Qt3 Movie Podcast: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

How good can a superhero cartoon be?

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.quartertothree.com/fp/2018/12/17/qt3-movie-podcast-spider-man-into-the-spider-verse-2/

Interesting that in answering Tom’s question about the difference between Marvel comics and DC comics Kelly compared it to the difference between WB and Disney cartoons, saying the Marvel characters are more textured. (He doesn’t elaborate on whether WB or Disney cartoons had more textured characters.) Anyhow, WB has owned DC comics for decades and now Disney owns Marvel.
I was always more of a Looney Tunes fan, but more of a Marvel comics fan (just barely). And now I find I prefer Marvel movies to DC, but have flip-flopped on the source material.

As for why the radioactive spider was in the tunnels, I recall there was a blink-and-you-miss-it visual reference to radioactive goo as we pan up from the tunnels to Fisk’s labs above. The inference being Fisk’s experiments led to the creation of the new Spider-Man. Irony!

I didn’t forget about Solo, Tom, I was throwing shade at Lucasfilm.

I’ve also seen Black Panther – of course I have. I like it a lot, and yeah, it’s more Capital I Important, but this was just such a pure delight. So I like it slightly more.

As for the spider, it was doing the weird multiverse phasing, so I assume it was brought over by the machine, and Miles became Spiderman at the expense of another dimension, that will go Spiderman-less since there’s no escaped radioactive spider.

I also thought the movie got away with the “try harder” turn in the third act, because Miles conflict is that he’s torn between different identities: is he going to go the preppy overachiever route his parents are pushing him towards, is he going to stick with his comfortable neighborhood and his street art, and oh fuck now he’s got spider powers - and ultimately he resolves that conflict by fully committing himself to being Spiderman.

It’s a character decision, as opposed to say Homecoming where he literally just tries harder.

Vintage WB cartoon characters obviously annihilate their Disney counterparts, but we’re now no longer allowed to see them outside of shit like Space Jam. Marvel has generally always had better superhero characters (FF notwithstanding), but in the 80’s Frank Miller did Ronin and Dark Knight and then Alan Moore and Gaiman came along to muddy the waters (for me, at least, as a kid). Writers like Garth Ennis and Bendis switch back and forth.

Disney’s always sucked, and hopefully James Gunn does Suicide Squad 2 with Bautista to salt the wound.

I’m curious what’ll happen to Marvel (and Fox and Sony) once Downey and Chris Evans fade into the sunset like Jackman. I don’t wanna see another actor play Wolverine or sit through these same story beats regurgitated again and again. Lord and/or Miller can’t write everything. Or can they?

Agreed on all points.

Oh, and of course Noir Spider-Man’s a real thing. I’m dumb.

I’m surprised you guys wanted to see more spidergirl. Loved the movie, but she was the least interesting thing by far. All the other spiderpeople/pigs got to be some level of goofy and flawed (ie: interesting). She was perfect at everything. Also, given the inventiveness of the first 3/4, I was hoping they’d come up with a great way to subvert or enliven the obligatory boss battle. But nope. 15 minutes of boilerplate action all taking place in a pink void. Still, there’s like 100 minutes of solid entertainment in there, so I do feel shame for complaining.

I have to agree with Tom about one thing in particular: the denouement just turned into a punchfest/contest of wills. Seems odd after such inventive writing. But that’s a minor slight. I quite enjoyed the movie overall. As far as “more Spider-Gwen,” I appreciated that she was a new take on a Spider-person. I missed out on the source material. I (like Kelly) had read comics in the 70s and 80s. I dropped out and have only just begun collecting since DC’s “rebirth” efforts. I didn’t buy the “Edge of Spider-verse” comics and have kicked myself ever since. (Spider-Gwen - aka Ghost-Spider - was an oddity/throwaway character, but proved to be so popular, they’ve kept her around…somehow.)

Did you ever read Hickman’s run on Fantastic Four/Future Foundation? It took me from “Oh god the Fantastic Four are so boring” to “Man I fuckin’ love the Fantastic Four.”

No, I’ll check it out! Thanks. There are a lot of sinful gaps in my comics education. I bought a friend’s old comics for a song back in junior high and it was a huge windfall that I never regretted, including the Ross Andru Spider-Mans (featuring the Spider-Mobile) and a Fantastic Four Kree-Skrull aging-ray arc that all the letters complained “went on too long,” but I binge-read it, and it was fucking…fantastic? And the Byrne era was what put Byrne on the map.

