My brain is still blown by the Spider-Man Across The Spider-Verse trailer. I’m sure I’m not the only one here wondering why all these Spider-Men are attacking Miles Morales. Also, Spider-Man 2099 Fighting Miles Morales? What exactly does he do to Warrant him getting dogpiled on by dozens of multiversal Spider-People? I have a theory that we may find ourselves in the midst of a Spidey-on-Spidey Civil War, or as John Watts would call it Spider-Man Home War.
I have two reasons why the two Spider-Men are fighting. But to understand these two reasons, we first need to understand the basis of the conflict between the two. And it involves another being who can travel through the Multiverse and Miles being a usual cool, non-killing, friendly neighborhood Spider-Man (but not as cool as the OG Peter Parker’s Spider-Man). Let’s get into reasons without disturbing the Multiverse and getting attacked by a whole bunch of Spider-People.
Spider-Man 2099 Forming A Spider-Force
When we last saw Miles at the end of Into the Spider-Verse, it was revealed that Gwen found a way to travel the Multiverse reliably, and the teaser we saw last December seemingly picks up with Gwen stopping by to check in on her pal and do some superheroes. The hexagonal portal Tech she’s using, and the bracelet she wears on her left wrist looks to all be inventions by Miguel O’Hara AKA Spider-Man 2099 of Earth 928. We saw the beginnings of this in the post-credits scene of Into the Spider-Verse, where Miguel and his AI Lyla invent autonomous multiversal travel, and he begins to recruit a team of Web Warriors.
According to the official Sony synopsis, this movie follows “Brooklyn’s full-time, friendly neighborhood Spider-Man [Miles] as he is catapulted across the Multiverse, encountering a team of Spider-People charged with protecting its very existence”. These are essentially the Web-Warriors or Spider-Force from the comics who defend the web of life and destiny that connects the Multiverse. Very clearly Miguel is leading this operation and Gwen is part of his Spidey Squad.
According to the post-trailer interview with producer and co-writers Phil Lord and Chris Miller and actor Haley Steinfeld, “Gwen Stacy is invited into the Spider-Club and Miles pointedly isn’t”. And it’s low-key because he isn’t cool enough to hang for a specific reason that Stacy isn’t telling him. Lord said to Steinfeld, “basically you got invited into Oscar Isaacs AKA Miguel’s cool Spider-Force, you get invited into the Spider-Society, and Miles doesn’t, and you sort of can’t tell him why”.
The fact that Gwen is keeping a secret from Miles is a very interesting mystery box that will circle back to trying to crack open. For now, let’s examine the Spider-Society. I think that we’re going to see Miguel enforce the rules of his interdimensional superhighway, guarding the Multiverse against other Travelers with nefarious intentions. After all with “Great Power Comes Great Responsibility”.
Miles And Miguel Dealing With The Spot
Judging by how the first movie established that multiversal travel can come with dangerous hiccups, from incursions to complete cellular decay, that’s clearly a responsibility that weighs heavy on Miguel. But I think it’s how he carries out that responsibility that ultimately leads to his conflict with Miles.
And the Miller, Lord, and Steinfeld interview, Miller notes that “the first movie was about the idea that anyone can wear the mask, while this movie is about how do you wear the mask”. So not only do I immediately know that this film will do a multiversal Uncle Ben speech cutaway gag, but we know that this film will explore methods and degrees of balancing power with responsibility. How miles handles crime fighting and prevention versus how Miguel handles crime fighting and prevention.
This is where the villain of the movie suspiciously missing from the trailer, The Spot, comes in. The rest of the official synopsis basically tells us that the way Miles approaches The Spot, versus how Miguel approaches The Spot is the core conflict of the movie.
So how can The Spot factor into all of this? In the comics, Dr. Jonathan was a scientist hired by Kingpin to recreate The Cloak’s teleportation Powers. His research sent him to a dimension of half Darkness Half-Life, surrounded by portals that he called Spot World. After finding his way back to his original Dimension, he discovered that the portals had stuck to his skin, allowing him to space travel.
Although the comics paint The Spot as a joke, Across the Spider-Verse producer Kent Powers warns us that “when you really look at this villain’s powers, then you’ll see that there’s an incredible potential”. And he’s right, portal travel is no joke. Wielding a power like that definitely comes with great-great-great-great-great responsibility. You don’t F around with the Multiverse, just ask Tom Holland’s Peter Parker. Oh, wait you can’t because he messed up the Multiverse so badly that everyone forgot he existed.
The Spot Being A Threat To Multiverse
So here we have a character with the power to jump dimensions and who can do so without Miguel’s Tech consent or safety precautions. Whether The Spot knows it or not, that makes him a multiversal threat. Miguel’s job is to eliminate threats and how does Miguel eliminate threats, words “excessive force” comes to mind. Not only do we see him ragdolling Miles across Dimensions, but the Comic version of Miguel is pretty brutal and the crew of Across The Spider-Verse reportedly nicknamed him “property damage Spider-Man”, because everything gets destroyed in this dude’s wake.
Miles on the other hand will likely take a more sympathetic approach to The Spot. According to producer Kent Powers, The Spot and Miles are connected in surprising ways, which leads me to believe that The Spot they’re fighting over will be from the same universe as Miles.
