Peter Parker. 

Things took a hard turn at the worst point possible in Peter Parker’s life, seemingly cracking open the Multiverse at Peter Parker’s expense. And it’s inferred that it’s all due to Doctor Strange’s bad spell. 

It hasn’t been long since fans saw Doctor Strange screw up royally, and it looks as though he may try a now-familiar multiversal fix for his mess, too. 

Doctor Strange Plays Clean-Up? 

Spider Man No Way Home villains MCU

The fourth episode of What If…? covered in great detail what it would look like for the Sorcerer Supreme to become reckless with his abilities. 

As a result, it destroyed his universe and he became The Watcher’s personal butler. But The Watcher later admitted that he would have intervened before it got to that point if he hadn’t been so attached to the oath he took to not interfere with the events of any universe. 

Perhaps that’s why What If…? was placed directly after the events of Loki in the MCU’s Timeline Order on Disney+, so that The Watcher would have the experience of What If…?’s happenings and be able to learn from them for future MCU endeavors. 

What are the odds that, now that The Watcher knows the consequences of Strange messing with magic he shouldn’t be using, he intervenes once again in No Way Home and suggests to the Sorcerer Supreme the one solution that worked the last time the Multiverse was cracked open? 

A Multiverse Prison for Every Occasion 

Since Doctor Strange doesn’t possess the same power as Strange Supreme did in What If…? to be able to create a pocket dimension, it would make sense if the Master of the Mystic Arts needed a little bit of help achieving the same feat. 

Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, No Way Home

Late in the No Way Home trailer, Strange and Peter are shown struggling over a mystical cube of sorts. There’s a good chance that the cube is exactly what Strange needs — an ancient relic that can help him trap the Spider-Man villains that are seeping into their universe. 

Spider Man cube

If all these bad guys are coming from different realities in the multiverse - just like Zola and Killmonger did for Strange Supreme in What If…? - then it makes perfect sense that The Watcher would think this plan would work for Doctor Strange and these Spider-Man villains, too. 

It turns out that What If…? may have been a prelude to Spider-Man: No Way Home, providing the story necessary to later utilize an idea as crazy as Doctor Strange creating a mystical pocket dimension to imprison various Spider-Man villains from across the Multiverse. 

All episodes of Marvel Studios' What If...? are available to stream on Disney+. Spider-Man: No Way Home hits theaters on December 17. 

- In This Article: What If...? (Season 2)
Release Date
December 22, 2023
Jeffrey Wright
- About The Author: John Ross Bradford
John Ross Bradford is an editor and writer at The Direct. He has contributed to content ideation and development across multiple branches of the company's website since it launched in 2020.