A major part of the fun of the multiverse-related stories is to see the limitless possibilities when it comes to characters—putting them into various settings, modes, timelines, and roles to explore through a plethora of iterations of the same basic traits. Not only does it provide the artistic freedom to work out various combinations and the chance to break free from a rigid mold, but it also keeps the said characters or archetypes relevant by prioritizing universality. Sony’s Into the Spider-Verse broke new ground while showing the multiverse in a unique way by bringing together seven different Spider-Characters, and the recently released sequel to it, Across the Spider-Verse, raised the stakes manifold by showcasing literally hundreds of new Arachnoid superheroes swinging on screen. All with their unique animation style, some returning ones retaining the past touch while some entirely new characters who don’t even have a comic-book origin yet, created a spectacle so strong that it’d be near impossible to recreate for a long, long time.
While we cannot possibly discuss every Spider-character who has made their appearance in this beautiful movie, we would surely like to talk about some major ones and what we can expect from the Spider-Verse in the third installment of this franchise.
1. Miguel O’Hara, AKA Spider-Man 2099
A futuristic version of Spider-Man, the part Mexican, part Irish scientist Miguel O’Hara, was involved in a freak accident that replaced 50% of his human D.N.A. with that of a spider, which gave him spider-powers and some additional feral attributes like claws and paralyzing fangs. Miguel operates in Nueva York, an Earth-928 counterpart of New York, and is the founder and leader of the Spider Society, a congregation of Spider-characters assigned to protect the Spider-Verse. Unlike the general wise-cracking, quippy versions of most common Spider-folk, a gruff, over-the-edge Miguel finds himself locking horns with Miles Morales regarding their opposing perspectives about approaching the crisis situation in the Spider-Verse. Serving almost as an antagonist in this entry, Miguel’s role will be significant in the upcoming sequel Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse.
2. Spider-Woman, AKA Jessica Drew
In comics, Jessica Drew was the original Spider-Woman to have appeared. She was a former spy who worked for both S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra, and her origins had close ties with High Evolutionary. Unfortunately, none of these plot points were used by the creators at the MCU, who didn’t consider one of the most influential female Marvel characters to be deserving of a spot of her own, but fortunately, Sony did; hence her appearance in Across the Spider-Verse was made possible. In the movie, the bike-riding female web-slinger is Miguel’s second in command. It was Jessica who convinced Miguel to recruit Gwen into the Spider-Society and later became a mentor figure to her. Although Jessica jumping into action while pregnant might look kind of badass, we are skeptical about the necessity of such a move and the risk factor.
3. Pavitr Prabhakar, AKA Spider-Man India
As Miles decides to follow Gwen in her multiversal adventures, he is taken to Earth-50101 and meets the Spider-Man of this world, Pavitr Prabhakar. Relatively new in the game, dressed in jewelry and gaudy costume, Pavitr swings over the colorful cityscape of Mumbattan. The Indianized version of Spidey has existed in comics for almost two decades but fell into ignominy pretty soon after his comic debut. However, from beginning his journey as a white dhoti-clad costume to making his first ever visual media appearance dressed in bangles and wielding a yoyo, Pavitr hasn’t come a long way in terms of proper representation, and even in a property like Spider-Verse, he has been treated like an average Hollywood cliché.
Irrespective of his unimaginative appearance, Pavitr and his world play a key role, as the action of saving Captain Singh in Mumbattan risks triggering a Canon event that puts Miles in direct conflict with Miguel.
4. Hobie Brown, AKA Spider-Punk
As Miles and Co. struggle to contain Spot’s threat in Mumbattan’s version of Alchemax, the loudmouth, punk enthusiast, anarchist, cockney variants of Webcrawler Hobie Brown, aka Spider-Punk, appears wielding a guitar and pure swagger. An activist, Hobie represents the downtrodden mass and stands against the oppressive hierarchy, just like Spideys across the world do, but in a more flamboyant way. The ‘cooler’ Spider-Man detests authoritative governance of any form, but for reasons unknown, he still operates under Spider-Society, which is a low-key autocratic system under Miguel’s guidance.
However, Hobie quits his membership after realizing Miguel is taking a step too far with Miles about the Canon event thing, and at the end, he leaves his multiversal traversing watch for Gwen to let her have a chance to help Miles. Another reason why Hobie’s presence is significant to the plot is that in his first appearance in comics, the prime version of Hobie was the first Prowler, the supervillain who has left a presence in both the Spider-Verse movies with a different man behind the mask (Aaron Davis in the first movie, Alternate Miles Morales in the second). Whether the upcoming third part of the movie franchise teases, the villainous aspect of Hobie Brown remains to be seen.
5. Mayday Parker, AKA Spider-Girl
The cutest addition to the Spider-Verse, the infant Mayday Parker, is the daughter of Earth-616 Spider-Man Peter B, the mentor figure to Miles Morales in the first Spider-Verse movie. Thanks to her father’s Spidey powers, Mayday has been endowed with powers since her birth and has the potential to surpass even her father.
Mayday represents a second chance for Peter B. In the climax sequence of the previous movie, Miles sends Peter B back to Earth and, as a parting request, asks him to take a ‘leap of faith’ and start his life’s journey anew. Taking his suggestion, Peter B patched up with his ex-wife Mary Jane, and the duo became parents of baby Mayday, whom Peter B wants to grow up to be like his protégé, Miles.
6. Ben Reilly, AKA Scarlet Spider
The less brooding of the two fan-favorite Peter Parker clones, Ben Reilly, aka Scarlet Spider, appears in the movie in a limited capacity, and his identity crisis is treated as a self-deprecating joke for the entirety of it. We really wish to see the other rugged clone, Kaine Parker, appear in the next installment and get a more serious treatment with both of these characters.
Aside from these few major players who had a noticeable role to play in the movie, an insane amount of new Spider-characters appeared in the Spider-Society HQ, which consists of Playstation Gameverse Spider-Man and Miles Morales, Symbiote Black Suit Spider-Man, Various incarnations of Armored Spider-Man, Lego Spider-Man, Spider-Cat, Spider-Rex, Bombastic Bag-Man, Big Time Spider-Man, Spidercide, Spiderling, Lady Spider, Manga Spider-Man, Every iteration of animated Spider-Man, Mentions or footage of three major live-action Spider-Men, Spider-Car along with every conceivable iterations.