Spider-Man, Spider-Man, time to learn about Spider-Man. Did you know, he’s twenty-three, that and more you can learn from me. Okay enough of that. It's important you read that in the tone of the 1960's cartoon theme, which is still one of the catchiest tunes of all time. Well, not that original version. It's sort of sung too fast and the music actually being kind of too loud, but whatever. I'm getting off on a musical tangent. Anyway I've already covered Spider-Man's suit history as well as explain a few things that don't make sense about the game. Now it's time to give you guys and gals a broader history lesson.
I'll be covering Easter eggs and small details you may not have not noticed. Oh yeah, and some good old history knowledge from the comics. Here’s a quick bonus truth bomb. Spider-Man first appeared way back in 1962. If you do the math then you'll surely discover this character is fifty-six. Hey, I wonder if that's why they aged him out to be twenty-three in this game. You know, I bet I'm right and that's just a small little factoid you'll soon discover in my write up. Before we get to it though, I'd like to share a little bit about discovering Spider-Man. I grew up watching the 90s cartoon, which premiered in 1994. That's how I got to know most of my Spidey knowledge and since then I've browsed some of his comic arcs. It may not be as well animated as the Batman cartoon, but it’s still special to me. Let’s get to the facts, but be warned, there are spoilers ahead.
29 A Secret Avengers Villain
Confused by the appearance of the Taskmaster? Yeah, I was too. That’s because Taskmaster first appeared as a villain for The Avengers to fight in the comics.
A Tisket, a Tasket, here comes the task bandit.
It’s not like he and Spider-Man haven’t squared off before, but it was a weird inclusion that perhaps hints at more Avengers stuff in the sequel. Also, for those unaware, if you tackle his bomb defusal, or any other missions of his, he'll randomly attack you in the streets for a couple of bouts.
28 The Secret Quest
One of the many collectable side missions you can do in the game is take pictures of landmarks, which is fairly easy as they are all designated on the map. However, there is an additional fifty landmarks you need to take a snapshot of. The tricky part is the game doesn't keep track of what you did, or didn't do so best have a piece of paper at the ready. If you're diligent enough you can earn a new suit, but I won't spoil that for now. Happy hunting!
27 Stars And Scars
What’s up with Electro’s scars? While we don’t know how he got them, there’s actually a secret behind their design. It might be hard to see as the scar outlines are kind of hidden by the skin tone though. If you look closely they resemble a star, which is what Electro wore as a mask in the comics.
I know, it's a pretty silly costume and one you can see at the Halloween party at Empire State University. I'm glad Insomniac revised the design, but also paid homage to it.
26 No Spoilers!
While Martin Li was reveled to be Mr. Negative in the game prior to its release, Insomniac did remain tight-lipped about two things. One, who Peter was working for. Two, who the last member of the Sinister Six was going to be. The big theory landed on Green Goblin with Peter then working for Norman Osborn. Another theory was that he’d be working for Tony Stark since they did show the Avengers tower in the marketing. While both of these hypotheses could have been cool, I’m thankful they went with the classic Doc Ock.
25 Miles Apart
Despite what you may have thought based on this game, Peter and Miles do not exist in the same universe. Technically Miles first appeared in the dimension known as Earth-1610, whereas the “main” Marvel universe is Earth-616, which has been confirmed for the setting of this game. Miles actually becomes Spider-Man after Peter perishes in his universe. That’s one take at least, but like Peter, he has other origins as well. Now Marvel's Spider-Man can be added to the list.
24 The Story Of Earth-1610
Here’s another interesting bit about Earth-1610. In most incarnations of Mary Jane she is seen as an actress, or a performer of some sort. However, like Marvel’s Spider-Man, she becomes a reporter on this Earth. So Miles is not the only thing to come from, or at least be inspired by, Earth-1610.
This Is The Story Of A Girl
A more common name for this realm is the Ultimate Universe. As to why the authors decided on the designation of 1610, or 616 for that matter, is beyond me. It’s probably a really funny math joke for someone.
23 Made Of Bees
In one of JJ’s many rants on his podcast, he says Spider-Man is the problem for attracting mutant criminals like Electro and Sandman. The last reference I thought was just a joke wherein he screams, “[Enemies] made of bees!” That’s just a funny line, but that villain is indeed real. Fritz von Meyer, or Swarm, was a bad man, or at least a villain that believed in their ideals. Most importantly he’s a skeleton with a body made of bees. He also used to be part of the Sinister Six at one point.
22 Guaranteed To Eliminate Spiders
You ever wonder why every single organization uses rocket launchers? The fact is pretty simple if you pause the game in Photo Mode and zoom in on a fired rocket. If you tilt the camera just right you can read, “Guaranteed to [end] spiders.” With a guarantee like that no wonder bad guys have stockpiled rocket launchers. Too bad they never work. They must have been made by the ACME Corporation and before you ask, yes, there is an ACME in the Marvel universe. Just not the one you're thinking of.
