The Multiverse Could Be Bad News for Sony’s Spider-Man
Multiverse crossovers are a common feature in Marvel comics, but they’re not as common on the silver screen. Hassan has discovered Spider-ManSome of the most successful hopping dimensions. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-VerseTom Holland’s Spidey won an Academy Award and is now ready for a multiverse adventure. Spider-Man has no way home. This will see Sam Raimi’s characters return to the screen.
Many Spider-Man fans hope that the series will embrace the Spider-Verse, like Spider-Man 2: No Way Home. There are many exciting possibilities, such as the ability to jump between completely different art styles and different versions of your player character with different abilities. There are some issues with the games focusing on the multiverse as the Spider-Man movies did. This could limit the types of Spider-Man stories that they can tell in the future.
The MCU faced the greatest challenge when it introduced Peter Parker’s version. It had to fit him in the world that Marvel had created when they acquired the rights. Spider-Man, the MCU’s Spider-Man, grew up in New York City, which was already invaded by aliens but saved by the Avengers. This is a place where superheroes are already well-known and where the classic comic trope about the secret identity was thrown out of the window in Iron Man 1.
Captain America: Civil War chose to forgo Spider-Man’s origin story and early career entirely. Tony Stark scouted Spider-Man after Uncle Ben had died.
After his character was no longer a “friendly neighborhood Spider-Man”, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man only appeared in the MCU. Spider-Man: Homecoming made many great choices that helped Peter see his heroism’s value in everyday high school life. However, the first MCU Spider-Man movie saw Peter start in Stark-made suits and an AI assistant rather than the basic suit of Raimi movies. Although he lost his suit privileges in the movie, the impact on the character’s beginning point was still striking.
The Spider-Man Universes
Peter left New York in the MCU movies, and now he will travel between dimensions. There’s the potential for some great moments, the return of Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin and Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus for a start.
However, the MCU is now able to tell smaller Spider-Man stories that focus on a local hero. Peter’s role as Tony Stark’s protege leaves him without some of the comic book classics in the Raimi movies. Peter, the MCU, is not a photographer for J. Jonah Jameson, and it is unlikely that he will deliver pizza to help him make ends meet.
Unless No Way Home ends with Peter trapped in another dimension, which seems unlikely, the Marvel movies won’t be able to return to the smaller-scope Spider-Man stories and the love they have for the character. While there is nothing wrong with multiverse Spider-Man stories in general, each Spider-Man story that involves Peter web-slinging through multiple realities goes beyond the point of no return in terms of the stories written about them in the future.
Sony Spider-Man games contain many Easter eggs that hint at other heroes in the universe. For example, Dr Sanctorum inhabits the Sanctum Sanctorum. The map of New York can be used to locate Strange and the Avengers tower. These are only background details. The games are the only mainstream version, and the characters’ stories are set in an MCU-style world that features superheroes.
There is no way home.
Sony’s Spider-Man is not like the MCU. You can still tell stories about Peter Parker struggling to put on a costume and fight local villains. Tom Holland’s version of Peter Parker is great but is also unlikely to tell that kind of story again. Although Peter Parker in Insomniac may have graduated high school by the time the first game is set, he remains true to his humble roots.
Although Spider-Man stories are far from grounded, Sony’s Spider-Man video games offer one of few mainstream Spider-Man stories that call back to the relative reality of older comics and Raimi movies, compared to the MCU. Raimi’s Spider-Man struggled to pay rent while the MCU’s Spider-Man was able to self-build nanotech Spider-Man suits, thanks in part to a billionaire. Both the scale of the story and Peter’s position in the world are totally different.
Sony also establishes in the games that Miles Morales and Peter Parker exist in one universe. Miles Morales was originally introduced in the comics after the death of one reality’s Peter Parker and would meet an alternate universe Peter in a later story.
The Miles of Into Spider-Verse also sees Peter Parker’s universe killed. Sony offers the best of both worlds: it can tell high-school stories about Spider-Man through Miles. It can tell stories through Peter about a slightly older Spider-Man without killing the original or adding a multiverse element.
Although it is possible that the future Spider-Man games could involve reality-warping by Mysterio, if Sony decides to make a full-on multiverse Spider-Man video game, using the worlds from the previous two games as a launching point, it may struggle to return. The title of the next MCUmovie makes it clear that once the multiverse has been opened, there is no returning home.