Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse proved to be a huge hit with critics when it opened in wide release back in June, with some reviewers even calling it one of the best films of the year. Serving as a sequel to the Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the acclaimed film finds Miles Morales struggling to balance his responsibilities as Spider-Man with his life as an ordinary high schooler who needs to start thinking about his future. However, Miles’ life quickly became a great deal more complicated when he was suddenly thrust into an adventure across multiple realities, as he was forced to join forces with various other incarnations of Spider-Man to defeat a villainous mad scientist called Johnathon Ohnn.
Shameik Moore returned to voice Miles Morales, with the supporting cast including Jake Johnson as an older version of Peter Parker from an alternate reality, Hailee Steinfeld as Gwen Stacy, Oscar Isaac as Miguel O’Hara, Daniel Kaluuya as Spider-Punk, and Jason Schwartzman as Johnathon Ohnn, and Issa Rae as Jess Drew. Brian Tyree Henry and Luna Lauren Vélez also respectively voiced Miles’ exasperated parents, Jefferson and Rio Morales, who are clearly aware of the fact that their son is lying to them.
The film has also currently earned an incredible $676 million against a production budget of $100 million, making it a huge financial success. It was directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson, with the screenplay being provided by Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, and Dave Callaham. While Sony Pictures Animation once served as the primary production company, with Sony Pictures Releasing handling distribution. And fans do not have long to wait before they can experience the epic conclusion to the story of Miles Morales, as the final film in the trilogy, which will be titled Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse, is scheduled to open in cinemas on March 29, 2024.
Seeing as it takes place across multiple different realities within the Marvel Multiverse, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse naturally features appearances from dozens of weird and wonderful incarnations of Spider-Man. This list examines six of the most downright bizarre versions of Spider-Man to be featured in the movie, and fans will feel a mixture of surprise and delight when they learn about some of the truly surreal iterations of the favourite Wall-Crawler that finally made it to the big screen.
1. Pter Ptarker
No animated movie would be complete without the appearance of a dinosaur, so it came as no surprise to see a dinosaur version of Spider-Man showing up in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. The character was originally introduced in the Edge of Spider-Verse comic series, where he was introduced as a shy and timid Pteranodon from Eaath-66 named Pter Ptarker, who somehow swapped bodies with a monstrous T-Rex known as Norrannosaurman after being hit by a meteorite filled with mysterious alien spiders. In addition to giving him a new body, the meteorite also gave Ptarker superpowers, so he decided to use his newfound T-Rex physique and his incredible superpowers to help less fortunate members of the dinosaur kingdom. If that premise sounds ridiculous, that is because it was probably supposed to be.
Either way, Pter Ptarker can be seen trying to capture a fleeing Miles Morales in the film, with the dinosaur superhero almost trapping the young hero inside his snapping jaws, before Miles manages to escape. Pter was shown shooting webs from his feet and his tiny T-Rex arms, and as if that was not a weird enough sight to witness in itself, he also wore his very own Spider-Man costume throughout his appearance in the movie. The question of how a dinosaur-sized Spider-Man suit came into existence is probably worth an entire movie in itself, but Pter Ptarker’s appearance in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse was still one of the most memorable cameos in the entire film.
2. Werewolf Spider-Man
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse features a brief appearance from a werewolf incarnation of Spider-Man, who was originally introduced in the Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness crossover comic series. The comic miniseries ends with Ash finally being transported out of a reality populated by living dead superheroes, into a dimension known as Earth-7085, where most of Marvel’s signature superheroes have been transformed into blood-thirsty werewolves.
While in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, the werewolf version of Spider-Man was seen participating in the hunt for Miles Morales across the Spider-Society’s headquarters. Although he did not have any dialogue, this was still a highly amusing cameo from a lupine interpretation of everyone’s favourite wall-crawling superhero. And seeing as Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness was clearly aimed at mature readers, the filmmakers certainly made a bold decision by including a character from the gore-soaked miniseries in their family movie. Needless to say, fans of both Marvel and the Evil Dead franchise will be truly delighted by this cameo.