21 Go Go Spider-Mobile
In the beginning cutscene, we can see a small window into Peter’s life. There are photos of his family and friends, newspaper clippings concerning Fisk, and other villains. The most intriguing, and hilarious Easter eggs are his Post-it notes.
Eat my webbing Batman!
The one I want to focus in on, which is something I didn’t know was real before, concerns the note that reads, “Spider-Mobile good idea, or great idea?” The real Spider-Mobile, in all its awful and hilarious glory, dates back to 1974.
20 Balloon Games
The items in Peter’s backpacks are cool because they give you even more insight into his life. One of the funniest is not a reference to the comics, but a previous game. The movie tie-in to Spider-Man 2, is often hailed as one of the best games not just for Spider-Man, but also for the entirety of the PS2. There were missions wherein you had to retrieve balloons for children. So the children’s drawing of Spider-Man giving a child a balloon is a reference to that.
19 Three Little Chest Hairs
Spider-Man makes a joke when his suit gets ripped at the beginning of the game about how people are going to take pictures of his three chest hairs. That’s a sick burn to yourself Spidey, but that’s not the end of the joke. At the end of the Scorpion hallucination, Peter will wake up in just his boxers and mask. If you pause the game, enter Photo Mode, and zoom in, he indeed only has three wimpy chest hairs. What a call back!
18 Busting Makes Me Feel Good
There are tons of famous Marvel places in the city like the Avengers Tower, or the Wakanda Embassy. Most of these landmarks are indicated on your map for a quest. However, there are quite a few hidden ones as I mentioned earlier.
Egon and Peter would be a team-up I would subscribe to!
For example, you can visit the Ghostbusters' firehouse, which has real ghosts! Okay, so it’s just graffiti and not graffiti of something famous like Slimer either, but it’s still a cool little Easter egg.
17 Who Are The Real Sinister Six?
Despite what the game might want you to believe, the original Sinister Six lineup did not include Mr. Negative. It was, however, indeed organized by Doc Ock all the way back in 1964 and was comprised of himself, the Vulture, Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio, Sandman, and Electro. Their “grand” plan was to face Spider-Man one on one. Now, this is just me, but isn't that what made them fail in the first place? Doing it alone is no different than not being on a team.
16 The Art Of The City
If you visit the real New York City, one of the most striking things you'll notice is the graffiti. It's all over the place and is truly a part of the city's image. It's iconic as the Statue of Liberty. So Insomniac hired graffiti artists from New York City to actually design the street art in the game. They wanted to create a city that was a character unto itself. It may not be a perfect recreation, but it's pretty top-notch, or at least fun to swing around in.
15 A Positive Take On Mr. Negative
So I already mentioned that Mr. Negative wasn't part of the original Sinister Six lineup. I never mentioned this before, but in the past sixty years or so since the team first debuted as a concept, there have been member changes in the dozens across multiple universes.
Spider-Man is Mr. Positive.
As far as I've researched he has never been featured, which may be in part because he's fairly new. In fact, this year marks his 10th anniversary. Marvel's Spider-Man actually takes a lot of his background into account like F.E.A.S.T. He was not, however, created by Octavius and Osborn.
14 Spider-Man’s Career
Did you catch Spider-Man’s age in relation to how long he’s been fighting crime as Spider-Man? He’s twenty-three and began his career at the young age of fifteen. How can you figure this out? Just look at the poster in his bedroom, which showcases his first wrestling match. It says the bout was in 2010 and the game takes place canonically this year, 2018. That's not a crazy discovery, but it gives some context to the possibilities of what Peter has seen. A few of which I already hinted at like Gwen Stacey’s untimely demise.
13 Finger Guns
There’s no direct prompt in the game that tells you this, but there is a way to talk to interact with civilians without getting the button prompt to appear after doing something special. Usually after a big fight some citizen may ask for a high five, which you can deny, or oblige. It's cute. Anyway if you press the square button he'll do a number of fun things like shooting people with finger guns. This is probably a reference to Spider-Man 3.
Venom Has Come And Gone
There’s a tiny hint in the game that Peter has already tangoed with Venom. In a conversation with Yuri regarding the Policeman’s Ball, she asks him if he has a black and white suit to which Peter replies with something along the lines of I already tried black. That feels too specific not to be a reference to Venom.
The biggest clue is the ending itself. This is how it went down. I believe Peter probably fought Venom, thought he destroyed it, for it only to return to infect Harry.
12 New Skin For Rhino
Speaking of crazy mutated skin, let's talk about Rhino. In the comics he’s not wearing a suit. He’s actually genetically modified into a rhino, which is to say his skin is that of the real beast. In this game it’s a super fancy tech suit. That assumption might be wrong. When Peter is examining Doc Ock's plans, Peter discovers that he figured out how to remove Rhino's suit. Does he mean Rhino’s mutated skin, or just his tech suit?
