By G.P. Avants
Sitting back in the theater I wasn’t sure what to expect from Sony’s Spiderman into the Spiderverse. It looked great from the outside, but it was a whole different experience once the lights went out. I knew something original and unique was about to transpire when everything about the opening credits (including the little lady in the Columbia Pictures logo morphing in alternate forms of herself) began to pixalate as the audience crossed over into another reality not our own. I sat back ready for another reality.
Everyone has great expectations for Miles Morals. He is a 13 year old teen from Brooklyn, NY. He is a intelligent street-artist who lives in his own creative imagination. Miles just wants to find his own way in his own time. . His father, a straight-shooting NY police officer, sees Miles rising above his humble surroundings by attending an exclusive prep school. On the other hand Miles’ street-wise Uncle Aaron. He knows his nephew is a repressed artist that needs an outlet for his creativity. His teachers fill his brain to the brim with learning, yet his creative self seems to be withering away. Miles is challenged by his English teacher to take a step away from normal studies, and focus in his goals in life. His project paper is aptly titled, “Great Expectations”.
She asks him, “What do YOU want to do with the life you have been given?”
Miles is far from home when he encounters a fateful event that radically changes his life. What his Uncle had given him as a secret place to do his street art, became a portal into his potential future. Deep down in the subway lines Miles encounters an odd spider with an encoded #42 on its genetically modified body. The rest as we say becomes history, sort of. Miles comes across an epic struggle between Spiderman and a Norman Osborn as a Hulk-sized Green Goblin. Without spilling the beans or letting the spider out of the web, Miles finds himself thrust into the role of Spiderman. He isn’t the only one, though. Five other very different version of Spiderman enter his reality via a collider machine courtesy of the villainous (and monstrously huge) William Fisk, AKA Kingpin.
These new characters bring clarity and confusion to Miles’ journey of self-discovery. Each alternate version of Spiderman challenges Miles to be the hero his world needs. Of course they all try to give him pointers that are unique to their own experiences. However, trying to be like someone else proves to be futile. Miles heads spins and his heart breaks trying to form into the boy, the man, the hero that everyone else wants him to be.
“But who am I meant to be? How can I stop someone not even the real Spiderman couldn’t defeat?” He is crushed when his is voted out of the Spiderman team. Miles, in their eyes doesn’t fit the mold of what Spiderman should be. He’s missing the spark.
Miles soon discovers a wonderful secret that all us eventually learn: Be who you were born to be! Miles isn’t going to be a mirror version of Peter Parker, Peter. B. Parker or any other Spiderman that exists. He takes his own creative bend to even the suit, spray painting it black and red. He uses the one-of-a-kind natural gifts and his newly required Spider powers (like turning invisible or producing an electric shock) that no other hero has. Where Peter Parker failed against the Kingpin, Miles shoulder touched his way into victory. In the end he did internalize the advice from his many mentors and adapted their teachings into his own persona. Miles is in many ways a shadow of the former Spiderman.
Yet, he took Mary Jane’s speech to heart.“Anyone can be Spiderman behind the mask. A hero rises when they are needed the most.”
He even had a brush with that animated world’s Stan Lee who sold him a cheap Spiderman costume. He tells him, “Don’t worry, eventually the suit fits.” (With a sweet nod to his beloved character, Stan said, “Spiderman was a friend of mine.”
No two people were every created the same, even identical twins. As we learned, no two Peter Parkers are the same as well. We all have a job to do on Earth with the days we have been given. People expect a lot out of us, Our parents, our teachers, our friends, can encourage, suggest, or give us advice about our futures. It is our job to take it all in and decide for ourselves who we are going to be. No matter what our course is or even our own great expectations are for our selves, life is a great mystery. We are unique, fantastic collection of our talents, experiences, influences, and choices. Don’t be a carbon copy of even your heroes, be the break-the-mold person God made you to be. God only knows what kind of world is coming and He is looking for heroes who aren’t afraid to do things just a little bit different than the rest.
SEE THE MOVIE! It’s a great!
“Don’t do it like me, do it like you.”
-Peter B. Parker