Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is clearly not your run-of-the-mill Spider-Man movie. It focuses on Miles Morales, a Spider-Man from another universe who meets up with an older Peter Parker when their dimensions collide. But, as teased in a new trailer, Miles and Peter aren’t the only spider-beings caught up in this crossover.
If you already know the backstories and histories of these Spidey spin-offs, you’re all set. But for those of you who raised an eyebrow once or twice, here are a few short breakdowns of the new spider-people (and one spider-pig).
Gwen Stacy, aka Spider-Gwen
In the mainstream Marvel continuity, Gwen Stacy was one of Peter Parker’s earliest love interests. Unfortunately, she died after the Green Goblin tossed her off a bridge and, in an attempt to save her, Peter accidentally snapped her neck when his webbing suddenly stopped her fall.
This Gwen Stacy, however, comes from an alternate reality where Peter Parker wasn’t the one bitten by a mutated spider – she was. She’s much younger than her main timeline counterpart, and plays drums in a band called the Mary Janes. In her universe she’s known as Spider-Woman, but her comic series (which is excellent, by the way) is titled “Spider-Gwen,” and that’s the name she’s known by to fans.
Spider-Man Noir debuted in a self-titled mini-series published by Marvel in 2009, but he’s shown up in several stories since. He’s a bit rougher around the edges than the Peter Parker we know, as he’s inspired by hardboiled detective stories. (Side note: you can actually play as Spider-Man Noir by unlocking his suit in Spider-Man PS4 (opens in new tab) – check out our Spider-Man PS4 suits (opens in new tab) guide to see how)
Interestingly, Spider-Man Noir in this film is being portrayed by Nicolas Cage. Cage previously played another Marvel hero, Ghost Rider, in both the self-titled 2007 movie and a 2011 sequel. He was also, at one point, slated to play Superman (opens in new tab) in a live-action Tim Burton adaptation – that project never manifested, but Cage did get to play Kal-El in Teen Titans Go! To The Movies.
Along with Spider-Gwen, Peni is the newest member of the spider-family, having only made her debut at the tail end of 2014’s Edge of Spider-Verse comics. She hasn’t seen much action since, but her origin story plays off a lot of mecha anime and manga tropes: she pilots a large robot known as “SP//dr,” which uses a radioactive spider as part of its central processing unit (comics are weird).
In the comics, Peni’s suit closely resembles the Evangelion units from Neon Genesis Evangelion (though much smaller). However, the SP//dr mech seen in this trailer appears a bit less intimidating, more in line with something like D. Va’s mech from Overwatch. It even has digital sunglasses! Deal with it.
Spider-Ham, aka Peter Porker
Undoubtedly the strangest addition to the bunch, Spider-Ham is a cartoon, anthropomorphic pig with all the spider powers you’d expect. He’s goofy and quips just as much as the Peter Parker we know, and is constantly aware of just how weird and silly it is for him to be interacting with three-dimensional beings.
“So, he’s like Porky Pig, but got bitten by a radioactive spider?” you may be asking. Nope! He was a spider who got bitten by a radioactive pig. And the wildest part? He’s not even the only Spider-Ham! There are multiple offshoots, clones, and successors to the name – heck, there’s even a Miles Morhames on Earth-14094. And yes, he knows the marks at the tip of his snout look like eyes. Is that really what you’re going to get hung up on when a 2D, anthropomorphic, talking pig shows up in your universe?
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