10 Weird Spider-Man Variants We Want To See in Across the Spider-Verse

Eric Frederiksen
Movies Comics
Movies Comics Marvel MCU

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse introduced many non-comic book readers to Miles Morales, Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Ham, Spider-Gwen, and Peni Parker — different versions of Spider-Man from elsewhere in Marvel history who teamed up to stop the Kingpin from opening a portal that will destroy the multiverse. But Into the Spider-Verse only scratched the service. The first sequel, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, is obviously going deeper and putting the spotlight on many more Spider-Man variants, such as?Miguel O’Hara?and?Jessica Drew.

Ahead of that movie’s release, we’re looking to the Spider-Man comics — especially the Spider-Verse and Spider-Geddon events that have inspired the films — for ideas of where the cinematic version can go.?The Spider-Verse comics brought dozens and dozens of Spider-Men together. Some had previously been introduced in other comic book storylines, while some were pulled in from non-comics Spider-Man media like animation, while many others were invented specifically for the Spider-Verse event – and sometimes were killed off just as quickly, shortly after we learned their pun-infused names.

This list is some of the Spider-Men that we think could bring some unique energy to the Spider-Verse movies, whether in Across the Spider-Verse or the already-greenlit third film, Beyond the Spider-Verse.

Newspaper Strip Spider-Man

If you complain that comic book storylines can sometimes move slowly, try reading a comic strip with an ongoing plot. They’re a rare thing these days, but one of the most famous plot-based comic strips was Spider-Man, which ran from 1977 all the way to 2019.

When this version of Spider-Man appeared in the Spider-Verse, the interdimensional vampire Morlun quickly realized that the universe he existed in?was temporally unstable, with time frequently resetting, causing Peter Parker to repeat himself and forget things and for even the simplest tasks could take days or weeks to complete. The meta idea here was to play on how slow-moving and repetitive comic strips have to be to accommodate the fact that many readers might have missed multiple days worth of strips.

This character first appeared, of course, in the very first Spider-Man newspaper strip, before making his way into the comics in Spider-Verse #1.

WEB-MAN

The same way that The Flash has the Reverse Flash, Spider-Man at one time had a color-inverted doppelganger, or at least that was the case on Earth-57780. Created by that world’s Doctor Doom, Web-Man made his one and only appearance in 1977’s Spidey Super Stories #25, which took place in the same reality as the Spidey Super Storiess segments on the children’s series The Electric Company and were similarly aimed at a very young audience.

Created using Doom’s Twin Machine, Web-Man is Spidey’s opposite in every day. The usual red parts of Spidey’s costume are blue, blue is red. And also, because Peter is smart, Web-Man is a dolt. However, just like any other opposite-based character, Web-Man doesn’t have opposite powers. Instead of slipping off walls and walking on the ground, Web-Man can climb and swing just like his normal counterpart.

Like a couple others on this list, Web-Man wasn’t actually part of the Spider-Verse comic storylines, but we figure that as the Spider-Verse expands on screen, any and all Spider-Men are up for grabs!

Savage Spider-Man

Savage Spider-Man

Think Tarzan, Spider-Man style. In?Vault of Spiders #1, Earth-83043‘s Peter Parker and his parents’ plane crashed in the?Savage Land, a hidden part of the Marvel Universe still occupied by dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures.

The only survivor of the crash, Peter was found and raised by a tribe of Giant Spiders and was subjected to the Trial of 1000 Venoms. Unlike the Venom symbiote or Miles Morales’ Venom Strike, this refers to actual spider venom. Peter was repeatedly subjected to the bites of various spiders until he gained Spider-like abilities, which he used to protect his tribe and fight invaders from the outside world. Vault of Spiders was a tie-in comic to the Spider-Geddon series and Savage Spider-Man was created especially for the event.

Web-Slinger

Are you ready for Cowboy Spider-Man? Earth-31913‘s Patrick O’Hara was a showman gunslinger until he and his horse, Widow, were bitten by a spider bathed in an Apache elixir. The two gained spider-like powers and fought their universe’s version of?Morbius. Web-Slinger has a psychic link with Widow and wields revolvers that can fire both bullets and webs.

After their initial appearance in Amazing Spider-Man?(Vol 3) #13?(though there was an earlier glimpse, via illusion, in?Amazing Spider-Man #9), O’Hara and Widow’s origin was told in?Vault of Spiders #1. During the Spider-Geddon storyline, they sided with Otto Octavius’?Superior Spider-Man, sharing his willingness to kill his enemies. After that story concluded, Web-Slinger and his horse had their consciousnesses shifted into un-powered bodies and returned to their own world.

Last Stand Spider-Man

The Last Stand suit as seen in the PlayStation Spider-Man game

On Earth-312500, an older, vengeful version of Peter Parker kills?Kraven the Hunter, sending?Peter down a dark path that includes killing Doctor Octopus?and, of course, getting a new costume, complete with a collared leather jacket. He ends up on the run from the NYPD and when they corner him, he decides to fight to his death instead of surrendering.?Introduced in?Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #58, this doomed version of Peter feels similar to the aged and embittered versions of various comic book heroes throughout the years, like Old Man Logan and Kingdom Come’s?Batman.

