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In Spider-Man: No Way Home, Doctor Strange explains that his spell, which was supposed to make everyone in the world forget that Peter Parker is Spider-Man, has instead summoned people from other worlds who already know Peter Parker is Spider-Man.

This explains the arrival of Doc Ock, the Goblin, Sandman and the Lizard, all of whom learned Peter was Spider-Man in their original appearances – but it does not account for Electro's presence.

Electro never learned Spider-Man's true identity in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and so should not have been affected by Doctor Strange's spell. (I also realised that it is explicitly said during the final fight that Electro did not know who Spider-Man was: "I just thought you were gonna be Black.")

Why was Electro summoned by Dr. Strange's spell?

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    Possibly he's an Electro-variant
    – Valorum
    Dec 18, 2021 at 11:20
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    The key point is that the spell was said have summoned people from other realities who knew that Peter Parker was Spider-Man. This version of Electro -- whether a variant or not -- said he thought Spidey was a black guy under the mask, which strongly suggests he didn't know Spidey's actual secret ID. Eddie Brock's presence in the MCU is a mystery for the same reason, although his initial transportation between realities coincided with the symbiote revealing some unspecified info to him. Dec 18, 2021 at 12:06
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    Possibly Electro isn’t an Electro-variant (or still can be), but his black Spider-man whom he knows the secret identify of is. Dec 18, 2021 at 12:50
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    Max's dialogue suggests he didn't know the identity or race of his Spider-Man. He just assumed Spidey was black, because he was from Queens and helped "poor people". Dec 18, 2021 at 13:10
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    "In fact the trailer puts the emphasis on their common link really being died in battle (which if that too is incorrect I didn't see some of those)." Sandman and Lizard didn't die in their previous outings, so that theory doesn't fit. (Ock died, but not strictly in battle either.) Also, Strange fixed the problem by making everyone forget who Peter was, which fits with his explanation. Dec 18, 2021 at 20:41

2 Answers 2

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When Electro is describing his final battle with Spider-Man, he says that he became a being of pure energy, and was in "the grid" absorbing both power and information (from the internet, I guess?)

Presumably some of the information he absorbed included Spider-Man’s real name, though clearly not his appearance.

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    This is a very plausible explanation! I like it.
    – Roberto
    Dec 19, 2021 at 1:44
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    @Roberto yeah it might be the best we can do based on the film itself. Dec 19, 2021 at 11:30
  • While this seems plausible...it is contradicted by Electro's statement during the final fight (I just thought you were gonna be Black).
    – user96551
    Dec 20, 2021 at 18:46
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    @user96551 You might want to read the last sentence of my answer, rather than just the first. Dec 20, 2021 at 20:12
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    Not a lot of evidence one way or the other but this does fit... Dec 21, 2021 at 0:44
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There's a throwaway line in the film about him "absorbing data". Presumably that data included Spider-Man's secret identity.

"I was whoopin' Spider-Man's ass, he'll tell you! And then, he caused an overload. I was stuck in the grid, absorbing data. I was about to turn into pure energy, and then... oh shit. I was about to die."

That being said, assuming this Electro is the same Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, he might have overheard Gwen say Peter's name during their battle.

This would also explain why he didn't know that "Peter" was a white dude if all he knew was his name.

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