into the spider verse 2 shows pixelized spider man

‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ Promises a World of Possibilities

The MCU explored the multiverse before, and they are soon to do it again with the character Miles Morales.
April 26, 2022
9 mins read

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” came out in 2018 and four years later, fans will finally get a sequel. It may not be surprising considering that recent Marvel movies have given producers plenty of material for the second movie, “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.” The awaited sequel will feature an adventure across the multiverse, with Miles traveling to other worlds this time.

Familiar Characters

The first words of the 2018 cinematic success are, “My name is Peter Parker. I was bitten by a radioactive spider and for 10 years, I’ve been the one and only Spider-Man.” But these opening words do not come from our protagonist. Miles Morales is a normal teenager and New York already has Spider-Man, but one spider-bite changes his life. Strange things start happening in the city, courtesy of Wilson Fisk aka Kingpin. He opens a portal to different dimensions, which sucks Spider-People into the world of Miles Morales.

A few look similar to Peter Parker, but “Into the Spider-Verse” brings together all types of friendly neighborhood heroes, including a cartoon version, an anime version and a detective-noir version. Each Spider-Person has a different animation style that corresponds with their original universe. Miles himself puts his own spin on Spider-Man.

Film and Animation Style

“Into the Spider-Verse” received numerous nominations and awards, including the Academy Award for best animated feature and best writing in a feature production. The animation style is a major nod to older comics; the film makes good use of Ben Day dots, or small dots of color used by comic book printers in the 1950s. Co-producer Christopher Miller said that the movie “paid tribute to the comics in a real way and felt like you were going inside a living, breathing comic book.” Bright bursts of color, often found in older comics, also appear frequently in the film.

Even aside from the unique animation style, comic book elements pervade the film. In the first few frames, “Into the Spider-Verse” viewers can see a stamp of approval from the Comics Code Authority, a reference to the organization that used to endorse kid-friendly comic books. Each Spider-Person also gets their own introduction, in comic-book form, that quickly relates their origin story to the audience.

Major moments burst with word balloons, like “POW” and “BANG.” Some scenes also include multiple panels, modeled after the pages of a comic book. The comic-book feel flows from the images to the panels and to the narration boxes that reveal Miles’ inner thoughts.

Comedy rings throughout the film. When the spider bites Miles, a dramatic sequence shows the fangs injecting his veins with venom, followed by Miles nonchalantly slapping the arachnid from his hand. Miles himself is a relatable and humorous character. His inner monologue, especially when he notices the effects of the spider bite, features many comical lines. He’s especially relatable to students since he’s drowning in schoolwork. The montage of Miles at school reveals great expectations, pressure and stress, and the audience can see him gradually slipping further and further behind. Miles also procrastinates, since he would rather spend time with his uncle than do homework.

How the Universes Collide

“Into the Spider-Verse” includes familiar characters aside from Peter Parker, though they are a little different from what fans have seen in other Spider-Man films: Doc Ock is a woman and Green Goblin is a hulking gargoyle-like monster. Fans have seen variations of Spider-Man, of course, in the form of Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland. Universes collide in “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” which sets up the possible introduction of a live-action Miles Morales to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A character in “Spider-Man: No Way Home” dropped the line that he was hoping Spider-Man was Black — a direct allusion to Miles. By featuring their characters, “No Way Home” also made previous Spider-Man films a part of the MCU. Because of that connection, it is possible that Miles and the rest of the Spider-Gang might pop up in Marvel’s future projects. Fans have been speculating about actors that could possibly play a live-action Miles, hoping Marvel will at least include him as a guest appearance in an upcoming movie.

The numerous trailers for “Doctor Strange: Into the Multiverse of Madness” have hinted at new characters and even old ones that were not originally part of the MCU, such as the X-Men. Since Spider-Man movies and “X-Men” were all released by Sony but are now a part of the MCU, one can only guess how long it will be before characters from “Into the Spider-Verse” will directly appear in the live-action films.

From the two recent films, Marvel movie viewers have become more familiar with the multiverse and they are only going to get more of it. And after four years, fans will be thrilled to jump back into the world of Miles Morales in “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.

Awaiting the Movie

Fans are excited to see the sequel, though the “Across the Spider-Verse” trailer doesn’t give viewers much to go on. At the end of the first movie, a portal opens above Miles as Gwen calls to him, “You got a minute?” The trailer for “Across the Spider-Verse” picks up right where the first movie left off. While Gwen hops down from the portal, subsequent scenes show Miles hurtling through the interdimensional portal, where he is thrown into a city of basic outlines and shades of green. Another Spider-Man pops out and tries to catch Miles. At first glance, this may look like an attack. However, the end credit scene of “Into the Spider-Verse” features the red and dark blue masked man, Spider-Man 2099, or Miguel O’Hara. He developed a wrist device that allows him to travel to Earth-67, where he meets another Spider-Man and says, “I need you to come—” before being interrupted. In “Across the Spider-Verse,” it seems that he will be gathering web-slinging heroes. Gwen, for example, has a similar wrist device, which is how she is able to travel between worlds.

Some fans have speculated about the identity of the upcoming film’s villain. While some suspect Spider-Man 2099 will be the main antagonist, others threw out Flipside, an android that becomes an inverted version of the first hero they see. Since Flipside would look a lot like Miles if Spider-Man 2099 was the first hero he saw, the inverted colors of Flipside would look remarkably similar to Miles’ suit, which may explain why Miguel was so persistent in his pursuit of Miles. However, The Spot is also a likely candidate for the evil role. Able to create interdimensional portals, the largely unheard-of character would be a perfect fit for the film. There are many roads and characters the film can explore, but at the very least, “Across the Spider-Verse” will feature beloved variations of the iconic superhero and a team-up of Spider-People who always get back up.

“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” swings into theaters in 2023.

Kim Becker, Aquinas College

Writer Profile

Kim Becker

Aquinas College
English Writing, Communication Minor

I’m an aspiring author who has dreamed of publishing my work. Reading, writing and watching science fiction and fantasy remain my favorite pastimes. I love traveling and the memories that accompany those experiences.

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