A similar costume is later worn by the Spider-Man of Earth-4, Ezekiel Sims. Unlike his Earth-312500 counterpart, Sims was part of the Spider-Verse comic book storyline, introduced in?Edge of Spider-Verse #5. However, the Last Stand suit is likely best known at this point for its stylish inclusion in the PlayStation Spider-Man?video game, where it was the most expensive of the many Spidey costumes available.

Spider-UK

The Spider-Man of Earth-833 is Billy Braddock, the latest person to hold the Captain Britain mantle. Billy joins the other Spiders in fighting the Inheritors, but when he tries to go back home, they discover that his reality no longer exists — likely due to an Incursion, like those seen in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.?Speaking of the MCU, it’s worth noting that “Earth-833” is where Spider-Man: Far From Home‘s Mysterio claimed to be from when deceiving Peter Parker. Since Mysterio was lying about being from another universe, though, this is likely more of a coincidence than anything.

Spider-UK was another character created especially for the Spider-Verse storyline and appeared first in?Edge of Spider-Verse #2 in 2014, the same comic that introduced Spider-Gwen. Notably, this Spider-UK does not possess a Spider-Sense like so many of his counterparts. His costume is another one that has more widespread popularity now thanks to the Spider-Man game, where it was made available as part of The Heist?DLC.

Spider-Ma’am

When the young Peter Parker of?Earth-3123?forgets his lunch, his Aunt May rushes it to the science lab he’s visiting on a field trip. There, Maybelle Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider that gives her spider abilities. She starts out doing stunts to make money but later stops a criminal which leads her to begin fighting crime with her abilities.

This character first appeared all the way back in 1980 in?What If? #23, though no one could have guessed she’d ever return – or get a notably macabre edge to her. In the End of the Spider-Verse storyline, Spider-Ma’am reveals to the vampire Morlun that she ate his family. Yuck, Aunt May.

Ghost Spider

Ghost Spider

The death of Uncle Ben is generally regarded as a fixed point in Spider-Man’s origin, but what if he didn’t die? The Peter Parker of Earth-11638 grows up with Ben training him to use his abilities to become the Amazing Spider, and in the process, he becomes a popular hero and a successful scientist, as well as CEO of Parker Technologies. Peter tries to pull in Spider-Men from other universes to absorb their powers, increasing his. Our Peter eventually gets through to this Peter, convincing him that draining other Spider-Men of their powers isn’t heroic.

Earth-11638’s Peter gets in the way of the device meant to drain Earth-616’s Peter, and dies in the process. He ends up in?Hell, where a variant of Bruce Banner, who is Sorcerer Supreme in this world, links him with the Ghost Rider’s Spirit of Vengeance, giving him the trademark flaming skull along with the combined powers of Spider-Man and Ghost Rider. This character predates Gwen Stacy‘s use of the name Ghost-Spider (though Gwen uses a hypen), first appearing in?Amazing Spider-Man Annual #38 in 2011.

Golden Sponge Cakes Spider-Man

It might seem like Marvel will slap Spider-Man’s face onto anything these days, but at one time, Spidey cross promotion was even wackier. Back in the 1970s, you could find Spider-Man — along with other Marvel heroes — hocking Twinkies and other Hostess brand products in full-page ads in comics that were presented as their own mini comic book story. There, you might find Spider-Man using Hostess treats as a distraction in battle or making gratuitous mention of various snack cakes while talking to other characters or fighting villains. In the Spider-Verse storyline, this Spider-Man throws a box of golden sponge cakes at Morlun, only for Morlun to bat the cakes away and defeat Spider-Man handily.

Some may argue this character isn’t technically the same Spider-Man, insofar as Marvel didn’t make a new deal with Hostess when he was brought into the Spider-Verse storyline – hence the generic “Golden Sponge Cakes” name. But he’s clearly meant to be that Spider-Man, legality trickiness aside, and is one of the many “joke” Spider-Men in the Spider-Verse comics, alongside characters like the aforementioned Newspaper Strip Spider-Man and a TV-inspired Spider-Man who likes to quip to the camera.

Spiders-Man

Spiders-Man is sort of the Swamp Thing of the Marvel multiverse. Like that DC character, Spiders-Man isn’t a man at all but the supernatural echo of one. In his universe, Peter Parker fell into a vat filled with radioactive spiders that then consumed him. The spiders then took on his consciousness and morals and began to fight crime as a hive-minded, Spider-Man-shaped body.

Spiders-Man was created especially for Spider-Geddon, and first appeared in?Spider-Geddon #3, and yes, he is kind of horrifying. In one issue, while Spiders-Man is fighting Green Goblin, Jack O’Lantern attacks him from behind, ripping open his suit. The spiders flood forth from the suit and crawl under Jack’s mask, decapitating him. Spiders-Man can move like Spider-Man and, as a hive entity, can split off parts of himself. He uses a lone spider to spy on other characters at one point and also scatters his spiders across the multiverse to try to survive Spider-Geddon.

We’ll see if any of these particular Spider-Man variants make their movie debut soon when Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse opens June 2.


Lifelong gamer and writer. I love superheroes, transformers, and spooky stuff.
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