Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Review

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With great power comes great responsibility, and the creators of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse MUST have felt some sort of responsibility to the fans when making this, because they knocked it out of the park! I’m so glad I was able to see this one while it is still in theaters. In fact, I would happily go back just to watch it a second time. If you get the chance, the animation is so good that you’d be doing yourself a favor to go see it on the big screen while you still can. The artistry is top notch, with utterly fantastic color schemes and character designs. It was a real treat visually, but rest assured, there is much more to the film than just that.

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It’s the age-old story: boy meets spider, spider bites boy, boy turns into Spider-Man. If that wasn’t enough of a game changer for young Miles Morales, getting bombarded with other Spider-Men, Spider-Women, Spider-Pigs and Robots from different parts of the multiverse just might be. Miles will have to be a quick learner and get his Spidey sense and abilities under control if he hopes to save his own little corner of the spider-verse from being torn apart.

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I genuinely think this is a film that longtime fans and even non-fans could both enjoy. There are all kinds of fun references throughout the film, but they’re not something that would leave you feeling lost if you didn’t get them from prior Spidey material. There were even some surprisingly touching parts that really tugged at my heartstrings. (Especially a certain cameo if you know what I mean.)

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I’m not crying, YOU’RE crying! *sniffles*

The characters were great as well. Mistakes were made, no one was perfect, and our main character Miles was someone you could really root for.

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Into the Spider-Verse took some great artistic liberties all while sticking close to the heart of the content and knowing what the fans would hope to see. It even has a good time poking fun at some prior moments in Spidey history. Even though I didn’t get the chance to see it until 2018 was technically over, it was hands down my favorite film of the year. ❤ It even ended up winning the golden globe for the year for best animated feature film! Did any of you guys get the chance to watch it yet? What did you think? What was your favorite film of 2018 (animated or otherwise). 🙂

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Spider-Gwen, Vol. 1: Greater Power

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After a lukewarm first dip into the world of Spider-Gwen with Volume 0: Most Wanted back in March, I wasn’t in too big of a rush to move onto Volume 1: Greater Power. I didn’t hate it or anything. I just wasn’t as into it as I would have hoped to be. Here’s a link to clicky-clicky if you want to read my thoughts on volume 0.

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Fortunately, Volume 1 carried over the things I enjoyed about volume 0, but toned down some of the things I wasn’t as crazy about (like all the angsty band drama). I’m still a big fan of the popping color schemes, Gwen’s costume design, and this alt-Gwen herself as a character. She’s corny and loves puns. I can appreciate that. 🙂 I also like that she isn’t perfect. She makes mistakes and she owns them and learns from them.

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We get to meet more alt versions of characters as some iconic baddies as well as good guys, and I use the term “guys” loosely, entering the fray. No worries, I won’t spoil the fun by saying who they are. 😉 Here’s the fist of one of them though:

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We also get to learn more about Gwen and her friends before she was bit by that radioactive spider, as well as get some hints at some of the shadier stuff going on behind the scenes with some of the other characters. The story overall still wasn’t quite what I was hoping for, but I think it may just be a slow beginning to something better in the long run perhaps. Only time will tell. I’d say I definitely enjoyed this volume more than volume 0 though, and would probably give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

And just for fun, here’s some of the variant covers included in the back of volume 1:

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Spider-Gwen, Vol. 0: Most Wanted

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Marvel’s Spider-Gwen presents us with the question: what if it had been Gwen Stacy rather than Peter Parker who had been bitten by that fateful radioactive arachnid?

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I was pretty excited by this premise, and had really looked forward to checking it out, but while I liked it, I’m afraid that I didn’t love it as much as I had hoped to.

I really enjoyed the art, and the color scheme was great, with bright colors that really stand out and command attention.

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But while visually, I was digging it, I wasn’t as thrilled with the overall story which just sort of seemed disjointed and cobbled together at points. When we meet this version of Gwen she’s already been bitten, learned to use her abilities, suffered a great loss that inspires her to get her superhero on, and has her costume. And she’s even already public enemy #1 in the eyes of the law. Honestly, I would have rather actually gotten to see that all go on in volume 0. I think it would have been better for kicking off her story and letting us better get to know this version of Gwen. I guess I was hoping for her origin story and just wound up feeling like I was tossed into yet another day in the life of Gwen fighting crime and struggling with drama within her band. Yup, there’s also a big side story involving Gwen being in a band called “The Mary Janes” with who else but Mary Jane Watson as the lead singer. And Mary Jane is such an unlikeable narcissist in this alt universe it isn’t even funny. I suppose this leaves her a lot of room for character growth, but I just couldn’t stand her. I know we’re supposed to root for the band to get over their drama, but I just wanted to see the other girls rise up in a hipster girl band mutiny against Mary Jane and her inflated ego. Heck, I think I disliked MJ more than I did the main bad guy of this volume, the Vulture.

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We encounter several Marvel characters in volume 0 and I know things are supposed to be all topsy turvy in this alt universe, but some of them just felt so very off that it almost made them feel less like a twist and more like a ruthless decapitation and disembowelment.

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C’mon, Felicia Hardy, I’m lookin’ at you on this one. I know you’re a known thief, but what in the hell were they thinking having it look like you’ve been stealing your wardrobe from the closets of Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj?? The girl in the green dress on the right perfectly summed up my reaction to this universe’s Felicia. WTF indeed.

Gwen at least is a likeable enough character. She has flaws that she is trying to work through and has a good sense of humor, but I think I would have liked to have gotten to know her even more by the end of this first volume considering she is the protagonist. I love her costume design though and she has a really nice heart-to-heart with May Parker that I thought was handled very well.

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I haven’t made up my mind yet about this series as a whole, and fortunately I already have volume 1 on hand to help me explore the series further before making a final decision on it. Maybe it just got a rough start on shaky little Bambi legs and will take off bounding through the other volumes. I hope so. Overall, I’d give it 3 out of 5 stars, I think.