Miles Morales

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Review

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse continues what Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse began in 2018. The story of Miles Morales’ adventures with another universe version of Gwen Stacy continues with a bigger threat, coming from one of the weirdest Spider-Man villains: The Spot, and a more mysterious adventure thanks to the inclusion of Spider-Man 2099 and a group of Spider-Men and Spider-Women from multiple universes coming together to stop a bigger threat. This creates one of the best follow-ups to a Spider-Man movie in decades.

Across the Spider-VerseTitle: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Production Company: Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Marvel Entertainment, Arad Productions, Lord Miller Productions, & Pascal Pictures
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Releasing
Directed by: Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, & Justin K. Thompson
Produced by: Avi Arad, Amy Pascal, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, & Christina Steinberg
Written by: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, & David Callaham
Starring: Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Brian Tyree Henry, Luna Lauren Vélez, Jake Johnson, Jason Schwartzman, Issa Rae, Karan Soni, Daniel Kaluuya, & Oscar Isaac
Based on: Characters by Marvel Comics
Release dates: June 2, 2023
Running time: 140 minutes
Rating: PG

Spider-Man 2099



Story Summary – SPOILERS

Click to read story summary
On Earth-65, Gwen Stacy is struggling to live up to the expectations of her police captain father, who does not know that she is Spider-Woman. Years prior, Gwen accidentally killed her best friend Peter Parker while he was mindlessly rampaging as the Lizard, and the police have been hunting her ever since. One night, Gwen goes to the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan after hearing reports of an intruder, only to run into a version of the Vulture that comes from an Italian Renaissance-themed alternate universe. Spider-People Miguel O’Hara and Jessica Drew arrive using portal-generating watches and help Gwen subdue the Vulture. Gwen is confronted on the scene by her father and reveals her identity to him. Distraught at this revelation, he attempts to arrest her. She escapes through a dimensional portal with the others after Miguel begrudgingly grants her membership in the Spider-Society.

In Brooklyn on Earth-1610, sixteen months after the destruction of the Alchemax collider, Miles Morales is adapting to being Spider-Man while missing Gwen and struggling to live up to his parent’s expectations. While heading to a parent-teacher evaluation, he encounters the Spot, a scientist whose body was infused with portals after the Alchemax collider explosion. Blaming Miles for his dilemma, the Spot brings Miles to Alchemax and reveals that the spider that bit Miles came from another universe when the Spot was testing the collider. He then accidentally transports himself into a void, where he learns to travel to other universes that contain the Alchemax collider so he can use them to empower himself.

Gwen travels to Earth-1610 and reconnects with Miles, though she is secretly tracking the Spot across dimensions. Miles secretly watches Gwen trace the Spot, after which Jessica instructs Gwen to leave Miles behind. Gwen opens a portal, which Miles follows through to Mumbattan, India, on Earth-50101. They encounter Spider-Men Pavitr Prabhakar and Hobie Brown before confronting the Spot, who successfully absorbs the power of that world’s collider. Miles is struck with a vision of his father dying at the hands of the Spot before the Spot escapes. In the ensuing destruction of the collider, Miles saves the police captain father of Pavitr’s girlfriend. However, Mumbattan then begins falling apart from the disruption of a “canon event”. Members of the Spider-Society arrive to assess the damage of the dimensional anomaly, while Miles, Gwen, and Hobie are sent to their headquarters on Earth-928, where hundreds of Spider-Man variants reside in a massive complex. They meet up with Miguel and are joined by Peter B. Parker and his daughter Mayday. Miguel explains how each Spider-Man’s story contains “canon events”, such as the death of a police captain close to Spider-Man, and that straying from those events threatens the fabric of the multiverse.

Miles realizes that the death of his father, who is set to be promoted to police captain in two days, is a canon event. He argues with Miguel, who imprisons him. However, Hobie helps Miles break loose, then uses a portal to escape the Spider-Society. Miguel orders all of the Spider-People to apprehend Miles, resulting in a long, frenzied chase through the complex and surrounding city. Miguel eventually pins Miles down and tells him that he is the original anomaly, was never supposed to become Spider-Man, and that world the spider that bit him came from has no Spider-Man. Miles flees and with the help of Spider-Woman Margo Kess, returns to what he believes is his home dimension. Seeing Gwen as a liability, Miguel ejects her from the Spider-Society and sends her back to her universe. Gwen reconciles with her father, who has decided to resign as police captain. Realizing that his resignation is evidence that canon can be safely violated, Gwen decides to aid Miles, leaving Earth-65 with a bootleg portal watch Hobie left for her.

