You know Peter Parker’s story. Now it’s time for Miles Morales to get the spotlight, in SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE. Sony’s animated adventure focuses on Miles, who becomes the world’s web-slinger after being bitten by a genetically-enhanced spider. Or we should say “his world” — there are many worlds in this movie. Before he can learn the ropes of the superhero business, Miles finds himself face to face with spider-people from different realities.
Miles meets Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy — though maybe not the versions of those characters you expect — as well as people like Spider-Man Noir and Spider-Ham. Naturally, there are bad guys as well. INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE features two villains who are ready to stamp out all the spiders. If you’re excited for the movie but aren’t quite familiar with its villains, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the evil-doers of INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE:
Don’t let the lack of powers fool you. Wilson Fisk is a force to be reckoned with. In the Ultimate comics, a prime source for INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE, Kingpin is a ruthless mob boss with a cunning mind and a knack for violence. He has a number of hitmen and corrupt officials at his disposal. He often prefers, however, to take a more personal approach with his adversaries. His remarkable physical strength makes him a feared figure in the criminal underworld and allows him to take on heroes like Spider-Man with relative ease.
Still, unlike most Spider-Man villains, Fisk isn’t overtly sinister. The violent mobster hides his ruthlessness behind the facade of an ordinary businessman. Aside from his criminal empire, he also dedicates a great deal of time to curing his ill wife, Vanessa. In INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE, Kingpin develops a supercollider for mysterious purposes. Miles Morales and other spider-people have to stop his nefarious plans before he opens a black hole that destroys the multiverse.
More than once, Miles runs afoul of a big, tough guy in a purple suit and cape, with weapons that can tear the toughest materials to shreds. This is the Prowler, and he’s a serious problem for Miles Morales. The Prowler doesn’t have any powers, but he’s trained to peak physical condition. He also has high-tech gear that makes him more than a match for just about anyone. When he decides to track a target, it’s basically game over.
The Prowler identity has been used by different characters in the comics. In INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE, the man behind the mask is a mysterious figure. We do know that he has led a life of crime, and formerly worked alongside someone else who left the underworld behind. The man who is Prowler allied with Kingpin, and works as his enforcer. The purple-clad baddie is relentless and vicious — and almost as dangerous as his boss.
You’ll notice that both bad guys lack powers. That’s probably a conscious decision. INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE, despite its big, weird concept, is more down to earth than most superhero movies. It’s fitting that Miles and the other heroes have to reckon with “normal” people — or people who are more normal than Thanos, at least.
SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE swings into theaters on December 14.