You’ve probably never seen a movie like this before. And if you haven’t seen it, I hope this post will help you change that. Not only does Marvel’s newest release Into the Spiderverse introduce the new character Miles Morales to the MCU, but it also combines several spider-heroes from across the multiverse into one dimension, portraying such on screen with beautiful comic-inspired animation (yes, even the occasional written sound effects during action sequences). After Spider-man: Homecoming, Marvel decided to take the Spider-man hero in a new and fresh direction, and their final product is fascinating.
At first, Miles Morales is just an artist-wannabe who struggles to adapt to his new school environment and with the relationship he has with his father. But everyone knows that getting bit by a radioactive spider will change your life–except Miles doesn’t know until his life starts changing in strange and unexpected ways. Incidents coincide to bring the death of Spider-man and the arrival of Peter B. Parker, Spider-Gwen, Peter Porker, Peni Parker, and Spider-man Noir to Miles’s Earth, thanks to the notorious Fisk and his particle accelerator. Miles’s new friends show him the ropes, but if they stay in the foreign dimension too long, they will eventually glitch into deteioration. Miles soon learns that he must master hisnew powers to get his friends back into the universes they each belong in while also finishing the former Spider-man’s attempts to disable Fisk’s collider and put a stop to his evil means.
One of the things I loved about this movie was the theme of heroic self-sacrifice, which was also prevalent in Spider-man: Homecoming; it was one of the main aspects of Peter Parker’s character that really resonated with me and got me into the whole Spiderverse to begin with––and, turns out, it’s more than just Miles who carries the same attribute in Spiderverse, and you’re going to have to watch the movie to see. But a main thing that really stood out to me in this movie was Miles’s determination to never give up even though he’s struggling to master his new abilities; it’s a common characteristic throughout superhero movies, but Miles is portrayed as a kid who’s like anyone else. The only thing that sets him apart is superpowers he’s scared of and the passing on of Spider-man’s responsibility. Peter B. Parker tells Miles what it’s like being a hero: “It’s a leap of faith.” Miles takes the leap and eventually becomes the hero he strives to be. Towards the end of the film, just before the climax, Miles breaks the fourth wall to tell the audience that they can be a hero too, if they take that leap of faith. “Anyone can wear the mask.”
The relationship between Miles and his father was also another really cool thing about Spiderverse that I much appreciated. Both Miles and his dad have flaws that set a divide between them. But towards the end of the movie, Jefferson Morales realizes that he had been forcefully trying to have a good relationship with his son; he tells Miles that he doesn’t want them to “drift apart” and that he loves him––but this time he doesn’t have to say it back.
The other thing I loved about this movie were the characters––particularly the other spider-people from the parallel universes. Spider-man Noir is a black and white Spider-man who can’t see color (I feel bad for him because it’s such a brilliant, colorful movie), Peni Parker is basically an anime Iron-Man version of Spider-Man, and Peter Porker is, well, Spider-Ham, a pig in a suit. I officially want each of them to have thier own standalone movie now.
Also, I am going to bring up the animation again. As Brown in her Los Angeles Times review of the movie said, it’s “a comic book come to life.” It’s vibrant and vivid and colorful, and complete with word balloons, thought bubbles, action sound effect words, etc, and even some panelling (a comic-influnced version of split screening in cinematography). It’s something new and old-school all in one.
I also liked the realistic portrayal of the newbie superhero’s struggle with his new abilities, because this isn’t something that is focused on at all in the many superhero movies I’ve seen. The technicalities of discovering and learning to navigate the suit and his powers gives Miles another layer of character dimension as well as adding to the believability in the technicalities of the worldbuilding. Peter B. Parker teaches Miles how to swing as they flee from Olivia Octavius (the seemingly random but creative gender switch version of Doc Ock), and Miles constantly has trouble turning invisible and getting his feet to stick/not stick. I also liked the soundtrack and the quick background summaries each Spider-hero has as they appear in the story. And you’ll have to watch the movie to get this, but there is a really cool plot twist involving one of the minor characters and an end credit scene that *cough* takes you back.
There were several other little things I appreciated about this film. The fresh spin on a Marvel superhero brought a fun, different energy and humor to the film that, though it may seem cheesy to some, was an aspect of the movie that I loved. Spider-Gwen’s hair is cool. Peni Parker is adorable and I look forward to the inevitable variations of fan art of her character. The storytelling was brilliant, the cinematography was fun and scenes were action-packed. And I think I’ll just stop there because Into the Spiderverse is undoubtedly one of the best films I’ve seen and it’s definitely up there with Spider-man: Homecoming on my list. Now you just have to go see it to see what I’m talking about. You got a problem with cartoons? See it anyways.
Have you seen Into the Spiderverse? Comment with your thoughts! Also, don’t forget to share this post around–my thanks in advance. That’s all folks!