"Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse" is the Super Hero Movie We Need

With the cacophony of superhero movies that have come out in the past few years, it is easy to feel like they all blend together. Especially when Marvel has fallen into a formulaic pattern of movie making, characterized by generic characters whose main entertainment factor derives from making humorous quips at one another. However, “Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse” breaks from Marvels generic form of movie making.

The most obvious difference in this movie is the use of animation. The movies’ style is designed to look like a comic book, relating it back to its roots. While animation differentiates it from other superhero movies, its animation style makes it unique compared to all other movies. “Spiderman” does a beautiful job of interweaving multiple types of animation, combining both two-d and three-d, both in a variety of styles. The different types of animation flow seamlessly together making one coherent piece.

This innovative form of animation is accompanied by a killer soundtrack that includes some of the biggest artists right now. The soundtrack functions as more than a backtrack to action scenes, as the protagonist, Miles, interacts with the music. This is especially seen through the song “Sunflower” by Post Malone and Swae Lee. Miles uses his music to calm himself and help him use his powers, demonstrating the importance of music in cinema and the significance of a soundtrack to shaping a character.

The soundtrack also puts a significant focus on rap, a genre rooted in African American culture. This becomes important when analyzing the protagonist and his storyline. Miles is an African American boy raised in Brooklyn, making him one of the few superheroes who is also a person of color. Miles comes from a racially mixed household with a hispanic mother and an African American father. Both of his parents are working class; his mother is a nurse, while his father is a police officer. While there are many superheroes who come from limited means, they are rarely also a person of color.

Many people may point to 2018’s “Black Panther” as being the first significant step in the representation of people of color as superheroes. While “Black Panther” made many great strides, “Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse” pushed the limits even further. T’Challa from “Black Panther” is royalty and born into a society that is far more advanced than any other in the world, whereas Miles has to make his way based on his own merits. Furthermore, both movies were made in the U.S. for a largely American audience, but only “Spiderman” demonstrates American issues with race and inequality. It is one of the few movies that shows a young black boy from Brooklyn can be a superhero.

While having a person of color as the protagonist, the movie also does not make that Miles’ only identifying characteristic. Too many movies and tv shows convey characters from minority backgrounds as a stereotype of that background, or having their marginalized status being the only thing that matters about their character. While race is certainly an issue within this movie, Miles is also a fully developed character whose entire personality isn’t based around his upbringing.

“Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse” is a movie everyone needs to see. It is a cultural staple both for its artistry and progressive content. It truly differs itself from the barrage of other superhero movies that have come out in the past few years.