Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse currently stands at a rating of 99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with over 95 positive reviews and only 1 negative review. It is the most critically-acclaimed Spider-Man movie of all time (to date) and that’s counting all the live-action ones.
Even if I was to dismiss the critics, its still well-received by many, and I personally consider it to be the best Spider-Man movie ever made.
Let Me Count The Ways…
One of the biggest reasons why is that Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse fully embraces its comic book roots, including the stylistic and aesthetic choices. The movie not only looks like a living comic book (kudos to everyone at Sony Pictures Animation for that), but it feels like one. It’s not afraid to showcase the fact that it came from the comics (unlike the movies that sometimes tries to put their own on established comic book tropes and failing).
There’s no other comic book movie out there like Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. None of the MCU movies and DCEU movies have delved into the multiverse (except perhaps the Knightmare sequence in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice). The multiversal aspects of the comics have often been ignored in the movies, presumably as to not confuse (and alienate) normal audiences.
However, now that people can accept a purple alien killing half the universe with a rainbow-coloured glove, what’s stopping them from enjoying the all the craziest and wackiest stuff that comics have to offer? That’s what Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse symbolizes; a bold new step for all future comic book adaptations and one that hopefully signals a new era for the genre.
With fatigue already setting in and the threat of the superhero bubble bursting, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is a refreshing and unique take on Spidey and one that subverts many existing tropes established by the movies (and comics). In the vein of The Lego Movie and Wreck-It Ralph 2, it is also self-aware and meta, which means that the jokes are witty and smart.
Besides that, it’s incredibly impressive how Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse still manages to retain heart and emotion without toning down anything else. The previous live-action movies have struggled with maintaining a balance between heart/emotion and jokes/laughs. The best Spider-Man stories (in the comics) have always had plenty of both elements, and that’s a testament to how goodthis movie is.
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is fun, emotional and features different Spider-People, but more than that, it encapsulates the most innate and defining lessons of the iconic character.
“With great power comes great responsibility” is only one of the many lessons Spider-Man teaches us. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse also features three other traits that I believe defines the character as the late Stan Lee and Steve Ditko intended:
In the words of the late Stan Lee himself, Spider-Man “helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do.”
Spider-Man never gives up. Everytime he gets knocked down, he will get up again.
It’s the painful truth that Spider-Man can’t save everyone, but he never stops trying.
Under the mask, anyone can be Spider-Man, regardless of race, creed or gender.
That last lesson is especially vital to this film, as it is the first ever movie to feature a Spidey that’s not Peter Parker (read: white male). Miles Morales, Gwen Stacy (Spider-Gwen), and Peni Parker are living embodiments of the movie’s most important lesson; that we can all be Spider-Man.
What does the post-credits scene mean for the Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse Sequel?
Reports have confirmed that a Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse sequel is currently in development, along with an all-female spinoff. The movie’s post-credits scene strongly hint at what could be coming in a future sequel.
So I’ll put multiple spoiler warnings here since the movie is still pretty fresh at this time of writing.
The Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse post-credits scene begins with a caption that states “Meanwhile, in Nueva York”, with a female hologram recounting the events that occurred in the movie to an unknown person.
If (like me), you would have likely known who this mysterious figure is the moment Nueva York popped up, and you would have been right as Spider-Man 2099 does appear in all his glory.
Spider-Man 2099 is a Spider-Man from the future, similar in concept to DC Comics’ Batman Beyond. In the year 2099, a scientist named Miguel O’ Hara attempted to recreate the abilities of the original Spider-Man, and in doing so, accidentally had half of his DNA re-written with the genetic code of a spider, thereby gaining all the powers of Spider-Man (except Spider-Sense).
Voiced by Oscar Isaac (of Poe Dameron Star Wars fame), Spider-Man 2099 then receives a special watch allowing him to travel between dimensions, with one goal; gathering as many Spider-Men and Spider-Women as possible for an unknown mission.
His first recruit is the Spider-Man from the classic Spider-Man 1967 animated series, leading to a hilarious recreation of the “two Spider-Men pointing at each other” meme. The post-credits then ends on that note.
That post-credits scene is interesting because it seems to have more ties to the 2014 Spider-Verse comics crossover. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse can be regarded as a preview or prelude of sorts (probably to warm people up to the idea of multiple Spider-People) and the sequel will be the one to explore the full potential of the Spider-Verse.
In the comics, various Spider-Men and Spider-Women had to work together to defeat the Inheritors. a family of life-sucking vampires who feed on Spider-Totems (Spider-People linked together by a mystical force called the Web of Life and Destiny).
Interestingly, the watch that Spider-Man 2099 wears in the post-credits scene seems to be very similar to the devices used by Spider-People in the comics to travel to different worlds through the Great Web.
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is already pretty dark and doesn’t hold back on deaths, but if the sequel is adapting the Spider-Verse comics, then viewers should be prepared for even more death as there will surely be many more casualties in the war between the Spider-People and the Inheritors.
This is all speculation for now, but it is likely what’s going to happen in the sequel. With the movies embracing the multiverse aspect of the comics, the possibilities are endless, and I for one am extremely excited to see what’s in store.