Spoiler sense tingling! This article contains Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse spoilers. Seriously, why would you click on this link without realizing that spoilers are going to happen?
Like nearly any superhero movie from the past few years, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has stuff after the credits. It’s just that this one may have the best post-credits sequence of the year. At the very least, it’s on the level of the mid-credits stuff in Deadpool 2. Plus it’s just a wonderful movie in general and you should really see it.
What happens: So we get some very stylized initial credits with a psychedelic Spider-Man party followed by a sad dedication to Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Regular credits kick in, we get to hear Spider-Man’s Christmas song in full, and finally the really good stuff.
“Meanwhile, in Nueva York…”
We’re in the point of view of a man voiced by Oscar Isaac, walking through a lair of darkness, only lit by monitors and a woman named Lyla, who appears to be a hologram. Lyla sums up the gist of the movie’s plot, but mainly the part about how the dimension-spanning technology has proven successful and the multiverse hasn’t blown up.
Lyla refers to our character as “Miguel” and he suits up in a blue and red outfit. He is Miguel O’Hara, otherwise known as Spider-Man 2099. He’s going to take this new technology for a spin and decides to start at the beginning.
He enters “Earth-67,” where he appears before a stiffly-animated 2D Spider-Man. Miguel is just as stiffly-animated and his attempt to introduce himself gets turned into a loud and angry argument filled with the two Spider-Men pointing at each other repeatedly. Nearby, a police officer and an angry J. Jonah Jameson don’t know what to make of the situation.
What it means: First off, I just want to point out that it’s been 11 years since Spider-Man 3 and despite six different movies with Spider-Man since, plus that Venom movie, the only time we’ve seen J. Jonah Jameson is a post-credits gag replaying animation from a 50-year-old cartoon. They’ll kill off Jonah’s son, but they won’t put him in a movie. That’s how untouchable JK Simmons’ performance was, I guess.
Who is Spider-Man 2099?
Anyway, Spider-Man 2099. Created by Peter David and Rick Leonardi, he first appeared in 1992 and he brought the entire Marvel 2099 line with him. In a future where superheroes were but a faded legend from the past, Miguel O’Hara worked for Alchemax, the same company that gave Miles Morales his powers. He wasn’t exactly happy with the company’s lack of morality and it led to his boss Tyler Stone forced him into loyalty by tricking him into taking an addictive drug that only Alchemax produced.
Down the line, Tyler Stone turned out to be Miguel’s father, so it’s especially messed up.
Miguel had his own DNA on file and tried to rewrite his addicted biology with his previous biology, like using a video game savestate. Something went wrong and he ended up with 50% spider DNA and his own set of spider powers, such as strength, speed, reflexes, super senses, organic webbing, talons, venomous fangs, and a special costume that allows him to glide. With those powers, he would fight against evil in Nueva York.
He became a superhero and in a world that worshipped Thor like he was Christ, various followers were pumped because they believed that the return of Spider-Man would act as the first step in the return of Thor.
Over the next several years, more re-imagined heroes appeared in that world from X-Men 2099, Hulk 2099, Ghost Rider 2099, Doom 2099, and the extra-ridiculous Punisher 2099. All of this in an early 90s’ take on what the future would probably be like. You know, like Lyla being his holographic Siri/Alexa.
Spider-Man 2099 lasted for 44 issues and sometime after its cancellation, as well as the cancellation of the other 2099 titles, they added closure to his story by revealing that he was indeed the herald for the return of Thor: Miguel O’Hara himself would wield Mjolnir and bring peace to the galaxy over the course of a thousand years before retiring.
Despite that closure, he’d still show up over the years. He became a member of the reality-hopping Exiles team for a bit. He became stranded in the present and fought alongside various other Spider-Men from different dimensions.
Funny thing is that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and its post-credits scene acts as a companion piece to the 2010 video game Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, which seemingly inspired the comic that inspired this movie. The game had mainstream Spider-Man, Ultimate Spider-Man (still Peter Parker, albeit with a symbiote), Spider-Man Noir, and Spider-Man 2099 (voiced by Dan Gilvezan, who voiced Peter Parker back in the early 80s for Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends) teaming up to save the multiverse. In the post-credits scene, it’s Spider-Ham who gets the comedic fan-service crossover appearance.
Now the shoe’s on the other foot, I guess.
This could very well be a teaser for a sequel, but the joke of it all means it doesn’t have to be.
Earth-67 ends up being the world of the Spider-Man animated series from 1967-1970. Most notably, it takes place during the season 1 episode “Double Identity,” where an actor named Charles Cameo tries to steal priceless pieces of art via being a master of disguise. This includes dressing up as Spider-Man, which leads to the real Spider-Man confronting him. The two point at each other, yelling that the other is an imposter, before throwing down.
Even though Cameo has the webbing and wall-crawling abilities somehow, the real Spider-Man proves himself via his superior strength and skill.
In recent years, the still of the two Spider-Men pointing at each other has became a beloved internet meme. I mean, many screenshots from that series have become memes, but that one’s easily the most popular. The fact that this Spider-Verse scene is built on two Spider-Men interacting just makes it a better fit.
That’s not the only time one of these crossovers has referenced the Spider-Man ’67 memes. Web-Warriors, a dimensional Spider-Man team-up book, begins with a battle going on in the Spider-Man ’67 world.