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Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ is a solid addition to the black superhero canon

Source: Marvel / Spider-Man™: Across the Spider-Verse

By Keenan “HIGz” Higgins, NewsOne

When the world was first introduced to Miles Morales in the fourth chapter of Ultimate Fallout, the insanely popular limited-run comic series that Marvel released back in 2011, comic fans saw the introduction of the first-ever character of color to play the iconic superhero Spider-Man.

Less than a decade later, the Afro-Latino web-slinging teen officially rose off the paper with the universally-beloved release of 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The Oscar-winning, Golden Globe-nabbing animated film was an epic visual experience that by way of great storytelling and astounding visual effects from Sony Pictures Imageworks made up for the fact that we didn’t get a live-action Black Spider-Man. Following the widespread acclaim, it was only a matter of time before a sequel would be produced.

Although the aftermath of the global pandemic led to a slow-yet-steady return back into theaters over the past few years, Morales lives to sling another day in the grand new follow-up titled Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, officially and exclusively in theaters today.

As with the previous film, Across the Spider-Verse highlights every part of Miles Morales’ dual identities as the son of a proud Black dad and an even prouder Puerto Rican mom — hey, mommas always love their babies just a tad bit more! His cultures intertwine so much with his hero persona as Spider-Man that you begin to realize there’s no separating the teen from the titan. It’s for that very reason that the film gets its heart, bringing for the first time a racial identity to the legendary Spider-Man that unfortunately Peter Parker could never do. Literally.

For those who aren’t aware, there’s a reason why the character of Peter Parker has always been a boyish, straight white male; it was always in the contract. Revealed in the now-infamous 2015 WikiLeaks document, an agreement was reportedly made between Sony Pictures and Marvel that made it “mandatory” for Spider-Man/Peter Parker to be the following: “male; does not torture; does not kill in defense of self or others; does not use foul language beyond PG-13; does not smoke tobacco; does not sell/distribute illegal drugs; does not abuse alcohol; does not have sex before the age of 16; does not have sex with anyone below the age of 16; and is not a homosexual (unless Marvel has portrayed that alter ego as a homosexual).”

Across the Spider-Verse does its best to break all those rules and them some, as Morales finds himself traveling through the Multi-Verse once again and landing in a “Spidey Society” of infinite Spider-Men. And Spider-Women. Oh, and let’s not forget the Spider-Pigs, Spider LEGOs, the Middle Eastern Spider-Man of a place called “Mumbattan” that will simply wow you — let’s just say the Spidey overload arrives aplenty and well-welcomed.

Of the standouts is a Spider-Woman named Jessica Drew, who’s pregnant, a sassy sistah and is rocking one of the flyest afros you’ll see in any dimension. Oh, and she’s voiced by Issa Rae.

The main plot centers on Miles once again trying to change fate by jumping through various Earths in an effort to stop the inevitable from happening. What he soon finds out is, unfortunately, even Spider-Man himself can’t stop what’s as concrete as Uncle Ben having to die in order for Peter to learn power and responsibility. For Miles, he comes to realize with much surprise to everyone that he was his own biggest enemy.


The cast of voice actors is as impressive as the visuals themselves. Joining the aforementioned Issa Rae as Jessica Drew of Earth-616 (with inspo from Valerie the Librarian / Spider Woman of Earth-57780), Across the Spider-Verse stars Shameik Moore returning as the man himself Miles Morales / Spider-Man of Earth-1610, MCU mainstay Hailee Steinfeld as Gwen Stacy / Spider-Woman of Earth-65, Brian Tyree Henry bringing his stern voice as police officer dad Jefferson Morales, veteran actress Luna Lauren Vélez as mom Rio Morales, New Girl star Jake Johnson as Peter B. Parker, the perceived OG Spider-Man of Earth-616, Jason Schwartzman as main antagonist Dr. Jonathan Ohnn / The Spot and a special appearance from Mahershala Ali as Aaron Davis / The Prowler — again, got to watch to see how he comes back!

As for the other Spider-Men, standouts include Daniel Kaluuya as the unworldly-cool Hobart “Hobie” Brown aka Spider-Punk of Earth-318, Karan Soni as the aforementioned Spider-Man India Pavitr Prabhakar of Earth-50101, Oscar Isaac voicing the intimidating Miguel O’Hara / Spider-Man 2099 of Earth-928 and even hip-hop producer Metro Boomin as an unidentified version of Spider-Man in the Spider Society. The latter also lends his prowess to spearheading the soundtrack.

Make some time this weekend to go see Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse exclusively at a theater near you. We recommend the Dolby Cinema experience, which offers the most optimal way to hear true-to-life sound effects like explosions, authentic streets sounds of New York City and all the nonstop action that you definitely won’t want to miss one bit of.

Watch the trailer for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse below to get you excited before seeing it in theaters:

This article originally appeared on NewsOne.

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