Why ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ is the Best Comic Book Sequel

*Warning this article contains spoilers for “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” 

Let’s do this one last time.

After waiting nearly five years for the sequel to “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man has finally returned to the big screen, and it was all worth the wait!  

The previous installment of Spider-Man ended with Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) and the Spider-People from other dimensions shutting down Kingpin’s (Liev Schreiber) dangerous collider, which he intended to use to access other parallel universes. After defeating Kingpin, the heroes returned to their respective dimensions, leaving Miles to embrace his new responsibilities and life all on his own. To much surprise, Ghost-Spider (Hailee Steinfeld), also known as Gwen, found a way to contact him from her dimension.

Picking up from where that movie left off, “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” has Miles and Gwen reuniting once again. Together, they travel through the Multiverse dimension, where Miles first encounters the Spider Society, a team of Spider-People who oversee protecting the Multiverse’s existence. However, when the heroes don’t see eye to eye on how to handle a new threat, Miles finds himself being pitted against the other Spiders. This leads Miles to set out for himself and find a way to protect those he loves the most.

Courtesy of Sony Pictures.

Going into this film, you would think nothing could top the original movie because of its phenomenal storytelling of Miles Morales and detailing of the Spider-Verse. But the creators Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers and Justin K. Thompson somehow found a way to exceed that expectation for the sequel. They expanded more on the story, characters and worlds in a way that added to the franchise yet kept the heart of the original. It was action-packed while simultaneously pulling at the same viewer’s heartstrings which led many to fall in love with the original animated film. For instance, throughout the movie, the audience sees more of Miles’ relationship with his parents and how that dynamic shifted when he became Spider-Man. This part of Miles’s story was told in such a way that it was both emotional and moving to the viewer. Alongside Miles’s story, viewers also got to see more of other Spider-People’s stories and worlds. One notable character was Gwen as the film showed her dimension and told her story of how she became Ghost-Spider. I appreciated the creators incorporating the different Spider-People’s stories and worlds since most comic book adaptations often don’t include those elements in their movies. Having those additional components was delightful because it gave the audience better context and added more depth to the overall story.

Beyond the storytelling, it wouldn’t be a “Spider-Verse” sequel if it didn’t have amazing visual animations. The creators somehow were able to outdo themselves from the first movie and push their creative abilities to forge such a mesmerizing experience for the audience. Each scene had remarkable detailing, from the color to visual effects that immersed viewers into the spider worlds. For instance, there were scenes of Gwen that had shades of blue, pink and green to highlight the emotions she was feeling during conversations with her father that were truly remarkable. Also, seeing elements from the live-action Spider-Man films, such as “The Amazing Spider-Man” and a real-life cameo of Donald Glover, was genuinely incredible. Those real-life segments blended seamlessly with the animation, leaving viewers stunned while watching.

Courtesy of Sony Pictures.

Where the film outshines other comic book adaptations is with its array and detailing of its characters. Throughout the movie, there were characters like the fierce and very pregnant Spider-Woman (Issa Rae), the hilarious Pavitr Prabhakar (Karan Soni), most known as Spider-Man India and the punk rock Spider-Punk (Daniel Kaluuya). These characters each had elements that immersed the audience into their worlds. For example, viewers got to see a glimpse of Spider-Punk’s dimension with his comic book-like animations that followed him wherever he went. These additional pieces added great depth and extraordinary features to the movie. 

Let’s not forget the remarkable Latino representation in this film. I loved how this movie dove into more of Miles’s Puerto Rican background. Seeing the Latino representation in this film filled my face with glee as a Latina. For instance, hearing the characters speaking Spanish without subtitles created a special moment for Latino viewers in the audience where they could only understand. Also, seeing small details like Miles picking up a cake from a panadería (bakery) and having Puerto Rican dishes like pasteles at Miles’s father’s party were terrific. We often don’t get that representation, and seeing it in a Marvel movie created a moving experience.

Overall, this film is a must-watch. The combination of animation, storytelling and representation in this second installment ranks this movie as one of the very best comic book sequels. It will have viewers on the edge of their seats the entire time and also leave them craving more Spiderman at the film’s end. 

“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” is now showing in theaters. 

By Destiny Esparza

Leave a Reply