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The MCU’s Villain Fight Issue Finally Fixed By No Way Home

By Mabel Judith Andrady
January 4,2022

Spider-Man: No Way Home manages to avoid such a common complaint about the MCU villain fights in its third act. It’s easy to imagine that moviegoers will be tired of the MCU’s common elements by 2021. However, NWH was a hit with audiences, critics, and the box office in the same way that Endgame was with audiences. NWH had a truly heartfelt story with significant consequences for its characters. This has culminated in one of the best Act 3 villain fights in the franchise’s history.

Why Norman Osborn Was Spared

Norman Osborn

Norman Osborn

NWH concludes the nearly two-decade-long Spider-Man film saga by bringing villains and Spider-Man iterations from the previous two franchises back together. In No Way Home, Willem Dafoe’s Norman Osborn, a.k.a. The Green Goblin, is established as the film’s ultimate villain by the film’s director. With his sadistic and well-honed ability to break his opponents’ spirits — and almost breaking the spirit of Tom Holland’s Peter Parker — the Green Goblin is more dangerous than any other Marvel villain, despite his lack of cosmic power.

No Way Home introduces Tom Holland’s Spider-Man to a Green Goblin unlike any other. The Green Goblin easily defeats Spider-Man in their first encounter. He does so by slamming the superhero through a building’s floors and taking a barrage of punches with nothing but a sinister smile and cackle. He kills Aunt May, Peter’s adoptive mother, at the end of the fight. A brutal and emotionally charged grudge match between Spider-Man and the Goblin takes place when they meet for a second time, with little CGI interference. Goblin came dangerously close to destroying Peter. Furthermore, the MCU’s Spider-Man only avoided killing Norman Osborn because of the two Peter Parkers.

The Best Fight In The MCU


Spider-Man and NWH both show that the Green Goblin is at its most dangerous when he’s engaged in hand-to-hand combat. This is despite his vast arsenal of weapons. Maguire and Holland were beaten by the Goblin twice. However, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man was in danger in more ways than one. Norman Osborn was about to be killed by Peter Parker, and he came dangerously close.

CGI-heavy fights between three Spider-Men and three of the multiverse villains were preceded by this final brawl. However, even this avoided the MCU’s typical criticisms. Three generations of Spider-Man worked together to defeat their enemies. They did so by redeeming them rather than killing them in this scene of emotional catharsis. With uplifting moments like the MCU’s villain becoming their former self (and hearing words of encouragement from a Spider-Man iteration), the battle ends with a sequence full of crowd-pleasing frames. This response has been similar to the final battle in Endgame.

In its Act 3 villain fight, NWH increased the stakes and the emotional weight, rather than increasing the scale. The film featured all three Spider-Man’s working together to defeat their shared foes. As a result, the final fight between Spider-Man and the Green Goblin is the best in the MCU.

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