With all the upcoming superhero movies, it’s easy to forget that a sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) is on its way.
The first film introduced characters we never expected to see on the big screen. I mean, Spider-Ham? Come on.
For the sequel, we already have confirmation of Jessica Drew (aka Spider-Woman) and Miguel O’Hara (aka Spider-Man 2099). But it’s a big spider-verse, and the question stands: What Spider-People do we want to see in the upcoming movie?
So let’s thwip up some fun speculation. Here’s our top ten list of the Spider-People we would love to see enter the Spider-Verse in next year’s sequel.
10. 1960’s Cartoon Spider-Man
Okay, yes, he was technically in the first film. For two seconds. In the post-credits scene.
But there’s so much left to explore with this Spider-Man.
It’s easy to forget the cultural impact of the original animated series. “Spins a web any size?” “Does whatever a spider can?” That’s from this show.
For years, this was the cultural image of Spider-Man: the iconic theme song, the same five web-swinging animations recycled over and over, the middle-aged Paul Soles trying to pass as a 15-year-old kid.
Can you imagine seeing this hokey, stiff, albeit beloved version of Spider-Man next to the smoother, sleeker Miles and Gwen? The comedy is right there.
But there’s something philosophical in here, too. What would it mean for the Spider-Man of an innocent, morally-simple 1960s cartoon to enter a complex modern world where the Kingpin can literally punch Peter Parker to death (still hard to believe that happened in a kids movie, to be honest)?
On top of that, this would be a wonderful tribute to voice actor Paul Soles, who passed away just this May at the age of 90.
That’s why this Spider-Man is the first entry on the list.
Takuya Yamashiro, the Japanese Spider-Man.
I’m honestly surprised that Marvel hasn’t done more with this character. The most prominent recent appearance wasn’t even in a Marvel property at all, but in Ernest Kline’s Ready Player One (2011).
So why introduce Takuya into the Spider-Verse? The real question is, how have they not already?
He’s a motocross racer. His origin story involves UFOs and a trip to Planet Spider. He has a giant robot named Leopardon. He is, quite simply, the epitome of cool.
And we’re in luck. Not long ago on Twitter (where all good things happen), Phil Lord teased a Supaidaman appearance. But only time will tell if Takuya and his trusty robot make their way into the final film.
8. Spider-Man: Life Story (Earth-19529)
Chip Zdarsky and Mark Bagley’s Spider-Man: Life Story covers the whole scope of Peter Parker’s life. But for the Spider-Verse, I’m thinking specifically of Old Man Peter. Except please don’t ever call him that.
In Life Story, as in the original comics, Peter Parker gets bitten by a radioactive spider in the 1960s. But then, he’s allowed to grow up. He ages through the decades until, by the time we reach the 2010s, he’s an older, more worldly-wise version of Spider-Man.
And that’s what would make this a compelling addition to the Spider-Verse. We’ve already seen Peter B. Parker, a Spider-Man who’s a bit past his prime. But what about a Spider-Man who’s lived out almost his entire life? A more jaded, cynical, world-weary Spider-Man? What would it mean for our heroes to look the future in the face?
Spiders-Man has become a bit of a meme. In an Alan-Moore’s-Swamp-Thing-esque twist, this hive of spiders believes itself to be Peter Parker.
Aside from the existential horror of it all, just imagine this character in motion: an arachnid horde flowing in unison, punching bad guys, scattering and scurrying away. It would probably mean a few bad weeks for some poor animators. But how cool would this be?
I love this character because he pokes at the basic logic of Spider-Man.
Why should Peter’s mutation stop with the proportionate strength and speed of a spider? Why not eight limbs? Why not fangs? Why not hair in places there should never be hair?
Man-Spider offers a lot of possibilities. They could certainly go the villain route. But you could also imagine a “gentle giant” take on this character. If Marvel can break our hearts over a talking raccoon and a sentient tree, why not a man-sized tarantula?
Let’s hear it for Man-Spider redemption.
