How Marvel’s What If…? Might Have Foreshadowed Spider-Man: No Way Home

Doctor Strange (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) is the central figure of “Marvel’s What If..?” Episode 4. In the episode, Strange tries to reverse Christine Palmer’s death in the car accident which, in 2016’s live-action “Doctor Strange,” changes the course of the doctor’s life forever. As Strange grieves, The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) appears and reveals Christine’s death is “an absolute point in time,” an unchangeable event that serves as the turning point for what comes after it.

There is a moment in the most recent “Spider-Man: No Way Home” trailer where Doctor Strange tells Peter Parker (Tom Holland) that it is the “fate” of the villains who’ve crossed over into his world to die fighting Spider-Man (crucial note: it’s not specific if they’re meant to die fighting the Holland version). With “What If…?” Episode 4 in mind, is Peter now tampering with an absolute point?

From what we can gather from Strange and Peter’s “No Way Home” trailer interactions, the sorcerer’s attempt at a spell to make the world forget Peter is Spider-Man goes wrong due when Peter’s voices a desire for only a few special people to know. It seems no damage is done until villains from other universes appear (via YouTube). At one point, Strange appears to fight Peter and also push him into his astral form in order to keep him from saving them.

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