Spider-Man: No Way Home ended with Peter Parker asking Doctor Strange to create a spell that would erase him from the memory of all those he loves. We saw the first glimpse at the impact this had at the end of that movie when neither MJ nor Ned recognise him when he approaches them.
However, Doctor Strange 2 has now provided some clarity on how this works in the wider MCU. Warning - spoilers ahead for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Near the beginning of the movie, our Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) meets America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) for the first time. After finding out her ability to traverse the multiverse, Strange makes a reference to "an incident with Spider-Man..." In response, Chavez admits she’s never heard of him, asking "What man?"
The ongoing exchange seems to suggest that while both Wong and Strange know about the existence of Spider-Man, they do not know he’s Peter Parker. Indeed, throughout the rest of the film, there’s no reference to him as Parker at all, seemingly proving the spell worked for them as well.
However, it also suggests there’s a wider impact on the multiverse. Chavez has traveled to 73 universes by that point but has never heard of the superhero before. She quizzes them on what exactly it means to be Spider-Man, seemingly suggesting that she has never encountered a mention of him at all.
Of course, there’s still a lot we don’t know about Spider-Man’s spell. We don’t know what exactly Wong and Strange remember about this "incident" or even if they remember casting the second spell or just the first. We also do not have a lot of clarity on what the superhero situations are in other universes in the multiverse. There are indications that Chavez has met several Stranges, and we know Thanos was a key threat in the 838 universe as well. But do they have all the same superheroes? Is it possible it’s not just Spider-Man who is missing?
There’s a lot still to be answered, with the writers of Spider-Man: No Way Home even admitting this themselves. Speaking to Variety (opens in new tab), Erik Sommers and Chris McKenna said they decided to "focus on the emotion of it" in that film and hope the questions it raises are answered, "in another movie somewhere down the line".
We’ll have to wait and see if any more is revealed in the rest of the Marvel Phase 4 releases. Want more on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness? Then check out our guides to:
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