Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse has just landed in theaters, and we're still attempting to figure out exactly how many familiar wall-crawling superheroes appeared in the sequel.
Some of them - The Spectacular Spider-Man and PlayStation's Spider-Man, for example - had only a line or two of dialogue, while the likes of Spider-Punk and Scarlet Spider were given key supporting roles. Throw in all those background web-slingers and you'd think Sony Pictures had run out of Variants...however, we're here to tell you that most definitely isn't the case.
In this feature, we've rounded up the characters who deserve the chance to shine in next March's Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse. There's a lot they could bring to the table in what promises to be another deep dive into the Multiverse, and we have some ideas about how each of them would potentially factor into this threequel.
You can find our top picks for the next movie's Variant Spider-Heroes by clicking the "Next" button below!
8. Ghost Spider
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse demands repeat viewings for fans hoping to spot all those different wall-crawling heroes, but there's one popular Spidey we're pretty sure couldn't even be seen in the background.
In Amazing Spider-Man Annual #38, we were introduced to a Peter Parker on Earth-11638 who lured his fellow Spider-Men to his reality in order to steal and absorb their powers. He's eventually killed in a battle with Earth-616's Spidey, though we later learn that his soul has ended up trapped in Hell.
Soon realising just how terrible his actions have been, Peter bonds with the Spirit of Vengeance to become Ghost Spider (not to be confused with Spider-Gwen/Ghost-Spider). Escaping from the afterlife, he becomes a heroic supernatural Spider-Man who would be a fun and bonkers addition to this threequel. Just imagine a world inspired by classic horror movie imagery!
7. Last Stand Spider-Man
This Spider-Man ended up heading down a dark path and his story revealed just one of many possible futures for the Marvel Universe's comic book Peter Parker. The wall-crawler watched this doppelgänger from afar as he was confronted by the police, ultimately falling in battle after being branded a murderer.
It turns out those accusations weren't off the mark as Marvel Comics would later retcon the "Last Stand" Spider-Man to be the version of Peter who killed Kraven the Hunter and proceeded to murder all his greatest foes. While we don't anticipate Beyond the Spider-Verse getting that dark, it would be no bad thing for the sequel to introduce a Peter who isn't quite as happy-go-lucky as Miles expects.
He'd make an interesting counterpoint to Peter B. Parler, and it would be appropriate for Miles to learn that his own Variant - Prowler on Earth-42 - isn't the only Spider-Man who's broken bad.
6. Cyborg Spider-Man
Spider-Man first got some cybernetic upgrades decades ago during a team-up with Deathlok, but Marvel Comics would later introduce an alternate reality version of Peter Parker who was more machine than man. We didn't learn much more than that, giving this movie the chance to take things down a crazier route by having the robotic Spidey unleash all manner of weaponry.
Cyborg Spider-Woman was featured heavily in the sequel's marketing campaign but ended up being something of a non-factor in the movie itself. While we'd like to learn more about him, we have an idea about how to add Cyborg Spider-Man into the mix.
As you'll no doubt remember, Into the Spider-Verse introduced a Peter played by Chris Pine. This blonde-haired Spider-Man was killed by The Kingpin, but was revealed to have a whole armoury of suits and weaponry to help him fight crime. Well, what if he also had a contingency plan in place to be resurrected or restored through the use of cybernetic implants, transforming him into this cyborg?
5. Spider-Man: The Animated Series
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse featured cameo appearances from the PlayStation Spider-Man, The Spectacular Spider-Man, and even Spider-Man Unlimited. Unfortunately, there was no sign of Christopher Daniel Barnes' web-slinger from the 1990s animated series.
The Peter Parker we know many of you grew up with, it would be a crying shame if he doesn't make some sort of appearance in Beyond the Spider-Verse. Whether it's just a couple of lines or even an entire sequence set in his reality, this show remains a huge part of Spidey's animated legacy and thereby deserves a place in this phenomenal trilogy. Don't forget that the final season even took a deep dive into the Multiverse!
Simply put, a cameo needs to happen, even if it's just to recreate this now-iconic meme...
Billy Braddock, a.k.a. Spider-UK, is a British Spider-Man who is also a member of the Captain Britain Corps. He became a recurring character in various Spider-Verse team-ups, with his knowledge of alternate realities proving key.
Unfortunately, he ultimately fell in battle, but a young woman called Zarina Zahari would later take over the mantle. An avid gamer, she hails from Earth-834's London and gained spider-like abilities before joining the organization W.H.O. (short for Weird Happenings Organization) as that reality's Spider-UK. Spider-Punk is a Brit, of course, and we think it would be a blast to see him share the screen with this Spidey.
Outside of Spider-Gwen, Across the Spider-Verse's female characters took something of a back seat - Jess Drew had a relatively minor role in the grand scheme of things - so we'd love to see what Spider-UK can do.
3./2./1. The Live-Action Spider-Men
An argument could be made that Sony Pictures should hold off on having these three meet again until they can make it a reality in live-action, but there's really no reason why Tom Holland, Tobey Maguire, and Andrew Garfield's Spider-Men couldn't show up in Beyond the Spider-Verse.
It's about time, anyway, and some hints could even be dropped here about how they'll factor into the wider Spider-Verse moving forward. We're sure you noticed how much the Spider-Verse looked like the MCU's Multiverse when Spider-Man 2099 introduced Miles Morales to the concept, and that can't have been a coincidence.
Tobey and Andrew's respective Peter Parkers appeared through the use of archival footage, but c'mon, a quick cameo from Holland at the very least would be a neat way to make it clear just how important this animated franchise is to the wider Spider-Verse. We can only hope it's being saved for the threequel, anyway!