Everything You Missed in ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’

It has practically become a game for Marvel and Sony Pictures to cram as many Easter eggs and references as possible into each new Spider-Man film. With a character like Spider-Man, whose history is set to reach a 60-year milestone, there is plenty to draw inspiration from.
With the multiverse of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ready to burst after the events of Loki, Spider-Man: No Way Home has piqued audiences’ interest by becoming the first feature film to explore uncharted territory. In fact, Spider-Man: No Way Home may challenge our notions of what constitutes an Easter egg. Whole casts of characters are borrowed from other films. Let us look at how many Easter eggs you can recognize this time around.

1. Rogers: The Musical

Let’s start with a simple example of what the MCU can achieve. Right away, Spider-Man: No Way Home finds a way to link up with the nearly finished Disney+ Hawkeye TV series. A big billboard for Rogers: The Musical may be seen when Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and MJ (Zendaya) swing around Times Square and Broadway. Rogers: The Musical is exactly what it sounds like, a rather disgusting retelling of Steve Rogers’ narrative and the Blip as presented through song and dance.

Sure, this Easter egg is an example of the MCU’s early cooperation between its television and many theatrical products.

2. Michelle Jones “MJ” Watson

We first encountered Michelle Jones in Spider-Man: Homecoming, who was later dubbed “MJ” at the film’s conclusion. Some speculated at the time that she was modeled on the comic book character Michelle Gonzales, Peter’s roommate with whom he had a fling.

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Given that she wasn’t the Mary Jane Watson we all knew as Spider-Man’s love interest, no one knew how seriously to take the “MJ” moniker. This is reinforced in Spider-Man: No Way Home, where we learn that her last name isn’t Jones at all. Like her comics counterpart, her full name is “Michelle Jones Watson,” or simply MJ Watson.

3. Matt Murdock/Daredevil Is Spider-Man’s Lawyer

Get over your surprise that Charlie Cox’s Daredevil has returned and been confirmed as the MCU’s official Daredevil, since he is also Spider-Man’s very own lawyer! His appearance representing Peter Parker is rather brief nonetheless. In the original comics, Peter is arrested for breaking into a jail, notably in Amazing Spider-Man No. 219, where he is caught by security for breaking into a jail.

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Later, he is represented by fellow superhero Matt Murdock, who, unfortunately, is unsuccessful in obtaining Peter’s release from prison. This is a big Easter egg for those who follow the comics as well as the movies.

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4. “Devil in Disguise”

One protestor raises a sign reading “Devil in Disguise” as Peter pushes through a crowd, similar to a scene from Amazing Spider-Man No. 68’s “Crisis on Campus.” This could be a tribute to Mephisto, the Marvel Universe’s physical devil, or a reference to Matt Murdock, who is Daredevil in disguise.

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Mephisto offered Spider-Man a contract to ruin his marriage in order to preserve Aunt May’s life in the polarizing comics storyline “One More Day”. This was the catalyst for Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to cast a spell to reverse Peter Parker’s decision to reveal his true identity on national television.

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5. “DITKO”

When Peter and MJ are lounging on the roof of their school, reading obscene newspapers about Spider-skills Man’s and crimes, a work of graffiti with the words “DITKO” appears behind them. This is the surname of artist Steve Ditko, who co-created Spider-Man and Doctor Strange with Stan Lee, as well as all of the villains in the film: the Green Goblin, Sandman, Electro, Doctor Octopus, and the Lizard.

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His unique brand of strange, sometimes off-putting art has served as the basis and inspiration for countless characters, and no other Spider-Man artist has come close to inventing as many lasting villains.

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6. Doctor Strange Team-Up

Doctor Strange and Spider-Man are no strangers to working together. They have appeared in a number of comic stories together throughout the years, owing to the fact that they share co-creators. When he began drawing the comics, Ditko was never a fan of Spider-Man teaming up with other superheroes.

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Stan Lee, on the other hand, had a different perspective and frequently pushed for characters from Marvel’s books to appear in each other’s storylines. In Amazing Spider-Man Annual No. 2, Ditko finally gave in, and Spider-Man and Doctor Strange teamed up for the first time to face the powerful sorcerer Xandu!

