Miles Morales is a long way from home in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. In a shocking twist, Brooklyn’s one and only wallcrawler is transported to a universe that’s not his own, Earth-42. There, he comes face to face with himself: Miles G. Morales. In this timeline, Miles was never bitten by a radioactive spider, and thus never became Spider-Man. Instead, he followed in his uncle’s footsteps to become the Prowler, a development that will spell real trouble for our Miles in Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse.
Or will it?
Aside from the threads set up in Across’ cliffhanger ending, not much is known about the plot of Beyond the Spider-Verse. Miles is trapped in Earth-42, while Gwen Stacy, Peter B. Parker, and his other friends are launching a rescue mission to bring him home. Miles is also racing against time to save his father from an imminent demise, which also happens to be a canon event: an experience that cannot be prevented without tearing apart the very fabric of time and space.
It goes without saying that Beyond has a lot to unpack in a short time frame. Its predecessor set the stage for an angsty, bittersweet conclusion, but according to co-writer and producer Chris Miller, the sequel won’t be nearly as dark as Across the Spider-Verse. Speaking to Deadline at the 2024 Golden Globes, Miller said Beyond would offer a “very satisfying conclusion” to the Spider-Verse trilogy, and focus more on Miles’ emotional growth.
“I think that the thing that we try to do with these movies is represent goodness,” Miller said, “and show how the love that the characters in the movie have for Miles translates into his growth and success.” As a result, Beyond will go “even more emotionally deep” into Miles’ relationships with Gwen, Peter B., and his parents.
But what of Prowler-Miles? He scarcely gets a mention from Miller, which is pretty weird considering his presence opens up a whole can of worms about paradoxes and causality. Miles was bit by the spider originally meant for his variant, which could (and should) have huge repercussions for the plot of Beyond. As Miles is still struggling to find his place in the world, this encounter on Earth-42 has the potential to either help or harm him. It all depends on his variant’s intentions, and based on Miller’s comments, it seems like he could be an ally.
There’s a sense Miles won’t be spending much time on Earth-42. When last we saw our hero, he was the Prowler’s prisoner, but perhaps the variant was just taking precautions in case Miles himself was hostile. After all, he knows next to nothing about the multiverse, so the idea of another Miles coming out of the woodwork would be extremely weird.
As Beyond is focused more on representing goodness, maybe Prowler-Miles isn’t as bad as he seems. Maybe he took on the mantle to fight crime and defend the city, rather than contribute to its demise. If that’s the case, maybe Miles just needs a bit of time to explain his situation. He and Prowler-Miles might come to an understanding just as Gwen and her Spider-Team arrive on Earth-42, and everyone can part ways amicably. Miles G. might even want to lend a hand in saving Miles’ dad from the universe-ending threat that is The Spot.
That would be nice, but wouldn’t it also be just a tad too convenient? What made Across so interesting was the friction between Miles and the ensemble. The introduction of another Miles, a potential enemy, made its cliffhanger ending worthwhile. Unfortunately, Beyond has a lot of threads to resolve, which means a potential conflict between the Miles twins could end before it officially begins. That’s disappointing, but given how crowded the sequel already is, maybe it would be for the best. These films might have bitten off more than they could chew, and that could spell trouble for their most interesting developments.