Here’s the Too Long, Won’t Read version: despite some wonderful interplay among the main cast and the special guests at the heart of the film (and one beautifully meta performance in particular), Spider-Man: No Way Home is my least favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe film since Thor: The Dark World. I’m in the minority on this, but no other 2021 film has aggravated me as much as this box-office leviathan did.
Hope that helps? You’re now free to go. Thanks for stopping by. I do understand. I just need to get the following 5000 words out of my system. Imagine it’s Martin Scorsese’s rapid voice so it’ll move faster.
Still here? Cool, but fair warning: it’s been a long time since I front-loaded a movie entry with a courtesy spoiler alert. There’s no way I can adequately express my reactions without moving beyond the trailer-approved plot points and into its numerous surprises, some of which were foretold on various geek clickbait sites and some of which I predicted from the trailers. Really, the courtesy spoiler alert is for real, anything goes. You might find plenty of reasons for irritation with me, but by venturing beyond the courtesy spoiler alert guard post you hereby forfeit the right to count “AAAHH! SPOILERS!” among them.
Once again, for those just joining us: courtesy spoiler alert. Thank you.
Previously on “Spider-Man”: in the scene during the Far From Home end credits, the entire world was misinformed that Spider-Man murdered the villainous illusionist Mysterio, then was accurately informed that Tom Holland’s Peter Parker is Spider-Man. This revoltin’ development was ripped sideways from comics history, where it sprouted as a major side effect of Marvel’s first Civil War miniseries (one of three such fiascos, don’t collect them all). After a panic-stricken web-swinging getaway and a heart-to-heart with his already-in-the-know girlfriend MJ (Zendaya), the couple submits to questioning from the shadowy authorities at Damage Control (a recurring annoyance since Homecoming), as do Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) and best friend Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon). That’s the extent of the inquiry — none of Mysterio’s numerous collaborators from the last film, no sign of MJ’s or Ned’s parents/guardians, not even Spidey’s self-appointed “best friend” Flash Thompson.
Within seconds Peter’s innocence is established offscreen via instant lawyer magic from special quasi-surprise guest Charlie Cox as attorney Matt Murdock, who drops by without fanfare and sticks around only long enough to finger-snap that messiness away and demonstrate he’s “a very good lawyer” in more ways than one. I liked seeing him again, but his presence is slightly less shocking than it could’ve been. His cameo comes mere days after the boundary-crossing reveal in last week’s episode of TV’s Hawkguy. Either way, the important takeaway is Marvel’s six dead Netflix shows haven’t been entirely blipped into oblivion, and nobody cares who killed Mysterio anyway. Screw that guy and his stupid corpse, concludes Damage Control, who were 1000 times cooler back when Dwayne McDuffie co-created and wrote them.
Peter tries to go about his everyday life despite the newfound fame/infamy. Mysterio truthers won’t leave him alone, but neither will his supporters or anyone with internet followers to impress, which is pretty much everyone in New York. Millions of celebrities worldwide could teach him a thing or two about how to handle life as an object of nonstop scrutiny, but Peter looks to none of them. His breaking point comes when he and his two BFFs apply to precisely four dream universities but are rejected by all four on the grounds that the trio are now too notorious, because MCU universities have uptight gatekeepers who only accept squeaky-clean nobodies, regardless of whether or not you can get a notarized bill of exoneration from the Matt Murdock. Also, the MCU sadly has only four universities, possibly because all the rest were destroyed in supervillain fights. Thus does Peter, an ordinary teenager prone to disproportionately selfish problem-solving skills, decide on his own that the best solution is to have reality rewritten for his convenience and peace of mind. I mean, uh, for his friends’ benefit, which is super thoughtful of him.
Peter only knows one man who’s both an all-powerful magician and a preening showoff willing to commit massive acts of wizardry without thinking through the consequences, which disqualifies the other potential candidate, Benedict Wong’s Wong (wow, that looks weird), who’s now the official Sorcerer Supreme due to the previous officeholder’s unexcused five-year absence. Enter his demoted sidekick, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Stephen Strange, who’s appeared in more ensemble films than solo films and who’s settled a bit too comfortably into his niche as Marvel’s grouchy fun-uncle. Whenever Wong isn’t around he’s a naughty employee and an angry authority figure, and has all the depth of a cardboard divider between the two sides. After his savagely complex performance in The Power of the Dog, Strange-as-guest-star feels all the more like a rote paycheck gig. Hopefully director Sam Raimi demanded more of him for his 2022 sequel.
