Spider-Man has always been not just a major comic book superhero, but one of the biggest mainstream icons in general. Since Stan Lee and Steve Ditko created Peter Parker and his alter ego in 1962's Amazing Fantasy #15, the wall-crawler has risen to meteoric heights, appearing in numerous books, cartoons, video games, and of course, movie franchises from Sony and Marvel Studios.
But no matter how much traction the character has gained throughout these decades, there's no denying that right now, Spidey is going through his biggest era in modern pop culture, ever.
The Future Of The MCU
Sony mostly did well with its movies, with Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield bringing the webhead to life. However, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is taking things to new heights with Tom Holland as a teenage friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Holland's charm and exuberance is seamlessly replicated on screen, and since appearing in Captain America: Civil War, fans can't seem to get enough.
Holland is a big part of the reason why Spider-Man: Homecoming was received so well, and also why so many of us teared up when he "died" in Iron Man's arms in Avengers: Infinity War. From the reception of the character in the Far From Home trailer, as well as speculation over what role he'll play in Avengers: Endgame, it's apparent Spidey continues to resonate with cinema-goers in a big way. Given Holland's age and the fact that he'll be a major part of the MCU's Phase Four, it seems like the ride's only just beginning.
The Spider-Verse Has Just Begun
Of course, there's another Spidey we have to consider and that's Shameik Moore's Miles Morales from Sony's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. This film has won many awards for its animation style, not to mention the emotional substance it effervesced in its fun, family adventure that put a new Spider-Man into the public eye like never before.
Spider-Verse was also a monumental step in terms of diversity and inclusivity, and from the critical reception to the box office figures, Miles' journey is only just beginning on the big screen. The fact that Sony is launching spinoffs with other Spider-characters, including female heroes like Spider-Gwen, and reaching out to manga/anime fans via Peni Parker, it's obvious that no matter your age, ethnicity, gender or location, there will be a Spidey for you.
Storming The Gaming World
Last year's Spider-Man video game for the PS4 console took the world by storm too, with fans lapping up the gameplay (all thanks to Insomniac's epic proprietary engine that was used in Sunset Overdrive). The game used minor characters such as Mister Negative and balanced him out with the likes of Otto Octavius to freshen up its story; at the same time, it had longtime fans of the character loving its narrative, action and the possibility of its expanding universe.
The game impressed so many folks that many have called for other heroes to appear in the franchise, and even for Insomniac to create games with other Marvel properties in the same vein. Given that the game still has downloadable content with missions involving Black Cat, Silver Sable and others, the possibilities are endless, especially given that Miles will be getting powers as well, and setting the bar high for ensuing games.
The Comics Are Filled With Epic Drama
Back in the comics, Pete continues to carve out a new career as a scientific genius, Mary Jane's back on his radar, and he'll soon be confronting Aunt May's potential breast cancer, so it's shaping up to be quite a life-changing emotional rollercoaster.
As for Miles, well, he's been growing as a leader with the Champions, moving past the coming-of-age stories, including getting himself into trouble with Mephisto, just as Peter infamously did. As this gets drawn out, it'll be intriguing watching him balance teenage life in terms of school, family and yes, his love interests, while scrutinizing how he carves out his path as a future Avenger alongside Miss Marvel, Ironheart, Sam Alexander and Amadeus Cho.
With the Spider-Verse booming through events like Spider-Geddon, expect a lot more comics fans to be exploring Spider-people across the multimedia-verse!