October 7th marked a dreadful date for Spidey fans: the day that the long-awaited sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, was meant to hit cinemas. Alas, as was the case with so many movies these past two years, the pandemic delayed the release by almost a year, moving it to June 2, 2023. Now, with plenty of time in their hands to theorize, fans have come together to analyze some of the most cryptic elements of Into the Spider-Verse. One such thing happens to be the very spider that bit Miles Morales, turning him into yet another of the select group of Spider-People in the Marvel Multiverse.
A popular Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse fan theory suggests that one of Miles’ worst fears might have some basis in reality: what if he was never meant to become Spider-Man? Unlike some of the most, let’s say, “creative” fan theories out on the internet, this one might actually play a considerable role in the upcoming Across the Spider-Verse saga, mostly because it links Miles’ powers to one pivotal player in the upcoming animated film: Miguel O’Hara.
Miguel, better known as “Spider-Man 2099,” might have been the catalyst for the events of Into the Spider-Verse. One easy-to-miss detail in the scene where Miles gets bitten by the multiversal spider is that the arachnid bears the inscription “Alchemax 42” in its abdomen. According to Brian Michael Bendis – creator of the Miles Morales character – the number is only a reference to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse fan theory, however, proposes an alternative.
What if the number 42, and the spider’s relation to Alchemax, might indicate that it was sent to Miles’ universe by Miguel? After all, Spider-Man 2099 got his powers from said evil company, not to mention that the post-credits scene also hints that they’re the ones behind most of the multiversal shenanigans in the film – not just Kingpin.
The Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse fan theory suggests that Miguel is aware of the threat to the Multiverse caused by the multiple disturbances seen in the film. That’s why Spider-Man 2099 is sending these genetically-modified spiders into alternate realities: to create more Spider-People to combat Alchemax.
The after-credits scene also reveals a bit more about Miguel’s ultimate plan. Layla, Miguel’s virtual personal assistant, informs him that the Multiverse is safe, although it was on the verge of destruction for a second. They both seem surprised by Miles’ skills, which could suggest that they were not expecting him to become that particular universe’s Spider-Man.
While Miles becoming the new Spidey might have saved the Multiverse from destruction, it could also have some bigger repercussions in the upcoming sequels. That might explain why we see Miles fighting Miguel in what little we have seen of Across the Spider-Verse.
There’s one thing that the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse theory leaves up to the imagination, though: if Miles wasn’t meant to become his universe’s Spider-Man, then who was? The only other person with Miles the night he was bit was his uncle, and I sincerely doubt that Miguel was planning on turning the Prowler into a Spider-Man.
What makes this fan theory so convincing, however, is that it ties together the Spider-Verse saga in a convincing – and satisfying – manner. Hopefully, we’ll get the answers we’re looking for next year when Across the Spider-Verse finally arrives in cinemas!