Like his comic counterpart, The Spot was likely a scientist who was working on Fisk’s forays into dimensional travel. He may have even been an unseen casualty when Fisk rebooted his particle collider. Possibly trapped between Dimensions when Miles shut it down, another villain inadvertently created by a Spider-Man.
From an article back in June 2022, we learned that The Spot’s character design would evolve as the character does. It said, “as the film crew explained, The Spot will feature a character design which is meant be as an unfinished sketch, having Blue construction (drawing) lines that give out a comic book artist’s rough drawing look, before the work (design or drawing) goes on to an inker. The design of The Spot itself will evolve as the movie goes on and the character grows, also taking on a more fearless form as he learns to better use his own powers”. This to me sounds like Dr. Jonathan is almost being slowly regenerated back into reality like Dr. Manhattan when he first got his powers.
Why Is Spider-Man 2099 Fighting Miles Morales?
If Spot’s powers were the result of an accident, like they were in the comics, Miles would understand where he was coming from. Especially if he doesn’t know exactly how to control his powers. Miles didn’t know how to control his either, but I think the interpersonal Spider drama goes deeper than just Miguel trying to kill the Spot while Miles tries to help him control his powers.
Like obviously I gotta bring up The Dead kid hint, right? In the trailer we see Miguel gazing at an old photo of him and his daughter Gabriella eating ice cream. This combined with the fact that all Spider-Man experience a tragic loss, hints that she’s most likely deceased. It wouldn’t be all that surprising to find out that The Spot is somehow partially responsible for Gabriella’s death.
But what if Miguel’s Spot isn’t Miles’s Spot? As far as we know only two Dimensions have successfully invented the means to jump into the Multiverse. To me, this says that we can expect to see The Spot slowly come into his powers in the same way that Miles had to learn to control his.
Reason 1: Two Different Spots
So here’s where one part of my Theory comes in. What if The Spot’s powers somehow directly or indirectly caused the death of Miguel’s daughter? If he had run into Miguel and Gabriella while he was still trying to get the gist of his powers, he could have made a mistake that ultimately cost the little girl her life. The person who killed Gabriella may not have been The Spot we’re gonna see voiced by Jason Schwartzman, and it could have been as long ago, very from Nuevo York.
Our version of The Spot could have gotten his powers in Kingpin’s busted portal explosion and was thrust into Spot world just like his comic counterpart. Perhaps the Spider-Verse’s version of The Spot Dimension is connected to the Web of Life and Destiny. If this hypothetical situation is true, he would have gained the ability to instantly do what took Miguel years to invent when he emerged. This could explain why Miguel is so hell-bent on protecting the Multiverse and controlling interdimensional travel as much as possible.
If the person he loved most was killed by careless space warping, I could see him making it his life’s mission to prevent something like that from ever happening again. And hence Miguel will be going to eliminate the threat, or should I kill him? But Miles being the good guy and the hero of the movie would sympathize with The Spot at some level (like how Tom Holland’s Spider-Man did in No Way Home). And he definitely wouldn’t want Miguel to kill The Spot. Therefore, Miles will come Miguel’s way. Hence it explains Why Spider-Man 2099 Is Fighting Miles Morales?
Reason 2: Miles Will Take Spot’s Side
If Miles learns that Miguel wants to kill or punish the spot for his inability to control his extreme Powers. He could entirely take The Spot side. After all, he just spent the entirety of Into the Spider-Verse struggling to master his own powers. And if Miles is struggling to fit into the cool crowd at Spidey-Central he could connect to a fellow outcast.
This reason might sound like the first one, but it’s not. In the first reason, which is mentioned, Mile was just acting as the good superhero he is and just didn’t want anybody to get killed. But here for the second reason, he will straight up take The Spot’s side. And now since both The Spot and Miles are on Miguel’s opposition side, this might be the second reason Why Spider-Man 2099 is Fighting Miles Morales.
Spider-People Civil War
If this is the case and Miles protests against Miguel’s harsh rules in favor of more compassionate treatment of The Spot, we could very well have a Spider-Man Civil War on our hands. In the same way that Tony and Cap fought over what to do about the Sokovia Accords, we might see Miles and Spider-Man 2099 fight one another, each believing that their side is right.
If Miguel sees taking Spot out as a part of his duty to protect the Multiverse, Miles may argue to give this guy a chance. Like Iron Man and Steve Rogers, both Miguel and Miles would have valid reasons for their beliefs but wouldn’t be able to compromise.
And it’s possible that this is when things get ugly for Miles. With Miguel blindly determined to keep the Spider-Verse from harm, this could be when he calls for the rest of the Spidwr-People to turn against the Party Crasher.
We do know that Gwen eventually calls Miguel out saying “we are supposed to be the good guys”. So my guess is that she eventually sees that his methods aren’t as heroic as she and the others thought that they were. Miles won’t be alone in this fight for long, and after clashing with Miguel on how to handle The Spot, they may need to work together to stop this portal jumper from growing strong enough to break the Multiverse.
Ultimately I believe that the theme of this movie is going to be about how each Spider-Man chooses to wear the mask. Are Miguel’s more aggressive tactics against The Spot’s presence the right way to handle things? Or is Miles’ non-judgmental more understanding approach better Will Miles’ naivete and past experiences blind him towards The Spot’s capacity for harm? And Will Miguel finds humanity in his Nemesis? We’re gonna have to wait till 2023 to find these things out.