Thursday, October 1, 2015

All-New, All-Different Marvel: Spider-Verse

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Marvel announced last year that they would be completely rebooting their universe following the Secret Wars/Battleworld event.  As part of this reboot they are going to be focusing on some new and altered characters, particularly those whose TV and movie rights are owned by Marvel Studios.  This is leading Marvel to focus its efforts on promoting the Inhumans while downplaying the mutants, as well as to the splitting up of the Fantastic Four, with Human Torch joining the Inhumans and the Thing joining the Guardians of the Galaxy.  So because the All-New, All-Different Marvel is going all-in on Marvel Studios properties, I started to wonder if some of the other characters in the A-N, A-D Marvel might be getting a push for a future movie or TV appearance.  As such, this series will look at all the characters in the All-New, All-Different Marvel lineup whose live-action rights are owned by either Marvel Studios or Sony and who have not appeared in a movie yet.

Some of these are characters I’ve written about in the past, so I will include links to those articles and only provide relatively brief summaries.

If there are any additional characters that you would like to see me cover in this series, let me know in the comments.

First up, I’ll be looking at all the “Spider-Verse” characters, most of whom are owned by Sony.  Naturally I will ignore Peter Parker himself because he’s already been cast and will be making his debut in Captain America: Civil War.

Jessica Drew, a.k.a. Spider-Woman

Spider-Woman has actually been rumored to be getting her own show in Marvel Netflix Phase 2.

Of all the characters on this list, Spider-Woman is the only one whose rights are owned entirely by Marvel Studios because, despite the name, she’s only loosely connected with Spider-Man.  Jessica Drew has worked for Hydra, S.H.I.E.L.D., and even S.W.O.R.D.

She could easily fit into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or the Marvel Netflix universe.

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Gwen Stacy, a.k.a. Spider-Gwen

Spider-Gwen is from an alternate universe in which the radioactive spider bit Gwen Stacy instead of Peter Parker.  Peter subsequently became the Lizard of that universe, and one of Spider-Gwen’s biggest foes.

Her abilities are very similar to those of Spider-Man.

While Gwen Stacy is very likely to appear in the Spider-Man reboot movies, I’m not sure how much of a role she will play thanks to The Amazing Spider-Man series.  Though there were definite issues with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, one of the elements that movie (and its predecessor) did extremely well was the relationship between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy as well as her tragic death.  If the MCU Spider-Man movies are going to set themselves apart from those that came before, I think they should avoid the Gwen Stacy romance and move on to Mary Jane (the Peter Parker/Mary Jane romance wasn’t nearly as well done in the Spider-Man series).

Even if Gwen Stacy does appear in the MCU, I highly doubt that “Spider-Gwen” will get much more than a cursory tease—not because of an issue with the character but because the sequence of events which produces her really doesn’t leave room for Peter Parker to also become Spider-Man.  They could amalgamate Spider-Gwen and Silk, but that would lead to a lot more questions for Peter Parker.

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Cindy Moon, a.k.a. Silk

Cindy Moon is another student in Peter Parker’s class in high school who goes on the same field trip to Oscorp at which Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider.  However, it is eventually revealed that Peter was not the only one bitten; after biting Peter the spider went on to bite Cindy Moon before dying.  Cindy was found by a “spider-totem” (another person given spider powers) named Ezekiel, who put her in hiding for seven years for her own protection.  After that time, Peter Parker discovered her hidden bunker and freed her, at which point she decided to become a superhero, going by the name “Silk.”  Thanks to their shared spider powers, Silk and Spider-Man start something of a relationship.

Her powers are identical to Peter Parker’s in almost every respect.  The key differences are that her spidey-sense (“silk-sense”) is better than his and that she creates her own webbing which shoots out of her fingertips.

While I doubt that Cindy Moon will get more than a cursory nod in the first MCU Spider-Man movie, it would not surprise me if the character reappears several movies down the line as another spider-powered hero.  However, I doubt they would do this just for the sake of creating another hero; introducing Silk would be more of a way to further explore Peter Parker’s sense of identity.  For most of his career, Peter Parker is a loner.  He’s the only spider-powered hero, which makes him unique.  Finding out that there was another girl bitten by the same spider who received the same powers—or better versions of his own powers—would drastically change his perception of himself.

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Miles Morales, a.k.a. Ultimate Spider-Man

Miles Morales is a grade school student who is bitten by an irradiated spider created by Oscorp as part of an experiment to recreate Spider-Man.  Like Peter Parker before him, Miles begins to manifest spider powers, but he hides his powers and refuses to use them.  This all changes, however, when the Spider-Man of the Ultimate Universe (Peter Parker) is killed in a major battle against the Green Goblin.  Miles is guilt-ridden at the realization that he could have prevented Peter’s death if he had accepted his powers and used them.  This realization leads him to take up the Spider-Man mantle by putting on a costume similar to Peter’s and fighting crime in his name.  Miles meets other heroes who knew the original Spider-Man as well as Peter Parker’s loved ones, and slowly receives their blessing to become the new Spider-Man.

Miles Morales has many of the same powers as Peter Parker, though his spidey-sense is weaker.  However, Miles has two additional powers:  the ability to camouflage himself and his clothing into the surroundings and an electrical “venom strike.”

I could see Miles Morales being introduced to the MCU eventually, say in the fourth or fifth Spider-Man movie, when Marvel is looking to breathe new life into the character.  There are multiple ways for the story to go, depending on whether or not Marvel is committed to having Miles Morales fully replace Peter Parker.  If that is the case, then they could adapt the exact same origin story for Miles Morales:  Peter Parker is killed and a guilt-ridden Miles Morales takes up the mantle.

