So, rather more on my usual scheduling for watching movies, I finally got to see Into the Spider-Verse this week. Look man, that’s just how these things go with me. I guess there are spoilers ahead, in the unlikely event that this is still relevant to anyone reading.
Sometimes actually getting to sit down and watch a movie that so many very clever people have said wonderful things about ends up being slightly disappointing, I think because if you’ve had a ton of people yelling about how excellent a movie (or probably a book, or a game) is and then you watch it and it *is* excellent, it’s sort of just fulfilling expectations at that point. I think.
In any case, that didn’t happen with this one. I really enjoyed Spider-Verse and found it, beginning to end, just a ton of fun. There was lots I didn’t expect, especially how much they incorporated elements from how a comics page looks into what we saw in the film. It was really creative and cool and just a joy to watch.
And, I really enjoyed Miles Morales. The writing for the character was charming and thoroughly great, his arc through the movie was really nicely done, and in a movie that was itself a ton of fun, he’s just a thoroughly entertaining character to have lead the story. I 100% agree that Miles makes an awesome Spider-Man and definitely get why a lot of people say he’s now their favourite version of the character.
With all that said, I still think my favourite part was Peter Parker. Wait, don’t shoot. I’m sure part of it is just the sheer inertia of Peter being the Spider-Man I grew up with, but he’s also a character that I have come to admire the more I’ve thought about superheroes. On our Broadcasts from the Wasteland podcast, Kelly Robson advanced the ‘who do you like, Tony Stark or Steve Rogers’ question, and my answer is neither. I like Peter.
The reason for this is that he’s a very pure kind of hero, which is increasingly my taste these days. He doesn’t really get anything out of being Spider-Man. Being a superhero basically trashes his life and leaves him poor (and yes, the economics of how Peter’s life is supposed to work have some, uh, questions about them), and a fairly ludicrous figure to most who know him. Even as Spider-Man, apparently like half the city at best distrusts him most of the time (again, how plausible this really is: certainly questionable).
He still keeps at it. Of course, every so often they do the ‘Peter quits being Spider-Man’ plot, and his life gets way better, but he always goes back to it. Because he has to, because ultimately the idea of people coming to harm when he could have helped them is not something he can live with. That’s just kindness writ very large, and I dig that very much.
Ok, so I like the character. The Peter Parker we see most of in Spider-Verse is an older version of the character whose life has gone to shit and has kind of let himself go, and the movie definitely plays it for laughs a lot of time. And yet.
Despite being (still? again?) poor, losing his wife, and getting older and kind of out of shape, vaguely-ludicrous Peter B. Parker is still going at this Spider-Man thing. He’s definitely fucked things up in his life, but the one thing he’s still gonna try to do is the Right Thing. Up until Miles is able to pull his shit together and really become Spider-Man, Peter is gonna sacrifice himself to save various other Spider-people and a universe he’s not even from.
He’s been kicked around, dinged up, and is not the sleek zippy younger model of the Spider-Man character. He’s still absolutely going to do everything he can to stop the bad shit from happening, because that’s just what he does. That’s the character I really, really admire.
I do hope that was a happy ending we saw in the final montage.
Anyway, go see the movie, in the unlikely event that I managed to see it before you.
Thanks for reading.