It’s no doubt that the sequel to arguably one of the best animated movies of all time is also a fantastic film. In fact, many of us would agree that the sequel surpasses. However, despite an amazing cast, beautiful visuals, and a brilliant narrative, Across the Spider-Verse has one anomaly-sized plot hole that can be hard to overlook once you’ve noticed it.
Before we go any further, it’s no surprise that this article will include spoilers for Spider-Man‘s latest big-screen adventure, so if you’ve yet to see it, we really recommend going and watching it for yourself (Read our Across the Spider-Verse review for more on that). Or, if you don’t mind having one of the best Spider-Man movies ever spoiled, well, read on.
For those unaware of the main plot of the film, the basic premise is that Spider-Man 2099, also known as Miguel O’Hara, has assembled a team of various Spider characters to deal with anomalies. When villains or heroes enter a different dimension from their own, they’ll be (hopefully) captured by Miguel’s team before anything gets out of hand. And, every single Spider-Verse hero has a canon event, a point in their individual lives where an event must occur to keep an anomaly from occurring. For example, Uncle Ben dying is a canon event and must happen.
This comes as one of the main obstacles for our Miles Morales in the latest film. Miguel O’Hara recognizes that Miles’ father must die for a canon event to stay on course, with The Spot taking aim at Captain Morales, and obviously, Miles doesn’t want that to happen. But there’s one major flaw in Miguel’s belief: Miles himself is an anomaly, and his universe hasn’t collapsed yet.
During the film, it’s revealed that the spider that bites Miles in Into the Spider-Verse comes from a different dimension, Earth-42, and as such, our Miles was never meant to be bitten. But Earth-1610 (where our Miles lives) hasn’t been destroyed.
This also means that Miles Morales shouldn’t have any canon events since his entire existence as Spider-Man is an anomaly that should’ve never happened. If this is a plot point that the sequel will mention, it’s apparent that Miles is a wrench (or an anomaly) in Miguel’s overall plans, as well as an exclusion from his beliefs.
That’s far from the only issue in Miguel’s Spider-Verse society. Another anomaly is the existence of The Spot himself. The scientist behind the spider that bit Miles, and the one that Miles hits with a bagel in the first film, was never set to become a villain, much less one that can enter various dimensions at will. His existence as this paracausal creature beyond time and space is simply another bump in the road for Miguel’s overarching role in protecting the Spider-Verse.
The final anomaly that disproves Miguel’s theory comes at the Across the Spider-Verse ending. In Earth-42, Miles Morales, that was meant to be bitten by the radioactive spider, becomes the Prowler, being helped by Aaron Davis, who is very much alive in this dimension.
It stands to reason that Miles being bitten in Earth-42 would be a canon event, as his whole arc of becoming Spider-Man has been completely removed, leaving a version of New York City without a Spider-Hero to save them. Shouldn’t this cause a dimension-ending anomaly that Miguel needs to save? Apparently not, as this version of Earth seems pretty normal, albeit with constant crimes.
What does this mean for Beyond the Spider-Verse, then? Well, it could be one of two things. Firstly, this could be a planned narrative for the entire trilogy. It’s very possible that Miles being alive and being the one and only Spider-Man of Earth-1610 is proof that Miguel’s Spider-Verse society is built on flawed logic, one that has forced many Spider-Verse characters to allow and watch their family or loved ones die.
If that’s the case, then it could lead to some problems between the hundreds of Spider-Men and Spider-Women, or Spider-Horses, and the leader of them all, Miguel. If so, that could be a pretty juicy plot to see the different Spider-Verse characters against Spider-Man 2099. While it’s unlikely that Miguel will die at the hands of any Spider-Verse characters or for them to hold a major grudge against him, we could see the entire Spider-Society disassemble and crumble, with the rules being relaxed for future movies or spin-offs.
However, the second and more likely reason behind this plot hole is simply the fact that it is a plot hole. And a fairly anomaly-sized plot hole if you will. The whole problem with multiverse theory is that there are infinite versions of events, with infinite problems and infinite solutions.
No matter what you do to try and relieve these issues, you cannot prepare for every single problem in an infinite number of dimensions, so maybe Beyond the Spider-Verse will simply move past these issues for the sake of clarity.
I can’t imagine it would be too much fun for children and adults alike to spend three hours in a movie with a lot of exposition, but no matter what happens in Beyond the Spider-Verse, we’re rooting for Miles. Plus, who doesn’t like breaking the rules of the multiverse and pushing away the narrative that free will doesn’t exist? But that’s likely another article for another day.
With that being said, I think it’s time for me to go see another showing of Across the Spider-Verse, and maybe turn my brain off this time instead of finding inconsistencies. Hopefully, it won’t be long until we reach the Beyond the Spider-Verse release date and finally see how the Across the Spider-Verse ending plays out in the final part. Maybe, it will even crossover into the MCU again, one can hope.
You’re in luck if you loved Across the Spider-Verse as much as we did. We’ve written a lot about Wallcrawler’s new movie. We’ve got a how-to-watch Across the Spider-Verse guide, a breakdown of the Spider-Verse 2 cast, explained what exactly Earth-42 is, and looked into whether Miguel O’Hara is a vampire.
We also sat down with Shameik Moore and Hailee Steinfeld to talk about the film.
If you want to know more about the upcoming films and TV shows featuring the Web-Head, we’ve also got guides breaking down everything you need to know about the Spider-Verse 3 release date, the Spider-Man 4 release date, the Venom 3 release date, and the Spider-Man Freshman Year release date. Excelsior!