Spider-Man into the Spiderverse is a familiar Spider-Man origin story with a twist. Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) is a young Puerto Rican/African-American boy living in Brooklyn…more importantly he lives in a world where Peter Parker is the one and only Spider-Man, or so he thinks. You know how the story goes; Miles is bitten by a radioactive spider and given spider-like abilities. Shortly after Miles discovers his new powers, he witnesses Kingpin (voiced by Liv Schreiber) open a device called the Super Collider that connects different universes. Kingpin’s device is causing earthquakes around New York and will eventually destroy the city.
This device has an unforeseen consequence; it brought other spider people from different universes to Miles’ New York. There’s another Peter Parker (voiced by Jake Johnson), Peter Porker aka Spider-Ham (voiced by John Mulaney), Peni Parker (Voiced by Kimiko Glenn), Spider-Noir (voiced by Nicolas Cage), and Gwen Stacy aka Spider-Gwen (voiced by Hailee Steinfiled).
Miles Morales and his Spider friends are force to work together. They give Miles a crash course on how to be Spider-Man while attempting to stop Kingpin before the Super Collider destroys the city.
The Spider-Man stuff with Miles is really cool, more on that later, but the heart of the story is a young Miles learning he’s not alone. He has a typical parent/child relationship with his father Jefferson Davis (voiced by Brian Tyree Henry) and his mother Rio (voiced by Luna Lauren Velez). Still, Miles is going through those teenage years and feels more connected with his uncle Aaron (voiced by Mahershala Ali). He’s also feeling like a fish out of water at his new school. After Miles gets superpowers, he feels even more isolated.
Miles’ journey isn’t just about discovering what kind of Spider-Man he can be, but what kind of person he wants to be. The plot does an amazing job walking the audience through Miles’ journey showing his progression from precocious teen to superhero. It’s easy for a character to get lost with so much going on, but story stays focused on Miles. Miles is at the center of the story from beginning to end and has some of the best moments in the film.
Each of the other Spider people are given their moment to shine and they have have their own comic-book style intorduction. Spider-Noir steals the scene with his 1930’s slang/insults and his fighting style. Not to mention Noir’s black and white animation surrounded by so many vibrant colors makes the character pop off the screen.
The rest of the animation is outstanding. Each of the new characters has a distinct way they’re drawn and they blend beautifully together. The action scenes are cohesive and clear despite having so many characters and a lot happening onscreen at once. The film has some of the best action sequences in any Spider-Man movie to date.
Spider-Man into the Spiderverse is the best animated film of the year and one of the best Spider-Man movies ever made. It’s a lot of fun and the perfect balance of humor, action, animation, and comics. Spiderverse is a beautiful origin story that introduces a much bigger world that I’d love to visit again.