Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is the best adaption of the comic book series for the big screen yet. Adapted from a comic book arc written by Spider-Man authors Dan Slott, Christos Gage, David Hine, Fabrice Sapolsky, Into the Spider-Verse introduces audiences to a whole new universe of Spider-Man characters and stories.
Streamlining the story from the comics, the movie turns its focus on Miles Morales and Old Man Peter Parker trying to stop The Kingpin from making a catastrophic mistake. Morales and Parker make a compelling team with their rapport between student and mentor and they get most complete back story in the animated feature. Morales is the first black Spider-Man and made his first appearance in Ultimate Comics: Fallout #4. The movie takes ideas from his appearance in the comic books regarding his origin, but adds more wrinkles specific to the film universe. Old Man Parker, is Peter Parker as we know him, except that age has caught up to him. He is in his 40s, overweight, and separated from Mary Jane. He’s a little tired of the whole superhero business, but maybe Miles Morales can change his mind.
They aren’t the only new characters though.
Real Name: Gwendolyne Maxine Stacy
Voiced By: Hailee Steinfeld
First Appearance: Edge of Spider-Verse #2
Gwen Stacy had a rough history. Marvel killed her in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man #121 in June 1973. The Spider-Verse story allows the character to come back empowered and in charge of her own destiny, not to just be a damsel in distress. Spider-Man writer Dan Slott first came up with the concept of Spider-Gwen for the Spider-Verse story. Collaborator Jason Latour was familiar with Stacy only as a character that had been killed for the sake of plot progression. This was an opportunity for that character to grow.
In her story, Gwen Stacy is the one bitten by a radioactive spider. She is a drummer in a band with series stalwart Mary Jane and two other classic Spider-Man characters. Peter Parker exists in this timeline, but instead of becoming a hero, he becomes Spider-Man arch nemesis The Lizard. The chemical that Parker used for the transformation has a taken a toll on his body and he succumbs to the battle with chemical and dies in front of his friend, Gwen Stacy. Spider-Gwen has become one of the most popular heroines in Marvel comics, often inspiring cosplay and fan art of her costume and designs.
Real Name: Peter Parker
Voiced By: Nicolas Cage
First Appearance: Spider-Man Noir #1
Spider-Man Noir is like the traditional Spider-Man except for the fact that he become the superhero we know and love in the 30s during the Great Depression. After the death of his Uncle Ben, Peter Parker beings working for The Daily Bugle’s Ben Urich. Parker believes that Urich is onto a big story and goes to investigate. The Green Goblin is known as a gangster during this time period and his henchmen are unloading some stolen antiques to make a little money.
Unbeknownst to our hero, there is an ancient spider statue that when opened unleashed hundreds of spiders. One of those spiders contains the elements that make Peter Parker into the hero Spider-man. Based on military fatigues of his late uncle, Parker wears a World War 1–era airman uniform. Parker soon learns that Urich is blackmailing The Green Goblin to fuel his drug habit. The story of Urich, Green Goblin, and Parker is what ultimately makes up the Spider-Man Noir beginning.
Real Name: Peter Benjamin Parker
Voiced By: John Mulaney
First Appearance: Marvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1
Originally a parody character created by Tom DeFalco and Mark Armstrong, Spider-Ham gained a following for himself. Peter was born as a spider (stay with me), and he lived in the lab of animal scientist, May Porker. When May Porker was working on an atomic hairdryer, she doused her head in water and irradiated herself. This made her a little crazy and in a fit of rage, she bit Peter and he transformed into a pig. Even though he was now a pig, he kept many of his spider abilities.
His adventures comprised taking on traditional Spider-Man enemies that had an animal twist. Villains such as King-Pig (Kingpin), Ducktor Doom (Doctor Doom), and the Buzzard (The Vulture) littered the pages of the series. His character was on hiatus for much of the 90s and 00s until the Spider-Verse crossover. They brought his character back into the fold and he played a big part in helping the team overcome their enemies.
Real Name: Peni Parker
Voiced By: Kimiko Glenn
First Appearance: Edge of Spider-Verse #5
Unlike traditional Spider-Man characters, Peni Parker is not enhanced with special abilities. Her father died when she was nine and she lives with her Aunt May and Uncle Ben. She can control the SP//dr mech because she allowed the spider that controls Sr//dr mech to bite her. The originally concept was designed by My Chemical Romance front man Gerard Way and artist Jake Wyatt. The character is a Spider-Man take on the world of Japanese animation such as Neon Genesis Evangelion and the Gundam Universe.
The Edge of Spider-Verse series allowed the creators to get inventive with some new takes on the traditional Spider-Man lore. The Spider-Verse movie goes in a dramatically different idea for her character. Instead of being a serious Spider-Man / Evangelion crossover, her character is given a gloss over as being more cute or kawaii. Apparently she and a lot of Spider-Verse characters are going to be featured once again in a new comic book series entitled Spider-Geddon that is hitting the marketplace.