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7. Spider-Man’s Seduction Powers

One of the tabloid headlines MJ reads claims that Spider-Man possesses seduction abilities to the point that she might fall under his spell. Spiders are not recognized for their seductive abilities, but the newspaper isn’t far behind. Except in the books, it is Spider-Woman, not Spider-Man, who has seductive abilities.

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Although her early role as a HYDRA villain and later as an Agent of SHIELD was hardly a win for feminism in the pages of 1970s comics, Spider-Woman has employed her seductive pheromone powers in both her early capacity as a HYDRA villain and later as an Agent of SHIELD.

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8. Spider-Minions

According to the same tabloid source, Spider-Man even possesses Spider-Minions! Well, the author had no idea how near they were to being correct. After all, there was a moment when Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus swapped brains, before Otto killed Peter in his old body.

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With no one to stop him, Doc Ock was able to act as both Peter Parker and Spider-Man. He proclaimed himself “the Superior Spider-Man,” and went on to become a hero in the most heinous way possible. In Superior Spider-Man No. 14, one of his first acts was to hire some Spider-Minions he affectionately dubbed “Spiderlings.”

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9. “GKANE”

There is graffiti on the rooftop of Peter’s school that reads “GKANE”. That is a nod to none other than Spider-iconic Man’s artist Gil Kane. While his run on Amazing Spider-Man was rather brief (just 20 issues), he illustrated some of the most well-known adventures of all time.

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Gil Kane and Stan Lee defied the Comics Code Authority’s guidelines for decency in comics by wanting to show Norman Orborn’s substance abuse in Amazing Spider-Man Nos. 96-98, released in 1971. However, the powerful Authority refused to let Marvel publish the comics, and put its famous stamp of approval on the cover.

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10. Aunt May’s Death

After making Peter’s identity public, Mysterio seeks out Doctor Strange to see if the Sorcerer Supreme can help him forget who he is. Doctor Strange offers up a spell that might be able to aid, but eventually decides to assist Peter.

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In the comics, a similar incident occurs in two contentious stories: “One More Day” and “O.M.I.T.” Remember when Peter made a deal with the devil to trade his marriage to MJ for the life of his Aunt May? That was the eventual outcome of a series of actions made following the disclosure of Peter Parker’s identity.

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11. Doctor Strange’s Forgetting Spell

Peter’s identity was obliterated from the brains of everyone who ever knew Peter Parker was Spider-Man, as part of Mephisto’s rewriting of reality. Peter and MJ approach Doctor Strange, who agrees to help them pull off the ruse.

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Readers witness Peter’s wedding crumble and Doctor Strange’s spell take effect in a story called “O.M.I.T.” (or “One Moment in Time”) in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man Nos. 638-641, written by former Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada and illustrated by Paulo Rivera. In the comics, Peter draws MJ into the spell, which means that only she’ll remember that he’s Spider-Man.

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12. Doctor Strange’s New Assistant

Who are those weird young people shoveling the interior of Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum after a strong blizzard hits? In the comics, we believe one of them is young Zelma Stanton, Doctor Strange’s newest apprentice. Zelma, a young college student who begins experiencing mind worms munching on her thoughts, seeks help from Doctor Strange in Doctor Strange (Vol. 4) No. 1 created by Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo.

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Doctor Strange cures her supernatural sickness, and she decides to stay with him permanently after they go on multiple adventures together, including the one that drains all of the Marvel Universe’s power.

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13. License Plate “63ASM-3”

License plates often reveal a comic origin of a character that appears in the scene, which is a reoccurring Easter egg in all of the Spider-Man flicks. It’s a smart way to add small interesting details. The license plate of Peter Parker’s car reads “63ASM-3” when they drive to the George Washington Bridge to appeal to the head of admissions at MIT.

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This is a reference to the initial appearance of Doctor Octopus in Amazing Spider-Man No. 3, which was published in 1963. In Spider-Man: No way home, Doctor Octopus makes his debut appearance only a couple of moments later.

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14. Taxi Cab “1228”

American comic genius Stan Lee unfortunately passed away back in 2018, but that does not mean he can’t have Easter eggs devoted to him. A taxi cab with the number “1228” is parked right behind the admissions officer’s car. This is a smart reference to Stan Lee’s birthday, which is December 28.

