The new Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse trailer that dropped yesterday introduced us to a whole multiverse of mania and speculation about the long-awaited sequel to arguably the greatest superhero movie of all time. But it also did one other thing: introduce tons of Spider-heroes.
Not every appearance is for a major character, and the bulk of the Spiders we see swinging around Across the Spider-Verse’s new trailer are actually original designs made for the movie. But there are plenty of deep cut references across Spider-Man’s long history in the pages of comics, on film and TV, and in games. There’s probably as many we spotted in their blink-and-you’ll miss it appearances here, but here’s everyone we recognised. If we missed one, let us know in the comments!
Miles Morales, Spider-Man
Let’s start with the obvious ones… but hey, this is actually a new look! Miles’ suit has seen an upgrade since the end of Into the Spider-Verse, with red arm stripes running down his torso, and while there’s still a spray paint flair to it, the chest and back logos are much sharper. It’s no longer painted over another suit like it was in Into, this is his own thing.
Gwen Stacey, Spider-Gwen
Gwen’s costume has also been slightly tweaked — no longer wearing her ballet shoes from the first movie, Gwen has a pair of similarly coloured converse trainers. According to a trailer afterparty video released yesterday, the shoes are a gift from fellow Spider hero Hobie Brown, a.k.a. Spider-Punk, played by Daniel Kaluuya. More on him later.
Peter B. Parker, Spider-Man
This may be cheating, but Peter is actually wearing a Spidey suit underneath that baby carrier and robe.
Miguel O’Hara, Spider-Man 2099
We got a brief glimpse of this look in previous trailers, but it’s nice to see a more detailed look at Miguel’s 2099 suit here.
Jessica Drew, Spider-Woman
This isn’t a direct lift from the comics — especially as Issa Rae’s Jessica Drew is not the current white version of the character, but more likely a reference to the first “Spider-Woman,” Valerie the Librarian, who appeared a 1974 issue of Spidey Super Stories. The look is still heavily inspired by more recent comics, in particular the 2014 All-New, All-Different Spider-Woman costume created by Kris Anka (who has also worked on Across the Spider-Verse, designing myriad of unique extra designs for the film’s Spider-People). Also lifted from that comic storyline: The fact that Jessica is pregnant.
Advanced Suit Spider-Man
This look (on the left) is from of Insomniac’s version of Peter Parker in the Playstation 4/5 game Marvel’s Spider-Man. The suit is designed by Peter and his mentor, Dr. Otto Octavius, before his transformation into the villainous Doc Ock.
This bulletproof Spider-Armour (on the left) is the second iteration of the design, and first appeared in the comics in Dan Slott and Marcos Martin’s Amazing Spider-Man run in 2011.
Spinneret and AMP
This duo of Spider-heroines are none other than versions of Mary-Jane Parker and Anna-May Parker, the wife and daughter of the Peter Parker who didn’t have Mephisto supernaturally erase his marriage from the timeline, as depicted in the Renew Your Vows comic series. They fight alongside Peter as partners in crime-fighting, with MJ taking on the name Spinneret, and Anna-May first taking on the pseudonym AMP, and eventually adopting a new costume and identity as Spiderling.
Maybelle Reilly, the Lady-Spider, was first introduced in Edge of Spider-Verse, the prequel miniseries that gave us Spider-Gwen, and set the stage for the 2015 multiverse event that inspired Into the Spider-Verse in the first place, titled, well, Spider-Verse. A Victorian heiress, Maybelle fights villains with her powers and a self-made set of Iron-Spider-esque mechanical arms.
Now this one’s interesting. The badge, belt, the uniform and the fact that he’s acting as some kind of multiversal traffic director make this feel like a riff on the “Spider-Cop” gag from Insomniac’s game Marvel’s Spider-Man. In that game — which faced criticism for its portrayal of Spider-Man as a staunch accomplice of the NYPD, aiding them in the setup of an OSCORP-branded citywide surveillance system — Peter has a running bit with his NYPD contact, Yuri Watanabe, in which he adapts the tough detective persona of Spider-Cop.
Spider-Cop became comics canon in the 2018 Spider-Verse sequel event series Spider-Geddon, wearing a Spider-suit underneath an NYPD uniform — but unlike the character seen here, he also wore sunglasses, had a heavy moustache, and wore a police hat.