Because the two of them teamed up to help save the universe that one time, Strange generously agrees to grant Peter’s colossal ask, possibly just to spite grumpy ol’ boss Wong. Thus he commences casting Obliviate on anyone who’s ever known Peter’s secret identity. (It’s good that The CW’s Barry Allen can never ask him that favor, because the necessary energy drain could cause the heat death of an entire universe.) As already seen in the trailer, Peter’s whiny meddling — as he just now begins thinking things through — interrupts the delicate process of overwriting the very fabric of reality, Strange hits Pause/Break, retracts the spell and crams it into a handy MacGuffin Box, a deluxe model with a big red button on top for easy triggering in case of second thoughts. Michael Giacchino’s orchestra rests its symphonic klaxon, the menacing CG swirlies unswirl, and all is quieted down and back to normal. Strange then realizes this was A Bit Much and Peter is an idiot, yet none of his ire turns inward. Through him the film acknowledges the stupidity of its own stupid setup, but nonetheless refuses to stop embracing that stupidity. Winking at the audience to show you’re aware of your own stupidity doesn’t make the stupid situation you created non-stupid.
That’s when the first round of forehead-slapping contrivance concludes, a few justifiable shenanigans follow, my fuming impatience was rewarded, and I temporarily found compliments to pay.
The long-awaited imitation of the giddying, superior Into the Spider-Verse takes off and director Jon Watts clearly has the most fun. Familiar faces from old DVDs pop in, each more puzzled than the last. Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus is first to stomp through the air gaps between film series, imported from the second half of Spider-Man 2 when the mental safety catch on his four-armed apparatus was broken and his arms turned him evil, because that’s a thing robots and robot parts used to do people way back when. A small, explosive pumpkin accompanied by nearby cackling soon hints that Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin from Raimi’s very first Spider-Man isn’t far behind. For any readers who might be dreading the next paragraph, we pause here to assure you that no, it’s okay, Topher Grace’s Venom is not in this movie. Whatever celestial beings monitor the barriers between Marvel universes do have some standards.
Later that evening, Spidey — who’s shifted his Stark Tech Spider-Armor™ into all-black stealth mode to give Hasbro an additional action figure option — welcomes Academy Award Winner Jamie Foxx, who agreed to return as Electro despite the misfire of Amazing Spider-Man 2 on the condition that he not suck this time. He never knew Spidey’s identity and therefore shouldn’t have been affected by Strange’s botched god-mode experiment, but No Way Home repeatedly slaps us in the face with its very special message about the value of second chances, so he’s given one anyway.
Likewise come convincing avatars of the Sandman from Spider-Man 3 and the Lizard from Amazing Spider-Man, both of whom spend nearly all their screen time in their CG forms. Despite IMDb’s insistence as of this evening, neither Thomas Haden Church nor Rhys Ifans were named in the actual theatrical credits in our showing, the voices we heard were not necessarily their own, and their eventual, momentarily human appearances at the end very well could’ve been pulled together via expensive human-esque animation and/or repurposing of archival footage from the Spider-movie vaults. I have no problem with filmmakers recasting roles and would’ve preferred honesty and credit where it’s due.
Anyway, that’s five! Five! FIVE Spider-villains in one Spider-film, the most crowded ever and so, so close to achieving the Sinister Six movie that Sony heads have been dreaming of for years. At a 2½-hour run time, No Way Home has the space to let them take turns shining, particularly Dafoe as the split-personality Norman Osborn, the meek scientist still at war with his Goblin-Serumed inner evil twin, both of whom he deftly re-embodies nearly two decades after the fact. Foxx enjoys a roughly 98% upgrade in his material and his suit effects, while Molina — who might be de-aged with computers? — slips into Otto Octavius’ two modes with no trouble and nary a year lost. Their arrivals and interplay are an ensemble treat…even as Peter uses a magic armband to stuff them in cells in Strange’s basement dungeon with no food or bathrooms, which cost him some trust points with his guests.
