The Marvel Cinematic Universe in recent years has provided a surprisingly decent introduction to the multiverse for viewers who weren’t familiar with the concept. The number of parallel universes, alternate realities, and timelines is now infinite. Especially since, as in the DC Universe, every project that has ever happened or will happen in Marvel is part of the interconnected multiverse. For me, one of the most interesting universes in recent years is Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man universe. He’s an amazing incarnation of the character. His story is the saddest of all three film incarnations of Spider-Man so far, but I believe that as a result of the events of Avengers: Secret Wars, this could change. So let’s dive in below and together find out how Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man can still get a happy ending.
[Warning: Spoilers from Spider-Man movies and potential spoilers for future MCU projects are below!]
The saddest and the most broken incarnation of Spider-Man
Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man has appeared in 3 films so far, and regardless of people’s opinions on their quality, he was and still is considered one of their best parts. And no wonder, because he is funny, very similar to the comic book version of the character, has the best suit, and is fantastic in every scene. He brought sensitivity and authenticity to Peter Parker, portraying a high school outcast struggling with loneliness, grief, and a need for connection. One of the defining characteristics of Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man is the people he has lost and his relationship with them.
In The Amazing Spider-Man, Peter is haunted by the loss of his parents, creating a void that he tries to fill. This emotional baggage isolates him from his Aunt May (Sally Field) and Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen), amplifying his feelings of abandonment. He looks for different father figures, such as Connors (Rhys Ifans), and doesn’t realize that the closest father figure he had was his Uncle Ben. He’s burdened by an overwhelming sense of guilt and responsibility.
Throughout the two Amazing Spider-Man movies, Peter became more aware of the weight of his choices and actions. This guilt-driven desire to protect the innocent no matter what, is a main motivation throughout his cinematic journey. Comparing him to other incarnations of Spider-Man, his version is unique because of his existential loneliness, the overwhelming sense of guilt, and the darkness inside of him. Unlike the classic version of Spider-Man, Garfield’s version is atoning for his mistakes.
First, it was letting the thief go, and Uncle Ben died. Then it was helping Connors and trusting that he won’t get crazy, and that’s how Captain Stacy (Denis Leary) died. In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, everything he did, resulted in Gwen (Emma Stone) dying. His Spider-Man seems to grapple with a sense of unworthiness which made him a broken superhero who stopped pulling his punches.
On top of that, his romantic relationship with Gwen Stacy adds another layer to his broken persona. He loved her more than anything. She meant the whole world to him. But after she died, and he couldn’t save her, he decided to grieve for months and stopped being Spider-Man. Showing Peter losing someone as close to him as Gwen, and exploring how broken he was, giving up on being a hero, is really deep. Just like that, even the greatest hero, the Amazing Spider-Man, decided that because he couldn’t save Gwen, he was not worthy of protecting New York.
One of the final scenes between Peter and Aunt May explores the part of coping with grief and loss. Even though Peter moves on and comes back to being a superhero, we can see later in No Way Home, that he’s still in a pretty rough shape. And that’s where Secret Wars and the multiversal arc come to his rescue.
The Multiversal War and changes in the multiple universes
Multiverse crossovers have become more and more popular in recent years. Both DC and Marvel started to do their own versions of some multiversal events on varying scales. All of them brought a huge amount of fans to theaters and in front of televisions. One of the reasons is the opportunity to not only tell interesting and original stories but also to bring back our favorite characters from the past. With the announcement of Avengers: Secret Wars the anticipation for this project is unbelievable.
As I mentioned in one of my previous articles, this project will change the MCU forever. But before it does that, there are things along the way that it can’t skip. One of them is to bring back not only iconic characters from Fox/Sony’s Marvel projects but also to connect them to the MCU in a logical way. Secret Wars will tell the story of a multiversal war where Marvel’s most powerful heroes will have to defeat Kang (Jonathan Majors).