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Let this serve as a reminder that before the new year, we all commemorate the birth of the man who has brought us so much joy, the icomparable Stan Lee. He has done cameos in the Marvel films until his passing, now they honor him with Easter eggs.

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15. License Plate “ASM-8183”

About the license plate “ASM-8183.” Moments like this are what Easter egg hunters like us live for. Was it the debut of the nefarious Kangaroo in Amazing Spider-Man issue No. 81? Was it Amazing Spider-Man #83, in which Spider-Man battled the Kingpin’s son, Richard, who was dressed as the Schemer? Most likely not.

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We believe it’s a reference to Amazing Spider-Man No. 246, “The Daydreamers,” which was published on August 1, 1983. Uatu, the Watcher assures the reader that he can see not just different realities in the multiverse, but also the realities of thoughts and minds in the story.

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16. Peter’s Nice Suit

When Peter Parker went to see the MIT admissions officer, something about him seemed familiar to us. We could not place it, but then it struck us like a wayward meteorite covered in a bizarre black ooze.

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It was the same costume that Peter Parker wore on a date with MJ in Spider-Man 3, the film in which the Venom symbiote makes its first appearance on planet Earth. At this point in time we must admit that Spider-Man: No way home is demanding all of our attention to catch these well-thought-of Easter eggs. There is a surprise in each scene!

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17. Columbia University Sweatshirt

Doctor Strange wears a Columbia University sweatshirt throughout No Way Home. Doctor Strange earned his medical degree from Columbia University. Fans of Spider-Man will also notice that in Sam Raimi’s movie, Columbia University served as a stand-in for the fictional Empire State University. Even crazier fans will notice that in the Raimi flicks, Doctor Strange is the only other superhero we know about.

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When J. Jonah Jameson is brainstorming names for Doctor Octopus, he considers “Doctor Strange” for a moment before realizing the name has already been taken. Was Strange a classmate of Peter Parker’s at Columbia/Empire State University?

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18. Electro’s Old Costume

It was attempted to adapt Jamie Foxx’s Electro into a member of the Blue Man Group in Amazing Spider-Man 2, with mixed results (to put it mildly). They’ve brought him back to something more in line with Steve Ditko’s initial design in No Way Home. Max Dillon debuted in Amazing Spider-Man No. 9 as an electrician who was hit by lightning while mending electrical lines.

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That transformed him into Electro, and he began robbing banks in a bizarre green and yellow costume complete with a starfish-shaped lightning mask. He wears a more modest green and yellow in No Way Home.

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19. Green Goblin No More

In Amazing Spider-Man No. 50, one of the most iconic pictures in all of Spider-Man comics appears: Spider-suit Man’s in a garbage can as Peter walks away. The story “Spider-Man No More,” illustrated by John Romita Sr., was transformed into Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2. Peter abandons his outfit almost halfway through the film, declaring himself “Spider-Man No More.”

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That image is reappropriated by the Green Goblin in No Way Home. Norman is challenged by his other persona, the Green Goblin, after being teleported into the MCU. He abandons his suit and destroys his mask in order to keep his sanity.

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20. “DITKO” Round 2

The mysterious graffiti artist who visited Peter’s school appears to have been tagging every surface in Forest Hills, Queens. When the Lizard’s truck arrives outside of F.E.A.S.T. The identical “DITKO” graffiti can be seen on the side of the vehicle.

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Steve Ditko began his professional career in 1953, working in the studio of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, and during this time, he began his long association with Charlton Comics, where he specialized in the genres of science fiction, horror, and mystery. He then teamed up with Stan Lee and they co-created Spider-Man And Doctor Strange.

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21. “No One Dies”

Peter fights back when he finds that returning his adversaries to their respective universes means letting them perish. We’ve seen similar behavior in the MCU before, when Peter prevented Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) from falling into the Vulture costume and presumably dying.

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Peter has gone to great lengths in the comics to avoid murdering his foes, even taking a bullet for Norman Osborn. In Amazing Spider-Man Nos. 655-656, Peter takes it to a new level, declaring that “No one dies!” when Spider-Man is present. He tried to live up to an unrealistic code that has him protecting cold-blooded serial killers.

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22. “A Strange Turn of Events”

Peter Parker is used to having his spells backfire on him from time to time. In the story “A Strange Turn of Events” from Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) No. 42, Peter tries to cast a spell, but it backfires on him. Doctor Strange attempts but fails to fix it, so he is forced to utilize time travel to reverse the effects of it.

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Doctor Strange throws Peter’s soul out of his body in the comics, exactly as he does in No Way Home, and we get to glimpse spectral Spider-Man. That’s the only way Doctor Strange could fix the problem.

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23. “You know, I’m something of a scientist myself.”

Norman Osborn says the famous statement “You know, I’m something of a scientist myself” when he first appears in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. That sentence has since become a widely shared meme, frequently used to slam anyone peddling anti-science nonsense. The meme has become popular worldwide on the online communities and MCU fans.

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As a result, it has become a larger-than-life film quotation. That’s why it’s so thrilling to watch Norman use the phrase again in No Way Home to persuade Peter that Stark technology may help heal the villains. This is more of a meme reference than an Easter egg.

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24. “The power of the sun in the palm of my hand!”

Norman Osborn can’t be the only villain that makes a comeback! Remember Otto Octavius exclaiming “The power of the sun in the palm of my hand!” when he gets his hands on an arc reactor? He famously uttered those fateful words before the reactor he built malfunctioned, killing his dear wife and transforming him into the monstrous Doctor Octopus.

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This is another case of a famous phrase that is reused in another movie due to its symbolic meaning. It ecompasses Dotor Octopus’ tragedy, where his greed for power, became his own demise, losing his true love and his human body.

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25. The Ultimate Six

The Sinister Six were introduced to readers in Amazing Spider-Man Annual No. 1 by Lee and Ditko, a quintet of villains who joined forces. It’s no secret that Sony has tried multiple times to get a Sinister Six movie made, but it wasn’t to be in the end.

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However, there was a notable miniseries called Ultimate Six in the Ultimate Spider-Man series, where Peter Parker is recruited as the group’s sixth member, completing the Ultimate Six team. In No Way Home, a similar story is told, with Peter momentarily joining up with the baddies in an attempt to heal them.

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26. Norman Osborn “Cured”

The Green Goblin was always shown as a dual personality that would reemerge from time to time. A typical Green Goblin story would end with him suffering from temporary amnesia, allowing the Green Goblin’s personality to momentarily fade. In No Way Home, Norman has discovered a way to defeat the Green Goblin and switch to the side of good.

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Norman is plainly desperate to get away from his Goblin tormentor, and Peter believes he can assist him. His solution fails in the end, but with the help of Tobey Maguire’s Peter, they’re able to come up with something that works.

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27. “With Great Power There Must Also Come Great Responsibility.”

In 11 short pages, the world was introduced to Peter Parker and witnessed his loss of Uncle Ben and transformation into Spider-Man in Amazing Fantasy No. 15. The story of Ditko and Lee had it all, and it has since become a modern classic, finishing with narration that says, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

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This time around we see it reinterpreted when Aunt May beseeches Peter in the dying moments before her death to remember the lesson that “with great power comes great responsibility,” exactly repeating the comics motto that Lee chose to end his first Spider-Man story with.

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28. Spider-Men and the Spider-Verse

Multiple Spider-Men have become virtually typical in the Spider-Man universe, whether it is the new children’s show Spidey and his Amazing Friends or Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. This was not always the case, though. The Spider-Verse’s relevance in Spider-Man culture is only now cemented by the presence of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Men in this new feature film.

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So it is great to see the creators of the comics that popularized the “Spider-Verse” arc being acknowledged in the end credits: Dan Slott, Olivier Coipel, and Giuseppe Camuncoli, and Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli for their work on Spider-Men.

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29. Supervillain Ned Leeds

Ned Leeds learns from Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man that his best friend, Harry Osborn, betrayed him, attempted to murder him, and eventually perished. The incident stuns Ned, prompting him to reconsider his position in Peter’s life. He pledges Peter at the end of the movie that he would not turn into a supervillain.

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However in the comic books, Leeds spent a decade as the Hobgoblin. The Hobgoblin was a mysterious villain who uncovered many secret Goblin lairs full of Norman Osborn’s technology, eventually coming into conflict with Spider-Man. Leeds was exonerated of all accusations, once it was proven it wasn’t him.