As Miles arrives back in his apartment, he reveals to his mother that he is Spider-Man, whom she doesn’t recognize. After encountering his deceased uncle Aaron Davis and learning that his father has already died, Miles realizes that he is on Earth-42, the homeworld of the spider that bit him. Aaron interrogates Miles and is soon joined by the Miles of Earth-42, who has become the Prowler. Miguel, Jessica, and Spider-Man Ben Reilly travel to Earth-1610 in search of Miles just as the Spot arrives and begins his attack. After speaking with Miles’ parents on Earth-1610, Gwen assembles a team of Spider-People, consisting of Peter B., Mayday, Pavitr, Hobie, Margo, Spider-Man Noir, Peni Parker, and Spider-Ham, to find Miles.

Story Review – Some Vague Spoilers

First of all, it is REALLY hard to review something that is only one half of the whole story, but what a first half of a story Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse is. While Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse starts off in the same vein as Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse did back in 2018, you quickly realize that Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse is not a Miles Morales story from the get-go, it’s a Gwen Stacy story.

Yep, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse is a Gwen Stacy story and it’s all the better for it. Having the breakout character from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse become the focus of the second of three films was a good move as not only did we get to see Gwen get more character development in the minds of the people who might not have read the three series worth of comics she already has, but also seeing a lot of that lore comes into play on the screen where it seems Marvel only cares about these days.

A huge part of this comes from the relationship that we see between Gwen and her Father, who doesn’t know about his daughter’s double life while also being on the hunt for Spider-Woman due to her involvement in the night their universe’s Peter Parker died in. This strain, in the beginning, comes into play from the opening credits, with Gwen showing the strain of her double life and also lying to her Father, with the tension between the two growing slowly over time in the opening act, then also coming to a good solution in the closing act of the film. Not only is this shown through words and actions, but masterful artwork of the backgrounds and effects.

Things with Miles Morales are still interesting too, as he isn’t exactly pushed into the background in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse, but more used as the audience coming along for the ride vehicle. Miles’ life isn’t going too great either, with him having to lie to his parents about what he is doing as Spider-Man while having no one to share the strain with… Yes, even Ganke, his “guy in the chair” in other universes, isn’t helpful here. When Miles learns about Gwen and her involvement in the multiverse Spider group, he thinks he would have others who understand him, but that doesn’t end up being the case.

The multiverse Spider group is led by Miguel O’Hara, a version of Spider-Man 2099 who has a troubled past that makes him see Miles as a problem more than another possible member of the group, leading to one of the most over-the-top chase scenes in recent movie history with so many Spider-Men, Women, and others that you will want to buy Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse on 4K and go frame by frame during these moments to see how many different versions that there are.




