When travelling the multiverse, one will surely come into contact with superpowered spider people, and as much as they may terrify your inner arachnophobe, these bugs are, for the most part, benevolent. Hey, fellas! Hello! This could literally not get any weirder. They can be rather intimidating with their big blank eyes and creepy costumes, but don’t panic, because we’ve prepared a wholly remarkable video for aspiring dimension-hoppers everywhere. I’m Moose, this is how I really talk, and this is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Spider-Verse Before we delve in the secrets of life, the Spider-Verse, and everything, we should begin by explaining how The Spider-Verse came to be. While most scientists agree the universe was formed around 13 billion years ago, the origin of the Spider-Verse can be traced to 2001, AD, when Marvel Comics writer J. Michael Straczynski came up with a most intriguing idea: Peter Parker always thought that his powers came from a
standard-issue spider that was mutated by radiation, What’s the matter, Parker? Did our little demonstration upset you? but what if the spider was special to begin with? And it was simply trying to transfers its gifts to Peter before it died from an overdose of isotopes? That would make Spider-Man a totem, a living bridge between man and beast, explaining his extraordinary powers, and why so many grown men in animal costumes are constantly trying to kill him. Earth-616 has other examples of totems outside the arachnid kingdom, like the Black Panther and his patron god Bast, but Marvel is mainly infested by an army of eight-legged freaks. That’s because the multiverse is home to the Web of Life and Destiny, a cosmic construct that was spun by a spider-god called the Master Weaver. It’s a bridge to all of Marvels alternative dimensions, connecting and empowering all of the various Spider-People who reside there. Speaking of which, we wouldn’t be a helpful guide if we focused solely on the cosmological scale. An interdimensional hitchhiker is bound to encounter a cavalcade of colorful characters, so let’s start with one of the strangest: Peter Porker, the spectacular Spider-Ham It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. Comics operate on a similar principle, stuffing their superheroes through every conceivable permutation in every conceivable universe, since they can’t be buggered to create any new characters. There are worlds that have been ravaged by superpowered zombies, where the Avengers are made up of apes, and where anthropomorphic ducks are the dominant species. Peter Porker hails from Earth-8311, a cute, cartoony world populated by funny animals in the form of Marvel’s mightiest, like Captain Americat, Bruce Bunny, and the eater of world Galactypus. Introduced in 1983, our humble Spider-Ham began life as a spider scurrying around the lab of May Porker, a swine scientist irradiated by an atomic powered hair dryer, who bit the arachnid and bestowed upon him the powers of a pig. Over the next three decades, Spider-Ham continued to appear in isolated adventures in his own universe, and became somewhat of a running gag in the mainstream Marvel canon, but the ‘Spider-Verse’ is about to elevate this even-toed
ungulate from inside joke to international superstar. Do animals talk in this dimension? ‘Cause I don’t wanna freak him out. Our next Spider-Person, however, was well on her way to becoming an icon of her own, without any help from Hollywood: Spider-Gwen One of the most enduring, ironclad rules in comic books was that no one stays dead, with the exception of Bucky Barnes, Jason Todd, Uncle Ben, and Gwen Stacy. Well, two out of four isn’t bad, because despite her newfound popularity, the canonical Gwen Stacy is indeed still six feet under. Her death has haunted Peter Parker for decades, but that’s about all she was known for. She wasn’t a character in her own right, just a maudlin motivation for the male to mope over. That’s why Jason Latour and Robbie Rodriguez created Spider-Gwen, a dynamic denizen of Earth-65 who was bitten by a radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker. On her world, Gwen became Spider-Woman, complete with powers and the most cosplayable costume since Harley Quinn went casual. Peter, on the other hand, was driven to the brink by bullies, so he ingested a fatal chemical cocktail that transformed him into the Lizard. It’s a dark and dreary start for such a fun, lighthearted Spider-character, but that’s nothing compared to Spider-Man Noir. On the grim and gritty Earth-90214, the world is still in the 1930s, and seemingly cast in perpetual shadow. Initially, the titular “Spider” isn’t Peter Parker, it’s Ben Urich, a drug-addicted reporter who uses the alias with his army of informants, and takes young Peter under his wing. The cub reporter stumbles across a warehouse occupied by henchman of the Goblin, a deformed crime-lord who is trafficking in stolen antiques, including an ancient statue of a spider that smashes open and unleashes a horde of creepy crawlies, one of which bites Peter and gives him powers courtesy of the Spider-god. Donning all all-black outfit inspired by his Uncle’s World War I uniform, the gun-toting Spider-Man takes to the streets to dish out some hard-boiled justice. Now, despite their vast strength, the majority of
Spider-People should be considered mostly harmless, but Spider-Man noir has no such compulsion against killing. One would best be advised to steer clear of this avenging edgelord, but if a close encounter is unavoidable, one should be prepared. Obviously, one should never step foot outside their door without a towel, but if you’re eager to explore the multiverse, one might consider securing a SP//DR A giant robot is about the most massively useful thing an interdimensional hitchhiker can have, and there are several extant examples within the Spider-Verse itself. Earth-51778 is home to Takuya Yamashiro, a Japanese motocross racer who battles the Iron Cross Army as the avenging Spider-Man, complete with his trusty mech Leopardon. But the Spider-Verse also hosts a lesser-known Japan-inspired hero, Peni Parker of Earth-14512. Her father created a massive mech known as SP//DR, and upon his death, her adopted Uncle Ben and Aunt May informed Peni that only
she could take the reigns and finish her father’s work. SP//DR requires a second pilot, however, a radioactive spider that bites its wingman in order to establish
the psychic link necessary to control the monstrous machine. And if any of this sounds familiar, that’s because SP//DR was clearly influenced by the plugsuits and
Evas of the all-time classic anime ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion.’ The Spider-Verse is vast and diverse, home to a rich array of heroes inspired by different cultures, genres, and moments in time. The last entry in our guide, however, came from a world not too dissimilar from our own. Earth-1610, the Ultimate Universe, where we first met the shining star of the Spider-Verse, Miles Morales Miles’ Earth had a Peter Parker of its own, the Ultimate Spider-Man who led his own series for over 150 issues. Peter’s powers derived from a spider genetically modified with super soldier serum, but unlike his 616 self, this arachnid wasn’t alone. When a thief called the Prowler broke into the Oscorp Lab, an Oz-enhanced spider snuck into his bag, and crawled out to chomp on his nephew, an Afro-Latino boy from Brooklyn named Miles. Miles discovered he could walk on walls, emit a paralyzing sting, go invisible, and swing through the air in a way that bricks don’t. But he initially balked at the idea of becoming a hero. It was only after Peter Parker perished that Miles decided use his newfound gifts for good, after getting a lesson in power and responsibility from none other than Gwen Stacy. In 2015, Miles was merged into the mainstream Marvel universe after his own dimension was annihilated, Although, like Ultimate Peter himself, Earth-1610 was eventually resurrected. It’s a long, complex story, but all you really need to know for the moment is that the
Spider-Verse is a lot more complicated than you might think, even if you start from thinking it’s pretty damn complicated in the first place. The true story of Miles Morales, how he changed Marvel both inside and outside of comics and made his way to Hollywood, is beyond the purview of this guide, so stay tuned for our next video to learn all about the most sensational Spider-Man of all. And until then, I leave you with this: so long, and thanks for all the thwips. Thwip, release! Thwip, release! You’re a natural!