Make no mistake: Spider-Man: No Way Home will be the first live-action Spider-Verse story.
The upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe entry promises to feature characters from Sony’s previously disconnected Spider-Man stories; even Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock is back. While Marvel and Sony have done their best to ignore rumors that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield will appear as well, comic book fans remain confident that the pair’s Peter Parkers will cross paths with Tom Holland’s web-slinger in No Way Home.
What’s most exciting about No Way Home, though, is that Holland, Garfield, and Maguire don’t have to be the only heroes to appear.
The Theory — Thanks to its multiverse-centric plot, No Way Home could feature versions of Spider-Man from the comics who’ve never previously appeared in live-action form. With that in mind, we’ve theorized No Way Home could feature appearances from beloved comics figures like Miles Morales, Miguel O’Hara/Spider-Man 2099, and Ben Reilly/The Scarlet Spider.
Now, it’s time to talk about Gwen Stacy a.k.a. Spider-Gwen/Spider-Woman, who played a major role in 2018’s animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and deserves live-action treatment.
Gwen Stacy in the MCU — For years, Gwen Stacy was defined by her demise, which remains one of the most important in comic-book history. Nowadays, though, the character is as well-known as Spider-Gwen (or Spider-Woman) as she is as Peter Parker’s ill-fated first love.
That’s because the superpowered version of Gwen Stacy is, to put it simply, awesome. Born on a version of Earth where Matt Murdock is a corrupt lawyer and the leader of the Hand, this alternate Gwen was bitten by a genetically engineered spider, which gave her superpowers. Gifted a costume and web-shooters by a retired Janet van Dyne, Gwen began fighting crime and became known as “Spider-Woman.”
However, tragedy struck when she got into a fight with a transformed Peter Parker, her neighborhood friend, which resulted in his passing. Haunted by this loss, Gwen resolved to redeem herself and became committed to helping her city.
From there, faced off against her universe’s villainous Matt Murdock, teamed up with Spider-Men from alternate realities, and had her fair share of cosmic adventures. Over the years, she’s adopted monikers like Spider-Woman, Spider-Gwen, and Ghost-Spider, holding membership in groups like the Order of the Web, the Spider-Army, and Web-Warriors.
She’s one of the best Spider-Man variants ever introduced in the comics, which is why she was included in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse — and why she deserves to be brought to life in live-action form.
The Inverse Analysis — Normally, bringing a character like Spider-Gwen into the MCU (or Sony’s superhero universe) would be difficult — especially since Gwen Stacy doesn’t currently exist in either — but with Spider-Man: No Way Home using the multiverse to merge different realities, the opportunity exists for Spider-Gwen to make her live-action debut.
Not only would this allow Marvel and Sony to give a beloved comics character their due, but it’d also allow the two studios to expand casual moviegoers’ perception of what superheroes can look like.
Spider-Man: No Way Home swings into theaters on December 17, 2021.