  • Shameik Moore as Miles Morales / Spider-Man
    Moore returns to the role that he did in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse, diving back into things like it was 2018 all over again. This time around we are working with a more confident version of the Miles character as it’s been over a year since he became Spider-Man. This confidence is shown in two ways: One a defiant teenager which puts Miles at heads with his parents, and also a more aggressive Spider-Man lost in his own powers thinking that he can save everyone. While this is a normal stage of confidence to see on both sides, it comes off as a bit boring to watch at times. However, this isn’t Miles’ story to be told and that shows extremely well from the beginning, but by the end, you see how much one change has affected Miles’ life and the lives of others in multiple universes.
  • Hailee Steinfeld as Gwen Stacy / Spider-Woman
    Steinfeld, much like Moore, jumps right back into the same role she had in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse in 2018 with it sounding like there was no time off between movies. Her performance is spot on, which is even more enhanced due to the emotional weight and tone she has added to her character 5 years later. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse is more a Gwen story than anything else, with her being the opening narrator and the central character point for most of the film. This hits hard in the “feels” when she is confronted by her Father multiple times throughout the story. You can really feel Gwen’s emotional strain and conflicting stances as both a daughter and Ghost-Spider/Spider-Women through character animation as well as the voice acting. A huge improvement from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse.
  • Oscar Isaac as Miguel O’Hara / Spider-Man 2099
    I have no issue with Isaac as Miguel, his performance is angry and menacing, which is the idea. What I have an issue is is how Miguel is written in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse. This version of Miguel is driven by a moment of his choosing and places himself, because of the outcome of that decision, as the only one who is in control of how the web of life is followed. I understand that the key component to the Spider-Man origin is grief, but the way that Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse has Miguel handle this grief is just horrible and makes him into a secondary villain for no reason other than he made a very dumb decision. I came into Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse with the hope that we might have something more to why Miguel turns into a jackass who is aggressive to Miles, but what we got was not worth paying money to see. A waste of a good idea and a good character.
  • Jake Johnson as Peter B. Parker / Spider-Man
    He’s back! Another returning character from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse makes his way back for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse. The big change is that this time Peter is a Father himself, becoming the “slap in the face” version of Spider-Man that we know we could have gotten if One More Day/Brand New Day never happened, also known as Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows universe, where Peter marries MJ and they have a daughter called MayDay, also known as Amazing Spider-Girl from the MC2 universe. Knowing that this is the version of Spider-Man that I thought should be a thing in the comics is treated as the “lame Spider-Man” is another slap in the face, this time from Sony and Marvel. The character is good, and I love the revelation he gives Miles for why he is who he is, but it’s just a reminder of something that still hurts me personally as a Spider-Man comic fan.
  • Issa Rae as Jessica Drew / Spider-Woman
    She’s here, she’s black, she rides a motorcycle, she’s pregnant… That’s it. In a movie where diversity is all over the place, it’s a real shame that Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse has taken a character that ticks so many boxes and just shoves her into the background. We get a great introduction for Spider-Woman with her coming out of a portal and kicking Vulture in the face from the seat of her motorcycle, then nothing. She thinks Gwen should join Miguel’s group of Spider-People, and then nothing. She appears a few times to back up Miguel and his decisions, but she ultimately does nothing at all in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse. I’m surprised that more people aren’t up in arms over what they did to this version of the Jessica Drew character… But I guess the Twitter mob had other things to complain about.
  • Karan Soni as Pavitr Prabhakar / Spider-Man India
    Much like Jessica Drew, this version of Spider-Man is one of those characters who you would think would get more time in the spotlight, but outside of learning of his origin and a single, but funny traffic joke, he is pointless. Another shame in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse because I remember reading the Trade Paper Back of the original Spider-Man India and loving that version of the character so much that I would have not only loved a follow-up series but actually got excited when I heard that he was in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse, even if his costume was changed from the original. Again, a shame that we don’t get to spend much time with this version of Spider-Man, something that this whole movie could have done more of in general instead of rushing through everything that didn’t involve Miles or Gwen’s stories directly.
  • Daniel Kaluuya as Hobart “Hobie” Brown / Spider-Punk
    Another character who looked cool and unique, but ultimately dropped in and out of the story too quickly. Much like Jessica Drew, Hobie got a cool introduction, talked a big game about disrupting the system, got a couple of good jokes in, then disappeared into the background till the last minute where he, from a distance, helps form the group that will be the focus of Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-verse. This hurts the most as Hobie is actually the standout character in all of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse because of his 1970 punk rock art look for his character, but also being an “agent of chaos” in his own words. Hobie might get more to do with Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-verse, but I hope this wasn’t the end of his story as he, and we, deserve more.
  • Shea Whigham as George Stacy
    I was not prepared for the emotional journey that we would get when it comes to George Stacy. Shea Whigham does an amazing job at playing a Father and a Cop who is having to choose between his family and the line of duty. When he confronts Gwen as Spider-Woman after the Vulture fight, discovering his daughter is the “criminal” he has been chasing for years is just as shattering for the audience as it is for the character. You will really be drawn into the moment thanks to hearing Whigham’s low tones, dipped deep in sorrow as he attempts to arrest his daughter, a decision he would come to regret through the course of the time in the movie, leading to an emotional high when all is revealed and the two actually talk things out as Father and daughter. A really good role here with the addition of amazing writing that really tugs at the heartstrings.
  • Brian Tyree Henry as Jefferson Davis
    Miles’s father is still a barrel of laughs at times in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse, but at the same time you can see him being tougher on Miles than he needs to be. You’ll notice very quickly that a lot of red flags are popping up around the Jefferson character and can probably guess what is ultimately going to happen to him come to Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-verse. That being said, Henry does his best with a tough role this time around, with fewer jokes happening than he had in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse, but more of the life lesson that teenagers need to hear about responsibilities that they don’t hear in real life these days. The change is not that great, but you know it’s needed with what is possible to come.
  • Luna Lauren Vélez as Rio Morales
    Miles’s mother is the real star of the show, getting more time in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse, than she did in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse. A great highlight is one that I mentioned during my plot review above, where she gives Miles “the business” in Spanish when she hears about Miles’ grades in Spanish. In some way, even those of us who do not have a Latin Mother will understand the situation, and wonder where La Chancla is and when it’s going to hit… We all know you were thinking that during this scene. Not only is Rio passionate when it comes to Miles doing the right thing, but she is also a mother who is thinking she is losing her child, and that her role as a mother is coming to an end. Something that a lot of mothers will understand, but also their children will one day experience. These emotional moments are a highlight for a very side-story character.
  • Andy Samberg as Ben Reilly / Scarlet Spider
    I guess you can’t have a Spider-Verse and not have some sort of Ben Reilly reference in there somewhere. This version comes off as a joke, a very emotional and depressed version of the character that is haunted by memories that are not his own. This is a deep dig at the Clone Saga comic era and the motivation of just about every version of Ben that has come afterward. Samberg does well portraying the woe and misery that haunts Ben when he is first introduced, then goes the extra mile with the over-the-top 1990s-era narration that was common in comics at that time. He’s a joke, but a well-done joke.
  • Jason Schwartzman as Jonathan Ohnn / The Spot
    Wow, this was a surprise. As someone who has been reading Amazing Spider-Man for around 30 years, I’ve always found The Spot one of the DUMBEST Spider-Man villains to ever be created. Though his power of creating portals is extremely overpowered, the character’s personality of a lame scientist who doesn’t have a clue about himself or his powers comes off as lame and stupid. Many times The Spot has been shown in Spider-Man media, he is both overpowered but dumb, with his own stupidity leading to his own downfall. With Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse, this changes up slightly as once The Spot understands how lame he is and that he needs more power,  thus his driving force is not only revenge but to get enough power to defeat him. Once this happens, The Spot becomes a real threat, with the power to do exactly what he wants to do, even at the cost of his own sanity. These changes actually move The Spot from a D-List villain to one of the most formidable foes Spider-Man, of any universe, could go up against. Love this change, and Schwartzman plays both the goofy Spot and the ultimate threat versions just as they are needed by the script. Excellent work for all involved here.

