Marvel’s latest installment of the webbed hero’s legacy shows anyone can ‘”put on the mask”

Emma Bennett, E23 Staffer


When I walked into the theater to see “Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse” for the first time, I expected nothing less than excellence. With trailers that promised stunning graphics, a star-studded cast and an amazing soundtrack, I’d been looking forward to seeing the film for months.

Needless to say, I was thoroughly satisfied with what I experienced that night.

“Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse” premiered in theaters Dec. 14, 2018. It follows Miles Morales, a young Brooklynite, as he enters his first year at an elite private school. The crux of the story occurs when one night, Miles is bitten by an inter-dimensional radioactive spider. From that point on, many spider-dimensions come together to provide a heartwarming adventure to save the city from evil businessman, Wilson Fisk. The audience is introduced to several versions of Spider-Man, including Spider-Ham (played by John Mulaney), and Spider-Man Noir (portrayed by Nicolas Cage).

“Into the Spiderverse” boasts not only an incredible cast, but beautiful animation. Creators took the traditional opening credit scene with Marvel’s logo and transformed it into a longer-than-normal take. The scene combined several different animation techniques tied together with a “glitchy” theme that goes along with the movie’s plot. Where Sony could have made a mess of trying to tie a different animation style for each alternate “universe,” they all tied together well in a smooth, satisfying way. The movie’s central style, however, is perhaps the most pleasing of them all. Animators perfectly replicated the traditional comic book aesthetic, from the texture of all the colors to the small lines that indicate sound effects and movement.

Despite the overall amazing quality of Spiderverse’s animation, story line and voice acting, my favorite aspect of the movie is, without a doubt, the steps it takes for diversity and inclusivity in the film and comic book industry. With a tagline “anyone can put on the mask,” “Into the Spiderverse” encourages a society where heroism knows no boundaries. No matter your race, gender identity, sexuality, ethnicity, age or any other defining characteristic, you have the ability to be the superhero.

Sony’s push for inclusivity in the movie and industry sets a precedent for other companies to follow; normalizing diversity in feature films paves the way for more productions that have minorities in lead roles, and an increase in the overall existence of minority characters in large franchises.

Another aspect of “Into the Spiderverse” that makes it unique is its soundtrack. Featuring artists such as Aminé, Swae Lee, Post Malone and Jaden Smith, its pop/rap blend goes along well with the story and style of animation. My favorite track off of the album would have to be “What’s Up Danger” by Blackway and Black Caviar. The song’s main theme is used several times throughout the movie, most often in association with the villain “The Prowler.” Its main appearance in Miles’ transformation into his true spider-form, however, is what makes the track so magnificent. The scene is, without a doubt, the best of the entire movie. “What’s Up Danger’s” fast-paced tempo and harsh beats blends perfectly with the flow of the scene.

As awards season approaches, I can only hope that “Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse” earns the attention it deserves. With an Academy award nomination for “Best Animated Feature,” it’s definitely on its way to being well recognized among the other animated films of 2018.

Editor’s Note: As of publication of this article on Jan 31. 2019, “Into the Spiderverse” has won the 2018 Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Film.

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