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30. JJJ Interviews Spider-Man

The three Spider-Men conclude that they need to lure the various villains from their universes to the Statue of Liberty to cure them. They enlist the help of J. Jonah Jameson, who currently has a podcast on his new Drudge Report-inspired network, Threats and Menaces.

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In Chip Zdarsky’s Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 3) No. 6, Spider-Man discovers the journalist to be a severely broken person. Jonah’s loathing of Spider-Man has distorted his reality to the point that he blames him for his wife’s death. Peter unmasks himself and embraces him, offering compassion to the man who has despised him for decades.

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31. “My back is stiff.”

Before their last showdown with the Sinister Five, Tobey’s Peter moans about his tight back. Fans of the Raimi trilogy, in which Peter suffers from severe back ailments throughout, will find the scene quite amusing.

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Maguire almost missed out on Spider-Man 2 due to a back injury he sustained while filming Seabiscuit. Jake Gyllenhaal was to take over the role, however Maguire recovered and he went on to play Mysterio.

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32. “Earth’s Mightiest…”

When Tom Holland’s Peter tries to explain the Avengers to the other Peters, they’re obviously perplexed; they’ve always had to protect the Earth on their own! Before he’s cut off, Tom’s quickest way of explaining it is that they’re “Earth’s mightiest…”

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In any Avengers comic book, you will see that they are referred to on the cover as “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes,” similar to how Spider-Man is referred to as “Amazing.”

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33. Black Spider-Man

When Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man unmasks in front of a depowered Max Dillon, the latter makes an unexpected revelation. Max always thought Spider-Man to be a Black man behind the mask.

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This was Miles Morales’ co-creator Brian Michael Bendis’ foundational notion for the character: if Spider-Man were established in the twenty-first century, Spider-Man would most likely be an Afro-Latino boy from Brooklyn competing in a lottery system for a higher education.

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34. Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man Saves MJ

When MJ gets knocked from a scaffolding and Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is too late to save her, it is up to Andrew Garfield’s Spidey to save the day.

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The moment is shot just like the incident in Amazing Spider-Man 2 where he was too late to save Gwen and she died after hitting her skull on the ground below. Except this time, he is just in time to save MJ.

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35. The Scorpion and Rhino

There are a few villains from previous films who did not return for this film, for whatever reason. However, if you look closely in the film’s climactic minutes, as the multiverse cracks open, you can see white shadows of several of these characters.

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We can see the Rhino and the Scorpion, both dressed in their comic-accurate costumes. We are sure there are more hidden features and personalities to be found.

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36. Aunt May’s Cemetery

The pan through a bare tree to a hillside graveyard at Aunt May’s burial scene was how we saw Norman’s burial in Raimi’s Spider-Man all those years ago.

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Although it’s a separate universe, we could presume Aunt May, Uncle Ben, and Norman Osborn are all buried in the same graveyard throughout the series. Which begs the question of where MCU Uncle Ben is buried, since the location was never addressed.

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37. The Classic Suit

Spider-Man: No Way Home concludes with a situation that’s really distressing for Peter: He has literally no one in the world to share his life with after wiping everyone’s memory.

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He had to make the most difficult decision someone could ever make, and he now has to live with the remorse he feels over Aunt May’s death. He’s fully transformed into the Spider-Man we’ve known for decades in the comics.

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38. Credits Art Inspirations

The MCU always has gorgeous end-credit sequences, but it is safe to say that the Spider-Man films, particularly Spider-Man: Homecoming’s DIY punk rock animation finale, have always set the standard high.

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Spider-Man: No Way Home is, however, no slouch. It converts art from the comics into new graphics, which is one of the most entertaining features. It’s a web pattern of multiple Spider-Men assuming poses from Ultimate Spider-Man No. 6.

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39. Christmas Tree

In the very last scenes of the movie, we see Spider-Man swinging in front of a gigantic tree in the heart of New York during Christmas time. For those who are familiar with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this is the location where Hawkeye and Kate Bishop fought at the end of the Hawkeye series.

Since the tree is still up, it could be assumed that the final episode of Hawkeye takes place shortly after the events of Spider-Man No Way Home.