11 A Marriage Proposal Gone Wrong
There has been a long standing tradition of fans asking developers if they could somehow help out with their wedding proposals. Okay, maybe not long standing, but there are at least enough examples to fill a small listicle. Most of then have a happy ending, but this does not. There's a theater you can go to that reads in the header "Maddie, will you marry me?" By the time the game came out they had already broken up. Oops. It gets even more depressing if you want to read more about it from Kotaku's breaking story.
10 When Universes Collide
Here’s one last voice actor tip. Nadji Jeter voices Miles Morales and Nancy Linari voices Aunt May in the current Spider-Man cartoon. They reprised their roles in Marvel's Spider-Man and they are the only ones in terms of the bigger characters.
It's the last of us spiders, man.
Here are two more crazy facts. The only other game Jeter acted in was The Last of Us as Sam. Yeah...that Sam. You should also Google Linari because as soon as you see her you'll think of Aunt May. It’s uncanny.
9 Evil Spider-Man Goes To Heck
Let's end this with a few suit facts just in case you never saw my suit comparisons article. So the Spirit Suit is not what you think it is. That is to say, if you thought it had something to do with Ghost Rider you'd be just as wrong as I was initially. In another universe, Spider-Man tried to destroy his other selves but perishes in the process only to be reborn into this powerful presence. Now he has a chance to redeem his sins.
8 Doc Ock Became Spider-Man?
This storyline seems like a hack piece from the bizarre 60s, or 70s, but Superior Spider-Man is fairly recent in the canon. In this run, from 2013 to 2014, Doc Ock steals Peter's body and becomes a creepy version of Spider-Man. He thinks he can do Peter’s job better, hence the title. The only way Peter gets his body back is by his 2099 alter ego that comes to stop Octavius. As thanks, Peter makes him this spiffy new suit.
7 A Caged Spider
The Noire Suit is also pretty recent as of 2009. In this line of comics, Spider-Man takes place in the 1930s and is very Batman-like. The reason why I want to talk about this is because I just learned that this version is going to appear in the upcoming movie, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Why couldn't you just put the spider back in the box?
The character is awesome, yes, but it's even cooler because Nicolas Cage is going to play him. I was on board when I saw Spider-Gwen, but this is even better. I can't wait!
6 A Fan’s Dream Come True
Bryan Intihar, the creative director on the game, got his start in the gaming press via 1UP and its associated magazine, EGM. The very first podcast I ever listened to he was on it. I became a huge fan of both him and 1UP, which really gave me some great insight on the press side of things and even some hot dirt on the industry. It began my thirst for gaming knowledge, which led me into my writing career now. So thanks Bryan!
5 An Original Take On Spider-Man
Did you know this game is not based on any one work of Spider-Man’s fiction? The characters come from a bunch of different backgrounds and reference previous eras from the movies and comics, but this is an original take from Insomniac by and large. The most striking of which is the new Advanced Suit, which is the one with the white emblem and gauntlets along with the shoe like bottoms replacing his typical boots. It may seem familiar, but they have their own universe to build from now.
4 Comics To The Rescue
That said, comic book writers took part in creating the narrative including Dan Slott who has actually worked on the Spider-Man comics along with other Marvel properties. Even though I would have welcomed Insomniac to do their own thing, I'm glad they got some pros in there as well even if it was just to sort of be the loremasters.
Leave it to the professionals.
Sometimes a guide is all you need because even the biggest fans can't know everything about Spider-Man. There's only so many GBs in a brain, or something.
3 The Spider-Geddon Is Nigh
While it’s not directly based on any one story, it has the honor of kickstarting a new comic book series that takes place canonically right after the ending of the game. The comic is called Spider-Geddon, which is a big crossover event for the Spider-Verse. There is also a prequel novel, Spider-Man: Hostile Takeover, which all leads up to, you guessed it, the takedown of Wilson Fisk. The Advanced Suit is also an official suit now. That's got to be a great feeling for Insomniac.
2 The Voice Behind The Quips
Yuri Lowenthal voices Spider-Man, which is funny considering Yuri is the name of Spider-Man’s police confidant, Yuri Watanabe. Hearing that name makes me think of Shinichirō Watanabe, the brilliant director behind one of my favorite anime, Cowboy Bebop. Speaking of anime Yuri Lowenthal voiced Sasuke Uchiha in the English dub of the Naruto anime series. Spider-Man is sort of like a ninja so that's somewhat related. Oh yeah, and he plays Clash and The Lizard in the currently airing cartoon series on Disney XD simply titled Spider-Man.
1 The Voice Behind The Reporter
Here’s another fun voice actor connection. Yuri’s co-star, Laura Bailey, plays Mary Jane in the game. In that cartoon I just mentioned however, she is the voice of Gwen Stacy. Speaking of Gwen Stacy, she’s never mentioned in the game by name, but there is a reference to her. If you go to the Trinity Church the clock has stopped at the time of her demise in the comics, making one think she is indeed gone for this game’s universe too. I guess we won’t be seeing Spider-Gwen any time soon.