‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ brought in a fresh new style of animation that we still can’t get over. And now that it is coming to Netflix, perhaps more people will be able to see it and relish it, although the film’s nature is exclusively theatrical.
What makes ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ so appealing is its story and execution. The movie upholds Spider-Man’s crisis, i.e., his constant struggle to switch between two lives, one as a teenager and the other as a superhero. While the previous live-action films didn’t showcase this issue that much, the animated film upholds this issue to stress the greatness of the character and the fact that he shares more traits with us than any other superhero ever. The inclusion of the multiverse in the film, which allows Miles to realize that there are multiple interpretations of who he can be as Spider-Man, emphasizes the point even more.
Miles’ desire to have his own identity different than what his father wants for him, his awkwardness when he meets Gwen at school, and his frustration at not being able to hone his skills form a story that all teenagers trying to discover their identity will be able to relate to.
In the film, Miles Morales teams up with Peter Parker, Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Gwen, Peni Parker, and Spider-Ham, aka Peter Porker, to take down Kingpin from using a machine that will have adverse effects on the multiverse. Each of the latter characters belongs to an alternate universe, each of which has its own genre, something that is paid a lot of attention to via the presentation. For example, Spider-Man Noir is made to be a parody of clichéd noir films. The anime arc of Peni Parker is flawless. Peter Porker is the Looney-Tunes version of Spider-Man who adds subtle comic relief just enough for the other bizarre characters to appear grounded.
Impeccable Visual Style
Along with the story, what makes ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ so attractive and appealing is that it is a visual powerhouse. The elements of 2D animation, 3D animation, cinematic staging, comic book staging, make the movie a visual treat, one that is new in every aspect.
The film borrowed heavily from the works of the legendary comic artist Jack Kirby. Forced perspectives, something that was used in comic books, are used in the movie as well to establish its comic book arc. Another thing is the hand-drawn elements over the CG characters, again to enhance their comic book nature. These include nose lines, wrinkles on the face, and more. Multiple panels on screen, written captions, written sound effects (onomatopoeia), all these are characteristics borrowed from comics. The process of combining 2D and 3D to fully utilize the medium and utilize the comic effect has earned the film, a separate rank in animation.
Miles Morales, with his love for music and graffiti, is much unlike the Peter Parker we know. He is a guy of color who represents the diverse world we live in. And through this diversity, Miles serves to embody every fan from every corner who sees the Spider-Man in themselves and themselves in Spider-Man. The film shows how Miles becomes a hero in his own right, which is the very key to the movie’s all-inclusive message.
‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ Ending Explained
At the end of ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,’ all the Spider-folk return home to their respective universes. But what’s interesting is that just when Miles lies down in bed, a new portal opens up and Gwen can be heard calling him. We only hear her voice but do not see her. This is proof that travel across the multiverse is now possible for Gwen, Miles, and other characters too. And what stresses this even more is the post-credits scene of ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,’ which is a sign of what we can expect in the movie’s sequel.
In the post-credits scene, we do not see Miles but someone we love just as much, Spider-Man 2099, AKA Miguel O’Hara (Oscar Isaac). From the scene, it is made clear that he is aware of all the different Spider-Mans we saw in the film. Apparently, he was also aware of the possibility that the multiverse would collapse, but his friend tells him that it didn’t. Following that, O’Hara puts on the time-travel watch in order to make an “autonomous multiverse jump.” And the first Earth he travels to is Earth 66, with the aim of asking for the help of the Spider-Man who belongs there and asks him to come along.
The scene ends with both of them pointing a finger at each other. The scene is an improvisation of a famous scene from an episode titled “Double Identity” from the Spider-Man cartoon of 1967. However, we do not know why O’Hara wants his help. We will probably find this out in ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.’
What To Expect From ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’?
‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ is the sequel to ‘Into the Spider-Verse.’ Sony released the first look on December 5, 2021. The first look picks up from the same moment where the first movie ended, with Gwen waking Miles, who is sleeping in his bed. Moments later, we see Miles traveling across the multiverse, apparently unwillingly. We see him trying to escape from Spider-Man 2099 as they jump from one universe to another, again thanks to O’Hara’s time-travel watch, or “goober.” But O’Hara, if we consider the post-credits scene of ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,’ doesn’t seem like a bad guy. Or, it might be someone else inside his 2099 suit. We say this because this Spider-Man 2099 seems to have sharp nails, which suggests that he is evil. The 2099 suit in ‘Into the Spider-Verse’ was more human.
Also, the first look offers more Easter Eggs as to what we can expect. There are multiple occasions where Hindi letters and words spring up. There is also the word “Mumbattan” written on a building right after he comes out of the hexagonal gateway. This could be a reference to the Indian city of Mumbai. Plus, there is the presence of Indian musical instruments in the BGM, e.g., tabla and sitar. These are all signs that we might get Spider-Man India, AKA Pavitr Prabhakar, in the upcoming film. All in all, the fact that Miles is traveling from one universe to another is proof that ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ will be a multiverse flick, and it will definitely have more than the two Spider-Mans we see in the first look.
‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ is expected to release in theaters in October 2022.