I remember the X-Men fighting in defense of Jean Grey on the moon, Hank Pym’s domestic abuse of the Wasp (framed by Egghead!), Banner and the Hulk separated, Alpha Flight, Dreadstar, Epic Illustrated, Contest of Champions, Crimson Jack and Jaxxon the bunny in Star Wars, Storm vs. Dracula, Wolverine beating the Shi’ar egg inside him, Walt Simonson Thor, a serial killer convention in the Shadow (Chaykin), the comedy What If issue, Dazzler, Spider-Man trying out for both the FF and Avengers but turned down 'cause he’s just a maverick at heart dammit, Bullseye vs. Elektra, the Hobgoblin, the Black Cat, Captain America taking a date to see Robocop, Modok, and all the X-men dying constantly.

DC never came close (back then).

Spider Girl was at her peak. She was like the Peter of Miles’ universe, an experienced spider person who was at the top of their game.

This goes under the heading of things we talked about after the show wrapped. My brother played this for me, saying, “Have you heard of the singer Hailee Steinfeld?”

Of course I said, “You mean the actress from True Grit?”

And he said, “No. The singer.”

Then there’s this:


“Smart girls is where it’s at.”

Hey folks, I apologize I haven’t listened to the podcast yet, but I’ve got a quick question: is this movie appropriate for young kids, like 4-6 yr old range? I realize the movie is PG, just curious if that’s because of violence, or maybe just language or whatever. Are the bad guys scary?

It’s funny, my mom wouldn’t have blinked at taking me to a PG movie when I was a kid, but I’m not sure where this one falls.

I really depends upon the kid, I’m afraid. So it’s hard to answer your question. My girlfriend didn’t want to bring her son (almost 10yrs), mostly because he doesn’t care for super heroes. He can handle a certain amount of intensity of action, but given that I saw it in a theater, I think it would have been too much for him in certain places. There is some intense and scary stuff involving the villains in the movie that probably would have involved her having to take him out of the theater.

At home you can just pause it, or skip over the scary parts.

Thing is, different kids are sensitive to different things in movies, and the theatrical experience intensifies this. I remember my son having a hard time during some of Brave…he was probably 7yrs at the time. He got through it, but it was intense.

It depends what your kids have been seen previously, and what your moviegoing experience has been with them.

The woman next to me at the theater had a girl in her lap around 4. She kept talking to the screen, and got really excited about the Bumblebee trailer. So it really depends on the threshold of the kids you’re talking about. If you could give me more parameters, I could make a more informed recommendation (and would be happy to).


Yeah, I get that, and I’m not looking for you guys to make my decision for me, just input. So, some additional parameters:

Just a couple weeks ago I took both kids to see Wreck-it Ralph 2, also a PG movie, and both kinda enjoyed it. I won’t detail that here, since I did so in that movie’s thread, but nothing was too intense for either of them. Both also really like Spider-Man, especially my 4 year old daughter who went trick-or-treating as Spider-Man last Halloween. We have a big book of Spider-Man that goes through his history, his friends, his enemies, and I think she especially would enjoy seeing a lot of that on screen.

But the info about the bad guys being scary sometimes is helpful, and I agree you can’t always predict what a kid will find scary. My daughter loved Moana but she found the giant crab absolutely terrifying and won’t watch it again. They both thought the mama bear in Brave was pretty scary. So if there are moments of intensity maybe it’s worth just waiting until they get a bit older.

My kids were 4 and 6 and they were ok. At the beginning of the movie, Kingpin kills Spider-Man, like kills him dead, and my son had a hard time with that. But as the movie went on he really got into Miles. Once Old Peter shows up my son was ok, I think he believed that Spider-Man didn’t actually die.

My kids are 9 and could handle it fine. I think it would have been too scary for them at 4-6.

So I ended up taking the kids to this after all, once my wife signed off on it. We all went and I think everyone had a good time, but my 4 year old had her ears covered part of the time because she said it was too loud. Parts were pretty intense, especially the two deaths, but I’ll give them credit for keeping it low-key and not graphic. I am not familiar with any alternate universe Spider-Man stuff but it all seemed cool to me.

Oh gosh, you all are such Miller/Lord fanboys. Because of complexity of animation the movie was directed by three other guys, who, according to the interviews, did all the heavy lifting with their animation teams, and Lord’s co-written script was easily the worst part of it (the third act is a let down), and yet half of the podcast you were talking about Lord and Miller - the saviors of the superhero movies genre.

Sounds exactly like The Nightmare Before Christmas, which was directed by Henry Selick, but people still think it’s Tim Burton’s movie.

Still a great animated movie, hope they’ll sweep away all the animation awards.