Miles Morales in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

(Photo credit: Sony Pictures)

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is a banger of a sequel! After watching it last weekend at the theaters, I can say it was way more entertaining than any live-action superhero movie or show Disney/Marvel or DC could ever produce. It was worth my time, energy, and money to witness it. 

Two months ago, writer-producer Christopher Miller said in an Empire article, “People who’ve seen Across…have told us that it feels like The Empire Strikes Back of the Spider-Verse franchise.” As of now, I can believe that. This is a sequel that continues Into the Spider-Verse and expands on it in ways that made sense, carries a lot of emotional weight, is action-packed, and intentionally leaves viewers hanging and salivating for the next installment while also being a great standalone movie that demands to be replayed over and over again. 

Miles Morales shoots webs while sliding down a metal surface
(Photo credit: Sony Pictures)

One year after destroying the Alchemax collider in the previous movie, Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) on Earth-1610 has been Brooklyn’s one and only Spider-Man. Not only is he a web head but he is dealing with growing teenage pains and education; the usual-mundane woes of life. He misses the Spider-friends that he had in the previous film, especially Gwen Stacy aka Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld). As a new threat unfolds against the fabric of the Spider-Verse, Morales discovers the existence of a group of people known as the Spider-Society to deal with every Spider-Man-related problem across parallel universes. He is also faced with major revelations that come into conflict with ringleader Miguel O’Hara aka Spider-Man 2099 (Oscar Issac) and those who follow him. 

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I’ve had some time to think about it and as I’ve written before, this is the best Spider-Man movie ever made. Period. It is also one of the best legitimate sequels ever made. The writing was on point, with a whole lot of character developments that felt organic, and the animation was astounding. It goes to show how animation is in a lot of ways superior to live-action comic book movies because they get to feel and look like a comic book.  It is a visual feast for the eyes wrapped together in a very intriguing and emotional multiverse story that makes more sense than the MCU’s Multiverse Saga or anything DC tried to produce in the past or recently.

Miguel O'Hara aka Spider-Man 2099 charges forward.
(Photo credit: Sony Pictures)

Miles and Gwen were still great and very relatable characters. I like how Miles deals with the normal teenage stuff and is trying to grow up to be the best person while dealing with his responsibilities as Spider-Man. The same goes for Gwen, whose scenes in her world were great to look at and pair well with the story and emotions encapsulated on screen. Miguel is perhaps one of the most interesting villains outside of an MCU movie where he has a lot of responsibilities and secrets that may or may not affect our main characters. That’s as far as I’m going because I’ll say too much, and it’ll ruin the experience. 

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The point is to please go see this movie. Please support this work of art. It is a web-slinging tour de force that will have you laughing, shocked, and sometimes crying while leaving you wanting the next movie to come out now instead of next March. Any favorite Spider-Man you’ve ever read or seen in any media is in this movie (including voice acting from Issa Rae, Jake Johnson, Daniel Kaluuya, Karan Soni and Andy Samberg and Amandla Stenberg).  This movie can rival some of the best movies like The Empire Strikes Back, The Last Jedi, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Infinity War, The Dark Knight, etc.  

Spider-Woman, Spider-Gwen and alternate Spider-Man with his new baby.
(Photo credit: Sony PIctures)

Across the Spider-Verse beats the MCU Spider-Man movies in one fell swoop while sitting neck in neck with the 2004 sequel. Now I’m patiently waiting for the streaming/Blu-ray release date to hurry it up because there was a lot and I need to digest again for a second viewing to take in what I have witnessed.

Jones is a sociology graduate from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He writes about sci-fi and pop culture at HyperSpace. 

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By Julian