Let’s face it, everyone loves cats. So it would simply not have been acceptable for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse not to feature an appearance by a feline incarnation of Spider-Man. And rest assured, Spider-Cat does indeed appear in the film, and he was so cute that you will almost forgive him for trying to scratch Miles’ eyes out as he tried to escape from the Spider-Society’s headquarters. Almost. And yes, before you ask, Spider-Cat really does spit out a hairball that was made of webbing in the film. You probably won’t know whether to be repulsed by this scene or to find it hilarious.
Spider-Cat was originally introduced in the Spider-Island: I Love New York City comic, which was set on Earth-999. Although it was never clarified how he gained his powers, which means that you really will just have to accept that he is a cat with spider-powers who fights crime in-between his periods of napping and demanding to be fed. And his lack of a backstory is absolutely fine, because the idea of a cat who becomes a superhero is awesome enough not to warrant an explanation. Fans were delighted by Spider-Cat’s big-screen debut in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, and we can only hope that he also claws his way into the sequel.
4. Bombastic Bag Man
Avid comic readers will be aware that Spider-Man was reluctantly forced to wear a paper bag over his head in order to conceal his identity after he handed over his alien suit to Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four. This resulted in a hilarious action sequence in which our hero was forced to stop an armed-robbery while donning his ridiculous new disguise, which would go on to become one of the funniest scenes ever to have been published in a comic book.
The makers of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse also clearly wanted to wallow in Peter’s self-misery, as they included a cameo from the amusingly-named Bombastic Bag Man throughout the Spider-Society chase sequence. And while he did briefly manage to grab ahold of Miles Morales, the younger hero retaliated by knocking his bag off his face, causing the hapless Bag Man to desperately flail as he attempted to recover his makeshift mask. This was also quite possibly the most bizarre sequence in the movie, and viewers will probably be left laughing and scratching their heads when they witness Bombastic Bag Man’s humiliating defeat at the hands of Miles Morales.
Western movies might not be as popular as they once were, but that did not stop the makers of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse from including a cowboy incarnation of Spider-Man in their movie. Dubbed the Web-Slinger, because he fires webbing from his gun instead of shooting it from his wrist, the horse-riding superhero first appeared in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 3), issue nine. In the comic, he was introduced as a showman named Patrick O’Hara who gained his spider-powers after drinking an elixir containing the essence of a radioactive spider.
Throughout Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, the Web-Slinger is seen racing across the Spider-Society’s headquarters on his horse as he chases Miles Morales, before attempting to engage the fleeing hero in a gunfight. But before he could even reach the count of three, Miles knocked the cowboy off his horse by blasting him in the face with a barrage of webbing. It was also hilarious to see the aspect ratio change as the Web-Slinger initiated his countdown, as viewers really did feel as though they were being transported into an old-school cowboy movie. The background also changed from the futuristic Spider-Society’s headquarters into a more appropriate desert setting throughout this scene, and it will probably be best not to question the logistics. And Taran Killam did a splendid job of capturing the Web Slinger’s Southern American accent, and aficionados of the Western genre will no doubt be delighted by the character’s inclusion.
6. Lego Spider-Man
One of the most delightful sequences from Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse was a scene which takes place in a universe where everything is made of Lego. Instead of using CGI, the filmmakers boldly opted to hire fourteen-year-old Preston Mutanga to create the scene, after he expertly recreated the original trailer for the film out of Lego. The result was nothing short of spectacular, as we saw a Lego minifigure version of Peter Parker being berated by J. Jonah Jameson inside the Daily Bugle’s headquarters, before the seemingly shy and timid photographer retreats into the bathroom so that he can slip into his Spider-Man suit. He then calls the Spider-Society so that he could alert them to the presence of the villainous Jonathan Ohnn, who he had just witnessed passing through his universe.
The Lego universe in the film was designated as Earth-13122, and Lego fans of any age will be absolutely overjoyed by this scene. While the Lego version of Spider-Man did not get to partake in any actual fighting throughout his extended cameo, it goes without saying that his appearance will still leave viewers with huge smiles on their faces.