The events of “Spider-Man: No Way Home” fall right after those of “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” Jake Gyllenhaal’s Quentic Beck, AKA Mysterio, reveals to the world that Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is Spider-Man. So, Peter reaches out to Doctor Strange, who opts for a spell that will make the whole world forget that Peter is Spider-Man. Due to Peter’s tampering, the spell brings over all those villains from alternate universes, who knew that Peter Parker is Spider-Man, to the MCU universe.
This is how we get the infamous Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Electro, Sandman, and Lizard. While the former trio plays a vital role in “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” the latter two are more like honorable mentions.
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Who Are The Villains in ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’?
While Jamie Foxx’s Electro is relatively new, Willem Dafoe’s Norman Osborn, aka Green Goblin, and Alfred Molina’s Otto Octavius, aka Doc Ock, go back to the early 2000s.
In Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man (2002), Willem Dafoe was cast as the formidable yet credible villain, the Green Goblin. Dafoe nailed his role, portraying a character with a dual identity. Two years later, in Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 (2004), Alfred Molina donned the mechanical arms to become the nefarious Doc Ock. Molina, too, cemented his character in our psyche in a seamless manner. It would take another decade and a new iteration of Spider-Man for Jamie Foxx to introduce himself as Max Dillon, aka Electro, in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014).
Talking about Willem Dafoe and Alfred Molina, it must have been surprising for Marvel to enlist such well-known actors and, conversely, for them to accept the offers. Spider-Man would be the first step in a new direction, something that posed a huge risk. Thankfully, today, Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy is considered the pioneer of the present generation of superhero movies, the one that revolutionized it big-time. Dafoe had garnered critical acclaim for movies like “The Last Temptation of Christ” and “Shadow of the Vampire.” Molina, on the other hand, was known for “Boogie Nights” and “Frida .”But Spider-Man was something totally new. Perhaps it was fate that they would be given the roles that would make them immortal in live-action superhero movies. The next in line was Jamie Foxx (Academy Award, Ray). By this time, the Spider-Man movies were a world event. And Foxx only upped the ante by becoming Electro.
From Which Universe These Villains Come From?
In Spider-Man (2002), Norman Osborn was denied a military contract for a serum with superhuman abilities along with a glider suit. Nevertheless, he injects the serum into himself and loses his mind. At times, he is sane, and at other times, he is the sinister Green Goblin. At the end of Spider-Man (2002), he is killed by his own glider. But in “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” from what it seems, he has been brought over from a moment before his final fight with Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man took place. So, he is saved.
However, Doc Ock is pulled in, as he mentions, right at the moment when he had Spider-Man by the throat (at the end of Spider-Man (2002)). This can be related to two scenes from the movie. Either that or Doc Ock had Spider-Man upside down and was about to impale him with one of his arms. Or, it could be when he had an unmasked Peter by his throat. While the latter situation makes more sense (since he literally has Spider-Man by the throat), Octavius had no more hatred for Spider-Man then because he was Otto’s very own student, Parker. Thus, the former situation, although not co-relatable, is more sensible because we can see the true hatred there, the same hatred that is visible in “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” In either case, he ends up dying by drowning in the river. And being pulled here only saves his life.
Max Dillon, aka Electro, is pulled in from the final event in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) right before he is about to die in the fight with Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man at the electrical grid. Thus, he too is saved, like the other two.
Sandman and Lizard, on the other hand, are both drawn in from some point in their timelines, but we don’t know when. In their respective timelines, both do not face death and are alive.
Why Haven’t the Villains Aged?
Both the Green Goblin and Doc Ock are the same age as they were when they died in Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2, respectively. For the same reason, Alfred Molina was de-aged using CGI. The reason for this is the same, i.e.; they are pulled from their final moments before death. On the other hand, both Tobey and Andrew have aged as their respective Peter Parkers because they have been pulled from the present moment in their own universes. Tobey’s Peter is spending his life with MJ post the events of Spider-Man 3, while Andrew’s Peter is still coping with the death of Gwen and trying to pull punches, something he says he has stopped doing of late.
How the Villains Are Different Now?
When we first see Dafoe’s Osborn in “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” he is still in a mental struggle with his sinister self. He smashes the Goblin mask, hoping to get rid of the voice that basically resides inside his head. He goes to Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) for help, which seems like too much to be a coincidence. It must have been his shrewd mind that led him to her in some way. He wants to get better or pretends to get better only to figure out the right time to kill Tom Holland’s Peter Parker or cause him to get hurt, something he succeeds at by killing Aunt May. So, in a way, it is Dafoe’s Green Goblin who brings Peter to his Spider-Man moment, i.e., “With great powers comes great responsibility.”
Something that we like about Molina’s Doc Ock is that he is perhaps the most sensible of all the villains. He has not lost his mind, nor has that insane lust for power like Foxx’s Electro. And although he does remember “the power of the sun,” he is more inclined towards the present and whatever he is going through in an apparently different universe, being the scientist that he is. He is the one who stops Electro and helps bring him down. And in return, he gets to meet his favorite student, Tobey’s Peter Parker, who is still “trying to do better.”
Max Dillon’s Electro undergoes a radical change while being pulled from his universe into this one. He was goofy there, but he is more Jamie-Foxx Electro here. He is a more negative version of himself, someone whose craving to become more (something he felt in The Amazing Spider-Man 2) has made him desperate for power. When speaking to the New York Times about his role, Jamie Foxx says, “Here was a character I played in “Baby Driver.” His name was Bats. Bats got killed off, but this was an opportunity to let Bats a little bit in on Electro.”
By the end of Spider-Man, all three villains under consideration get a chance to redeem themselves and make their arcs richer. Osborn does this through his continued evil intentions until he is injected with the antidote. Doc Ock does it by getting back to his true self and helping Holland’s Spider-Man to bring down Goblin and Electro, and Max Dillon does it by accepting his faults with Garfield’s Spider-Man (and also dropping an easter egg of Miles Morales). It doesn’t make sense, however, for Dillon to come to this universe since he doesn’t know that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. This is a plot hole that is still unanswered.
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What About Venom?
Eddie Brock’s Venom is also brought into this universe, despite him not knowing anything about either Peter Parker or Spider-Man. He first finds out about Peter after he is brought to this universe in the post-credits scene of Venom 2. In the post-credits scene of “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” Eddie is trying to wrap his head around the Avengers and Thanos. And before he can do anything more, he is sent back to his universe (leaving behind a small souvenir of the symbiote, which shouldn’t be the case since any and everything from another universe is sent back, but it’s Marvel, so we forgive that for the sake of the possibility of an upcoming MCU movie that has its own Venom).
There is, however, an explanation as to why Eddie and Venom are brought to this universe. In Venom 2’s post-credits scene, Venom tells Eddie that he has 80 billion years of hive knowledge across the universes (probably a sign of Sony setting up its Madame Web movie featuring Dakota Johnson), i.e., multiverse knowledge. While it sounds confusing, there is no other way to justify their arrival in the MCU.
What Happened To The Multiverse Villains At the End Of ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’?
Doc Ock, Norman Osborn, and Max Dillion are all cured and won’t wreak havoc after returning to their timelines. The same applies to Lizard and Sandman. However, Doc, Osborn, and Max will be able to live their lives and not die. The question that still remains is whether they are sent to the exact same moment in their timelines from when they were pulled here. We leave it up to you to deduce.
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