If someone asked you to describe Spider-Man, what would you say? Most would say he wears a blue and red suit, and he uses his proportionate strength and speed of a spider to fight crime. A fitting description for some of those web slinging heroes in the Marvel Universe, but what about the others? That’s right, Peter Parker is not the only Spider-Man to consider, there is a whole multiverse of spider-like heroes out there. Hitting theaters tomorrow, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, plays on this concept of crime fighting collaboration amongst spidey powered heroes from multiple dimensions. To prepare you for tomorrow, here is a quick recap on the history and characters of the Spider-Verse.
The concept of a multiverse is nothing new. There are an infinite number of timelines accounting for an infinite number of realities all vaguely similar to one another. The same rules apply to the Spider-Verse. In some realities Peter Parker is almost identical to the Spider-Man most of us are familiar with. In others Peter Parker might not be the one who was bitten by a radioactive spider at all. In certain circumstances where the bad guys are just too powerful to defeat alone, some of these spider-heroes can break their interdimensional barriers and join forces. Here are some of the main characters of the Spider-Verse that frequently appear when the spidey squad assembles.
Miles Morales – In Miles’ universe, Peter Parker gave his life in a battle against the Green Goblin. Miles took on the role of Spider-Man in Peter’s place and fights for the same values. Now Miles has joined the traditional Marvel Universe and receives guidance from that world’s Peter Parker.
Spider-Gwen – On Earth-65, Peter Parker is not a hero at all. In this universe Gwen Stacey is bitten by the spider and Peter Parker is her jealous boyfriend accidentally turned lizard monster. As a high school student and daughter of the police chief, Gwen struggles to balance her civilian life with her hero life.
Spider-Man Noir – With an infinite number of universes, there are bound to be some pretty dark realities. This is where Spider-Man Noir comes from. In a Great Depression-era world riddled with crime, this version of Peter Parker sticks to the shadows and totes a twin set of pistols.
Spider-Ham – Peter Porker’s character is simple. He’s just a spidey powered pig from a universe where all the characters we know and love are anthropomorphized versions of themselves.
There are many, many more. Thankfully, Marvel began connecting these characters in 2014 when they brought together hundreds of spider characters to protect the Web of Life and Destiny. Since the genesis of the Spider-Verse, the concept has gained popularity. The potential for spider people to team up became the crux of the animated Ultimate Spider-Man, and various Spider-Man video games have toyed with the same premise. Now the Spider-Verse is hitting the big screen, allowing more people to become familiar with a much larger Marvel world full of possibilities and we can’t wait to see what happens next!