HEAT VISION

Dissecting the 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Trailer

It's time to take a closer look at Sony's animated film.

Miles Morales has swung into action like never before in the new trailer for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, a film that might be more like a comic book than any Spidey project before it. Let's take a closer look at some of the questions the film raises — like how many Spider-People can one movie handle?

Graeme McMillan: Is it strange for a cartoon to seem like the most exciting Spider-Man movie we’ve seen in years? Don’t get me wrong, I really liked Spider-Man: Homecoming, but everything about this Into the Spider-Verse trailer just seems … Well, more interesting, at the very least. Everything from the visuals — even beyond the floating captions as Miles is running, or the way it suddenly glitches into comic book-style colors for a second, just look at the colors! — to having a story not revolve around Peter Parker learning to be responsible again, this makes Spider-Man feel new again. Is it just me?

Aaron Couch: With Avengers: Infinity War, we saw perhaps the most comic book style movie ever, something where anything you saw in a comic book could be possible. Into the Spider-Verse looks poised to do that in a way only animation can. The number of characters (Green Goblin, Kingpin, multiple Spider-Men!) is as ambitious and strange as something you'd read in a comic. I'm intrigued by the sci-fi/multiverse element of it, which has always been one of the things that was cool about the Ultimate Universe ... it just got so weird sometimes. The Spider-Man that Miles first encounters has a different voice than the Jake Johnson Spider-Man that mentors him later on. Is it safe to assume that the Peter Parker of Miles' universe dies and the Jake Johnson Peter — and Spider-Gwen — are from a different unvierse? 

McMillan: I mean, that's what the comic book origin of Miles was, but there's a line in the trailer that suggests that he might actually come from a universe with multiple Spider-Men (Spider-Mans?), so ... it's somewhat unclear. I hadn't noticed before you mentioned it that the Peter Parker Spider-Men have different voices, but now I'm wondering if the brief glimpse of the Green Goblin in the trailer is Miles watching "his" Peter Parker get killed, which in turn prompts him to become Spider-Man himself. 

Couch: Not seen in the trailer: Lily Tomlin's Aunt May. Spider-Man, no matter if it's Miles or Peter, needs a doting parental figure, and bonus points if they don't approve of superheroes. The family drama element of this has lot of fun potential. Not only is Miles' dad so loving that he embarrasses his son, he's a cop whose own brother Aaron (voiced by Mahershala Ali) is a villain. An inevitable showdown involving the three family members could make for some pretty good drama. 

McMillan: Miles’ dad might already be my favorite character in the movie, just from this trailer alone. It’s surprising that he gets such play here, and makes me very nervous for him in the movie itself. Is he going to end up dead like Uncle Ben? What do you think of having (at least) three Spider-characters in here? I like loser Peter, and I was surprisingly glad to see Spider-Gwen show up at the end, but I feel as if three’s the upper limit. I don’t want to see Spider-Pig, Spider-UK or Spider-Punk show up as anything more than Easter eggs, and the Spider-Verse title makes me very worried that this will end up being less Miles’ movie, and more a movie where Miles is the POV character but really, it’s about “Spider-Man” as a concept. That isn’t a movie I want to see, but the adventures of Miles Morales? Definitely.

Couch: The idea of multiple Spider-people is a real draw for me. I first started reading Spider-Man during the Ben Reilly/clone saga of the '90s (I can't help the flaws of the era I grew up in), so I'm partial to the idea of multiple spider-people teaming up to fight crime. Graeme, in the Spider-Verse comics, an entity known as Morlun was spending his time hunting down Spider-people from every different reality, forcing them all to team up to stop him. Is there a chance that's what's going on here? 

McMillan: Is it wrong to say "I hope not"? I think a variation on that is what's going to be going on, although whether or not Morlun is introduced is open to question. He's always been a strange Spider-Man villain, because the whole idea of a supernatural bad guy seemed at odds with the whole "Friendly Neighborhood" vibe of the hero. That said, so does traveling across the multiverse to meet different versions of yourself. If this is going to be the Spider-Man movie unlike other Spider-Man movies, maybe it's time to go all in. 

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse opens Dec. 14.

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