5. Green Goblin Betrays Peter
The MCU has always suffered with a villain problem – for the most part, we’ve become accustomed to seeing our heroes face off against one-dimensional characters who possess very little personality or charisma. To rectify this issue, No Way Home brings back an assortment of classic Spidey villains headlined by Willem Dafoe’s gruesome Green Goblin.
Dafoe masterfully balances the internal conflict within, as Norman and the Goblin battle each other for supremacy. May appeals to Peter, against his better judgement, to cure Norman and destroy the Goblin within permanently, but not before Osborn succumbs to the overpowering influence of the Goblin. Not only does he turn on Peter, but he hunts down May to exact his revenge and shatter Peter’s world.
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4. With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
Tom Holland’s Peter Parker has suffered unimaginable losses throughout his life – not only has he lost his parents and his Uncle Ben, but he also saw his mentor Tony Stark sacrifice himself to save the world during the events of Avengers: Endgame. The only family left in the world to Peter by No Way Home was his Aunt May, a woman who brought him comfort and consolation when no one else was there to do so.
As the Green Goblin seeks to destroy Peter and everything he stands for, he targets May and impales her with his glider, leaving her mortally wounded in the ruins of their apartment building. In her final moments, May reminds Peter of his duty, not only to those who need his help, but to himself. She implores Peter to remain resolute in his battle against the evil forces at play, reminding him that “with great power, there must come great responsibility”.
Peter is overcome by a devastating trauma as May dies in his arms, paying the price for his decision to save the villains. As Dafoe so wickedly reminds him, “no good deed goes unpunished”, leading Peter to question his own morality for the first time as he is driven to seek revenge against the Green Goblin.
3. Our Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man Returns
Fans of Sam Raimi’s Spider-verse, rejoice! After 14 years, Tobey Maguire finally returned to don the Spidey suit in No Way Home.
It was a moment of sheer elation for fans, especially those who have patiently waited in the hope that Maguire would one day take up the mantle of Peter Parker once more.
The cancellation of Spider-Man 4 appeared to be the end of the line for Maguire as the webslinger, but his return as an older and more mature version of the character provided the perfect balance to Tom Holland’s Peter, who was spiralling down a dark path due to the loss of his Aunt May.
His finest moment comes during the epic finale when he convinces Holland’s Peter to stay his hand rather than take revenge on the Green Goblin. His heroic intervention prevents Peter from destroying everything that he stands for and averts him from a life of vengeance. Maguire’s Peter is stabbed in the back by the Goblin for his efforts, but survives the attack to help cure Norman before he is returned to his own universe.