Did Marvel Studios' Multiverse Saga Peak Too Soon With SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME?

At this year's San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Studios announced that we're in the midst of the Multiverse Saga. However, can even a movie like Avengers: Secret Wars hope to top Spider-Man: No Way Home?

Features Opinion

Not all of you will agree with this assessment, but for me, Spider-Man: No Way Home is a masterpiece. As a lifelong Spider-Man fan, there's a lot I could nitpick, whether it's Peter Parker's apparent inability to go one movie without a mentor or the fact that Uncle Ben remains a non-factor in this web-slinger's life. 

Still, it's easy to look past all of that when this very special movie - which came out a little over a year ago now - gets so much right. You can read more of my thoughts in the review we published last December, but, as you probably guessed from the headline, it's the Multiverse I'm focusing on today.

After months of rumours, speculation, and leaks, it wasn't until we all sat down in theaters on Spider-Man: No Way Home's opening day that we learned, yes, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield really had returned as their respective versions of Spider-Man. 

As with some of Marvel Studios' creative decisions with the MCU's wall-crawler, I could bemoan the fact that we didn't learn more about what became of Peter and Mary Jane Watson's romance, while it would be easy to grumble about the Green Goblin's costume for that matter. Ultimately, COVID can shoulder at least some of the blame for a lack of cameos or screentime (recycled footage was used for Rhys Ifans and Thomas Haden Church's non-powered scenes), but by the time the credits rolled, how could you not be happy with how things played out?

Seeing the three Spider-Men interact and swing into action together was a joyous experience, and one it's hard to imagine ever being replicated (at least not with the same emotional impact). This was a team-up we could have only dreamed of a few years ago, but the Multiverse made it possible, and for that, I'm eternally grateful.

Unfortunately, as we head deeper into the Multiverse Saga, it's beginning to feel like Marvel Studios peaked too soon. The only other return likely to excite fans more than this is Hugh Jackman's Wolverine, and that's happening in Deadpool 3. Sir Patrick Stewart got to play an X-Men: The Animated Series-inspired Professor X Variant in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, while fan casts came true when John Krasinski showed up as Mister Fantastic. 

Now, as Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars draw near, what do we really have to look forward to?

The characters listed above can return and interact with other heroes, sure, but the novelty has begun to wear off already. Simply put, the Marvel Universe's history outside of Marvel Studios is really nothing to write home about, and there aren't any actors from Fox's X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises I'm champing at the bit to see back on screen. Yes, Jessica Alba's Invisible Woman can stand alongside Thor and Nicolas Cage's Ghost Rider, but that actually sounds...kind of lame? Then, we have the issue of stunt casting, like Krasinski, and the big idea to waste Daniel Craig as Baldur the Brave.

Heading into the next two Avengers movies, my hope would be that we get to see actors like Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. reprise their respective roles, albeit in very different ways. Give us an evil HYDRA Captain America or a Tony Stark who became Sorcerer Supreme instead of Iron Man. That's where the real fun will lie.

Spider-Man: No Way Home didn't show us the potential of the Multiverse, it highlighted it at its best. Spider-Man remains Marvel's greatest and most iconic character, and there's simply no way to top the three heroes sitting atop the Statue of Liberty together. You can throw dozens of Variants made up of actors from the past on screen, but the real Multiversal main event actually happened last December. We just didn't know it at the time.

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SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME Star Willem Dafoe Wasn't A Fan Of Movie's De-Ageing Visual Effects

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