The new animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse mixes things up by introducing a whole bunch of Spider-people, one of the elements that makes it easily the best Spidey movie ever.
Plus, as with Venom and movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there’s a little bonus for fans who sit through the credits (which are stylish and fun to look at anyway). The Golden Globe-nominated film opened this week, so maybe wait until you’ve seen it before reading on and unpacking those last few minutes.
A trip to the future… and the past
We meet another pair of Spider-Men, one from the distant future and another from more than 50 years ago, before they end up in an intense (and meme-worthy) bout of literal pointing.
The first of these is Miguel O’Hara, better known as Spider-Man 2099 (Oscar Isaac), who’s been monitoring the action with his holographic assistant Lyla (Greta Lee) and sees that everyone has returned to their own realities. With the multiverse saved, Miguel decides to go on his own reality-hopping adventure.
“Let’s start at the beginning.”
Miguel travels to Earth-67, the reality of the 1967 Spider-Man animated series. That’s the one with the glorious theme song and the first animated Spidey. Thus “the beginning” here.
He encounters the Spider-Man of this universe, and the pair end up arguing over who pointed first — a moment based on the famous pointing meme that’s been around since 2011. We even get a cameo from Earth-67’s J. Jonah Jameson.
What it means
Spider-Man 2099 was created by Peter David and Rick Leonardi, and made his debut in 1992’s Spider-Man 2099 No. 1, the lead series in Marvel’s 2099 imprint.
Miguel is a gifted geneticist living in New York (renamed Nueva York) in 2099, an era when a dystopian US is run by evil megacorporations like Alchemax, a company that plays a big role in the Spider-Verse.
While trying to replicate the abilities of original Spidey Peter Parker for Alchemax, Miguel is forced by his unethical boss, Tyler Stone, to take an addictive drug. In an effort to shake the addiction, Miguel accidentally splices his DNA with that of a spider and gains a similar set of abilities as the original Spider-Man.
He’s also the first Latino character to become Spider-Man. His costume is available in, and he was a playable character in 2010’s Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions and its 2011 sequel, Edge of Time.
In the post-credits scene, Miguel travels to Double Identity, a Season 1 episode of the 1967 animated series. It focuses on an actor impersonating others to throw off police as he commits crimes. The pointing scene is from a moment when he pretends to be Spider-Man, and it inspired one of the many memes based on the show.
It’s not clear why Miguel is traveling through the multiverse, but the casting of a big name like Oscar Isaac suggests it’s more than a throwaway joke.
He’ll likely have a bigger role in the already greenlit Into the Spider-Verse sequel, which could focus on an interdimensional threat like the Inheritors (a family of immortal vampire-like beings that feed on people with spider powers). They’re currently at the center of the Spider-Geddon comic event.
Also, the spider that gave Miles Morales his powers suffered from the same temporal distortion as Peter and the other heroes who’d been pulled from other realities. This plot point isn’t established until after Miles kills the spider, so it’s easy to miss on initial viewing.
Since the spider had an Alchemax logo, could it have come from Miguel’s reality? The company exists in Miles’ universe as well, so it might also have been branded after it arrived there.
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