Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse unabashedly pays homage to its comic book roots with a veritable league of Spider-people from dimensions crossing paths. The first trailer showed us the traditional Spider-Man and Miles Morales, with a brief glimpse of Gwen Stacy’s “Spider-Gwen,” but the new trailer showed off no less than six Spideys. Who are all these people?
First, a word about the Marvel multiverse. Marvel has established different continuities for its characters. To organize them, it has a “Multiverse,” with different numbers corresponding to different realities. The main continuity in Marvel comics is Earth-616, which includes the vast majority of Marvel comics over the years. Other universes might be full of zombies or cross over with DC comics. Even our own actual reality, where superheroes and villains don’t exist, is given a number in the Multiverse.
The Spider-beings from the Into the Spider-Verse trailer hail from several different dimensions, or versions of Earth. Some are minor variations on established continuity, while others are wild or comedic departures.
This is the main Marvel continuity, and the one occupied by Peter Parker, the traditionally recognized Spider-Man. In Into the Spider-Verse, Parker is an experienced superhero played by Jake Johnson.
Miles Morales (Earth-1610)
Miles Morales first occupied the Ultimate continuity, which had its own Ultimate versions of X-Men, Fantastic Four, and even Peter Parker’s Spider-Man. However, in the Ultimate continuity, a young boy named Miles Morales was bitten by an experimental spider engineered to imitate Spider-Man’s powers. Soon after, Peter Parker died protecting the city, inspiring Miles Morales to follow in his footsteps. He has similar powers as well as some unique ones like a cloaking ability. In the film he’s played by Shameik Moore.
Spider-Gwen occupies an alternate reality in which Gwen Stacy was bitten by a radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker. She became Spider-Woman, aka The Ghost Spider. In her own twist on the tragic backstory, her best friend Peter Parker himself became this universe’s version of the Lizard, and she accidentally killed him during a battle. She is played by Hailee Steinfeld.
Spider-Man Noir (Earth-90214)
This alternative take on the character is still Peter Parker, but set in the 1920s and 1930s. In this darker take on the character, Parker gains his superpowers in a very similar manner to the main continuity, and uses them to take down a crime boss named The Goblin. The primary differences are his costume and the setting. He’s played by Nicolas Cage.
Hailing from a universe in which the recognized heroes are anthropomorphized animals, the pig Peter was given superpowers through an accident with his caretaker, May Porker. He’s surrounded by similar animal parodies like Hulk-Bunny, Ducktor Doom, and Deerdevil. Spider-Ham is played by John Mulaney.
Peni Parker (Earth-14512)
A distinctly anime take on the iconic character, Peni Parker is a schoolgirl whose father piloted a robot known as the SP//dr. Pilots are chosen by a sentient spider that forms a mental link with the mech pilots. Peni takes control of piloting the SP//dr after her father dies. She is played by Kimiko Glenn.
Oh, One More Thing
Six Spider-persons seems like plenty, but this trailer squeezed in one more cameo appearance or Easter egg. Marvel’s Spider-Man, the recent PlayStation 4 game, has its own continuity as Earth-1048. The animators paid it homage with a small glimpse of his suit, appearing in the background between Peter and Aunt May in one scene.