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Intricate, Thoughtful and Visually Mezmorizing!

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is what every filmmaker should strive for.

By Valerie Cameron

Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse

Rated: PG

Kids & Family/Action/Animation

Sony Pictures

Welcome to the reason you need to head to the theater!

In 2018 the world was in awe of Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse. The unique animation, exceptional soundtrack and reclus abandon set this superhero movie apart from the rest. We met Miles Morales for the first time on the big screen, he along with a gaggle of other Spider folk truly proved that anyone can be a super hero. I was so impressed and captured by the story and the film that I got my first of many Spider-Man tattoos, Miles Morales is forever with me.

Let's take a minute to jump back "Into the Spider-Verse".

At the time "Into the Spider-Verse" was released I was going through some changes of my own. I was going through a divorce, and the person that I thought I was my entire life was put into question. Could I make this transformation? Where did I belong? Who was I?

I know it is crazy to try and compare myself to a fictional, animated, black male super-hero.....but like I said in a Facebook post recently, sometimes we see what we need to see in a movie. I cried while watching this movie in the press screening. It was what I needed. For the past four years I have used the soundtrack to help me get through my rough days, workouts at the gym and sometimes just to dance in my kitchen. In my opinion "Into the Spider-Verse" healed a lot of people all around the world for many different reasons. Never underestimate the power of a movie.

I knew I was going to love Miles before I even met him because he is based on a real-life person that I already admire, Donal Glover. You heard me! The Actor, musician, director, comedian, writer, producer and now superhero, Donald McKinley Glover Jr aka Childish Gambino inspired Miles Morales. Back before Andrew Garfield was locked to star in the reboot of Spider-Man, Glover had open stated he would like to play the part. There was even an opening scene of "Community", the television show he was staring in at the time, where you see Glover in a bedroom with a Spider-Man shirt on. #donald4spiderman moves quickly through the social media world and thus caught the

eye of comic creators Brian Michael Benis and Sara Pichelli. They were working on Ultimate Spider-Man (Graphic Novel) at the time and thought Glover would be a great Miles Morales. The first appearance of Miles was debuted in Ultimate Fallout #4.

Let's take a look at the rest of Glovers Spider-Man time line:

-2014: voiced Miles in the series Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors.

-2017: Cameo in Spider-Man: Homecoming as Aaron Davis, Miles's uncle.

-Coming Soon: Glover will team up with Marvel and Sony to star and produce a movie based on Spider-Man villain Hypno-Hustler.

Glover's cameo in Spider-Man: Homecoming hinted at Miles's existence in the MCU, and set fans on fire (including myself). We have not seen that connection in the MCU yet, but we can wait and hope! Of course, by this point, Glover was obviously too old to play Miles, but his appearance as Miles's uncle was enough for me and other fans to get excited.

Then when we really got to meet Aaron Davis aka The Prowler in Into the Spider-Verse, it got all too real. Since then, there have been dictions from the studio, creator and Glover that he could reprise his role on the big screen, but no promises as of yet.

Let's jump back to the task at hand: Across the Spider-Verse

Like many people I was excited and a little bit scared when the announcement of the second movie came out. How will live up to the best movie of 2018? How do you live up to one the best Spider-Man movies ever made? You totally up your game, throw caution to the wind with a more "no rules" animated piece of art.

Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse is animation, storytelling, performance art, filmmaking and living art all at once. There is so much to see that sometimes your eyes and brain have a hard time keeping up. From start to finish the second movie in this trilogy is some of the best filmmaking I have ever seen and yes, I'm talking about an animated movie. In most Marvel movies, each character has their own piece of music that is played when they are in battle or on screen, even the Avengers have their own group song. In Across the Spider-Verse each character has their own color pallet, art style and feel.

Character connection is another way this movie franchise shines. Yes, we have Miles, his mother, father and uncle, but we also have all of the Multiverse spider entities. In Across the Spider-Verse we get to know Gwen Stacy aka Ghost-Spider or Spider-Gwen a little bit better. In the first movie they do a good job getting us connected with Miles and Spider-Man. They introduce us to other spider creatures but focus on the main characters. In this film they bring those side character to the forefront and really instils that anyone can wear the mask, anyone can be Spider-Man. THIS RIGHT HERE IS WHY SPIDER-MAN IS MY FAVORITE. Everyone always asks me. This right here. This movie right here!

