The New Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse Trailer and What it Means to be Spider-Man


Miles Morales with a BLM patch on his binder bag and his mother snapping at him with an effect that references the Puerto Rican flag. Photo courtesy of the official trailer

Angelina “Hexie” Dimmett, Copy Editor

The highly anticipated sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has released its second trailer and it has the fandom buzzing.

       The trailer already gives the basic outline of the plot: Miguel O’Hara, the character that appeared at the tail-end of the first movie, established more reliable cross-dimensional travel for Spider-people. O’Hara recruits some of the best Spider-people, including Gwen Stacy’s Ghost-Spider and Peter B. Parker from the first movie.

       However, Miles Morales and Miguel O’Hara butt heads when it comes to handling a new threat, and Miles is pitted against other Spiders as he tries to find his own way in dealing with both the new threat and his identity.

       The heart of the movie seems to be “what does it mean to be Spider-Man?”

       There are two opposing answers to this debate, symbolized by Miguel O’Hara and Miles Morales, are “sacrificing those you love for the greater good” and “saving everyone”.

       But the question seems to run deeper than just a moral dilemma.

       So far, it seems like Miles’ mixed heritage is expanded on more, with more nods to his mother being Puerto Rican, specifically an effect when snapping at Miles to chide him for having a B in Spanish class. 

       In both the first and second trailer, we’ve seen plenty of different Spider-people, both original designs and preexisting variants. Some notable variants that might play more important roles in the movie include:

       Pavitra Prabhakar, a variant from the comic book run Spider-Man: India; Spiderpunk, a variant that has raised plenty of controversy through his direct anarchist leanings in comics; and Spider-Woman, whose comic book adventures include being hunted as a witch and being an assassin for HYDRA after having lost her memory.

       The sequel movie follows in the footsteps of the first movie in vivid color and style, making the movie feel like an actual comic is playing on screen. The movie does an amazing job at adapting multiple different Spiders of different styles without compromising design.

       The detail of the movie is incredible, and it seizes opportunities to fill each character’s environment with color, sound, and clutter to characterize them and make them feel like fleshed-out individuals.

       However, some of the details of the trailer have raised controversy, from Miles’ BLM patch on his binder bag, to Gwen’s Protect Trans Kids poster in her room. However, the depiction of diversity in Spider-people isn’t new. In fact, Sony and the late Stan Lee have always encouraged people to see themselves in Spider-Man, stating that the point of the superhero is anyone can be under the mask.

Frame of Gwen Stacey from Spider-verse 2 trailer
Gwen Stacy in the newest trailer, with a “PROTECT TRANS KIDS” poster in the background. Photo courtesy of the official trailer