Miles Morales

What Worked

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse is an amazing film. From the use of different styles of artwork for the backgrounds and characters to the writing, acting, and everything else. Amazing. I really don’t know how to talk about Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse without just calling it amazing. For the first time in a long time, I walked out of the cinema with three thoughts on my mind:

  1. I want to see this again
  2. I want the sequel NOW, not in a year’s time
  3. I want to buy this on 4K TODAY

Even my friend Will, who I saw this with, said the same three things to me and he isn’t the biggest Spider-Man fan. We even had the same points of praise for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse. The main one is the use of the different art styles. Miles’ universe has the same bright but realistic art style as Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse, while Gwen’s universe has a more muted color pallet, mimicking her outfit (No, it’s got nothing to do with the fan theory that this universe’s Gwen is Trans. Stop trying to find hidden meanings to prove your head-canon. Gwen is more likely an LGBTQIA+/Trans ally more than anything as some of us straight-cis people are), while Hobie and The Vulture are seen with some very interesting and unique character designs and art styles that mimic their home universes. Hobie has a very 1970s Sex Pistols art style that works with his UK Punk style, and The Vulture, who comes from the Leonardo DaVinci era having, the same art style as DaVinci’s design sketches. Even in some scenes like the “Spider-Lobby”, you can see multiple art styles going on for some of the Spider-Man characters used there, including standouts of the 1999s Spider-Man Unlimited version of the character appearing, same with 2008s Spectacular Spider-Man appearing too in his proper art style, to showing the events from universe ASM-90, the death of Captain Stacy, shown with the panels from, you guessed it, Amazing Spider-Man Issue 90. Even the Symbiote suits are represented in a lot of different versions… And yes people, the live-action versions appear too, though slightly stylized to fit with how they are shown.