Strange and Peter then have a difference of opinion over what should happen next, which they decide to settle with a hyper-expensive mirror-dimension fight, which reminds us Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange was awesome. Peter is totally lost and bouncing around like a TARDIS in free-fall until he has an epiphany about space fractals or whatever, webs Strange into a cosmic cat’s-cradle, steals his MacGuffin Box and his dimension-hopping Sling-Ring, returns to Earth and leaves him behind. Meanwhile in another realm, The Powers That Be shake their heads and wonder how Metrosexual Gandalf, who just got his butt kicked by an above-average teen, ever earned the Sorcerer Supreme title in the first place.
Later on Earth, the entire quintet is about three minutes away from forming their own little Avengers spinoff team with Spidey as their leader till a few key details slip out…such as the part where some of them are destined to die in their original timelines. Also, Peter realizes maybe some of their villainous tendencies can be either reversed or cured. He can just science the heck out of them, no need to accumulate some college-level or grad-school know-how first. Aunt May not only finds out, she encourages him and insists it’s what he has to do. Clearly it’s every above-average teen’s civic duty to fix any adult psychopaths twice their age if they’re, y’know, pretty sure they can. Also clearly, neither of them has watched a single episode of Doctor Who or Star Trek and they therefore have no clue of the potential damage of wrecking neighboring Earths and timelines. Strange is not there to reiterate why this is a bad idea, and sadly no other magic-users or time travelers are around to explain why Edith Keeler died for their sins.
Peter tries to make amends by freeing them and taking them over to Happy Hogan’s condo, where he and May have been hiding out from the press and public. His hospitality is noted and appreciated. But his amended plan, to “fix” them? To “cure” them? Even to remove their powers permanently against their will, which is often treated as a violation of intrinsic liberties in other superhero stories? The fearsome five recognize that as jailer talk. The truce is canceled and Super-Villain Team-Up ensues. They fight and fight and fight.
Then the film lands its first gut-punch. Amidst the chaos that trashes Happy’s building, a Pumpkin Bomb explodes in the wrong place at the wrong time, a few feet away from poor Aunt May. After the villains escape she emerges from the rubble and stumbles around gasping, which immediately tipped off my wife Anne that she was dead. Then she and Peter chat, and — after 2½ films of dancing around The Line, without which your entire Spider-canon is a hollow sham — May finally gets to be the one to say The Line, with a few words added: “With great power must also come great responsibility.” That’s when I knew she was dead.
And then she was. Peter is devastated. I might’ve been devastated with him if I hadn’t seen it coming moments in advance and if we hadn’t already seen May die a few times in comics. She dies a lot less often than Uncle Ben does, but she’s historically feeble. Marisa Tomei may have more Oscars than Rosemary Harris, but she has fewer than Sally Field, and her May is no less mortal than either of theirs.
Regardless, Peter’s devastation is believable and respectable as the film reaches its mandatory Darkest Hour, which gives the audience time to wipe their noses on their sleeves or just pretend they’re not crying, whichever.
That’s when the real fun begins. If the next section of No Way Home could be extracted and dunked in a Bacta tank so that a new beginning and ending were regenerated from its cells, this film in toto would be quite the literal marvel, I’d call this The Year’s Best Film and this entry would’ve been half as long.
Those wibbly-wobbly dimensional barriers let in two more surprises for Our Heroes, both presaged months ago online yet withheld from the trailers and even flat-out denied in their lying interviews. Old-school Webhead veterans Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield are back! As Peter Parker and Peter Parker! And they brought their old suits!
Pause here to note that, apart from the end-credits scene (we’ll get to that eventually), that’s it for the No Way Home crossovers. We get no Nicholas Hammond, no Christopher Daniel Barnes, no stylized Miles Morales, no more Netflix refugees, no X-Men, no FF, no Runaways, no Hit-Monkey, and no holographic Stan Lee shouting “Excelsior!” while begging fans not to read that recent candid book about his checkered life. A couple of vaguely humanoid outlines from beyond shimmer threateningly in the heavens near the end, but nothing substantial enough to blow minds, not even the one that kindasorta looks like Kraven the Hunter if you squint instead of blink. Frankly, I expected far more Easter-egg guest stars than this. What we did get was impressive enough, though.
