Regular readers of Marvel Comics are already more than familiar with the litany of different versions of Spider-Man spread throughout continuity. The rest of the world, however, is a bit in the dark when it comes to the multitude of Spider-People in the comics. They're sure to learn a lot about several of them thanks to the 2018 release of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
It was announced early on that the film would star Miles Morales, the Ultimate Spider-Man, which left comic readers excited – and more casual fans wondering “Who is Miles Morales?” The answer isn’t an easy one to give, and it involves alternate realities, dimension-hopping, and continuity reboots – staples of the comic book industry that often appear confusing to those unfamiliar with the medium.
These new heroes and villains are sure to make Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse a fresh, exciting, and probably bewildering experience for the more casual fans of Marvel superheroes, so if you're confused, here's a full list of all the many Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse characters.
Miles Morales qualifies as the newest Marvel Comics character to ever headline a feature film (he only made his comic book debut in 2011). Miles comes from the Ultimate Comics universe, an alternate reality within the Marvel multiverse that the publisher used to tell modernized versions of their classic superhero tales. The Ultimate version of Peter Parker eventually fell in battle, leaving the mantle of Spider-Man vacant in the universe until it got picked up by Miles.
Miles’s powers come from the same source as Parker’s, but he has a few bonus abilities in addition to the usual array of spider-powers, including a bio-electrical “venom blast” and the ability to turn invisible by blending into his surroundings. When the Ultimate Comics imprint ended, Miles was popular enough to be brought over to mainstream continuity via the events of Secret Wars.
If there’s one character in Into the Spider-Verse fans don’t need any introduction to, it’s Peter Parker - the original Spider-Man. Moviegoers have already witnessed three different depictions of Spidey’s early days on the job, so it’s refreshing that this film’s version of Peter shows a veteran web-slinger with more than a decade of experience.
It’s still unclear exactly which Peter Parker this will be, with the possibilities ranging from the mainstream comic book version to the one portrayed by Tobey Maguire in the Sam Raimi trilogy of films.
Either way, Peter will be the most recognizable Spider-Person for most viewers of Into the Spider-Verse, and the basis for comparing all the unfamiliar characters.
The character known as Spider-Gwen has gone by many monikers since her debut in 2014, including Spider-Woman, Gwenom, and, most recently, Ghost-Spider. Originally intended as a one-off side character for the comic Spider-Verse event, Spider-Gwen struck such a chord with fans that she’s remained a vital part of the Marvel Multiverse ever since.
This version of Gwen Stacy comes from a reality where she gained spider-powers, while her boyfriend, Peter Parker, was the one who tragically died. Back in her home universe, Gwen plays in a rock band with Mary Jane Watson, Glory Grant, and Betty Brant, but she also spends a significant amount of time traveling the multiverse with other Spider-People known as the Web Warriors.
The Earth-90214 version of Peter Parker comes from the Noir line of Marvel Comics – where the origin stories of several superheroes are reimagined in a gritty and grounded Great Depression setting. Spider-Man Noir brings the usual array of spider-abilities to the table, along with a steampunk aesthetic that makes him stand out from the spider-crowd.
When he’s not busy striking back against the seedy underground crime figures that murdered his Uncle Benjamin, Spider-Man Noir is usually traveling around the Marvel multiverse with the Web Warriors. This character gets an additional dose of celebrity cachet in the film due to the voice-acting talents of Nicolas Cage.