SpiderMan: Into the Spiderverse

StorySmack Episode #43

Scott and A take a look at the Golden Globe-winning film that could have long-term ramifications on superhero storytelling. When a film so successfully brings a comic to life as a comic, what does that mean for big-budget live-action superhero films? Are the days of live flicks doomed?


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  1. Dave

    So I’m a month late, don’t know if you will read this but here goes.

    The spider is a reference to Spider-Man 2099. It’s not really established in the story, but it’s a thing.

    Miles doesn’t meet Peter until after his freak out at school when he sees Gwen. He is still getting his powers at that point.

    There are a few things about Kingpin killing Peter that you missed. First, Peter had just been in a huge fight AND an explosion. He was beat to shit. We also don’t know that it only took one hit. Miles ran after the first hit and then Peter is found dead. Kingpin could have been beating on Peter for 20 minutes. We don’t know.

    I’m glad you didn’t ask how Gwen got there so early, other people have asked that. She specifically says that she got thrown into last week.

    I’m glad you liked the movie. It was my favorite movie of last year and I went to see it a second time. I even started reading Spider Gwen and the comic Spiderverse storyline.

    1. scottsigler

      Dave: Your categorically knowledge of the film is impressive. Miles not meeting Peter until after he meets Gwen … all right, I’ll roll with that.

      It did appear to take that one hit to finish Spider-Man. Also Kingpin has giant salted hams for fists.

      I caught the Time Traveling Gwen™ thing. I think.

  2. Cakoluchiam

    Regarding the spider out of nowhere: This is a universe that already has a Spider-Man. It already has a Kingpin. It already has a Doc Ock, and it already has a giant mutated Green Goblin. We saw from the first 30-second backstory that, canonically, everything that happened in the first 3 Spider-Man movies already happened, which means that Oscorp was working on mutant spider technology YEARS ago. There has been enough shit going down in this universe for the past 10+ years that the spider could have come from literally anywhere, and that’s /before/ we get into the fact that we know Fisk has been tearing holes in the fabric of reality, and that abandoned subway tunnel where the spider first appeared was conveniently “discovered” by Uncle Aaron during an “engineering project” (i.e. building the giant machine to tear holes in reality)—and we literally see the spider glitch out just like everything else from the alternate dimensions.

    But most importantly, it doesn’t matter. This movie deliberately sums up every Spider-Folk’s backstory in 30 seconds with minimal details so we can get on with the action. We don’t need deep dives into every character’s background to get what we need to know to enjoy this movie. In fact, it might not have worked at all even if they tried to explain the spider, because that would have been the only scene in the entire movie not from the perspective of the protagonist. Miles didn’t have time to investigate the true origin of the radioactive spider before the universe imploded, so neither did we.

    1. scottsigler

      Cakoluchiam: I couldn’t disagree more. No, there is zero establishment for Oscorp working on mutant spider technology. Zero. Not to mention the 30-second backstory showed the accidental spider (unexpected spider gets irradiated, bites Peter, cue long-running franchise), not scenes of any “spider research.”

      Now, could there be an alternative universe where another Oscorp (and/or insert random made-up out-of-context corp here because dimensions) was working on a spider project? Sure.

      In the movie, where did you see any indication that any Oscorp in any dimension was working on spider technology “years ago”? Did I miss that bit?

      1. Cakoluchiam

        The very first Spider-Man’s intro pretty definitively establishes that this is, with minor tweaks and a lot of time passed, the Toby Maguire Spidey universe. In the 2002 movie, Peter Parker was bitten during a field trip at Oscorp by a genetically modified & radioactive spider that escaped from their research lab. That all happened years ago, and, I stress again, doesn’t matter.

        We learned all we needed to know from that 30 second recap that basically says: “if you really care about what happened earlier, go watch these movies.” Peter literally says “you know the rest” to drive it home. Just like, as you pointed out in the podcast, if we wanted to know more about Peter Porker, we could go read all those comic books.

        The radioactive spider’s backstory matters no more than the backstory of mutant Green Goblin, which is to say, none. It exists, it’s weird, and it gives Miles the ability to shoot electricity and turn invisible for some reason. It’s just a thematic way of saying “a wizard did it.”

  3. Scot Wilson

    Haven’t listened to your take on tis yet but I thought this was arguably the best Spiderman flick made to date – bar none. Looking forward to hearing this podcast!

  4. Paul Cowan

    Hey Scott & A,

    Great review, I loved the movie too. I didn’t agree with a couple of your quibbles though Scott, so here’s my attempt at a no-prize. *spoilers*

    1) The Radioactive Spider that bit Miles came out of nowhere.

    When the spider dies you can see it glitching like the other alternative dimensional arrivals. Since the subway station is right beside the Kingpin’s lab (as Mile’s uncle works there) it seems likely that the spider arrived from another dimension.

    2) Miles doesn’t sense that Gwen Stacey is another Spider person.

    Actually, he does. He becomes crazy nervous and sweaty around her. He puts it down to “puberty” but it’s really his Spider-Sense going off, and he has no idea at this point what’s going on.

    Other than that, a fine review.

    1. scottsigler

      Paul: Alrighty, let’s have at it!
      Spider — yes I suppose that’s a logical answer based on the context of the story we saw. Would have been helpful, though, if there were any other alternate dimension creatures other than Spider-People to provide what should have been effortless establishment of that plot thread.

      Gwen — Now hold on there, sizzle-chest … when he sees Dying Peter Parker, they both say “you’re like me.” Do they not? Miles knows that Peter is like him. Miles’ spider sense goes off, as does Peter’s. How can Miles know that and be oblivious to Gwen, when Gwen shows the exact same “you’re like me” power later in the movie?

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