Doctor Strange is confirmed to appear in Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 – and he could be the key to solving Peter Parker’s secret identity problems.
The outing of SpiderMan’s secret identity from the post-credits scene of Spider-Man: Far From Home was easily one of the best in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Usually a post-credits scene is designed to wrap up a story, to tease a future arc, or even as something of a gag but none of Marvel’s post-credits scenes have ever transformed a hero’s status quo in quite such a suspense way.
The post-credits scene of Spider-Man: Far From Home which saw Spider-Man’s secret identity revealed to the world was a last act of revenge from Mysterio, committed by his loyal followers, who blamed Spider-Man from the Elementals and drone attacks and then outed him as Peter Parker. Naturally, all this was done via the MCU’s own iteration of J. Jonah Jameson, an InfoWars-style conspiracy theorist. This twist means Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 must tread ground never explored by any Spider-Man story on the big screen before.
Surprisingly, the recent news Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange will appear in Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 may have given Spider-Man an escape route. In the comics, Spider-Man revealed his secret identity to the world in 2006’s “Civil War” event. A literal deal with the devil led to a major change in the timelines, however; in the new timeline, Spider-Man subsequently went to Doctor Strange for help. The Sorcerer Supreme successfully wove a spell that ensured everyone in the world forgot who Spider-Man really was. Even better, the magic ensured they couldn’t work it out either, meaning Peter now never had to worry about his secret identity again.
Marvel Comics essentially used magic as something of a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card, erasing a controversial plot that changed Spider-Man’s status quo a little too much. Marvel Studios could take the same approach, exploring Peter Parker’s new life in Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 before restoring the more conventional status quo. It would be a smart approach, perfectly explaining why Doctor Strange needs to be the main MCU cameo in this movie.
Every spell has its limits, of course. In the case of this particular spell, that limit was reached during the “Spider-Island” event, when New York was infested with bugs that bit people and gave them spider-powers. An unmasked Peter Parker used his powers while being filmed, issuing a rallying cry for New Yorkers to help take out a group of spider-powered crooks, and that broke the spell’s protection. Now, anyone can figure out Peter Parker is Spider-Man – even if they can’t remember ever knowing that truth before. Who knows how the rules of this magic could work in the MCU?