Each Spidey is true to himself and picks up where their own versions left off, not a single false note in their dialogue or their distinct takes on the Parker personality. In his first on-camera role since 2014’s chess drama Pawn Sacrifice, Maguire, now 46, is logically the old man of the Spider-trio. He’s a bit haggard yet still fully powered. As always he’s ready and willing to do the right thing and never, ever emo-dance again. Really, that’s all anyone could ask.
Best in Show here, though, is indisputably Andrew Garfield. Rather than reprising a version of the character from the middle of his two films, his Peter is post-ASM2. Gwen Stacy’s death at the end of his own web-line left him in a dark place that he’s not fully processed because he never got a third film to give him closure. He’s still doubting himself and still seeking redemption…and yet he’s snarky and often smiling anyway. Of all the Spideys here, his has the funniest repartee, the quickest wit, the sharpest timing, and the most heavily masked heartache. That’s straight-up grade-A classic Spider-Man in the mighty Marvel manner. Garfield has upped his game (and his resume) tremendously since his Spider-years and effortlessly demonstrates just how much his director Marc Webb and his producers failed him.
The movie slams its brakes for what feels like a good ten minutes or more and just lets the Spider-trifecta hang out, compare notes, contrast film experiences, do sciences together, and just…breathe. Each of them has known tragedy, grief, and goofy villain origins. Their versions of the Spider-Man life experience may differ in the details, but at heart they’re the same put-upon guy with a knack for being in wrong places at wrong times and a flair for saving the day against all odds. Rarely have different, fully separate incarnations of a film series coexisted with such heartening camaraderie. I would’ve been perfectly happy if Watts had eschewed fight scenes altogether and simply filmed a 90-minute bottle-episode blockbuster called My Dinner With Spideys.
Inevitably, alas, all good scenes must come to an end. The standard Final Battle beckons. Computer operators are standing by, poised and waiting to draw. The actors are cordially invited to go rest and shout their lines from their trailers while the film turns into a cartoon.
The big rumble between the Spider-Jets and the Sinister Sharks takes place at the Statue of Liberty, as some weird attempt on Watts’ part to reclaim it either from Bryan Singer’s X-Men or from Liberty Mutual’s ad agency. Liberty is undergoing construction to supplant her torch with a kaiju-sized Captain America shield (as was first mentioned in TV’s Hawkguy), as if Rogers: The Musical weren’t tribute enough. MJ and Ned also show up because he’s been playing around with the stolen Sling-Ring and enabling a lot of the movie’s plot-point transportation needs. When Strange himself crashes the party at last, Ned also ends up spending quality seconds with his magic cape, thus giving the audience false hope that maybe he’s actually a wizard and if they can find a few more teen wizards, maybe Strange could open his own Hogwarts and we can all agree to forget about the real Hogwarts forever. Good luck with your wishing, Leeds-heads.
Anyway, one last time they fight and fight and fight, in a blurry mess of video game cutscenes that establish no sense of spatial relationships. It’s impossible to tell where all the characters are in relation to each other among all those stories of scaffolding. Consequently everything is a series of rocketships flying through a montage of disconnected tunnels. You could hack the sequence up into its separate edits, toss them in a hat, reassemble them in random order, and achieve the same results. Maybe that IS how it was done. Occasional funny lines are dubbed in for punctuation. As 2021 scaffolding fights go, No Time to Die and Shang-Chi did it better.
In the middle of all this comes the best scene in the film, the best scene in any superhero film of 2021, and possibly one of the all-time greatest superhero moments on film, period. Naturally sooner or later, MJ falls off Liberty. Holland’s Spidey #1 swings in for the save. He reaches and reaches. He misses. She keeps falling in slow motion to her doom.
From somewhere in the depths of all that speed-freak computer mishmash, out races Garfield’s Spidey #3 for the last-minute save. He lands with MJ in his arms and just stands there staring at her for several long seconds as emotions overwhelm him and tears well up. He failed Gwen Stacy, but he could at least be there for another Spidey’s closest loved one. In that moment he finds his redemption, his way forward, and forgiveness for his two films. Hearts everywhere swell as he achieves Emotion Level Coco so beautifully that I’m even having a hard time typing about it two days later.
