WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Sony's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, in theaters now.
Sony's animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse doesn’t just hurl Miles Morales head first into the multiverse, it brings the audience along with him. Just like Miles, a wealth of possible futures, timelines and worlds is now open to us, even if we don’t know where exactly we’re going next. So where exactly does the film's finale leave the heroes, and what does it say about their futures?
The film follows Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore), a Brooklyn teen imbued with extraordinary abilities after being bitten by a radioactive spider and transformed into Spider-Man. But when he meets (Jake Johnson) he learns he's only one of many Spider-heroes, whose own worlds are endangered by a Wilson Fisk's plan to use a super-collider to reunite with his dead wife and son -- or at least some versions of them.
The heroes stop the Kingpin, of course, in a fast-paced finale that sees them face off against his allies Tombstone, Scorpion and Doctor Octopus, with the face of the spider-verse at stake.
A Multiverse of Possibilities
The climax occurs at the super-collider constructed by Wilson Fisk (voiced by Liev Schreiber) beneath New York City. Having left behind the relatively inexperienced Miles Morales, the five other Spider-heroes -- Peter Parker, Gwen Stacy, Spider-Man Noir, Peni Parker and Spider-Ham -- rush to disable the device and return to their home realities before their atoms fall apart in Miles' world. However, Peter Parker decides to remain behind to destroy the collider, which will most certainly kill him in the process.
The meet Tombstone, Scorpion and Doctor Octopus in a battle that leaves Peni's SP//dr robot damaged beyond repair. But the last-minute arrival of Miles helps them to turn the tide, defeat Doc Ock, and prevent the collider from bringing multiple realities crashing on top of each other. Peni, Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Ham and Gwen reenter the dimensional rift to be successfully returned to their homes, but Peter remains to help Miles fight Kingpin.
Reflecting on the fate of his universe's Spider-Man, Miles resolves not to allow another Peter Parker to die. He drops Peter into the rift, and goes toe to toe with the hulking Wilson Fisk. On the brink of defeat, Miles is saved by his own determination and by a distraction from an other-dimensional version of Fisk's family, which presents the teen with the opportunity to land a well-placed venom blast. The collider is ultimately destroyed, Kingpin is captured, and the day is saved.
Where We Go From Here
The film leaves open a slew of possibilities for not only Miles, but for all of the Spider-heroes: Spider-Ham (John Mulaney) enjoys his cartoon reality once more: Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage) is still obsessed with the colorful Rubik's Cube he brought back to monochrome existence; Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld) checks out photos she took with Miles, hinting at her potential feelings for him; Peni (Kimiko Glenn) begins construction of a new SP//dr robot to replace the one lost; and Peter Parker decides not to give up on himself, and is last seen hoping to reconcile with his ex, Mary Jane Watson.
Miles is left as the Spider-Man of his world, still trying to refine his control over his new powers but full of confidence and hope for the future. The final moment of the film even implies the multiverse is about to open up even wider to Miles, with a flash of light appearing over his head and Gwen asking if she can talk to him.
It’s A Big Multiverse Out There
The stage is set for all kinds of adventure in this animated multiverse, even just within Miles’ world. Just because he’s brought down the Kingpin doesn’t mean every bad guy he’s encountered is imprisoned and accounted for. The Green Goblin was buried beneath rubble and left for dead, but he could easily pull the classic Norman Osborn trick. Likewise, Doctor Octopus wasn't among the arrested supervillains at the end of the film.
Sony already has a Spider-Verse sequel, and a female-led spinoff, in the works, and considering the revelation of the post-credits scene, the studio is throwing the door wide open to what comes next -- no matter which villains Miles & Co. may face.
Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse stars Shameik Moore, Brian Tyree Henry, Jake Johnson, Mahershala Ali, Hailee Steinfeld, Liev Schreiber, Luna Lauren Velez, Lily Tomlin, Nicolas Cage, John Mulaney and Kimiko Glenn. The film is in theaters now.