Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is the most recent film to come out about everyone’s favorite web-slinger. Only this time, more than one person wears the mask. Spider-Verse is a story with a message, one that anyone can be Spider-Man and that everyone is special in their own way.
While this was not the first movie to star Spider-Man, nor will it be the last, it is my opinion this is the best one that we have ever received. This movie got many things right, but there is one thing where I believe it excelled–characters.
The first thing any good story needs is likable characters, and Spider-Verse is crawling with them. Each character has a distinctive personality and some even vary in art styles.
The main character of the movie is Miles Morales, a half-black, half-Hispanic kid bitten by a radioactive spider while spray painting with his uncle. He is different from the comic book Miles who was very similar to Peter Parker, being interested in science. The Spider-Verse Miles loves music and art.
Throughout the story, Miles learns how to use his special powers while also learning that he has to do it his own way because there is no right or wrong way to be Spider-Man.
The movie is diverse in many ways. Peni Parker seems to come straight out of an anime while Spider-Noir looks like he came out of a black and white detective film. And who can forget the Spectacular Spider-Ham who appears to have just left a Looney Tunes cartoon? (Admittedly, I am a bit of a Spider-Ham nut, so you can expect to read that name a lot.)
Each spider shows a different side of Spider-Man. From the overly gloomy Peter Parker Noir, to the overly cheery Peter Porker, there are all sorts of Spider-People, but the spiders aren’t the only strong characters this movie portrays.
Miles’ relationship with his family was also handled really well, especially with his father and uncle. Aaron Davis is Miles’ uncle who is also secretly the ‘Prowler.’ Miles spends a lot of time with his uncle Aaron, which kind of bothers his father, Jefferson Davis.
There is a scene near the end that shows how well these relationships work. That scene is the one where Jefferson tries to talk to Miles about Aaron’s passing. Miles didn’t even need to say anything and the scene was extremely emotional. Jefferson spoke from the heart, even calling back to an earlier scene when he says “I love you, Miles. You don’t have to say it back.”
That is how well developed the characters are.
I cannot talk about the characters in this movie without going over my favorite character. Peter Porker was an average spider.
One day, his life changed forever when he was bitten by a radioactive pig. His inclusion in this movie was the thing I was most looking forward to when this movie was announced. I am happy to say that I was not disappointed.
John Mulaney voiced the character perfectly. His voice perfectly matched the body of a cartoon pig. And the animation they used blended perfectly with the rest of the style, while also standing out. He was a two-dimensional being in a three-dimensional world, and it never looked off-putting. I could go on about Spider-Ham all day, but I would like to move on to my final point.
Characters are an essential part of any movie, obviously. Characters have the potential to make or break a film. If the characters aren’t likeable, what reason would we have for rooting for them? Spider-Verse does a good job with balancing many characters and having them all feel different, while still being likable.
Miles Morales is likeable. Jefferson Davis is likable. Spider-Ham is likable. These characters work very well off each other, and the movie left me wanting to see more of every one of them, especially the pig. Not only are the characters great, but so is the animation, acting, and everything about this movie.
It is a definite must-watch.