If you are familiar with any of the live-action Spider-Man movies, the animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse begins with a recounting of many iconic moments from previous Spider-Man films, dropping hints toward certain storylines and villains.
The film is formatted and presented similarly to a comic book at times in order to tell the story the way it would appear on paper, often using panels and colorful onomatopoeia, such as “POW” and “BOOM,” to illustrate action sequences.
The film follows a New York City teen named Miles Morales, a newer character in the Marvel universe who also holds the mantle of Spider-Man, separate from Peter Parker, as he navigates a new world following his discovery of his new spider powers. When evil lurks in his city, Miles is forced to find some new, unexpected friends, putting a twist on the traditional superhero flick.
Characters in the film are illustrated using comic book techniques, such as cross hatching and Ben-Day dots, the use of overlapping and strategically spaced dots in order to further evoke the feelings of a comic book. Extremely vibrant colors are used to show emphasis throughout the film and make for a much more attractive and enjoyable masterpiece. Powerful imagery using these colors and art styles is constantly shown to illustrate conflicts in Miles’ relationships with his father, mother, and uncle during his difficult coming-of-age journey. Miles, with the help of his friends and family, is forced to find and understand himself both in the context of an American high school teenager adjusting to a new school and as a new neighborhood superhero discovering his powers.
The film as a whole explores relatable themes for children and adults alike while functioning as an action-packed and extremely exciting superhero flick. I would give it a rating 4.8 out of 5 radioactive spider bites.