When Stan Lee left his gig as the writer of The Amazing Spider-Man after the series’ 100th issue, he didn’t exactly make things easy for his successor. Rather than returning Peter Parker to something like his core status quo, he upended the entire book on his way out. Lee’s final regular issue as Amazing Spider-Man writer ends with Peter taking an experimental serum hoping it will cure him of his spider powers. Instead, it gives him four additional arms. Whoops! (If you’re interested in learning more about this period in Spider-Man history, I know a really excellent book on the subject.)
If you’re not familiar, the Six-Armed Spider-Man really is one of the stranger looking creations in the Marvel library.
This Six-Armed Spider-Man did not last very long as the protagonist of The Amazing Spider-Man. (It’s sort of hard to maintain a secret identity as a superhero when you’re a dude walking around with two extra pairs of arms poking out of your torso.) Within a couple of issues, Peter was able to get all six of his hands on an antidote and return to his original form. But his bizarre look has made him a popular element of the Spider-Man mythos among hardcore fans — so popular, in fact that the creators of Spider-Man: No Way Home snuck him into the film in a cameo that almost everyone missed. (By “almost everyone,” I include me. I definitely did not catch this the first ztime around.)
In a video from Sony’s YouTube channel that excerpts one of the No Way Home Blu-ray special features, you can see where the Six-Armed Spider-Man was hiding amongst those mysterious figures in the sky during the final battle between Spider-Man and his enemies over the Statue of Liberty:
I guess the idea is that in some alternate corner of the multiverse, Peter Parker never cured himself of having extra arms and was stuck as the Six-Arm Spider-Man forever. Come to think of it, there was an issue of the What If…? comic with that exact premise.
And since each story on the What If…? TV series is supposed to be another facet of the multiverse, you can almost imagine that the dude in No Way Home is this Spider-Man on the cover of this What If…?
Spider-Man: No Way Home is now available on Digital, 4K, and Blu-ray.
Spider-Man: No Way Home: The Coolest Easter Eggs
Did you spot these Marvel Easter eggs and references in Spider-Man: No Way Home?