List of some of the new Spidey entities in Across the Spider-Verse:

Miguel O’Hara (played by Oscar Issac) is the melodramatic anti-hero from Earth-928 in Across The Spider-Verse. When we are first introduced to him, we learn that he’s the leader of an inter-dimensional effort to wrangle all of the “anomalies” that have escaped to other dimensions. He and Jessica Drew meet Gwen Stacey during a fight and O’Hara takes Gwen under his wing, begrudgingly. His main objective is to keep the Spider-Verse intact because he’s seen first-hand the destabilizing effect of trying to alter the course of events in one dimension.

O’Hara was the first non-White Spider-Man in the Marvel comics when he was introduced to the world in 1992. His story was a bit different from the other Spider-People. O’Hara was the head of genetics at Alchemax and attempted to replicate Spider-Man’s powers. He was addicted to a drug called Rapture and threw himself into his experiments to curb his addiction. When he was experimenting, his coworker sabotaged his machine and his DNA became 50 percent spider. He became Spider-Man 2099 and joined forces with Peter Parker to fight alternate versions of Peter’s most infamous villains.

This is Jessica Drew's first film appearance, she is Spider-Woman of Earth-404 and Marvel’s first pregnant superhero to hit the big screen. She originally shows up to help Gwen and Miguel defeat the version of the Vulture that has appeared on Gwen’s home world of Earth-65. As Miguel’s right-hand Spider-Person, she then convinces him to let Gwen come back with them to Spider-Society headquarters and becomes Gwen’s mentor as she trains with them.

In the Ultimate Marvel comics, Jessica Drew, a character created by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley, is a female clone of Peter Parker who was engineered by Doctor Octopus during the “Clone Saga” storyline. Her character’s pregnancy was introduced in a 2015 issue of Spider-Woman by Dennis Hopeless and Javier Rodriguez.

He is voiced by one of my favorite actors, Daniel Kalyuua, one of my favorite characters, both story wise and animation style, is Hobie Brown, a.k.a. Spider-Punk, is a laid-back, anti-establishment, punk rocker from Earth-138, who dons an electric guitar while fighting villains in Across The Spider-Verse. Gwen brings up Hobie’s name when she catches Miles up about the people she’s met in different dimensions, and he helps the two of them fight The Spot. After the fight, Gwen brings them to the Spider-Man HQ and he delivers some great one-liners.

Spider-Punk is relatively new to the Spider-Verse world. He was first introduced in 2015 as an unhoused youth and was bitten by a radioactive spider that was mutated due to President Norman Osborn’s dumping of toxic waste. He joins forces with Captain Anarchy and Earth-138’s Hulk (Robbie Banner) to fight for freedom against oppressive power structures.

Last but not least, bringing the fun is Pavitr Prabhakar (Karan Soni).

Pavitr’s Mumbattan on Earth-50101 in Across The Spider-Verse is the setting for a major juncture in the new movie’s plot. Gwen travels to this dimension to find The Spot and Miles ends up following her. While there, they meet the fast-talking yet charming Pavitr Prabhakar (voiced by Karan Soni). He helps Gwen, Spider-Punk, and Miles fight The Spot, but while the team is not able to apprehend the villain, Miles disrupts a “canon event,” which could have catastrophic consequences for the Spider-Verse. Pavitr has a lovable, optimistic attitude that make him a great addition to the movie.

In the comics, his character was born in a village that was home to a coveted amulet for which supervillains were searching. Pavitr moves out of his village to Mumbai and when he leaves, the villain Oberoi destroys his home village with everyone in it while looking for the amulet. With this heavy grievance, he seeks the help of a superpowered entity named Master Weaver, who helps him unlock his spider powers. From there, he became the protector of Mumbai.

The way this movie makes such a big deal about Pavitr not getting his canon event makes me think something bigger is coming for him in the next movie, I am both intrigued and scared for what will be coming for Pavitr. Seriously, when i the next movie coming out!!!!?

From the music selections, The casting, the pacing and the incredibly smart story, it's a winner. This is a movie you need and want to see over and over. And please please, see this on the big screen! Have I hyped it enough for you?

I don't get into too many details without spoiling the amazing experience for you. I will say that there are over 250 spider entities in the movie. So many rules are broken and walls are brought down. If you have been a Spider-Man lover since you were a kid, reading all of the comics, watching Saturday morning cartoons and seeing all of the movies, this movie is for you.

Across the Spider-Verse left me speechless. Infact, I am still digesting the film 3 days later. This is the Animated movie of the year and should be in contention for best picture!

Grade A+

*It may be the only A+ I give out this year. There is a high bar set. We will see.

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