The final trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home has been released, and while there was no sign of Tobey Maguire or Adam Garfield to settle the tectonic rumblings that have been shifting fan expectations for the last few months, there were some strong indications of multiversal madness to contend with that supports a bit of source material based speculation.
Doctor Strange and Peter Parker apparently summon mighty reality-warping magic in the most recklessly irresponsible manner possible, and existence is buckling in on itself as a result of inter-dimensional interlopers depositing themselves in the Sacred Timeline. And as Strange and Spider-Man attempt to battle the cosmic villains they've unleashed, as well as each other, one scene shows a black Spider-Man suit that may be drawing on a specific instance from Marvel Comics lore where Peter becomes the Sorcerer Supreme's apprentice.
The ebon-clad Spider-Man is standing in a field underneath a night sky framed by trees and Electro hovering like a depleted man-shaped star, feeding on tentacles of electric current siphoned from taut power lines. Spider-Man has his right arm raised to his chest with orange-gold energy circling his forearm, which is covered in a bracer of some sort with what appear to be shoulder cords attached to it in some way. The suit itself also appears to be etched in a runic script of some sort, creating an impression that it is designed as a conduit for Eldritch Magic.
The configuration of the suit suggests it is not just the arcane calligraphy of Doctor Strange at work since the trailing shoulder cords imply a power source, affixed with duct tape, that may be allowing for imbued magic to play its part somehow. In that scenario, the suit may be a collaborative effort between Peter's scientific acumen and Strange's expertise in the mystic arts, cobbled together in an effort to avert the planar havoc they have unwittingly set in motion. Its design may have been intended to grant Peter some mystical defenses in addition to his already impressive suite of arachnid powers, especially considering that this has a precedent within the pages of established Spider-Man, Doctor Strange interactions.
Symbiote Spider-Man: Alien Reality is a limited series written by Peter David and penciled by Greg Land where Hobgoblin steals a spell book known as the Word of God and uses it to trigger an alternate reality wherein he is the apprentice to the new Sorcerer Supreme, Baron Mordo, and Doctor Strange is a disgraced homeless surgeon. Strange explains to Peter what has happened, including the fact that he has lost his powers, with the exception of a few magical items he was able to abscond with as he was ousted from his sanctum. He offers Peter an opportunity to learn rudimentary abjurations, to protect himself in battle against Mordo and Hobgoblin, inside Kamar-Taj, where a year's worth of training would only amount to a week in the waking world.
In the comic, Peter is also able to mimic the mirror image spell Doctor Strange uses to such impressive yet futile effect in the fight against Thanos, and if the speculation about the rune black suit holds true, he may employ other signature moves from the Sorcerer Supreme's repertoire, ala Captain America's use of Thor's hammer in Avengers: Endgame. Instead of training in Kamar-Taj, perhaps the two heroes fashion a workaround that enables Peter to access abilities that would otherwise be beyond him.
Since the first trailer for No Way Home was released, there has been a lot of comparison to released footage and two other Spider-Man comic book arcs. One of them was called "One More Day," where Peter goes to Doctor Strange to help him rewrite the past so that his identity will be secret again and to avoid his Aunt May from getting shot, only for Strange to decline to get involved. A disguised Mephisto, the Marvel Comics analog to Lucifer, takes the opportunity to make a pact with Peter in exchange for the disillusion of his marriage. This leads to some debate about whether or not Strange casts the spell in the new film, or whether it may be an MCU version of Mephisto, perhaps one with a dimensional aspect, that will threaten his relationship with MJ.
The other source material in question is "Happy Birthday," which sees Peter accidentally alter a spell that Doctor Strange is trying to cast while dealing with an extra-dimensional threat, something Strange accuses Peter of in the latest trailer. Peter subsequently tumbles through time and faces most members of the Sinister Six, such as Sandman, Electro, the Green Goblin, the Vulture and Mysterio.
The plot of Spider-Man: No Way Home has undergone significant changes since its inception due to meta concerns surrounding other Marvel Cinematic Universe properties and delays that may lead to a jumbled movie experience where threads lead to nowhere and creative madness descends into incoherent nonsense. The MCU is often tasked with finding a way to compress decades of canon into hours of film, and this may be the latest example of threading that needle. The Alien Reality arc was published in 2019, so it may have been written entirely as a bridge piece for the upcoming film in the same way that members of the Eternals were recast in the comics to match the movie cast ahead of its release.
With the announcement of Spider-Man: Freshman Year, which will feature an even younger version of Spider-Man than Tom Holland's current version of the role, the possibility of a reset switch similar to "One More Day" is not entirely implausible. The rune black suit may help Peter accomplish that, especially since the gesture he is making in the trailer is most closely associated with Strange's mannerisms when he was manipulating the Time Stone. The world post-blip carries scars from all the sacrifices made to bring humanity to this point, and Peter has already given up his life once in that fight, but he may be called upon to draw on powers that he truly doesn't understand and deal with a whole new host of potential consequences as a result.
To see how Peter Park handles magic, Spider-Man: No Way Home hits theaters Dec. 17.
KEEP READING: Andrew Garfield Continues To Squash Spider-Man: No Way Home Rumours
You May Like Also