Meet the Spider-People.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has received almost universal critical acclaim, and now stands at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes (at the time of writing). Not only is it the first high-budget blockbuster Spider-Man animated movie, but it is also the first Spidey movie to feature multiple Spider-Men and Spider-Women at the same time.
It might be a tad confusing to those accustomed to having one wall-crawler in their movies but fret not. Here are some brief introductions to all the confirmed Spider-People in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Spider-Man (Peter Parker)
Let’s start with the original friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man himself, Peter Parker. In Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, this Peter acts as a grizzled and reluctant mentor to newbie Miles Morales. As such, he seems to be older and much more cynical than the wise-cracking Spidey we all know and love.
According to directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord, this veteran Spider-Man is an amalgam of all the Peter Parkers that you have seen in popular culture. They specifically mentioned taking elements from the Tom Holland Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield Spider-Man, the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man, and of Spider-Man from various comics and TV shows. (Source: Fandango)
They also clarified that although this version of Peter Parker isn’t exactly the mainstream comics version (Earth-616 or Prime Earth), he is considered to be a direct parallel or alternate reality version of that.
Similar to the Spider-Man PS4 version, it’ll be fascinating to see what else has happened in the life of a more experienced and weary Spider-Man.
Spider-Man (Miles Morales)
Fans of Miles Morales have been clamouring for the African-American-Latino character to appear in live-action. Though there’s still no indication of that happening anytime soon, the fact that he’s headlining a high-budget animated movie of his own is impressive.
Miles Morales was created by Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli in 2011. Just like DC Comics’ Wally West or Kyle Rayner, Miles Morales was created to replace the Spider-Man of Marvel’s Ultimate universe (Earth-1610) after his untimely demise.
The fact that he is now the most iconic iteration of Spider-Man next to the original is a testament to how much the character has grown from just being a legacy character to a superhero of his own right.
Compared to Peter Parker, Miles Morales has several extra powers/abilities in addition to enhanced strength, sticking to walls and spider-sense. One is the ability to render himself virtually invisible by camouflaging himself to match his surroundings, and the other is a ‘venom strike’ that can momentarily paralyze even powerful enemies like Venom.
Similar to the comic book crossover event Spider-Men in 2012, the interaction between Peter Parker and Miles Morales will probably be the highlight of the movie (and bittersweet too, considering that Mile’s version of Peter is dead).
Spider-Woman / Spider-Gwen (Gwen Stacy)
Spider-Woman or Spider-Gwen (or more recently, Ghost Spider) is from a universe where Gwen Stacy is bitten by the radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker. She has the exact same powers as the original Spider-Man.
In the comics, Gwen Stacy was Peter Parker’s love interest until her tragic and comics-defining death at the hands of the Green Goblin. However, on Spider-Gwen’s world (Earth-65), it was Peter Parker who died after he turned into the Lizard and fought her.
She was later blamed for Peter’s death, leading to her being regarded as a fugitive by the law and the mass public.
It remains to be seen if this will still be the character’s backstory in Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, but it will still be historic to catch the debut of a Spider-Woman on the silver screen.
Spider-Man Noir (Peter Parker)
Imagine a Spider-Man living in 1930s New York during the Great Depression, with the temperament and style of Batman? That’s Spider-Man Noir, who first appeared in a 2009 comic mini-series and becoming an instant fan-favorite due to his darker design aesthetic.
Spider-Man Noir’s backstory is very similar to the original Spider-Man’s, with the biggest difference being the setting and the reason he became Spider-Man.
Yes, his Uncle Ben still died, but he never learned the “With Great Power There Must Also Come Gret Responsibility” lesson.
Unlike other Spider-Men and Spider-Women, Spider-Man Noir uses guns and has no qualms about killing. His powers are mostly the same as the original Spider-Man, with the exception of organic webbing and a more mystical origin for his abilities (Spider God instead of radioactive spiders).
SP//dr (Peni Parker)
One of the more unique Spider-Person out there, Peni Parker was created by former My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way and Jake Wyatt. It was inspired by mecha anime, specifically Neon Genesis Evangelion in particular. In fact, Peni Parker’s SP//DR suit in the comics is a direct homage to Eva mechas from the iconic anime.
In the comics, she was told by her Uncle Ben and Aunt May that she was the only one capable of piloting the SP//dr suit, due to her father’s death. She allowed the radioactive spider that formed the other half of SP//dr’s CPU to bite her by choice.
Unfortunately, the SP//dr suit in Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is nothing like the Neon Genesis Evangelion-inspired one in the comics, presumably to avoid copyright infringement problems with Gainax studio. The movie version looks like Baymax 2.0 instead of a badass mecha.
Spider-Ham (Peter Porker)
Spider-Ham is essentially the comic relief or gag character in Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. The character has been around since the 1980s, and contrary to what he looks like or what his name implies, he was born as a tiny anthropomorphic spider.
Earth-8311 is a world populated by other sentient anthropomorphic animals. Peter turned into Peter Porker and the Spectacular Spider-Ham when he found himself transforming into an anthropomorphic pig thanks to an experiment by another anthropomorphic pig named May Porker.
He discovered that he retained his spider abilities in his piggy form, and the rest is history. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of pig puns and swine-related jokes the movie will feature.
There you go, true believers. Now that you know all about the various Spider-People, check out Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse when it arrives in Malaysian cinemas on December 7, 2018.