Our Heroes get a bit more surprise help when Octavius reveals his cure is intact and he’s been good since the condo but, like, deep undercover till it was time to betray Osborn and help save the day now, though not when Aunt May could’ve used an assist. Regardless, the villains are cured one by one until Goblin is the last baddie standing. Mega-Shield is knocked off its precarious perch and falls face-down on the shoreline, where its underside serves as the last stand between Spidey #1 and the man who killed Aunt May. Holland is at his most furious in this moment, fresh-faced teen no longer, all but ready to end this with extreme prejudice and become Dark Spidey, which is not really an approved Spider-ending. As we soon find out, a worse ending is possible.
Just as Goblin is felled and Spidey #1 is about to cross the line, the other two Spideys tag in, team up one last time, and pull off an agile antiserum jab that, rather than kill Goblin, cancels out his serum and brings meek Osborn back to his psyche’s forefront. Once again the day is saved, thanks to Spider-Men!
If only that were The End. I knew where this was going. In the back of my mind, I’d known since the first trailer, but refused to believe they’d go there.
Someone in charge decided it’d be a swell idea to adapt one of the two worst Spider-Man stories in all of comics. One was the Clone Saga, mercifully off the table for now. The other was “One More Day”, that infamous saga brought about at a time in continuity when Peter and Mary Jane had been married for years and had become quite the happy couple. Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada decided that Peter Parker should always be single and never married, that a previous regime forced their marriage for silly reasons, that killing off Mary Jane would be a waste of an otherwise good character of long standing, and that under no circumstances whatsoever would he ever allow Spider-Man to become a divorcee. (Few complained when Hawkeye and Mockingbird divorced, but at the time they were a bit farther down Marvel’s licensed merchandise priority list.)
What was a better idea to un-marry them? Oh, just a long series of arcs that began with Spidey’s secret identity being revealed to the world, followed by one calamity after another until he was written into a deep, dark corner from which they permitted him only one exit. And so he made a deal with Marvel’s Devil, a.k.a. Mephisto (played by Peter Fonda in the first Ghost Rider movie), who agreed to wipe his identity from everyone’s memories worldwide…for a price: he would rewrite Peter’s entire timeline retroactively so that he and Mary Jane were never married. (And never had a daughter. She was a thing once. Don’t ask.)
When I began collecting comics at age 6, Amazing Spider-Man was one of the first titles I followed every month, starting with #198. I followed any and all Spider-titles without fail until the early ’90s, circa Amazing #324 or so, when Marvel had line-wide quality control problems as well as financial issues behind the scenes. I was an on-again-off-again reader as creative teams came and went.
That fandom ended with “One More Day”, the one where Spidey made a deal with the devil because an editor said so. I dropped Spidey from my reading rotation. One subsequent brief dalliance with Dan Slott’s run didn’t take, through no fault of his, unless “all Spidey stories should be major crossover events from now on” was his idea. I just couldn’t with that. To me, “One More Day” was The Worst. I haven’t kept up with any Spider-titles in over a decade now.
That’s the story Jon Watts and his two writers decided to adapt here. The Worst. Subtracting the Devil didn’t help.
Our Heroes’ joy of victory is short-lived as more teeming masses of Guys Who Know Peter is Spidey threaten to burst through reality’s seams in the skies above, though I imagine the plummet from the stratosphere to the ground would kill most of them. Strange reminds everyone that they need to put reality back where the found it. The only way is his spell, still sealed in the MacGuffin Box. And the spell has to be performed without alterations or substitutions. That means everyone on Earth needs to forget Peter Parker ever existed…including MJ and Ned.
Spidey #1 has no choice. He says his tearful farewells to his two film-bros. To Otto, for coming around before the other villains did. To Ned, his Guy in the Chair. And to MJ.
No tears from me. I was too aggravated.
Strange does the thing and sent everyone back to their own canceled movie universes — both alt-Spideys, Octavius, Aunt May’s murderer the Goblin, and his three murder accomplices, all hastily judged Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity Plus They Don’t Belong Here And Technically Should Be Extradited to Their Respective Home Dimensions to Stand Trial. All five of them are drastically changed and may potentially wreck their timelines in ways we’ll never know, unless season two of What If…? goes there. But Spidey’s need for vengeance has subsided and they’re otherwise not his problems anymore.
