While all of us watching the Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer might be soaring on cloud nine right now, the same cannot be said for the characters existing in it. In No Way Home, Peter Parker’s world has turned upside down following the events of Far From Home and Mysterio’s death. The former Avenger is now almost universally disliked, his family and friends are reviled for their roles in his life, The Daily Bugle’s J. Jonah Jameson is now a household name, and honestly? Peter’s just, straight up, not having a good time. However, things only grow worse when he goes to Doctor Strange to help him, and instead the pair completely fractures the Marvel multiverse.
As a result, the Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland Spider-Man series are now all very connected, as confirmed by Alfred Molina’s reprisal of Doctor Octopus towards the end of the trailer. However, all of this does not come close to completely covering everything in the trailer. While there are quite a few little things we could point out — such as the graffiti paying tribute to Spider-Man creator Steve Ditko six seconds in the trailer or how that black and gold Spider-Man suit at 1:15 was made by Parker in the comics after losing his Spider-Senses — there are some major things that deserve our attention to cover, so let’s jump in.
More like Doctor Very Strange
If we watched the same trailer, you’re probably thinking the same thing I am: what the hell is Doctor Strange doing? While Doctor Strange has, at times, been a bit hot-headed and reckless, altering the timeline to do a solid for a teenage boy does not strike me as something he’d do. In addition, when Strange and Peter first meet up in Infinity War, Doctor Strange sticks to using their “made-up names,” as Peter adorably calls them, and stays pretty damn formal outside of that. His asking Peter to not call him sir feels very off, the snow-covered Sanctum Sanctorum feels very off, and overall, things just aren’t adding up. Two theories have emerged as to what’s going on that seem most compelling, even if one of them will definitely have you rolling your eyes.
First things first, it could be that this Strange is a variant of the character, much like the Loki variant in the Disney+ series. Honestly, this wouldn’t be all that shocking considering (and spoiler alert here) literally none of Spider-Man: No Way Home could happen if Loki hadn’t occurred and the Time Variance Authority hadn’t been demolished. You think Ravonna and Mobius would have been cool with Doctor Strange fracturing time? Exactly. But, seeing as how the organization has been disbanded, these types of events are now permitted to happen and we have it pretty solidly confirmed that Loki might just be one of the most important things to happen to the MCU.
The second theory, and hear me out here, is that Doctor Strange is… Mephisto. Now, following WandaVision, Mephisto has become a bit of a meme for MCU fans, as week after week people swore he was behind it all — pointing out all the “Easter eggs” along the way — only for him to ultimately not be involved. However, this time there is a bit more here to support the idea. Outside of Strange’s odd behavior, the sign we see at 38 seconds in that reads “Devil in Disguise,” while directed at Peter, could be alluding to Doctor Strange. The Sanctum could be being kept cold to remind Mephisto of his cold underworld — or to keep the literal devil’s temperature down.
Lastly, and by far most convincingly, in the comic storyline “One More Day,” Peter goes to Mephisto after his identity is revealed to the world and his Aunt May is shot. Desperate for anonymity once more, he asks him to work his magic and erase his identity from people’s memories so his family can be safe again. Of course, things don’t go as planned and ultimately Peter then has to go to Doctor Strange to fix things, but that first moment could allude to what is going to happen in the film — albeit in a slightly different way.
The rise of The Sinister Six
Perhaps the most important development in this trailer is what seems to be the organization of Spider-Man’s greatest threat: The Sinister Six. In the comics, The Sinister Six is a super villain organization created by Doctor Octopus and comprised of Spider-Man’s greatest foes who finally learned an incredibly important lesson: there’s strength in numbers. Over the years, what villains make up the Six has shifted around a bit, but generally the group is thought to consist of Doctor Octopus, Electro, Mysterio, Sandman, Vulture, and Kraven the Hunter. In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, you can clearly see how Sony was beginning to set up the Sinister Six as Andrew Garfield’s iteration of Spider-Man’s next challenge in The Amazing Spider-Man 3. However, we now know, that that movie would never go on to be made.
Luckily, that left the Tom Holland Spider-Man series completely free to utilize the supergroup without Sony having to fear too much redundancy — and it seems like that’s exactly what they’re doing. Throughout the trailer, we see moments teasing the involvement of several of the Six’s major players, including Electro, Sandman, Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, and either Lizard or Venom, depending upon who you ask.
Electro makes his appearance at 2:12 in the trailer, when you see yellow bolts of lightning rain down on some police cars. It’s interesting and important to note here that while a whole lot of multidimensional madness is afoot in this trailer, it seems fairly clear this Electro is most likely not the same one Jaime Foxx portrayed in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, as that Electro cast blue lightning rather than yellow.
Moments later, at approximately 2:25 in the trailer, we see a horrific creature take a pretty nasty swipe at Peter, and while there’s been no real consensus on the matter, it’s rumored to either be Lizard or Venom. While Lizard seems more probable to me, Venom certainly would be a compelling choice and would further contribute to Sony’s — and Tom Hardy’s — attempts at building up their Spider-Verse.
At 2:27, we see a mountain of sand that serves as a pretty dead giveaway that Sandman is back, though whether he’s the Sandman from Spider-Man 3 is still undetermined. However, the same cannot be said for the next two villains teased, which are pulls from the Tobey Maguire series and have left fans’ heads spinning. At 2:29, we see one of Green Goblin’s signature pumpkin bombs and hear Willem Dafoe’s signature laugh. Shortly after, we see Alfred Molina reprise his iconic role as Doctor Octopus — arguably the series’ greatest villain thus far — and confirm once and for all the multiverse collaboration fans have been waiting for is happening.
However, this does leave one notable member of the Sinister Six out of the picture that we have seen before and would sure as hell love to see again: Vulture. However, let’s assume that instead of Lizard, we are seeing Venom in this trailer. Considering Michael Keaton’s formerly imprisoned Vulture is seen out of his cell (albeit near police cars) in the trailer for the upcoming Sony Spider-verse film Morbius, we could see him make a surprise cameo in Venom: Let Their Carnage that indicates he is returning. And hey, there’s always a chance we get to meet Kraven for the first time, as Aaron Taylor-Johnson was just cast as “The Hunter” earlier this year.
The return of Matt Murdoc
About twenty-five seconds into the trailer, we see Peter being held at a police station to undergo questioning in regards the “murder” of Mysterio. We then see two men entering the room Peter is being kept in, and even at first glance, one of them might seem oddly familiar to folks with a Netflix account.
A few seconds later, the familiar-looking man slams down a pretty hefty sized file on the table after the officer continues to pressure Peter into admitting fault for Mysterio’s death, implying this man is Peter’s lawyer and — based on Peter’s extremely confused reaction — it is the first time the pair has met. Peter’s eyes are immediately drawn to the man’s hands, and our boy Spidey was not alone in finding them well-worth analyzing. Several folks online were pretty quick to point out they look a lot like Matt Murdoc’s, who you might know from his reputation as one of New York City’s best lawyers and, you know, from being Daredevil.
— Fandom (@getFANDOM) August 24, 2021
Ultimately, there is a lot up in the air. While we might get some inkling as to what will happen in the upcoming Shang-Chi and Venom movies, the truth is we won’t really know how this will all play out until Spider-Man: No Way Home hits theaters December 17. That being said, the only thing on my Christmas list right now? That date not getting pushed back.