Madame Web"s Biggest Pre-Release Promise Meant It Was Always Doomed

Warning! This article contains spoilers for Madame Web
  • Madame Web failed to live up to the character's comic-book connections to multiverse, which could have connected Sony's Spider-Man Universe to the MCU.
  • Madame Web's multiversal nature could have helped the movie take part in the wider Marvel multiverse, but it could have also overcomplicated the concept even further.
  • Madame Web was Sony's best chance to link its franchise to Spider-Man, but the character has lost all credibility now.
Madame Web's source material set the bar too high for the live-action Marvel movie. As the Multiverse Saga advances in the MCU, Sony's Spider-Man Universe only begins to take shape with Madame Web, the third character to receive her own starring role in Sony's Marvel franchise. Dakota Johnson's clairvoyant Madame Web possesses vastly different abilities than her fellow heroes Venom and Morbius, yet her unique powers aren't enough to capture audiences, as Madame Web received abysmal box office numbers and reviews.
Due to its awkward dialog, stilted performances, and weak script, Madame Web lands at the bottom of Spider-Man movies in terms of quality and popularity. Madame Web's critical and commercial failure may be a bad omen for its franchise. With no way to integrate Spider-Man without involving Marvel Studios, Sony's Spider-Man Universe faces an uphill challenge in its quest to build its own cinematic universe. Madame Web provided the most opportunities to follow in Marvel Studios' footsteps, but it neither executed them well nor had the odds stacked in its favor.
Madame Web's Multiverse Ties Saw Major Hype Before Its Release Close Madame Web may not be the most famous character in Spider-Man history, but she plays an important role in it. In the comics, Cassandra Webb is linked to the Web of Life and Destiny — a physical representation of the Marvel multiverse created by the spider goddess Neith. The Web of Life and Destiny also connects all spider avatars or "Spider-Totems", and it can serve as a means of multiversal travel. With the MCU's Multiverse Saga in full swing, Madame Web was Sony's best opportunity to capitalize on the concept of the multiverse and create a clear bond with the MCU.
Such an ambitious plot would have required a high level of synergy between Sony and Marvel Studios
Given that Sony's Spider-Man movies can't freely acknowledge the MCU, adapting all of Madame Web's comic book lore accurately would have always been impossible. Madame Web's premise and trailers made it seem like Cassandra Webb would be traveling back to 2003 to protect a yet-to-be-born Peter Parker from Ezekiel Sims, but such an ambitious plot would have required a high level of synergy between Sony and Marvel Studios in order to keep the new Peter Parker's story from affecting Spider-Man's MCU timeline. In the end, Madame Web didn't even do the titular character justice in the first place.
The Multiverse Would Have Helped Madame Web’s Story (But Risked Repeating A Superhero Movie Issue) Close Madame Web could have been Sony’s equivalent of Doctor Strange. She could have introduced the concepts of alternate timelines and dimensions, time travel, and fate. Madame Web's premonitions hint at the convergence between all these concepts, as she predicts the events that are set to happen and changes the course of fate by changing details that lead to new scenarios. Madame Web could have linked this powerful ability to the Web of Life and Destiny, which in turn could have proved that Sony's Spider-Man Universe has its own way to study and shape the multiverse, similarly to the MCU's TVA.
Related Which Peter Parker Is In Madame Web? Sony's Fourth Spider-Man Explained The Sony Spider-Verse just got much more complicated and finally introduced Peter Parker, but it's probably not the Spider-Man you'd expect it to be. On the other hand, Madame Web's multiversal lore would have added yet another layer of difficulty to an already complicated concept. Loki, WandaVision, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania have each introduced multiple original ideas that make the MCU multiverse much more complex than it seemed at first. Not to mention, the DCEU's The Flash and The CW's Arrowverse also have their own takes on the multiverse. Therefore, a new explanation of alternate realities wouldn't have guaranteed success for Madame Web, either.
Madame Web Lost Its Chance To Connect Sony’s Spider-Man Universe To The MCU Custom Image by Nicolas Ayala Regardless of how well Madame Web's take on the multiverse would have fit with the MCU's Multiverse Saga, the titular hero's ties to multiversal travel were the perfect chance for Sony's Spider-Man Universe to find some order despite Spider-Man's absence. Madame Web could have explained why so many Spider-People end up traveling between universes so often. She could have also built upon Venom's tease of the symbiotes' multiversal hive mind and lay the foundations for Venom's potential meeting with Tom Holland's Spider-Man, as well as explain why Vulture arrived in the Sony's Spider-Man Universe after Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Otherwise, Madame Web could have either explained why her universe doesn't have a Spider-Man yet, or how it can get its own Spider-Man soon. If her universe never gets a Spider-Man, Madame Web could have found another Spider-Person to replace him. In short, Madame Web's Marvel Comics lore provided Sony's Spider-Man Universe with various possible ways to bring the franchise closer to Spider-Man and the MCU. Now, the character has lost her credibility due to the movie's near-unanimously poor reception, and there are no other characters with similar abilities.
Madame Web
Director S.J. Clarkson Studio(s) Columbia Pictures , Di Bonaventura Pictures Cast Dakota Johnson , Emma Roberts , Adam Scott , Isabela Merced , Sydney Sweeney Runtime 114 Minutes Budget $80 Million


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