Warning: Spoilers for Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is already being hailed as one of the best superhero movies in ages. It’s also overflowing with Easter eggs, Marvel Comic references, and secret jokes. Since there are way too many for a fan to catch in one viewing, we’ve come to save the day.
The minds behind Sony’s groundbreaking Spider-Man movie made it clear from the start that Into the Spider-Verse would be a labor of love, made by and for the most devoted comic book fans. However, even if readers are only familiar with Spider-Man’s many movie reboots, there are too many loving references to count. Also, it isn’t just superheroes, either, since the movie fills every inch of the frame with inside jokes too perfect to go unnoticed. From Steph Curry to Shaun of the Dead, Into the Spider-Verse is an Easter egg scavenger hunt like no other.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a superhero “event” movie without teasing new characters, possible villains, or even theories on what Sony’s larger Spider-Man Universe could build towards for future movies. So to make sure that we’re backing up every Marvel fan who is too distracted by meeting Spider-Ham, Spider-Gwen, or any other variation of everyone’s favorite neighborhood wallcrawler to spot them, we’re collecting every reference and detail fans are most likely to miss, or forget. So with one last spoiler warning for fans who wish to hunt down these Easter eggs on their own without any clues, let’s get started.
Here is our breakdown of the 30 Things You Completely Missed In Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.
30 Chris Pine is The Perfect Hero
For all of the celebrities called upon to voice characters in the Spider-Man multiverse, none is more of a surprise than the voice of the Spider-Man audiences first meet. As the original Peter Parker of Miles’ reality, who better than to play the super-successful, universally-beloved, and massively-marketed Spider-Man than Chris Pine?
While many fans hoped to see Tobey Maguire get to imagine “What if his Spider-Man was truly the best?” the star of Wonder Woman and Star Trek is an incredible alternative (provided audiences even know that’s whose voice they’re hearing).
29 Spider-Man: Homecoming Reference
Even if Marvel Studios and Sony can’t come to a clear agreement on which Spider-Man characters exist in the MCU, that doesn’t stop Into the Spider-Verse from showing some love to Tom Holland’s current version — specifically the moment from Spider-Man: Homecoming when Peter exerted his full strength to keep two halves of the Staten Island Ferry from splitting down the middle and sinking.
In Spider-Verse, it’s Chris Pine’s Peter keeping two buses from falling off opposite sides of the bridge. However, since this moment is an homage to Homecoming’s own Raimi Spider-Man movie homage, it’s every bit as epic for longtime fans.
28 The PS4 Spider-Man Suit
For those who thought that the best days of the Spider-Man video games were behind us, this year’s Spider-Man from Insomniac proved that the best may still be yet to come. With both the PlayStation 4 exclusive and Into the Spider-Verse looking to breathe new life into Peter Parker’s brand for Sony, it’s no surprise that the movie included the video game version.
No, the heroes of the movie don’t meet the actual version of Spidey from the game, but when they descend into Peter Parker’s secret underground lair, fans will just have to keep their eyes to the left of the screen to spot this Easter egg. In the wide collection of different Spider-Man suits and armor, the white-spider Insomniac costume can clearly be spotted.
27 Spider-Man’s Clone, Ben Reilly
When Chris Pine’s original Spider-Man is finally unmasked after his demise, there’s one detail that is sure to confuse some fans (especially those who expect him to be the most widely recognized version). Fans will feel perfectly justified claiming that Peter Parker wasn’t blonde, but the movie’s decision to lighten Spidey’s locks is likely a next-level bit of fan service.
For starters, when Peter B. Parker gets an eyeful of the late Spidey’s face on a Times Square billboard, fans can see how the two men might actually be identical — just worn differently over time (and colored by their obvious outlook on life). That similarity instantly raises the existence of Spider-Man’s actual comic book clone, Ben Reilly, also known to his fans as the Scarlet Spider. What color was this carbon-copy of Peter Parker’s hair? Blonde.
26 Donald Glover’s Own Community Cameo
Look, Donald Glover’s fans may never get over the fact that in some other world, in some parallel reality, the Community star actually got to play Miles Morales, as was always his dream. As a consolation prize, it’s hard to beat Glover’s chance to voice Miles’ Spider-Man in Disney XD’s Web Warriors series. Oh, and he got to play the role of Miles’ uncle Aaron in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
If that still isn’t enough, Into the Spider-Verse makes sure to give his campaigning a shout-out, but you’ll have to be a Community fan to spot it. When the action shifts into Uncle Aaron’s apartment, he’s watching Community — specifically the episode and scene where Glover’s character wakes up dressed in Spidey pajamas. The moment is quick, but it actually contains three different layers of Donald Glover Easter eggs — Spidey, Aaron, and Community.
25 Stan Lee’s Animated Cameo
Even in animated form, fans knew that a Stan Lee cameo would be included in Into the Spider-Verse. As the first movie to include the Marvel creator since his passing, it’s fitting that this cameo will be the favorite for many. Lee has not just as a walk-on part, but the chance to play the costume shop owner who actually puts Miles Morales on the path to following Spider-Man’s literal legacy (no refunds on the costume, so you know it’s permanent).
Co-writer Phil Lord told Screen Rant in a Spider-Verse interview that while the cameo may have changed over time, the team knew they wanted it to be something special. “He had to do something that was formative for Miles,” said Lord. “And we knew it had to be warm and a tribute to Stan and the work that he’s done.”
24 Throwbacks to Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man
Looking at all of the evidence, it’s easy to see why the directors of Into the Spider-Verse actually did consider casting Tobey Maguire as a Spider-Man (roles that eventually went to Chris Pine and Jake Johnson). Even still, the obvious love for Sam Raimi and Maguire’s trilogy is on full display, with the movie recreating several iconic moments.
There’s Spider-Man using webs to try to slow down a speeding train, having a date with Mary Jane spoiled by a car tumbling through the front window of the restaurant, and even an upside-down kiss. None of the scenes appear exactly as they happened in Raimi’s movie, but they are clear nods all the same.
23 Peter B. Parker is Marvel’s True Spider-Man
Casual audiences may assume that Chris Pine’s opening Spider-Man is intended to be “the comic book version of Spider-Man fans know” with a far more tragic twist in Miles’ universe. However, that’s not actually the truth, and the movie confirms it.
During the sequence in which Kingpin and his scientist manage to collapse the realities of Miles, Spider-Ham, Gwen, Spider-Man Noir, and Peter B. Parker, the monitor labels each of the heroes with their native Earths. As washed-up and out of shape as Peter B. Parker may be, he’s designated as Earth-616’s Spidey — the official classification of Marvel’s core comic universe.
22 Oscar Isaac is Spider-Man 2099
Into the Spider-Verse saves one of its most popular variations on Spider-Man for its post-credits scene, finally explaining why Spider-Man 2099 (the future, flashy, and fan-favorite Spidey) didn’t get in on the movie’s action. One of the movie’s biggest names is cast in the part, too. Oscar Isaac may not be instantly recognizable to some, but his casting is no coincidence.
In the comics, the future Spider-Man 2099’s real name is Miguel O’Hara, and is notable as another Latin hero to don the Spider-Man identity (Miles Morales being a descendent of Latin America and Africa). The difference may not mean much to some, but the casting of Isaac, the son of parents from Cuba and Guatemala means Into the Spider-Verse is even more culturally diverse (and comic-accurate) than fans realize.
21 The Post Credits Spider-Meme
Spider-Man 2099 is just one of the bombshells delivered to fans patient enough to sit through the credits, with the other guaranteed to be the very best joke for many viewers — particularly those fond of Spider-Man memes — because when Miguel instructs his A.I. to send him back to “where it all began,” his travel to the original 1960s Spider-Man cartoon is too perfect.
Imitating the animation style and sound degradation is one thing, but using Miguel to recreate one of the most recognizable Spider-Man memes on the Internet has our hopes high for a sequel. Assuming that Isaac and Miguel return, of course.
20 Miles’ Dad Has a Law & Order License Plate
Fans of Brian Tyree Henry can appreciate yet another connection to Donald Glover’s Atlanta, but the actor voicing Miles’ father, Jefferson Davis, isn’t actually the funniest Easter egg for fans of police procedurals. When Jefferson is dropping Miles off at his charter school, be sure to check out the license plate of his squad car.
The plate number — RFD 690 — isn’t meaningful for Marvel Comics, but it’s the same license plate that’s been used for the lead detectives’ Crown Victoria for almost the entire run of Law & Order.
19 Chance the Rapper Alternate ‘Coloring Book’ Poster
It will be hard for fans to remember to focus on the background of the scenes given the action taking place, but it’s worth it to see how Miles’ reality is slightly tweaked. One of the most visible examples is connected to Chance the Rapper, and his third mixtape “Coloring Book”.
The cover art for the album is impossible to miss on Miles’ wall, with one key difference. The “3” on the rapper’s hat has become a “4,” suggesting that in the reality of Miles Morales, Chance fans already have another mixtape to enjoy — and they don’t stop there.
18 From Dusk To Shaun
The Easter eggs continue into the world of movies, as well, with director Edgar Wright revealing one of his favorites before Into The Spider-Verse even released. The massive billboard in Times Square is instantly recognizable as the cover and poster to Shaun of the Dead, but with a completely different title.
While we try to figure out the possible plot of From Dusk Till Shaun (swapping vampires for zombies, perhaps?), fans can keep their eyes peeled for Seth Rogen’s alternate reality cowboy movie career, and too many other pop culture Easter eggs to catch in one sitting.
17 Even Steph Curry & Blake Griffin, Too
The director and digital artists of Into the Spider-Verse pulled out all the stops in their quest to depict a reality that truly is alternate, down to the brands, celebrities, and even sports icons that populate its world — and that includes a massive Times Square billboard for Blake Griffin, one of the brightest stars… in Major League Baseball.
Keep your eyes open for a bus driving by the camera as the film swoops towards the New York intersection, and you’ll even wonder if Steph Curry — sorry, Stephen Curry could have been the star of the PGA Tour, too.
16 The Aerosmith/Spider-Man Love Goes On
The love affair between Spider-Man and Mary Jane may be the most famous Spider-Man relationship, but the bond between Peter Parker and Joe Perry, lead guitarist of Aerosmith, may be even stronger — and it goes way beyond Perry recording the guitar theme to the 1990s Spider-Man cartoon.
As an overt fan, the cartoon made sure to pay credit to Perry by having Spider-Man instruct his alien symbiote suit to dress him “like the guy from Aerosmith,” and Into the Spider-Verse once again praises Joe Perry’s fashion sense. At least, we think it does, assuming the massive department store called “Perry Joe” that Miles zips past has made the guitarist’s looks a worldwide brand.
15 “Broke My Back” Maguire Joke
More references to to Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man? How about more inside jokes pointed squarely at Tobey Maguire the actor, and anyone who remembers the rumors surrounding his hesitancy to sign on for Spider-Man 2. At the time, the rumors claimed that it was all a dispute over money, before news broke that an injury Maguire sustained to his back was the real reason he could be replaced.
Ironically, it was Jake Gyllenhaal who stood next in line to replace Maguire, should he need to (who is now joining the MCU as Spider-Man villain Mysterio in Far From Home). This film pays tribute to the news story, having Peter B. Parker comment on his own “broken back” in the long run of his misfortunes.
14 Spider-Man With Doctor Strange’s Cloak?
Peter makes his stance on Miles wearing a cape perfectly clear, but that doesn’t mean he ignores the benefits of a good cloak. When the heroes are viewing the variety of Spider-Man costumes in his underground base, each one is a nod to a part storyline (the ones that clearly be made out at least). However, Marvel fans will want to take note of one that seems to be wearing a cape.
Well, it’s actually the high collar and the gold clasp that gives this uniform away as a nod to Doctor Strange’s famous Cloak of Levitation. The cloaked costume is kept just enough out of focus to keep fans from confirming it explicitly. However, knowing that Doctor Strange had a Spider-Verse cameo at one point makes this the next best thing.
13 Spider-Man’s Buggy & Bike
When a superhero sells merchandise as well as Spider-Man objects, new toys can sometimes defy any logic within the fiction of the character itself. Take, for instance, the famous Spider Buggy. Now, what possible purpose would a super-strong, web-swinging superhero would have for a Spider-Mobile is hard to guess. However, at least in the comics, just like the real world, the car was a marketing stunt.
That’s really the truth, since Spider-Man needed the money offered to make a low-pollution vehicle (with help from Johnny Storm) branded as a Spidey Buggy. As ridiculous a plot as it might seem today, Into the Spider-Verse immortalizes both Spider-Man’s buggy and his matching motorcycle in their universe, on full display when the heroes are being lowered into his underground base.
12 Spider-Man & The Number 42
Spider-Man fans may not think to look for meaning in numbers (beyond this movie’s unofficially Sinister Six villains) but the number “42” should stand out — and not just on the back of the spider that bites Miles, giving him his powers, as was shown in the comics. No, the number 42 goes much deeper, creating a mystery even we can’t solve just yet. The numbers 4 and 2 appear in the form of signs falling from a building, and on the subway signs of New York City.
In Marvel Comics, the number was the one used for Tony Stark and Reed Richards’ superhuman prison in the Negative Zone, so it has some comic book significance. However, in this story… it’s a riddle, for now.
11 Clone High Goes to College
The creative team of Phil Lord and Chris Miller made their name in offbeat comedy long before co-writing and producing Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. However, with successes like Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, the 21 Jump Street reboot, and The LEGO Movie, none seem to fit the bill for a shout-out of what might have been in an alternate reality.
Instead, the filmmakers decided to show some love to Lord and Miller’s cult cartoon Clone High. In the world of Miles Morales, the show became popular enough to earn a downtown New York billboard — either graduating to, or being re-imagined for success as Clone College.
10 The Comics Code Authority
After the studio title cards fade, the non-comic readers may be surprised to see a badge proclaiming the movie to be “Approved by the Comics Code Authority.” The comic historians will recognize it from the cover of most comics published before the 1980s, but the meaning here is even deeper.
For those who don’t know, that badge was required to appear on the cover of every comic (and be earned) as proof that it contained wholesome entertainment, safe for children. It was Spider-Man who first decided to ignore the badge to run a story about drug use, and even if Marvel had to agree to make it a one-time deal, the badge is forever linked to the way Spider-Man stories dealt with the real world of its young readers.
9 The Comic Creators Finally Get Credit
There are too many cases to mention of iconic comic book creators seeing their characters adapted to blockbuster movies, adapting their artwork and stories, with nothing more than a thanks in the end credits (if they’re lucky). Marvel’s MCU has dealt with the bad press often, but Into the Spider-Verse takes credit to a new level.
When the new characters are introduced to the plot from other far corners of the Spider-Verse, the image of their comic book is plastered on screen, along with the creators credited as they would be on a front cover — as it should be.
8 At Last, Ganke Lee?
We don’t want to speak too soon, but it seems that Miles Morales’ beloved roommate, best friend, and confidante Ganke Lee may finally have been adapted to film after winning his way into fans’ hearts in comic form.
The character was basically adapted to the MCU in the form of “Ned Leeds” in Spider-Man: Homecoming. While Ned is an existing character in the Spider-Man comic universe, his personality and appearance are those of Ganke, which led to more than a little confusion (and some angry fans). While Miles’ roommate isn’t named in Into the Spider-Verse, the door is open for him to be confirmed as Ganke in a sequel.
7 “True Life Tales of Spider-Man”
When Miles Morales begins to understand that his transformation is making him into a new kind of Spider-Man, he turns to the comic book of his roommate to help him answer the question “what if there was another Spider-Man?” The roommate’s comics are good for a number of Easter eggs through the movie, but the clearest is a nod to the very start of Spidey.
While the title of the comic Miles sees may be changed to a fictional one for the movie, the cover set is unmistakably based on Amazing Fantasy #15, the very first comic book to ever feature Peter Parker, the Spider-Man.
6 Spider-Ham’s Goodbye
The movie does a surprisingly good job of adapting the origin stories of their Spider-Verse stars. For Spider-Ham, that means asking audiences to believe that he was originally a spider, who gained a new form and powers when bitten by a radioactive pig (Marvel Comics got weird sometimes). However, his similarities to another cartoon pig can’t be ignored — and when the movie is over, they aren’t.
Bidding farewell to his teammates, Spider-Ham let’s out a “That’s all, Folks” which might actually escape some modern viewers as the catchphrase of Porky Pig, the Looney Tunes creation. There is a brief moment of Peter wondering if Spider-Ham can actually legally say that, but it seems Warner Bros. approves.
5 Comic Creator Phone Contacts, Too
The callouts to the core heroes of the movie go a bit deeper into the world itself. For starters, make sure to watch closely as Miles Morales flips through his cellphone contacts, to find that Brian Bendis and Sara Pichelli are both among his friends. This is fitting, since Bendis co-created the character and his Ultimate Universe, and Pichelli was the first artist to draw him (and later, rendered the version most fans now recognize in Ultimate Spiderman Vol. 2).
Looks around the city will reveal signs for “Romita Ramen” as credit to another Marvel great, but it’s the inclusion of Steve Ditko, Spider-Man co-creator in the phone of Miles’ father that will warm the heart of older comic fans.
4 Spider-Gwen’s Flashbacks Recreate Her Comic
The appearance of Gwen Stacy’s version of Spider-Woman (don’t call her Spider-Gwen here) instantly shows why she became such a sensation in Marvel Comics. A great character, and wonderful “what if?” to be sure… but without the visuals brought by comic artist Robbi Rodriguez, it’s hard to know if Gwen would have hit the bullseye like she did.
A simple online search will show how eye-catching a Spider-Gwen cover and its artwork became, but movie fans can actually see it for themselves, since the flashbacks showing Gwen in her own world recreate the visual style perfectly.
3 Miles Morales Meets Great Expectations
There’s no question that Miles Morales is a gifted young man, but his handling of homework concerning Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations shows he’s not much for writing, per se. The story may resonate with Into the Spider-Verse — a young boy is given much, for unknown reasons — but the history of the book carries a wonderful link to comics, too.
As CBR points out, Great Expectations was originally published chapter by chapter, in serialized format. The illustrations that accompanied these chapters are visible on Miles’ book, and while Dickens didn’t know it at the time, he was taking part in a publishing format and mix of media that would pave the way for comic books over a century later.
2 Beware The Alchemax Corporation
The average viewer may not notice the evil corporations at work in the Spider-Verse, but it reveals more about the coming plot than you think. The company responsible for the spider that bites Miles, and the experiments making it possible to collapse different versions of Spider-Man together, is called Alchemax. This is a name that will mean a whole lot more once the end credits scene plays out.
In the comics, Spider-Man 2099 was an employee of Alchemax who took it upon himself to bring down the company, eventually revealed to be another brainchild of, you guessed it, Norman Osborn. Could Miles and Miguel O’Hara, Spider-Man 2099, be more connected than we thought?
1 Web of Life & Destiny
Not every Easter egg is meant to be a throwaway joke or an easy to miss tribute. Some may mean big things for the future of Sony Spider-Verse films, and none is bigger than the Web of Life and Destiny that Marvel introduced as a comic book explanation for this Multiverse of Spider heroes. It would take too much time to explain the fate and metaphysics of it all, but Into the Spider-Verse seems to confirm its existence.
Fans get the best look at it when Peter B. Parker is fractal-ed and teleported out of his reality, but just how important the visible web of white energy uniting realities will become… is a mystery for now.
So there you have it, our breakdown of each and every easter egg, Marvel comic reference, Spider-Man secret in Into the Spider-Verse. If you’ve spotted anything we’ve missed, or have questions unanswered, let us know in the comments!
MORE: Into The Spider-Verse’s Post-Credits Scene Explained