This is it Spider-Fans, the award-winning animated film has finally come to DVD and Blu-Ray, it has been one hell of a year for Marvel and that is a good thing! With films such as Black Panther, Captain Marvel and now Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse; it shows Hollywood and the film industry that it needs to step into the Twenty-First Century and that diversity is worth investing in! But for now, that topic is for another time. What time it is and that its to take the plunge, Into the Spider-Verse!
With Great Power, Comes Great-!
Okay, so apparently Miles wasn’t the only one that was not allowed to finish that sentence; the humor in this film was spot on, it was one of the many things that made Spider-Man as a hero, and character work in Marvel’s vast history and characters so relatable, how you might be asking yourself? Simple, with everything Peter went through in his life he didn’t let it keep him down, he got right back up and showed who he fought or in life that pain was temporary, if he failed, however, that will be permanent. So he uses his humor to not only bring his opponent’s guard down but to keep the momentum going and in his favor. In the film we see Miles going through what Peter went through (though, varied in the Multi-Verse and Grand Scheme of things.) And in the situations, he was in he was uncertain, trying to figure out what his purpose in the world was and your typical teenage issues, he handled it with stride and played it cool, sort of. (Sorry! We were teenagers once, you know how it is. The Awkwardness.)
One of the other things that worked so well for the movie is the balance of Super-Heroes and Super-Villians in the film, sometimes in most of the Hero films today you have seen a huge, glaring problem with getting it right with the characters; mainly the coordination and the script such as the problem with DC and Warner Bros. film Justice League, here however with into the Spider-verse it didn’t have that problem, it balanced everything down perfectly. The humor and action dynamic between Spider-Man Noir and Spider-Ham with the innocence and grace of Peni Parker and Ghost-Spider (Preferably I would rather call her Spider-Gwen but hey, to each their own.) And the teacher/student relationship between Peter and Miles was truly wonderful, brings back memories of their first encounter in Spider-Men, written by Brian Michael Bendis and artwork done by Sara Pichelli; a clever easter-egg right there in plain sight.
Even though it’s not a topic that is usually addressed in reviews, I thought I would bring in attention to the relationship of Miles’ family. What we see is two hard-working parents raising a teenage boy, a Dad who is a police officer, a mom who works as a nurse and a Uncle who wants what is best for Miles but not to make the same mistakes he did growing up. Right now, things between Miles and his dad are something we could relate to, and that is the feeling of being from two different worlds both figuratively and literally as Miles would soon learn later on. At the end of the day, love is strong, you can feel the emotional moments throughout the film.
Let’s face the facts here, we have grown too accustomed to photorealism, and here we have seen the team behind Into the Spider-Verse invest in the unrealistic. A risky venture but it was a move that was successful, introducing a new style of animation called ‘Stepped Animation‘ what that is, is that even though the animation does not change in every single frame; the characters will be held up for one frame, maybe two or three frames so their motion looked jittery. It is clear to see that they didn’t stick to traditional rendering, they experimented and took risks for it and it paid in spades, they were successful.
Doc Ock reinvented and the villains of Into the Spider-Verse.
If you’re familiar with Spidey’s rogue gallery then you are plenty familiar with Doctor Octopus, an evil genius who’s intellect is unrivaled; unless you are a Spider, one of the problems that whether in cartoons or in films was that getting Otto’s character down, the arrogance and the hubris that oozed off his body and all eight of his arms. But this time it was different and by that, I mean this Doctor is a woman and this Ock is just a bit above the Octopus we’re familiar with. Olivia Octopus, or if you’re her pal you can just call her ‘Liv’; Into the Spider-Verse fixed the problem it had with portraying Doc Ock, and that was the adaption problem; in Spider-Man 2 you recall that Otto was trying to recreate his tritium experiment, but his obsession was driven by grief and his mechanical tentacles AI controlling his mind. Then the PlayStation 4 game’s Doc Ock was just driven by revenge against Norman Osbourne, his mental state was altered by the interface that gave him control of his arms; again too similar to Spider-Man 2.
Onto the other villains of Into the Spider-Verse, the villainous Kingpin, someone who is no stranger to the limelight and this take on the crimelord is different from what we have seen and that was a man who was driven to getting what back what he had lost, and if it meant using other villains such as Olivia Octavius’ genius, the brawn of Tombstone, the fierce Scorpion and of course the agile, cunning Prowler; it was a combination that Kingpin could count on with getting the prize he was seeking, even if it meant squashing a few Spiders to get it.
Final Thoughts: I can finally see why fans and comic creators spoke highly of this film, from the ‘Kirby Dots’ to showing off what Miles Morales great, it showed us that anyone can be Spider-Man and that positive message is what we needed today, in a world that has had negativity be the norm.