Likely the story will involve the creation of a Battleworld in which big battles will take place in order to save the multiverse. I believe that it will not only serve as a space to tell an amazing story that will bring back beloved characters and the actors who played them, but will be more than that. It will allow fans and storytellers alike to explore some stories of different characters and either finish them up or develop them in some capacity.
But it could also be the reason why someone like Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) or America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) could decide to open multiverse portals to level the playing field. Assuming that after the ending of No Way Home, everybody came back to the present times in their universes, we’ll know that villains of previous Spider-Man projects were indeed cured, and everything changed. In that case, they wouldn’t forget what happened, and their timelines would be changed.
In other words, Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), Doc Ock (Alfred Molina), Sandman (Thomas Hayden Church), Electro (Jamie Foxx), and Lizard are still alive. And what’s most important is that they’re not evil anymore. That would allow fans to see how Maguire and Garfield’s universes changed and how they’re potentially working with their villains from the past now, as friends or at the very least no longer enemies. Knowing that Connors and Max are cured and can live their lives again would somehow give Peter a small spark of hope for a better tomorrow.
But, everything could change, once the Multiversal War begins. I think that everything that happens during Secret Wars to Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man, could give him his very well-deserved happy ending.
Spider-Gwen and Spider-Man’s deserved happy ending in Secret Wars
During a potentially epic scene where all the different heroes come to the MCU’s Earth or a Battleworld, chances are we’ll see a whole bunch of familiar faces. Both those that we saw in recent/upcoming projects and heroes we haven’t seen for 10 years or more. Of course, Garfield, Maguire, and other heroes could be a part of that. But that’s where things may start getting really interesting. Just like in Spider-Verse, viewers will learn that there are also different variants of Spider-Man and other heroes, but in this case in live-action.
One of them could be Spider-Gwen played by Emma Stone. In this scenario, she’d be from another Earth where events in her life happened just like in The Amazing Spider-Man 1 & 2, but it was Peter who died, not her. Which puts her in a similar position to Andrew Garfield’s Spidey. She may also become bitter and depressed. She could stop being Spider-Gwen for a long time after Peter died, unable to live without him. And that’s why she could join the heroes in Secret Wars.
It’s been rumored that during the events of this movie Tom Holland’s Spider-Man will acquire a symbiote suit. But I think that before or after it merges with him, it could sense the grief and anger of Garfield’s Peter and decide to feed on it. He could be brainwashed by the symbiote and when he sees Gwen, he’ll just stop. All sadness, hatred, and anger leaves him, and he starts to smile again.
Or maybe it can be done without dealing with the symbiote. Maybe it can be done by Kang trying to convince him to join him, or maybe it’s just a coincidence. Peter and Gwen see each other for the first time in years and see each other alive, finally giving Garfield’s Spider-Man something worth fighting for.
Due to Secret Wars changing the MCU forever, I think that in the end, Peter and Gwen’s world will either merge, or they’ll decide to somehow visit each other. Multiversal travel would probably always be available one way or another. And just to close their chapters and make them both whole again, them fighting crime together would be something cool to see.
Do you want to see Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man have a happy ending with Gwen?
I really love Andrew Garfield’s incarnation of Spider-Man and he is very close to my heart. Whenever I feel down, I like to watch Amazing Spider-Man movies because I feel a really deep connection with them. Seeing Andrew behaving and having similar problems to mine makes it easier to just feel the deeper essence of those projects. Whenever he cries, I cry. Whenever he smiles, I smile. Whenever he feels depressed or angry, I feel the same emotions. Even listening to The Amazing Spider-Man 2 music in everyday situations makes that bond even stronger.
Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man deserves a happy ending after everything that happened in his life. Maguires’ incarnation got his, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man will hopefully somehow get his happy ending. Now it’s time for Andrew. One way or another I really want him to be happy and see him going back to saving his New York with a smile on his face, inspiring people with hope. It would also allow viewers to say goodbye to him for probably one last time, with smiles and tears of happiness.
Avengers: Secret Wars is currently expected in 2027. What are your thoughts on this Spider-Man theory? Let us know on social media or in The Cosmic Circus Discord.