A few final scenes confirm MJ, Ned and even Happy have forgotten Peter. Not just his secret identity: they no longer know he ever existed at all. Their collective amnesia is so thorough that it begs a thousand questions about how wrecked this timeline is now. Whither his school records? His Stark employment records? His Social Security card and birth certificate? Is Peter now a phantom doomed to ride the rails like TV’s David Banner and never, ever be allowed a supporting character for more than ten minutes for the rest of his cinematic existence? The film answers none of this. It does offer hints that MJ might figure it out. Her wound from the Liberty fight is still there, as is the necklace she picked up in Far From Home. No guarantees she will, though.
Exactly one (1) good change comes of this. With the last of Peter’s Stark suits ruined and no access to more, he’s back to hand-sewn costumes. I’m okay with Spidey no longer being Iron Lad.
But the important thing is the filmmakers got their wish. They adapted The Worst. They tossed out all the joint character development between the three best friends. They chose the specific corner they wanted to back the hero into, then cut off all other avenues of escape because to them the corner itself was more important than the hero or the heroic hope they can represent. The last time a superhero was forced to betray his own nature on a filmmaker’s whim, it was called Man of Steel and I wasn’t sympathetic then, either.
The plot required Peter to make monumentally stupid mistakes on a planetary level, jeopardizing lives across dimensions because of his college admission woes. He was then herded down the plot’s narrow path and shackled to the only solution allowed: to wipe all his problems away with a big magic eraser. Some might argue giving up MJ and Ned was a heroic sacrifice and that counts for something. It’s neither heroic nor a sacrifice when you endorse its removal with such a heavy, brutish hand. The No Way Home notion of “sacrifice” cheapens the very meaning of it.
And having a fairy godfather wish your problems away isn’t taking Great Responsibility. That’s weaseling out.
Meanwhile in the customary MCC film breakdowns:
Hey, look, it’s that one actor!:
Returning players include teachers Hannibal Buress, JB Smoove and Martin Starr, who all share a single scene. J.K. Simmons is this earth’s J. Jonah Jameson, doubling down on the Alex Jones send-up as a contrarian jerk pundit detached from objective reality. This time he’s more of a sideline gadfly than comic relief, which is kind of a shame. On the flipside, Tony Revolori’s Flash is only comic relief, all other depth having been flushed away (though it’s inter-company rivalry genius to name his quickie memoir Flashpoint). Ditto Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan, who wouldn’t have been hard to write out of the film altogether. Angourie Rice remains school anchorwoman Betty Brant, now a solo act with a more skilled film crew that lets her report away from her desk.
Newcomers include Arian Moayed (private-equity vulture Stewy from HBO’s Succession) as the head agent from Damage Control; and Paula Newsome (Henry Winkler’s onetime girlfriend from HBO’s Barry) as an MIT VIP that Peter does a huge favor for, but far too late.
How about those end credits? To answer the burning question that MCC is always happy to verify: yes, there are indeed bonuses during and after the Spider-Man: No Way Home end credits. For those who fell asleep in the theater and really want to know, I’m not bothering with our customary spoiler-alert space here because we already did that way up above.
During the credits is a brief sequel to the scene after the Venom: Let There Be Carnage end credits. Tom Hardy’s slovenly Eddie Brock and his gooey alien inner frenemy Venom are still on vacation south of the border, but now they’re on Spidey’s earth instead of their own after being magically warped out of his cabana. Strange’s spell did not include free transportation to NYC, so instead he hangs out at the nearest club, where the bartender (Ted Lasso‘s Dani Rojas) has to recap the MCU for him, including the part where they have aliens. As they’re squabbling about big purple aliens and other concepts they’re not used to, Strange’s counter-spell kicks in and transports them back to their own film series on its own little Earth. They leave behind a dollop of alien goo on the counter, which will hopefully be washed away before anyone lets Topher Grace within 100 yards of it. To Be Continued, probably!
After the credits isn’t merely a single scene, but the entire first trailer for the next MCU film, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Among other nifty sights, we confirm Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch and Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Baron Mordo (now dreadlocked) are on board, Doc’s old comics foe and Cthulhu knockoff Shuma-Gorath will makes its big-screen debut, and the Disney+ animated series What If…? is officially in MCU multiverse canon as Cumberbatch takes on the dual role of…his evil doppelganger Strange Supreme, destroyer of nigh-infinite universes and murderer of zillions! Coming to theaters this May! Unless they postpone it again!
[With special thanks to my wife Anne for her sharp eyes and latent maternal instinct.]