I loved Into the Spider-Verse when it first came out. It was my first introduction to Miles Morales as a hero, but it was so refreshing to see the same Spider-Man origin story told about someone else. The relationships he built with the other spider-people were heartwarming, and when it was over, I couldn’t wait for the sequel. Across the Spider-Verse was an entirely new story but still had so much connection to the original Spider-Man stories we all know and love that it felt like a natural extension of them.
It’s all connected
Watching Across the Spider-Verse felt like the writers had managed to tap into that exhilaration we all felt during Spider-Man: Homecoming. We got the first live-action multiverse crossover when Toby Macguire and Andrew Garfield reprised their roles.
It wasn’t quite that level, but seeing so many different versions of Spider-Man was still exciting. Across movies, comic books, video games, heck, even the cursed Spider-Man popsicle makes an appearance.
Now, I watched Across the Spider-Verse pretty quickly after it was first released. I was right there when Tiktok started analyzing the shortest scenes. Some people were even doing analysis frame by frame. I got to see all of the details connected throughout the movie without getting any spoilers.
The attention to detail is insane. Color motifs, song variations, and lighting choices, which most people probably would overlook, come together to create an incredibly rich story.
For instance, Miles’ colors changing from green and purple to red and blue when he met his universe’s Peter Parker in the first movie. Totally went under the radar for me until we met Miles Morales from Universe 42. I’m sure plenty of people with better eyes for detail than I immediately understood the meaning behind that color change. Still, it didn’t hit me until after seeing the second Spider-Verse movie.
What I’m getting at is that there are a million details you can pick up from Across the Spider-Verse, which most definitely makes it worth watching. The small details and references aren’t the only reason to watch. The bigger pictures and themes in the movie also make it a must-watch.
Growing Up Too Soon
Part of growing up is watching Disney movies and cringing when the literal child is all but stomping their foot and saying they aren’t a child anymore. Like, sure you aren’t, buddy. Why don’t we circle back on this when you can vote?
Miles is a great kid, but he is very much still a kid. It’s stated explicitly that he’s only 15 years old, which makes him even more admirable for wanting to shoulder all of the responsibility he does at such a young age. He’s doing everything he can to save the world, and a good chunk of the movie is him trying to connect with others and help them save their worlds too!
Most fifteen-year-olds wouldn’t do that, which is fine. They shouldn’t be expected to try and step up like that, nor should they have to either.
A very subtle theme in Across the Spider-Verse is the idea of growing up too quickly. Most of the spider people got their powers as young adults. They then had to learn very quickly about responsibility and embracing tragedy. The most famous Spiderman quote is Uncle Ben’s words, “With great power comes great responsibility,” after all. And you can’t talk about Uncle Ben without at least thinking about his death.
Responsibility and tragedy go hand in hand for Spiderman, no matter who is behind the mask.
It’s always been a theme in the Spider-Verse movies. Anyone can be Spiderman. They even say so explicitly in the first movie. Anyone can embody the hope and genuine desire for good that Spiderman always strives for. Spiderman’s mask hides his identity, yes, but it also creates a sort of Shrodinger’s Hero at the same time.
Spiderman can be everyone and no one at the same time because the world doesn’t know anything about him. If you doubt how powerful that is, there are interview clips with Stan-Lee confirming that it is one of the best things he ever did with the character.
Across the Spider-Verse shows that Miles has had time to come to terms with his powers and become confident in himself. We got to see the beginning of his journey in Into the Spider-Verse, but the sequel shows us that he’s well on his way to becoming a phenomenal Spiderman.
Miles has his moments of doubt. But he makes it clear he will do everything he can to do the right thing. However it happened, the power and the responsibility of being Spiderman are his now.
5 out of 5 radioactive spiders.
Across the Spider-Verse was a fun movie and a really good continuation of the previous movie. The two movies had so many clear connections without the story feeling redundant. It was also a lot of fun to see all the iterations of Spiderman across the multiverse.
The sheer amount of unique Spidermen also hammered home that heroes can come in all shapes and sizes. You don’t have to look a certain way, nor do you have to let limitations hold you back.
For more movie recommendations, check out our other Movie of the Month reviews.
Who was your favorite Spiderman in Across the Spider-Verse?
(Answers other than Spider Rex are incorrect).