Into The Spider-Verse: A Love Letter to Spider-Man


images courtesy of Sony Animation

Koby Haldorson, Staff Writer

Over the last 30 years, we’ve received a plethora of Spider-Man media. From TV shows, to movies, video games, and of course, comic books. But just this year, one piece of Spider-Man media has been released that stands as a undeniably phenomenal love letter to all that’s come before it — Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.

The plot of Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse goes as such. Miles Morales, a teenager living in a New York that has Spider-Man protecting it. Everything’s normal, until one night when he hangs out with his Uncle Aaron, and gets bitten by a spider, the same way Peter Parker received his powers.


After discovering he’s been given spider powers, he returns to find the spider, only to stumble across the Spider-Man of his dimension fighting off Green Goblin and the Prowler. Peters trying to stop a collider from starting up, which ends up bringing in several Spider-People into Miles’ universe.


All of these various Spider-People are really the heart of the film, with Miles and Peter B. Parker (the alternate Spider-Man that teaches Miles how to be a hero) being the absolute center of it all. The movie has and effectively balances six Spider-People really well. None of them are over or underused; they play their part, then they make room for Miles and Peter.

All of characters of Into The Spider-Verse are really fantastically written and well-acted. The voice actors all excel in portraying their characters. Both the heroes and villains include great choices, but I won’t spoil the villains for the sake of the plot.


The Spider-People, however, include Miles Morales (played by Shameik Moore), an alternate universe Peter Parker (Jake Johnson), Spider-Woman (Hailee Steinfeld), Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage), Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn), along with her mech suit and Spider-Ham (John Mulaney). The ensemble cast ties Into The Spider-Verse together in a brilliant way with not only a colorful and fun pantheon of heroes, but also a stellar voice cast to back it up.

The look of this movie is absolutely outstanding. It may very well be the most incredible-looking animated film of the last ten years. Into The Spider-Verse blends numerous different art styles, using 3D models, animation that looks hand-drawn, black-and-white effects, comic-book “thought bubbles” (to show what Miles is thinking), text boxes and general effects used in comic books, like having six panels showing the character in action, each panel slightly bigger than the last and more color than you’ve seen in any Spider-Man film ever. The movie also employs comic book sound effect text.


For example, at certain parts, when Miles swings, a “THWIP” appears on screen, showing that he’s web-swinging, just like it would in comic book form. The respective universes of the Spider-People are all really incredible; Spider-Noir’s world is black-and-white, Gwen Stacy’s world is a gorgeous blend of pinks, blues and purples, while Penni Parker’s world is done in the style of a gritty anime, accenting primarily black objects with vibrant reds and oranges, a stark contrast with the fun and upbeat Peni.


Overall, it’s an visually stunning and ingenious blending of numerous animation styles and techniques that combines into a movie teeming with flavor and personality, the likes of which hasn’t been seen in an animated feature film for at least five years.

Normally, the soundtrack of a film doesn’t stand out to me. There might be an occasional licensed song I’ll enjoy here or there, but typically, movie soundtracks aren’t something I listen to on a regular basis. However, Into The Spider-Verse has become a major exception to that rule. The film’s soundtrack, or more specifically, its licensed songs, are done in an amazing way.


Rather than finding a song to shove into the movie because it asks for a song, every song that’s featured in Into The Spider-Verse serves some kind of greater narrative purpose, most of the time being used to express how Miles is feeling inside. The soundtrack consists of rap and R&B, which isn’t the kind of music I usually listen to.


But for some reason, I just find the film’s songs so spectacular, that I’ve been listening to them on a regular basis. A standout track is “Sunflower”, sung by Post Malone and Swae Lee. It sounds beautiful, and it’s featured several times throughout the film, generally when Miles is feeling happy. The soundtrack to Into The Spider-Verse is legitimately one of the best soundtracks I have ever heard, in any piece of media.

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is without a doubt one of the best animated films of the last decade, and is certainly the one of the most unique, in both plot and look. It’s not just a phenomenal animated film, but it’s also probably the best Spider-Man film ever made.


The movie is teeming with flavor, and overflowing with personality. There isn’t much else to say other than Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse stands proudly amongst the pantheon of incredible comic book films, but also contends with the titans of animation, as well. And sitting with a PG rating, the film is perfect for people of all ages to go and see. Overall, I would highly recommend you see this film as soon as possible.