5. LEGO Spider-Man
We’ve seen the magic that Lord and Miller can work with LEGO. Now imagine that in the Spider-Verse.
But why do LEGO and Spider-Man belong together? Allow me to provide a long-winded, nostalgia-laden explanation.
Nowadays, if you go to the LEGO aisle, you’ll see dozens of superhero construction sets: Batman, Avengers, Spider-Man. You can even buy a LEGO bust of Carnage.
But rewind two decades. You’re a kid in 1999. Want a superhero minifig? Good luck. Better break out out your model paint.
The first ever LEGO/Marvel tie-ins, based on Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man (2002).
That’s right. Spider-Man paved the way for all those superhero sets you’re collecting (or wishing you could collect) today.
And if they used this specific version LEGO Spider-Man, it would be a great way sneak Tobey Maguire into the mix. But maybe that’s too much.
4. This guy:
3. May “Mayday” Parker
Here’s another Spider-Person who would make a great foil for the current Spider-Verse characters.
Meet Mayday Parker, aka Spider-Girl, the daughter of Peter Parker—and in my opinion, another character who deserves more attention from Marvel.
We already know that Peter B. Parker has a hang-up about having kids. So what would it mean for him to encounter his own future daughter?
Spider-Girl could bring a whole new dimension to Spider-Verse.
2. Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow
Here’s a relatively new addition to Spider-Man lore. The currently-running “What If?” miniseries, Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow, asks a simple question: What if Peter Parker had kept the symbiote costume?
As one might expect, the results are venomous. (Get it?)
This version of Peter would open a totally new direction for Spider-Verse. We’ve seen what it’s like when all the heroic Spider-People of the Spider-Verse team up to do heroic Spider-Things. But there are some pretty bad versions of Spider-Man floating around the multiverse. What about them? What if our heroes had to face an evil version of Spider-Man?
Or better yet, how about a team of evil Spider-Men? Imagine a multiversal team-up between Symbiote Spider-Man, Man-Spider, maybe even Superior Spider-Man (yes, I’m using this entry to sneak in more Spider-People).
The possibilities are as endless as the Spider-Verse. Well, I could think of three. But feel free to suggest more.
And yet, that’s still not number one on the list.
Our number one entry takes us back to the very beginning of the Spider-Verse—a beginning that many fans might not even remember.
1. 1990s Cartoon Spider-Man
Cue the Aerosmith, because topping our list is the 1994 Fox Kids cartoon version of Spider-Man.
A whole generation first encountered Spider-Man at the movies in 2002. And of course, they wanted more. But where could they go?
Easy. They just tuned into Fox Kids on Saturday morning. Or, if they were like me, they bought the VHS from Toys-R-Us.
That’s how Christopher Daniel Barnes became the voice of Spider-Man for a generation of fans.
But there’s more. This version of Spider-Man is no stranger to the Spider-Verse. In fact, this is where the Spider-Verse began.
Before Spider-Verse, or Spider-Geddon, or even Spider-Island, there was Spider Wars: the two-part series finale of the ‘90s Spider-Man cartoon.
In case you don’t know how deep into spider-lore this show went, here’s a brief summary: After Spider-Carnage (yes, they went there) destroys the multiverse (yes, they went there too), Spider-Man teams up with a team of Spider-Men from various universes. At one point, he even comes to our world, learns he’s a fictional character, and meets Stan Lee (yes, they most definitely went there, too. Excelsior!).
Granted, it’s hard to see exactly how this Spider-Man would fit into the Spider-Verse films. He’s an iconic Spider-Man, in part because he’s such a basic version of Spider-Man. There’s no obvious quirk or gimmick to make him spark with the rest of the team.
If he did show up, it would likely be more of a cameo, like Spider-Man 2099 in the first film. But it would mean so much. It would be more than ‘90s nostalgia. It would be a return home.
And that’s why this version of Spider-Man tops my list.
Who do you want to see?
What versions of Spider-People do YOU want to see in the upcoming film? Do you agree with our list? Let us know in the comments or on social media, and we’ll see you in theaters.