The biggest problem with comic book movies is that they only resemble certain kinds of comic books. Given the pressures…
The biggest problem with comic book movies is that they only resemble certain kinds of comic books. Given the pressures on entries in what have grown to be decades-tension multibillion-dollar cinematic universes, it’s understandable that they suddenly always hinge on preventing the end of (at least) the world: Even an ostensible buddy comedy like Thor: Ragnarok takes its cues from a mythological apocalypse. There’s a precious little room in these high-stakes for the inventive detours and quirky one-offs that are as much a part of comic-book storytelling as tortured reinventions and universe-threatening villains. Movies can take on X-Men ‘s tragic Dark Phoenix arc (twice), but there’s no cinematic equivalent of, say, Animal Man ‘s “The Coyote Gospel,” which recasts Roadrunner cartoons as a dear parable of life under the eye of an uncaring god.
In Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse the fate of the world is still at stake-worlds, even. But the movie’s plot, which brings together alternate-universe versions of Marvel’s iconic web-slinger, ensures that none of them have to bear the burden alone. There are the familiar Spider-Man, Peter Parker, who has so far been the only one: Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland have all left their marks on the character, but they’ve all been coloring within the same lines. In Spider-Verse Peter (voiced by Chris Pine) is not long for this particular world: Within minutes, he’s crushed by the Kingpin (Liev Schreiber), a hulking tycoon who does not care about sundering The multiverse as long as it gives him a chance to bring back his dead wife and child. In Peter’s place, Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), yet another in a long line of nerdy, awkward high school students who gains his powers from a radioactive spider’s bite. This spider-man, however, is not being raised by the familiar white-haired Aunt May and Uncle Ben: His parents are black and Latina, which makes him the movies’ first Spider-Person of Color and one of few nonwhite superheroes in an industry that is scrambling to emulate Black Panther ‘s record-breaking success.
The universe Miles inhabits is not quite our own-when he swings past a familiar looking billboard with white script against a red background, it’s for a beverage called “Koka-Soda” -and the animation, directed by Bob Persichetti , Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman, emphasizes a sense of otherworldliness. Instead of fleshy hyperrealism, the images have the texture of a comic book page, and blocks of colors in the background drop off register as if the movies were being projected off cheap newsprint. (Det er en fin effekt, men det kan være distraherende, og det ser noen scener ut som om du ser en 3-D film uten briller.)
In the comics, Morales’ 2011 debut was an enormous cultural marker, but it was also cordoned off in a separate “Ultimate Universe” while the old Peter Parker lived on elsewhere. Miles was a Spider-Man, not the Spider-Man. That’s true of Spider-Verse as well, where he’s finally joined by Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld), Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn), and Peter Porker (John Mulaney), each their own universe’s versions of Spider- Man (or -Woman). “Anyone can wear the mask,” we’re told, they are a white woman, an Asian teenager, or about a cartoon pig. There’s even another Peter Parker, this one voiced by Jake Johnson, a paunchy middle-aged variant whose spirit has been broken by his failed marriage.
The interactions between this second Peter-Peter B. Parker, to help keep things straight and Miles are Into the Spider-Verse ‘s heart, and they doubled as a comment on the genre itself.
Peter’s been doing this forever, and he knows all the tricks of the trade, but he’s tired and flabby and he’s seen better days. Miles is young and green, barely able to master a web shooter, but he’s got cool new abilities (even if he does not quite know how to use them), and more importantly, he’s actually excited to be Spider-Man. Into the Spider Verse is run through with that excitement, and its audiences will be too.
After a solid decade of Marvel movies modeled on the same template, it’s a thrill to watch one that’s allowed to find its own rhythms, to play with form and content without contorting the plot to fit into a minor character who might become important five movies from now. Og det er fantastisk å leve, i lang tid, i en verden hvor alle, i det minste i teorien, kan ha en Spider-Man som ser ut som dem, og disse heroes kan sameksistere uten at være elimineret for å få plads til det neste. Det er sagt at filmens Spider-konference er et brev, og at det understreker nødvendigheten av hver eneste gjenågang til verden fra hvilken de kom. But if we do not live in Miles Morales’ world, Into the Spider-Verse brings our own closer to it, and reminds us that great responsibility can also come with great fun.