‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’: Who is Spider-Man?

By on December 19, 2018

It may not be a paltry amount, but $35 million does not look like a huge number when it comes to record breaking openings at the box office. However, the sum was enough to set a record for largest animated opening in the month of December and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” toppled (with the help of Clint Eastwood’s “The Mule”) “Ralph Breaks the Internet” to secure the number one spot over the weekend.

Like Ron Burgundy, this movie is “kind of a big deal” as it reshapes the entire genre of animated film and resets part of the Marvel Universe.

First, we need to uncomplicate — or maybe I will over-complicate — some basic timeline issues, which this movie clears up easily for the young audience. Why there are so many spider-people? The entirety of Marvel and its canon of stories is based on a multiverse, which is defined by the Marvel Database as “a collection of alternate universes that share a universal hierarchy … some can seem to be taking place in the past or future due to differences in how time passes in each universe.” So, there can be many storylines for the entity known as “Spider-man.”

Our hero, Miles Morales (Shameik Moore, “Dope”), originated in Ultimate Marvel, a.k.a. Earth-1610. This comic book-based universe was published as a separate universe of stories to the standard and primary Marvel universe, Earth-616. Morales, who has been bitten by a magic spider, watches as Peter Parker/Spider-Man is killed by the Green Goblin (Jorma Taccone) and must take up the mantle of New York’s webslinging hero. Due to the dastardly deeds of Kingpin (Liev Schreiber) who hopes to open a portal to another universe Morales meets a motley crew of mentors: Peter B. Parker* (Jake Johnson, TV’s “New Girl”), Spider-Gwen from Earth-65 (Hailee Steinfeld, “The Edge of Seventeen”), Peni Parker from Earth-14512 (Kimiko Glenn), Spider-Man Noir from Earth-90214 (Nicolas Cage), and my favorite, Peter Porker a.k.a. Spider-Ham (John Mulaney) from Earth-8311 or Earth-25 (this is debated).

(Now, with all this said, do not confuse what is happening in “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or Earth-199999, which features the latest “Avengers: Infinity War” and subsequent films leading up to Thanos.)

The point I need to make is this movie is awesome! I could go on for days how this movie reenergizes animated film by breathing fresh life, creativity, and imagination into the genre. The movie swirls between video game-like battle and paneled story telling inspired by printed comics. It breaks the norm by using several styles of animation. The movie is fast and captivating and flips the mind like pages in a book as viewers are caught up in action, comedy, and lore.

As a comic geek, my synapses reeled while piecing together all the references. The kids (all five I took with me to see this movie over the weekend) adored the rush of new ideas and championed every good guy. “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is something new when it comes to animated film. I appreciate it wholeheartedly.

And, of course, you don’t have to nerd-out like I do to love this movie. It’s a lot of fun for everyone!

*Spoiler: Peter B. Parker is the Earth-616 Spidey. This might be tough to swallow, but our comic book hero is a washed up, heartbroken slob. This leads me to believe Morales will be the Spider-Man we see for the rest of our movie days (outside MCU/Earth-199999). Told you I’d try and complicate things.

Agree or disagree? Reel Reviews works like this: 1) Watch a movie; 2) Send suggestions, comments and criticism to Michael at SomeProMCU@gmail.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *