Marvel Studios and Sony’s latest collaboration, Spider-Man: No Way Home, makes Tom Holland’s previous MCU achievements in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame more impressive. No Way Home was a celebration of the wall crawler’s 20-year history on the silver screen, featuring not only villains from all three Spider-Man franchises, but also the return of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man iterations. The third act of the film was filled with nostalgic callbacks thanks to the banter between the three Peters, with multiple references to their past experiences and the differences between them.
One specific conversation between the three Spider-Men referenced the villains each of them fought. Maguire’s Peter recalls fighting Venom in 2007’s Spider-Man 3, while Tom Holland mentions the two times he fought Thanos, in space (specifically on Titan) in Avengers: Infinity War and on Earth in Avengers: Endgame. While this fleeting discussion might be seen by some as the three Spider-Men merely bonding, it highlights an important aspect that differentiates Tom Holland’s Spider-Man from his two predecessors.
Spider-Man: No Way Home deliberately emphasizes the fact that Tom Holland’s iteration came a long way from being a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man and has fought not only ground-level villains, but also aliens, both on Earth and in space. This proves that even though Maguire and Garfield’s Spider-Men are older and wiser due to them having more experience, Holland’s Spidey has experienced events the other two have not. In hindsight, this makes the feats Spider-Man achieved in the MCU even more impressive than they already were, considering that his multiversal variants have never had to endure what Tom Holland’s Spidey did.
Thanos, especially with the Infinity Stones, is undeniably the most dangerous villain any live-action Spider-Man has fought on screen. The fact that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man faced a threat as big as Thanos alongside the Avengers while the other two Spider-Men have not arguably makes him the most impressive Spider-Man, at least in terms of threats he’s faced down. While some viewers disliked how quickly Spider-Man became an Avenger in the MCU and would have had him stay grounded, none can deny that his adventures in Infinity War and Endgame have made him an impressive hero.
With Tom Holland’s Spider-Man future so unclear after No Way Home, only time can tell what threats he will face next. The mid-credits scene of Spidey’s MCU threequel teased Venom as the villain of Tom Holland’s next Spider-Man movie, which allows Marvel Studios and Sony to potentially explore a darker side of the character. Creatives at both studios clearly intended Spider-Man: No Way Home to be the third movie in an overall origin trilogy. While there likely won’t be a movie on the scale of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame for a while, with the multiverse now in play, anything is possible. The only thing that is for certain is that the next time audiences see Holland’s Spider-Man, he will be a wiser and more experienced version of the character.
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- The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Jul 28, 2023
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