In a world where there have been three Spider-Men in the past decade, not many people can say what the world needed was a fourth Spider-Man. Yet Sony have given fans just that, and then some, in the form of Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse.
After he receives a spider bite in the subway, Miles Morales discovers that he has been gifted with the powers of the Legendary Spider-Man, and teams up with multiple alternate reality Spider-Folk to stop Wilson Fisk from destroying the multiverse.
An Origin Story that lacks origin stories
Spiderverse makes one thing clear from the opening moments: Even though Peter Parker appears in the film, this is not his story. Parker’s Origin is sped through in a comic-style montage, which homages the legendary Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy of the early 2000’s. Such Iconic moments as the upside-down kiss from Spider-Man 1, the runaway train from Spider-Man 2, and the (I think Iconic might be the wrong word) Dancing Emo Peter from Spider-Man 3 are seen re-imagined in the Spiderverse animation style. Each of the other Spider-folk receives a similarly brief origin run-through, each of which follow the same template set by the opening of the movie, yet manage to be unique.
The lack of Origin stories even spreads to the villains. Wilson Fisk, Green Goblin, Doc Ock, Scorpion, and Prowler are all featured, but not one of them is given a proper origin story. The closest anything gets to an origin story is about a minute-long flashback to explain why Fisk is using the clearly-dangerous dimensional collider. While this may be confusing for newer viewers, seasoned Marvel veterans will enjoy this breath of fresh air.
Animation equal to none.
The animation and graphics in Spiderverse are unlike anything that has ever been made before. Each frame looks like it could have been ripped straight out of the pages of a comic book, from the animation style to the comic-styled onomatopoeia, to the thought bubbles appearing on screen. Every last shot is meant to homage the comic world in some way, and every single shot accomplishes this goal.
A Tale of Two Parkers
Despite being predominantly about Miles, Spiderverse gives fans two drastically different takes on Peter Parker. The first is a successful Parker at the top of his game, not a worry in the world. He is the best at what he does and he knows it. The second Peter Parker, Peter B. Parker, is a far different story.
Peter B. Parker is a far older, more sorrowful Parker. His relationship with Mary Jane has gone south, Aunt May has died, and he has begun to let himself go. This is a Peter who has given up on himself and on the world. Fans get to see more of this Parker’s story, as he is in the film far longer than the First Parker.
Homages to the Creators
No comic book movie would be complete without references, and a movie as massive as Spiderverse is all but lacking. One of the easier references to pull out is the name of Miles Morales creator Brian Bendis in Miles’ phone. Among the other common references are an especially heartbreaking cameo from the recently passed Stan Lee, and the appearance of the suit from the PS4 Spider-Man video game in the credits. Speaking of suits…
Suits, Suits, and More Suits!
To anyone who’s ever opened a comic book, the fact that Spider-man has had a number of suits over the years is common knowledge. Fortunately for fans, there are plenty of suits within the movie waiting to be picked out. The aforementioned PS4 suit makes a brief cameo, but about halfway through the movie, fans can catch glimpses of the iconic Iron Spider suit, alongside the cape suit, stealth suit, and the secret wars suit.
Credits and Post Credits
Like any movie with the word “Marvel” anywhere near it, Into the Spiderverse features a post-credits scene. However, before fans get to see that, they are treated with a rendition of Jingle Bells, although this version is filled with Spider-Man references, and is sung by Chris Pine, who voices the Peter Parker from Miles’ home dimension.
There isn’t much to say about Into the Spiderverse. It’s just an exceptional film with characters that most marvel fans are familiar with. The animation style is one of a kind, the story is unique, and all of the characters are enjoyable. If anything, Into the Spiderverse shows that Sony still has some tricks up their sleeves when it comes to everyones favorite wall-crawler.