Warning: SPOILERS for Spider-Man: No Way Home are ahead!
Spider-Man: No Way Home is one of the best and most successful movies in Marvel history. It’s also one of the most depressing movies, as Tom Holland's Peter Parker loses his aunt and then watches every person he’s ever known forget him thanks to a spell cast by Doctor Strange. It’s about the worst ending a Marvel hero can hope for, but to put a twist on a popular old adage, with great tragedy comes great opportunity.
Peter Parker may not have Ned Leeds, Aunt May or MJ in his life, but the comics show us those aren’t the other opportunities he’ll have for friendship. There are plenty of characters close with Spider-Man we haven’t seen Sony and Marvel explore with Tom Holland’s character. Perhaps that can start now that our hero is in desperate need of some companionship.
Peter Parker and MJ are a notable MCU couple, but their split does set up Tom Holland’s Spider-Man to re-enter the dating pool. Peter’s dated many women over the years, though few are as super and interesting as Black Cat, a.k.a. Felicia Hardy. She and Spider-Man go back and forth as lovers, enemies and allies. More often than not, their problems surfaced when Spider-Man had to adhere to his duties as Peter Parker, which could be an interesting storyline going into a new movie. After all, Peter Parker doesn’t have to really be Peter Parker anymore, and could be Spider-Man full time. If trying to forge a normal life on his own is too challenging, could Black Cat get him to stick to just being Spider-Man?
The MCU introduced its version of Betty Brant in Spider-Man: Homecoming, but I think there’s a route for her to re-enter the story after No Way Home. In the original Marvel Comics source material, Betty for the Daily Bugle at one point, and even dated Peter Parker. The two weren’t meant to be, but they remained friends and she eventually married none other than Ned Leeds. I think it’d be cool to see Betty and Ned reconnect through Peter, and Ned and Peter ultimately rekindle their friendship via that relationship. Of course, bringing in that storyline could mean Ned becomes Hobgoblin, and I’m not sure anyone wants that.
Anna Maria Marconi started off as a love interest of Peter Parker, though that romance largely started at a time in Peter’s life when Doc Ock was in control of his body. That’s a long story, but when Peter eventually regained control of his own body, he and Marconi remained friends. Marconi is a smart woman, and often someone Peter can trust to run some ideas by. She’s one of my favorite Marvel characters, mainly because she rarely settles for Peter Parker’s bullshit.
If Tom Holland’s Peter Parker is dead set on re-inserting himself into the lives of Ned and Mary Jane, Flash Thompson seems like the easiest route. Peter has the advantage in knowing Flash is obsessed with Spider-Man, and Flash does seem to be desperate enough for true friendship to believe just about anything Peter would tell him, even if he doesn’t remember it. Now, I will say that Peter using Flash as a friend to get closer to his former friends who don’t remember him would feel a little creepy, not to mention manipulative. I’m sure there’s a better way to frame this friendship, and if there is, I’d like to see it develop on-screen.
Peter Parker and Daredevil briefly met in Spider-Man: No Way Home, though Peter wasn’t aware his lawyer Matt Murdock was also a superhero. If Daredevil is operating in the MCU, it seems plausible he’ll rub shoulders with Spider-Man eventually. After all, the two are both heroes local to the New York area, so they may inadvertently pursue some of the same enemies. My obvious hope is to see the two find a shared companionship in their hatred for Kingpin, though Vincent D’Onofrio’s involvement in the MCU is reliant on something at the moment. In either case, this is a superhero team-up that needs to happen.
Spider-Man: No Way Home allows the franchise to take a new direction, and while previous Spider-Man movies covered a lot of ground already, we have yet to see members of the Spider Family in live action. If I had to pick one from the bunch I’d love to see the most, I’m Team Silk. Silk, also known as Cindy Moon, received powers after the same radioactive spider that bit Peter bit her. Her powers don’t mirror Spider-Man; she’s weaker, but astonishingly quicker and boasts a stronger Spider-sense. Bringing her into the story presents an opportunity for an origin story scene, and then maybe we can see how Tom Holland’s Peter got his bite. There’s supposed to be a Silk series in development, so maybe this team-up isn’t that unbelievable.
Ben Urich isn’t a character I’d specifically attribute to Spider-Man, but he’s certainly a justifiable presence given his past history in the comics of working at The Daily Bugle. While adding a journalist to Spider-Man’s list of acquaintances isn’t anything spectacular, Urich’s typically a well-connected character with ties to prominent heroes like Daredevil, The Punisher and quite a few others. Much like Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temple in Netflix’s Marvel shows, Ben could serve as a common non-super thread to a group of heroes in the MCU, though I guess Marvel would need to retcon his death in Netflix's Daredevil first. That's assuming Daredevil is canon in the MCU, though, which we don't know.
I could write this list for several different characters in the MCU, and I think Deadpool would appear on the list more often than not. That’s kind of the benefit of being one of Marvel Comics weirdest characters, in that not fitting in makes it possible for him to appear in just about anything and it's not weird. With that said, Spider-Man and Deadpool have a notable history in the comics, and it’s pretty silly. The two get along well-enough when they need to, and when they don’t, it’s extra entertaining. I think comic fans want to see the two meet up in live-action, and I think most other fans would fill out the box office in droves to see Ryan Reynolds and Tom Holland share a feature. Man, I can see the box office records now.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is now playing in theaters. For those that haven’t seen it a second time, it’s certainly worth revisiting, especially if you’re concerned about the deep questions tied to the movie.
Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.
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