The Academy Award-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is nothing short of a cinematic triumph. It conveys the feeling of being in captivated by the visual storytelling of comics books without pandering, or presenting comics as a lower art form. The film respects the world from which it was born, leaning hard into the tropes and aesthetics of the graphic medium on almost every level. The world young Miles Morales calls home also comments on the current state of superhero films and comics by incorporating callbacks to various iterations of the titular webhead. The vast majority of these Easter eggs and odes to other characters and events are most likely nothing more than fun tidbits for ravenous fans to discover (and, in the case of Stan Lee's cameos, treasure), but what if there's something more to them? What if the tea leaves have been spilt, and the devil is in the details?
One of the more recent Easter egg catches in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has nothing to do with Miles Morales, Peter Parker or the other Spider-Folk in the movie -- at least, not directly. There's a moment in the film where Wilson Fisk's son Richard briefly transforms into Matt Murdock. It's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it scene, but it is certainly there. And its inclusion has us wondering, what if that split second of film indicates to something larger? We know the multiverse is real in this world (it's the fulcrum of the entire film, after all), so the idea of other superheroes are out there doing their part in fighting evil-doers in both Miles' world and the various dimensions is not a stretch. In fact, there is even some precedence.
Around the time of the film's release, producer Amy Pascal announced plans for a follow up, which would focus on the relationship between Miles Morales and Earth-65's version of Gwen Stacy. This might sound like an obvious choice in terms of where the multi-dimensional story may go, but without any details beyond having two of the leads from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse return, there is quite a bit of room of speculation for what could unfold, specifically in terms of who will be the duo's next antagonist.
Wilson Fisk is as deeply connected to the character of Spider-Man as he is to Daredevil, which would make the inclusion of Murdock in a sequel or spin-off a pretty logical step forward. However, with a sequel focusing on Gwen and Miles, perhaps a more sinister version of Daredevil will act as the antagonist in the next Spider-Verse feature. In the Spider-Gwen comic, several popular superheroes and villains take up very different roles than they ones fans are used to. One of the most jarring is Matt Murdock, who in Gwen's world is a corrupt lawyer who works for Wilson Fisk and eventually takes up the moniker of Kingpin after Fisk's incarceration.
Into Spider-Verse featured a large cast of villains, some of whom were dispatched by the final credits. If comic book movie sequels have taught us anything, it's that a heroes' rogues gallery often increases (something far too much) rather than decreases. But considering the myriad comic book deep cuts Into the Spider-Verse packs to the gills, a sequel could very well take things in a different direction, and the appearance of young Matt Murdock just as various realities happen to be colliding, very well may hold the key to what that direction will be.
With Wilson Fisk being heavily tied to the idea of multiple existences in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the image of his son becoming Matt could be a glimpse into Gwen's dimension. It might all seem like wish-fulfillment, but considering how open-ended Into the Spider-Man presented the limits of its universe, wondering if the Daredevil Easter egg is more than just a fun glimpse into another reality is far from a blind leap to make. Marvel and Sony have the beginnings of a fantastic new multiverse on their hands, and bringing the dark version of Matt Murdock to the forefront is a good place to start really kicking it into gear.
Or, you know, it may just be a cool Easter egg.