While this is a little different from his comics version — in so much that he’s actually wearing a Spider-suit — this is a clear reference to 1984’s Amazing Spider-Man #258, where Peter has to return home from the Baxter Building after leaving his new symbiote suit for examination by Reed Richards. He wears a Fantastic Four spare “gifted” to him by Johnny Storm, with no footwear, and the bag-mask and a “kick me” sign on his back for good measure.
Werewolf Spider-Man of Earth-7085
This might just be a background artist going “you know what would be funny? Werewolf Spider-Man, just like Werewolf Captain America!” but there is actually a Werewolf Spidey in the comics. He and the rest of his lupine reality appeared in the 2007 crossover miniseries Marvel Zombies/Army of Darkness. Having escaped the reality of the Marvel Zombies, Evil Dead’s Ash found himself on Earth-7085, only to find that it had been taken over by a similar blight as the Zombieverse, where all the superheroes, Peter Parker included, had become werewolves.
Superior Spider-Man was introduced as part of a controversial story arc that climaxed in 2012’s Amazing Spider-Man #700. In the story, Otto Octavius is dying of cancer and swaps minds with Peter Parker, taking over Peter’s body while letting the young man’s mind seemingly perish in his own dying form (don’t worry, everyone got better). While inhabiting Peter’s life, he transforms into the Superior Spider-Man in an attempt to be a better hero than his rival, and Octavius/Peter becomes an uncompromising warrior against injustice… no matter the cost.
OK, so a Six-Armed Spider-Woman is not a thing in the comics, but it does appear to be a loose reference to time Peter grew an extra two sets of arms in his first-ever encounter with Morbius the Living Vampire. Close enough!
MKII might have been first in the trailer, but the MKI was, well, first! The original Spider-Armour debuted — and was destroyed — in Web of Spider-Man #100 in 1993. But despite its short history it’s become an iconic alternate look for Spider-Man in myriad video game adaptations.
It’s truly Spider-Armour-a-go-go in this trailer, as we move onto our third iteration. The MKIII was developed by Peter with Horizon Labs, designed as a last resort trump card to face off against the Sinister Six.
Retro Gaming Spider-Man
While this is not directly a parallel — especially as the body looks like it could be of someone who identifies as female — the low-poly rendering aesthetic of this particularly sizeable Spidey (circled) is highly reminiscent of Spider-Man’s 3D debut in his appearances in the Playstation 1 video games Spider-Man and Spider-Man: Enter Electro.
Spider-Monkey (top left) is the webslinging hero of the Ape-vengers on Earth-8101, the all-intelligent Simian reality of the 2008 miniseries Marvel Apes. He is, of course, a Spider Monkey.
This futuristic costume comes from the short lived animated series of the same name. Hoping to continue in the popular wake of Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Unlimited followed Peter as he ventured to the Counter-Earth, a planet on the other side of the Sun, in an attempt to rescue J. Jonah Jameson’s astronaut son John. The suit, featuring stealth technology and anti-symbiote sonic weaponry, was designed with the help of Reed Richards.
Created by Kaare Andrews in 2002, this Spider-Man was part of Marvel’s early attempts to capitalise on the popularity of Japanese media. Originally the last surviving ninja of the Spider-Clan — and trained in martial arts by his mentor Ben — when the Mangaverse was briefly revived in 2006 Peter developed the ability to shoot webs, like his usual counterpart.
Bonus Round: Spider-Man of India
Surprise! We don’t see him in the trailer, but we know that Pavitr Prabhakar is going to be in Across the Spider-Verse courtesy of concept art released by Sony as part of a Youtube Premium trailer aftershow stream yesterday. In the comics, Pavitr is the Spider-Man of Earth-50101, created for the 2005 miniseries Spider-Man: India.
Bonus Bonus Round: Spider-Punk
Likewise, the aftershow stream gave us our first look at Hobart “Hobie” Brown, the Spider-Punk. Introduced in Edge of Spider-Verse back in 2014, Hobie is the Spider-Man of Earth-138, a dystopian reality where America was ruled by a fascist iteration of Norman Osborn, who had become president. Although Hobie wasn’t in the trailer, we knew he was coming thanks to merchandise created for the movie.
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