WARNING: This article contains full spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home.
The last moments of Spider-Man: No Way Home were extremely emotional. After creating a rift in the fabric of reality, bringing about the end of the universe as they knew it, Peter was forced to ask Doctor Strange to make the world forget who he was. This drastic act meant he lost all his relationships – most notably those with Happy Hogan, MJ, and Ned Leeds. The last shots of the Marvel film showed Peter learning to live with his new anonymity in an apartment on his own. But he may have been forced to take on a new identity because of this.
During the events of No Way Home, Aunt May was killed off. The emotional scene tugged on the heartstrings of every Spidey fan as May told Peter: “With great power, there must also come great responsibility.”
This death contributed to his decision that both MJ and Ned were safer not knowing him. But, if he had returned to the world as Peter Parker, inquisitive people (including J Jonah Jameson) may have worked out that Peter Parker returned to the world shortly after May Parker died in the middle of a fight involving Spider-Man. This connection could have blown his cover once again.
With this in mind, Peter may have decided to make a return to society under a pseudonym.
Historically, there have only been a few names in Marvel comic books that Peter has gone by. The most famous of all is, of course, Ben Reilly.
Ben was the name originally used by a clone of Peter during the legendary Spider-Man Clone Saga storyline. He also had a new alter-ego: The Scarlet Spider. But Peter has been known to use it now and again.
And the name has a touching meaning behind it, as well, that connects to Peter’s family.
Of course, this change of character could send Peter into one of the most complicated Spider-Man stories of all time: The aforementioned clone saga. The 1990s comic book saga revealed that Peter’s DNA had been cloned alongside Gwen Stacey’s by a villain known only as The Jackal.
Various iterations of this storyline also introduced other members of the Spider-Man clone family. With some of the Spider-Men not on the side of good, this could make Spidey seem more like a villain in the future.
Either way, the future of the big-screen MCU Spider-Man is still up in the air.
Most recently, Spidey star Tom Holland spoke about the possibility of a fourth film in a chat with Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire, saying: “The truthful answer – and I’ve done a whole press tour where all I do is lie – the truth is, and you’re not going to like the truth, I don’t know the answer to that question. This film for me was as special as an experience could ever be, sharing the screen with these guys. Playing Spider-Man could be quite an alienating experience because, you know, we’re the only three blokes who have done it. So, to share that with you two, it’s been such a wonderful experience, of which I have such amazing memories.”
Spider-Man No Way Home is in cinemas now.
The rest of the Marvel films are available on Disney Plus now.