Written by Henry Chesebro, Staff Writer
His name is Miles Morales. For the past year, he’s been his universe’s one and only Spider-Man. While webbing up bad guys and swinging through the city may be going great, he still struggles with growing up and what his parents would think if he could only tell them who he is.
Everything takes a sudden shift when Miles runs into the Spot, a mysterious new villain who can open up holes through space and has a personal score to settle with him. Miles soon reunites with Gwen Stacy. The two of them team up with a Spider-society, a team of countless spider people from different dimensions, in order to track down the Spot.
The movie is filled with even more flashy visuals than the first, layering different versions of animation, from 2-D to animation similar to a painting to very intensive comic book design. On top of that, much of the movie is centered around action scenes where everything seems to shift almost instantly. It’s the kind of movie where if you blink at the wrong time, you might miss something important.
Throughout the movie, we see numerous well written characters, both familiar from the first one and brand new in this movie. Across the Spider-Verse continues the themes of family and Miles’ search for identity, naturally building on the first one and not shying away from going deeper into the relationships between characters.
Major spoilers begin here:
While Across the Spider-Verse is a wild comic book movie, at its deepest, it’s a story of family and growing up. We see Miles struggling with his parents, who misunderstand some of his actions and lovingly ground him. Unlike many other movies in modern Hollywood, we don’t see the parents’ actions of punishing their child as a hindrance, but as a way of them truly showing that they care for Miles.
While Miles’ growing up arc is ultimately him individuating from his parents and his parents letting go of control, there’s still emphasis on the impact that they had on him growing up. Even though Miles struggles with having unity with them, he still chooses to stick by them. In the end, he even goes against the wishes of the Spider-society to protect his dad and holds onto his parents’ encouragement in order to keep on moving, even when everyone else seems against him. Late in the movie, we see a scene where Gwen Stacy runs into Miles’ parents, telling both of them that Miles is missing, but saying that he loves them more than they could imagine.
In the end, this movie was even more adrenalin to take in than the first and it was cool to see how each of the characters’ lives continued after the original comic animated movie. This is the sort of movie that any long time Spider-Man or Marvel fan would enjoy. I’m certainly excited to see where they’re going to go with the final part of the trilogy and, ultimately, it’s a great breath of fresh air to see a big, flashy superhero movie that still promotes the importance of family in the midst of all of the web slinging action.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is rated PG for sequences of animated action violence, some language, and thematic elements.
Henry Chesebro is a Creative Writing Major originally from Colorado. In his free time, he spends time with friends, reads, draws, and writes fiction.