Alright, let’s do this one last time, “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” released on June 2nd 2023, nearly five years after “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse”. Many loved it, including myself. The artwork was even more vast and beautiful than the original and the story had me on the edge of my seat on several occasions.
Warning, there will be heavy spoilers for the movie beyond this point. So if you have yet to watch it I would highly suggest watching it before reading.
So where to start. There is so much to talk about in this movie. I guess first I can start off with the colors throughout the movie and the art style.
Just like the first movie, we get to see several different Spider-People each from different universes, with their own art styles.
Now although it’s more quick glances of most of these new Spider-People, we do get a few new core ones as well as seven new worlds to explore.
Spider-Gwen’s world is my personal favorite. My god, the use of colors is beautiful. Her world is primarily watercolor and during emotional scenes in which Gwen feels upset these colors will begin to flow down like water, showing her emotional state through more than just words. Each color tells its story almost.
I could go on for hours about the colors and how well they are used, but I think it is about time that I move onto the actual story itself.
Never in my life have I ever felt so creatively and emotionally motivated to push forward and to follow my heart in my entire life. I know that may sound like an exaggeration, but I have watched this movie three times now and each time I have walked away feeling motivated to create. I just get this feeling to improve my own stories and my art skills.
This story is heavily focused on the idea of fighting against fate. The way this story told this concept and demonstrated it felt so impactful and made the stakes feel so high throughout the movie.
In the movie we learn about this concept called the canon. Canon events are situations that are bound to happen no matter what, in every Spider-Man universe. Canon events can be broken, but as we learn from Spider-Man 2099, this can cause anomalies that can destroy every single world in the Spider-Verse. He himself has experienced this which makes his reason for creating the Spider-Society and preventing these anomalies caused by breaking the canon from occurring feel grounded.
At first the movie is centered around fixing and containing these anomalies caused by the creation of the Collider in the first movie. One of the core causes behind these anomalies in this movie is the Spot.
Once a scientist working with Fisk in the first movie to create the Collider, now a pure white figure covered in black spots that are actually portals.
The Spot is treated like a joke throughout the movie, but as we go further into the movie he becomes a larger threat as he goes to different dimensions, seeking out Colliders to become even more powerful.
All with the goal of becoming powerful enough to take away everything Miles loves from him, like Miles accidentally did to him.
This leads up to the Spot becoming a great threat and taking up the form of an all black figure covered in white spots that look almost like scribbles.
At this moment Miles gets visions of their future. Buildings crumble all around and his dad runs to save a child before being crushed by a building. The sketchy animation of this scene made it feel all the more threatening.
I love how they managed to make a joke character into the most terrifying villain I’ve ever seen. That takes some real time and effort.
Towards the end half of the story Miles is forced to run away from several different Spider-People as he confronts the choice of saving his dad or the world, and later the fact that his very existence is an anomaly as the spider that bit him is not from his world and therefore there is a world with no Spider-Man because of him.
In every universe, a police captain close to Spider-Man dies in a fight against Spider-Man’s arch nemesis. Mile’s dad is fated to die and so Miles is left having to fight against the canon all in an attempt to save his father from dying.
This scene is my favorite as the voice acting, music, and animation make you feel for Miles in this moment. Everytime I watch this scene I can feel a sense of just being trapped and all I can think of is how painful of a choice this is. On paper what Miles does is selfish, but on screen you feel for him and sympathize.
The movie ends off on a cliffhanger with Spider-Man 2099 looking for him, the Spot making it back to Miles’ home, Spider-Gwen and all of Mile’s fellow spider-friends getting ready to help Miles and Miles in the world the spider that bit him came from, in the clutch of Earth-42’s version of himself who is that world’s Prowler. The credits roll and then end with the words “Mile’s story will be continued in Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse”.
Although I was upset by the fact the end was a cliffhanger, I absolutely loved everything about this movie and I am very much looking forward to where Miles’ story will go from here.