You already know it, but Spider-man Into the Spider-verse may well be the best Spider-man movie ever. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Homecoming, but Homecoming features an MCU Spider-man. Into the Spider-verse delivers a full-on graphic effects nod to the books. In fact, Into the Spider-verse more than nods to the books, it wraps its teenagery red arms accented by blue lines around the books and hugs them, then ingests them to the core. The result? An amazing Spider-man movie.
And what about the origin story. How did they do the origin story?
How do you avoid the trap of retelling the origin story? Tell it every few minutes throughout the film. Brilliant as the psychedelic color palette that blasts through a hole in the Marvel universe like Hawking Radiation through polarized glasses.
The animation is more than first-rate, it rolls toward digital visionary. Ditko would have have been proud, I think (as he rarely interviewed) of what Sony and Marvel put up on the screen. It was modern with real flashes of visual eloquence. In the direct nod to the source material, every panel fly-by created not just context through homage, but emotion. The panels embellished and augmented the storytelling.
Spider-verse shines best in the story—the story that isn’t a story. The story is really a meta-story that collapses in on itself in order to reign in the exuberant excesses of obsessive big bad, King Pin. The story that is several stories in fits and starts, overlaps and fades, punctuated moments and quiet hints.
Everyone Can Wear the Mask
Spider-man, more so than other comic book-based franchises often includes a message. Born from the adage that “from great power comes great responsibility” Into the Spider-verse doesn’t shy away from that history. The film actually picks up the gauntlet and delivers an even deeper, more inclusive message on diversity. Rather than harping through exposition (though there is some of that toward the end) most of the message comes through the show don’t tell approach. Spider-man, across the multiverse, isn’t just perfect Peter Parker, he is also imperfect Peter Parker and a variety of other incarnations. All hereos. All Spider-man.
The bottom line for this spider-man is anyone, regardless of race, gender, or even species can wear the mask. Well, sure, but a radioactive spider bite does make it a lot easier when you have to go up against the likes of a King Pin or a Doc Ock (BTW, equity in villains also applies). Speed, fast healing, spider-sense, and sticky fingers…well, the message that we should all find some way to become heroes still resonates even as Spider-man demonstrates some very uncommon human traits like humbleness, the willingness to learn, a propensity to adapting to the situation and pretty solid empathy. Spider-man’s abilities help him survive, his human attributes make him a hero.
- We Are Spider-Man: Explores and celebrates diversity.
- Spider-Verse: A New Dimension: Artists and filmmakers talk about their trippy vision and how they delivered it..
- The Ultimate Comics Cast: The Spider-Verse Who’s Who.
- A Tribute to Stan Lee & Steve Ditko: A look back at the creators of Spider-Man, both of whom recently passed away.
- The Spider-Verse Super-Fan Easter Egg Challenge: Find them all!
- Designing Cinematic Comics Characters
- Alternate Universe Mode: Alternate scenes, plotlines, characters, and more.
- 2 Lyric Videos
- “Sunflower” by Post Malone and Swae Lee
- “Familia” by Nicki Minaj & Anuel AA (feat. Bantu)
- All-New Original Short “Spider-Ham: Caught In a Ham” A Peter Porker short.
The movie here is the thing, but these extras do provide interesting material, especially the behind the scenes content on character design and the vision for the film.
- Varies by format