What Makes You Different is What Makes You Spider-Man

Jason Calderaro, Staff Writer

Movie Poster for Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse


Finally, Spider-Man has swung his way onto the big screen in his first animated feature film, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. Beating out two Disney features, Spiderman: Into The Spider-Verse took home the 76th Golden Globe Award for Best Animated feature, and it is well deserved.  The movie is the perfect package of all things Spider-Man: fan references, jokes, characters that make the film an obvious joy for longtime fans as well as newcomers.

The story follows Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) a Brooklyn resident who recently got accepted into an elite private school in town. His cop father (Brian Tyree Henry) wants to keep him on the straight and narrow, but Miles would rather explore the world of graffiti with his uncle Aaron (Mahershala Ali). While tagging the subway tunnels with Aaron, Miles is bitten by a spider that gives him extraordinary powers, just like The Amazing Spider-Man. He goes back to the tunnels to investigate and stumbles upon Spider-Man battling a group of villains. Miles gets his attention; Spider-Man senses he’s like him and tells Miles to help him destroy the villain’s machine, and afterwards he would teach him about his powers. After an unfortunate event, Miles feels although he has failed the web slinger. On the bright side, Miles won’t be alone as the machine has summoned five other Spider-Heroes from across the multiverse.

The plot is a blend of various different storylines from the comics: Ultimate Spider-Man, Spider-Men, and Spiderverse. Ultimate Spider-Man chronicles the adventures of Peter Parker, as well as his death. In his stead, Miles takes over without Peter’s tutelage. In the Spider-Men storyline, Peter Parker of the main Marvel Universe finds his way into Miles’ world. Together they take down a common villain and teach each other a few things along the way. The massive event Spider-Verse details the trials and tribulations of the Spider-Heroes across the multiverse as they evade persecution from an evil family of vampires. For such a crazy mash-up of zany comic book stories, the movie finds the perfect balance of storytelling, action, and humor.  The voice acting was phenomenal and genuine; each actor perfectly portrayed his or her character’s personality with just a few lines of dialogue.

The animation style was like a comic page splashed onto the big screen. The comic style Ben Day Dots, as well as visible words coordinating with sound effects created a truly pop art atmosphere.

  The film is also accompanied by an original soundtrack by some of today’s most popular artists. Most songs appear in the film but one that stands out is “Sunflower” by Post Malone and Swae Lee, a track that Miles listens to and sings along to in some scenes.

While Into The Spider-Verse is a fantastic Spider-Man tale, it is overall an excellent movie with a heartwarming message: Anyone can be a superhero. Spider-Man has one of the most iconic and unique superhero costumes ever, as he was the earliest to be completely covered head-to-toe. Unlike Superman and Batman, no one can tell what Spider-Man looks like. His race, religion, creed, status, and even possibly gender, are all a mystery. Anyone can imagine themselves in that suit, saving the day. The idea of “anyone can wear the mask” is heavily stressed. Each Spider has endured their own challenges and tragedies to be worthy of the mask.

The film’s message becomes even more clear with its commemoration to Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee with this quote at the end of the credits. “That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed without a doubt, a real superhero.”

Into The Spider-Verse may very well be the best Spider-Man movie as it is a perfect representation of who Spider-Man is as a character.