But it’s not just the styles that the artist uses to enhance the experience of watching Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse. There are moments, both small and big when the art is used to enhance the mood. An example of this happens during an early scene where Miles and his parents are in a meeting with a career advisor at his school, and upon learning that Miles is getting a B in Spanish, his mother does a little snap and a little Puerto Rican flag appear above her fingers before she flies into a rant, in Spanish, at Miles. This small addition just emphasizes the trouble Miles is in at this stage. A larger moment is near the end of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse, where Gwen finally admits that she is Spider-Woman to her Father (See image below), along with a speech about how much pressure she is under and how she is confused. When her Father accepts her and the two embrace, the whole scene washes out to almost perfect white, with just enough detail in the background to show where they are, but instead making Gwen and her Father stand out for that one moment. Masterful.

Things don’t stop there. I still want to talk about The Spot, the D-list Spider-Man villain who becomes a real threat here. In the beginning, we see The Spot as a low-level robber, using his abilities to try and rip off an ATM in one of Miles’ local shops. This fight is done in such a way that makes The Spot’s mistakes come off as calculated but silly at the same time. The revelation from The Spot’s fight with Spider-Man leads him down the path of wanting more power, which is the catalyst of the “ticking time bomb” of these two movies. Once The Spot gets more power, the animation used is as erratic as The Spot himself, showing some amazing use of footage manipulation that would make any sci-fi fan blush. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse took The Spot from a silly villain who would kick his own ass to being a multiversal threat, leaving things off at a point where you want to see the next film just to see how everyone is going to deal with him.

The Spot

What didn’t work

There is very little that doesn’t work in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse. Though if pushed I would say that Miguel’s motivation for not only making his multiverse of Spider-Men to patrol and control the multiverse is pretty basic and does more damage to the character than good, leading to Miguel being a villain for no good reason other than his grief is so deep that it removes him from everything that makes Spider-Man Spider-Man. Miguel doesn’t do jokes, he is ultra serious (Even out-emoing Ben Reilly, who is meant to be an over-emotional joke character), and gets violent for no good reason. I really hoped that because Miguel was more of a vampire/spider hybrid than a normal Spider-Man that we would get a story where somewhere behind the scene we would have the Inheritors, a group of god-level beings who feast on the essence of Spider-Totems (aka Spider-Man of different universes), and they had Miguel under their control… Nope! Miguel is a regretful dick… That’s it.

The other thing that I think could have been done better in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse would be The Spot. While Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse did very well in making The Spot look like a threat that needs to be taken care of… eventually… We spend too much of the movie focusing on Gwen and the Spider-Patrol group instead of looking for a way to stop The Spot, who is left right in the perfect place to destroy everything and has no one to stop him. I know that they will address this in Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-verse next year, but after such a good start and build-up, I think too much of the story was taken from him and given to people who didn’t need it to create a secondary villain story that just takes over in the wrong way for wrong reasons.

Gwen Stacy


While Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse does have some flaws here and there, I think there is enough good to balance out the bad, making Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse one of the best films to hit cinemas in a long time. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse isn’t bogged down in messaging about some political expression or something like that, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse is just a good Spider-Man/Gwen Stacy film that sets up something bigger and better to come. While you do walk away wanting more, at least this time we know that there is more to come. Since Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse was a great work of both storytelling and art, I’m happy to give this one a 100% recommendation to go see it as soon as possible in the cinema with a big bucket of popcorn with extra butter.


Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse comes as close to a masterpiece as a Sony/Marvel film can get. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse is a masterful blend of storytelling and artwork that creates multiple worlds of beauty and action. It’s hard to praise Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse without giving away plot points or character moments, all of which I would highly recommend going to see yourself… I mean it… GO NOW!!


  • Amazing use of different art styles
  • Masterful emotional writing
  • I need a 4K version just for the Spider-Lobby scenes


  • Miguel’s Backstory and villain motivation
  • The Spot being left alone for too long
  • Jessica Drew, Pavitr Prabhakar, and Hobie are being underused