I am still pretty much overwhelmed after my viewing of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. Attempting to pen down the experience of witnessing the comic book magic unfold in theaters would do no justice, so this article is simply a list of the Easter eggs and artwork observed I made while watching the movie. And of course, MAJOR SPOILER WARNING.
Donald Glover Aka Childish Gambino As The MCU Prowler
Ok, so if you are extremely well versed with all the live-action Spiderman movies with every character and their backstories, some moments in this movie are definitely a crowd-puller for sure.
One such moment is Miles encountering the live-action version of the Prowler played by Donald Glover from the Marvel Cinematic Universe during his visit to the Spider-Man society.
He first appeared as his alter ego ‘Aaron Davis’ in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming‘ where he mentions that he has a nephew, which is a subtle nod to the fact that Miles does exist in the MCU.
This theory was further solidified when Electro let out a random about a “black Spider-Man somewhere out there”.
Andrew Garfield And Tobey Maguire As Peter Parker!
Yup, there it is. If the MCU had the potential to bring back two Spider-Men that defined many people’s childhood, you might have forgotten what ‘Into the Spider-Verse’ already accomplished.
But it is in the sequel that confirms the connectivity of these two versions in the night scale of things. When Miguel is explaining how each Spider-Man must face the situation of losing a captain in his journey, we see 3D projections of different Spider-Men mourning beside the dead body of a captain, including Andrew Garfield’s version from the 2012 Marc Webb-directed film.
Not only that. We also see the moment of death for Uncle Ben being played for Tobey Maguire as well when Peter B. Parker is explaining how Uncle Ben played an important role in defining Spider-Man as our friendly neighborhood.
The Return Of The Spectacular Spider-Man
This was an extremely nostalgic moment for me. I used to watch almost every Spider-Man animated series on Cartoon Network back when I saw it as a kid. Although, I don’t know why the makers decided to discontinue the series.
But seeing that version vibes again with my kid-self by having Josh Keaton back in this movie, even for those 10 seconds where he joins in the discussion to make Miles understand the importance of loss in his journey, my heart started racing.
That is what I love about the Spider-Verse. It gives equal importance to every single version of the web-slinger from every single media.
The Insomniac PS4 Spider-Man
Another Spider-Man that makes an appearance in the Spider-Man society scene is the Insomniac PS4 game version. He is seen interacting with Miguel O’Hara/Spider-Man 2099’s AI ‘LYLA’. The game received rave reviews from critics and audiences alike, so it is only fair to give this version the deserved recognition.
The Classic 60s Spider-Man
After his appearance in the hilarious mid-credit from the first movie, it seems that O’Hara did manage to convince the Classic Spider-Man to join the Spider Society.
In one of the standout sequences of Across the Spider-Verse, we see the Classic Spider-Men making an appearance as he, along with the entire Spider society, chasing Miles as he is escaping from the headquarters.
Miles’ Roommate, Ganke
People who have played the Spider-Man Miles Morales videogame who be familiar with the role of Miles’ roommate, Ganke. In the game, he acts as an important ally who is aids Miles by building his Spider technology.
However, in this film, we don’t see him playing that role on Miles’ journey as Spider-Man. The makers even decided to give a nod to MCU’s Ned, Peter Parker’s best friend, by stating that Ganke is not his ‘guy in the chair’, which is a direct reference to Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Playing A Spider-Man Video Game Within A Spider-Man Movie
I’m not kidding when I say that the experience of watching this movie was way too overwhelming and trippy. Talking about this same scene, fans would briefly be able to observe that Ganke is playing the PS4 Spider-Man game as Miles enters the room after his fight with Spot.
In the scene where Miles is escaping from the Spider Society headquarters, we see him being blocked by 3D projections of various villains from Spider-Man’s rogue gallery, one of them being Doc Ock from the Sam Raimi universe played by Alfred Molina. The 3D projection utters the line ‘Hello, Peter’, from his appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
The Artwork For Various Universes
Both the Spider-Verse films boast some tremendous animation styles we have ever seen in the movie business. However, with Across the Spider-Verse, the makers really out with this one.
In the film, we see Gwen’s universe given a touch of paint, in comparison to the classic comic book illustration of Miles’ universe. If we take the climax into consideration, the artwork stands there as well.
The details are so well placed that some keen observers in the theatres would notice the distinction between Earth-42 and Earth-1610. That observation could be enough to make someone realize the final twist in the story before it is revealed. Nonetheless, the staging and writing made the experience worth it.
Miguel O’Hara: ‘The Caped Blusader’
This reference was probably an acknowledgment to all superhero fans in general, disregarding their preferences over Marvel or DC. In the film, when Gwen meets Miguel O’Hara she asks his superhero name.
She makes a few guesses, one being ‘Blue Panther’, a nod to another famous Marvel character (do I really need to write his name down for you to understand?).
Not only that, she even mentions ‘The Caped Blusader’. Superhero fans might be aware of the fact that Batman from the DC comics also goes by the alias of ‘The Caped Crusader’ in his universe.
Doctor Strange And The Nerd From Earth- 19999
Another direct MCU reference made in Across the Spider-Verse was when a frustrated Miguel states how the multiverse went haywire due to the actions of Doctor Strange and Peter Parker played by Tom Holland in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
In that film, Peter and Strange’s attempt to erase Spider-Man’s true identity caused a break in the multiverse, bringing two different Spider-Men and villains from different universes into theirs.
Similar to its predecessor, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse centers on young heroes learning how to use their special skills to improve the world. However, it transpires that a gifted young kid was involved in creating one of the movie’s most enjoyable scenes.
The team of film contacted 14-year-old Preston Mutanga to see if he was interested in working on the project after he recreated the first teaser for Across the Spider-Verse with Legos.
It was a wonderful fit because they had previously decided to include a sequence made of Legos as a reference to writer-producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s previous work as directors of The Lego Movie.
The Spot In The Venom-Verse
The appearance of The Spot stealing Venomint gum from Mrs. Chen’s convenience shop serves as confirmation that Venom is, in fact, acknowledged and included in Sony’s Spider-Verse.
Naturally, this means that there is a strong possibility that Sony and Marvel Studios will incorporate both universes in the upcoming films Avengers: Secret Wars and Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse, which will feature multiple iterations of the characters engaged in conflict to save their respective universes.