If Marvel does not want to remove Peter Parker from the story entirely, another option would be for Peter to not be killed but only placed into a coma.  While he is in the coma, Miles Morales begins fighting crime in Spider-Man’s name, seeking redemption for his perceived cowardice in doing nothing to help Peter in that fight.  Once Peter wakes from the coma, Miles goes to visit him in secret, tells him his story, and begs for forgiveness.  Peter tells him about Uncle Ben, forgives him, and accepts him as a protégé/sidekick.  This could be a good compromise, allowing Miles Morales to join the MCU without removing Peter Parker.  Seeing Peter become a mentor to an even younger hero would also push the character in a different direction, something which might be necessary after 5-10 movie appearances.

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Spider-Man 2099

Miguel O’Hara is from the 2099 Universe, which takes place approximately 100 years in the future, after the modern-day Marvel Universe.  In this universe the “Age of Heroes” ended long before and there are no superheroes currently.  Miguel works for a major corporation which is experimenting with giving people superpowers to become corporate-controlled heroes.  Miguel is inspired by Spider-Man and attempts to give someone a similar set of abilities.  Through a series of unfortunate events, he actually winds up giving himself those abilities when his DNA is altered to be 50% spider DNA.

Spider-Man 2099 possesses similar abilities to Peter Parker, but with some major differences.  He does not have a spidey-sense, but does possess superhuman sight and hearing.  He also has “talons” on his fingers and toes which only allow those body parts to cling to surfaces—these talons are sharp enough to cut through flesh, plastic, and even metal.  He also has fangs and can release poison when he bites an enemy.

Spider-Man 2099’s suit allows him to fly using a special air foil and anti-gravity material.

I do not think that Spider-Man 2099 will be appearing in the MCU because he is so much a product of his extremely futuristic universe.  However, I could see some allusion to him at some point, with Peter Parker wearing a suit similar to the Spider-Man 2099 suit.

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Web Warriors

Several characters are part of this team, so I’ll give a very quick rundown of all of them (aside from Spider-Gwen, whom I discussed above).

Spider-Ham – Peter Porker is a pig version of Peter Parker with pretty much the same abilities.

Spider-Man Noir – This Peter Parker is a darker version of the character set against a 1933 New York backdrop.  He has the same abilities as the regular Peter Parker except that he can’t cling to walls or use his (organically-produced) webbing to swing.  Instead, he uses his webbing to create nets.  He also fights using a gun.

Spider-Man: India – Pavitr Prabhakar is basically Peter Parker who lives in Mumbai.  He has similar abilities to the regular Peter Parker which were given to him by an ancient yogi.

Spider-UK – Billy Braddock from Earth-833 is a member of the Captain Britain Corps with Spider-Man’s abilities.  He is the one who brings all the Spider-Men together.

Araña/Spider-Girl – Anya Corazon is a high-schooler magically endowed with spider powers as a way to save her life.  Anya has similar powers to Peter Parker, with the addition of a spider-like exoskeleton.  She does not shoot webs but instead used grappling hooks both for transportation and as weapons.

I don’t see any of these characters except Araña receiving more than an Easter egg in the MCU.  Spider Ham and Spider-Man Noir would not fit into the MCU, Spider-Man: India is too-obviously an India ripoff of Peter Parker, and I don’t see enough to differentiate Spider-UK from Spider-Man to warrant an extended appearance.  At some point—say after the Infinity War—the heroes may become popular enough for people around the world to start copying them and trying to become heroes.  If that happens, then they could show someone in India and/or the UK becoming a Spider-Man copycat, but that’s the only way I see either of those characters appearing.

I would put Araña into the same category as Miles Morales/Ultimate Spider-Man and Silk:  a character who could be introduced at some point as a way to change things up from or for Peter Parker.  As an alternative, Marvel could introduce Araña on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or another TV series to offer a more grounded and serialized take on a spider character.  Ultimately, I don’t think the MCU movie-verse is quite big enough for this many spider-based characters, so if one of those three appears in the movies I doubt the others will also appear.

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Venom, Spaceknight, and Carnage

I talked about both of these characters over the summer in the context of potential Spider-Man spinoff movies set in the MCU.

Venom is an alien entity which bonds with Spider-Man and which Spider-Man subsequently escapes.  The two have an antagonistic relationship until Venom bonds with Flash Thompson, who manages to control the symbiote.  Carnage is the “love-child” (however that works) of Venom and Spider-Man, and is a complete psychopath which bonded with a serial killer.

Both of these characters would fit well into future Spider-Man movies.


These are most—if not all—of the spider-characters who will be appearing in the All-New, All-Different Marvel reboot.  I hope you found this article informative.  Of all the characters, I think Spider-Woman is the most likely to appear in the MCU any time soon, followed by Venom and Carnage.  Some of the other characters—specifically Ultimate Spider-Man, Silk, and Araña—could be interesting as a way to change up the story and push Peter Parker in a new direction down the line, though I don’t think all of them can appear in the MCU.

There is one possible story arc in which all of these alternate Spider-Men could appear, however:  Spider-Verse.  If Sony were to actually adapt the Spider-Verse storyline sometime in the future, they could make use of all these spider characters, as well as Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s versions of Peter Parker.  This could be an interesting event movie and provide an opportunity for some of the alternate Spider-Men to remain in the MCU’s reality afterward, but I think it would be far too ambitious at this stage.

What do you think of all these spider characters?  Which one is your favorite?  Which do you want to see in the MCU?  Let me know in the comments!

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