Sony Pictures Animation has impressed this week with the first full trailer for their fil Into the Spider-Verse, coming out during the Christmas Season this year. Many people seem to be confused as to the nature of the characters in this film, so here is a quick breakdown of the comic origins of the main characters as well as an explanation of what may be going on in the film.
This film is centered around the third person to hold the mantle of Spider-Man in the comics, Miles Morales, a half-black, half-hispanic teenager introduced in 2011 by Brian Michael Bendis in the Ultimate Spider-Man comic book which ran from 2001 to 2014. Miles took up the mantle of Spider-Man after the ultimate Peter Parker died. After the 2015 event Secret Wars (Not to be confused with the Secret Wars event of the 1970’s), Miles integrated into the main continuity as a part of Marvel’s “All New, All Different” branding, and has remained a consistent part of the comics, even being a part of the team book The Champions. (Check your local comic store)
The trailer also introduces our first look at Gwen Stacy as Spider-Gwen. She was introduced in the 2014 event Spider-Verse (From which the film derives its title) written by Dan Slott, which saw Spider-People (and an anthropomorphic pig called “Spider-Ham” [Secret Identity: Peter Porker]) team up to stop a group of creatures who were going around the multiverse eating other Spider-Men. The short story is that Spider-Gwen is from an alternate universe where Gwen Stacy was bitten by the spider and Peter Parker turned into The Lizard and well… (Spoiler Alert) died. Gwen then continued to be Spider-Woman and after the success of the Spider-Verse story, got her own ongoing series and a huge fan base along with it.
The plot of this film is pretty vague from the trailer, but it seems to focus on Miles becoming Spider-Man after the Peter Parker of his universe dies in battle against a massive Green Goblin. Another Peter Parker comes to Miles’ universe and teaches him to be Spider-Man, hence the two very different looking Spider-Men in the first trailer. This is all speculation, but I would not expect the cast to include many more Spider-People, although the alternate Peter Parker did say to “wait for Comic Con”. Liev Schreiber is playing the villain Morlun in the film, who is also the antagonist for the original Spider-Verse story, so it is all up in the air now. Into the Spider-Verse looks to be an amazing animated film to expand the Spider-Man mythos to the film-going public and, as a life-long Spider-Man fan, I am excited to see more from this film.