Culture Crash Logo


Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine American culture.  What’s new and old in books, film, and entertainment.

Summer is the time of year when blockbusters are released and when the trailers for the fall slate of movies begin coming in earnest. Some recent highlights include the trailers for Steve McQueen’s Widows and Bradley Cooper’s remake of A Star Is Born. One preview  that stood out to me and many others is the trailer for the forthcoming animated film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

I know what you’re thinking- another Spider-Man story? The answer is yes, but you should be very excited. This ain’t your father’s Spider-Man, and that’s a good thing. Into the Spider-Verse will focus not on Peter Parker’s Spiderman, but Miles Morales’s.

If you’re not familiar, Morales is half-black, half-Latino and also, of course, becomes part spider. His 2011 debut was met with the predictable cries that all diversity is a publicity stunyt, but forget about the whiny internet trolls, because diverse storytelling is good storytelling and on merit, Morales is an incredible character.

In addition to sharing most of Parker’s abilities, Morales can also totally camouflage himself and has a special tool called his venom strike, allowing him to temporarily paralyze his foes. Additionally, yeah, he’s a minority Spider-Man, and that’s awesome. Young black children and Latino children deserve representation, and Morales gives them a fresh, young character to cherish… and he offers all of us a nice breath of fresh air from the overly familiar, oft-retread story of Peter Parker.

Into The Spider-Verse looks visually stunning as well, employing a signature comic-book look in its animation style that isn’t trying to look as real as possible. It’s animated… and that’s what can make it great. Since the Marvel Cinematic Universe hit its full stride with The Avengers in 2012, superhero movies have grown to look more and more bland. Into the Spider-Verse looks like it will show us what’s possible when studios stop worrying about earning tax breaks by filming in Atlanta or saving money by shooting on sound stages, and instead create with their imaginations totally unleashed.

Miles Morales will swing into theaters in Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse this December, but the movie’s trailer is online now, and it’s worth seeking out.

I’m Evan Rook.