You’ve walked out of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse suitably awed and impressed, but you can’t help seeing visions of Spider-Mans dancing across your eyes. The newest animated Miles Morales movie includes no shortage of star turns, cameos, and split-second appearances of alternate-reality and previously existing versions of Spider-Man — from comic book creations to movie iterations to the deepest of deep-cut references.
But who are all these Spider-People, and where do they come from? Polygon has you covered with this handy pocket reference to every Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, and where their origin can be found — at least, all the ones that we were able to identify.
If you identified a Spider-Man that isn’t listed here, put it in a comment! Because with great knowledge of Spider-Man comes great responsibility to share that knowledge of Spider-Man.
[Ed. note: This post contains mondo spoilers for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.]
Miguel O’Hara/Spider-Man 2099
First appearance: Spider-Man 2099 (vol. 1) #1
What’s his deal?: Miguel O’Hara lived in the far-flung Marvel future of 2099, a world dominated by corporations run rampant and dangerous innovations in genetic engineering and virtual reality. A researcher working for the nefarious and powerful Alchemex corporation, he ultimately found himself a victim of his own experimental, spider-themed research, giving him creepily spider-derived powers and eventually a costumed identity as a hero. An inverse of the classic Spider-Man, Miguel is taciturn and surly in his superhero alter ego and something of a wisecracking lothario in real life.
Power-responsibility score: 4 Uncle Bens out of 10.
First appearance: Marvel Spotlight #32 (sort of)
What’s her deal?: Across the Spider-Verse’s Jess Drew is an original creation, but she owes her name (and overall look) to comic book predecessor Jessica Drew, the original Spider-Woman. Created in 1976 in a rush to stop an animation studio from grabbing the trademark to the Spider-Woman name, comic book Jessica actually has no real relation to either Peter Parker or Miles Morales, having instead acquired her powers in a bewilderingly arcane origin involving HYDRA, her geneticist father, and possibly a talking cow. Spider-Verse’s Jess is thus a wholesale reinvention of the concept — though comics Jess did famously have a book in which she did superhero stuff while pregnant — that owes a certain debt to her elder counterpart.
Power-responsibility score: No Uncle Bens here. Only Bova the talking cow.
First appearance: Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 3) #10
What’s his deal?: Every so often, a terrible idea turns out to be unexpectedly brilliant. Such was the case for Earth-138’s version of Hobie Brown (better known in our more familiar Earth-616 as Spider-Man’s longtime ally — yes, ally! — the Prowler). Hobie was transformed via spider bite into the punk-rocking, trash-talking Spider-Punk. Fascinatingly, this Spider-Man was the subject of a minor dispute between his creators, with artist Olivier Coipel intending him to be a British punk of the Sex Pistols variety, but writer Dan Slott overriding the decision to establish him as an all-CBGB New Yorker. In any case, this Hobie won the affection of fans by siding with the people against their corporate oppressors, leading the downtrodden masses against the establishment, and breaking his guitar over the head of the U.S. president.
Power-responsibility score: 10 Uncle Bens out of 10. The greatest responsibility is to rock.
First appearance: Spider-Man India #1
What’s his deal?: The 2004 Spider-Man: India series was an unusual partnership between Marvel Comics and its Indian licensor Gotham Entertainment that enlisted Indian creators to reimagine Spider-Man in their own cultural context. Thus was created Pavitr Prabhakar, an Indian small-town boy transplanted to cosmopolitan Mumbai who is granted spider powers by an ancient yogi. After he allows his selfishness to take the life of his Uncle Bhim, he devotes himself to the cause of justice, eventually encountering the main Marvel Comics Spider-Man during the 2015 Spider-Verse crossover.
Power-responsibility score: 9 Uncle Bhims out of 10.
First appearance: Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 1) #258
What’s his deal?: You’re laughing? Spider-Man is wearing a spare Fantastic Four uniform and a paper bag on his head and you’re laughing? Believe it or not, this version of Spider-Man has a perfectly valid Marvel Comics pedigree. At the conclusion of the famed Alien Costume Saga in 1984, Peter Parker learned to his horror that the black costume he had been wearing was actually a symbiote alien from another planet. That left him briefly without any costume to wear around town, but longtime frenemy Johnny “Human Torch” Storm lent a hand, giving Parker one of his own extra suits, a paper lunch bag to put over his face, and a “Kick me” sign surreptitiously taped to his back for good measure. Though understandably making only a single appearance in the comics, this version of Spider-Man did receive his own action figure last year, which is more than you can say for most of us.
Power-responsibility score: 7 Uncle Bens out of 10. Would be higher if he put on some shoes.
Insomniac’s Spider-Man and Spider-Man
First appearance: Marvel’s Spider-Man (2018 video game)
What’s his deal?: This is merely Spider-Man dressed in the funky skins of the PlayStation video game series launched in 2018. Gamerized versions of both Peter Parker and Miles Morales here make their film debut, in what is no doubt a purely coincidental Sony motion picture production.
Power-responsibility score: 1-10 Uncle Bens out of 10, depending on player.
The Amazing Spider-Monkey
First appearance: Spider-Man Family #1
What’s his deal?: Earth-8101 is an Earth populated by anthropomorphic apes — not to be confused with the Earth that was home to Marvel’s 1970s licensed adaptation of the Planet of the Apes motion picture. Much like his human equivalent in powers, Spider-Monkey had a wildly different (and convincingly obnoxious) personality, and was frequently willing to kill in battle against his animal enemies. After coming to the aid of a multiversal crisis, however, he lost his life heroically during the Spider-Verse crossover.
Power-responsibility score: 5 Uncle Bens out of 10. Obnoxious monkey, but he went out a true spider.
First appearance: Spider-Verse (vol. 1) #1
What’s her deal?: Maybelle Reilly was the resident of a 19th-century steampunk universe, where she was bitten by her father’s experimental spider, gaining extraordinary powers. Following the death of her father, and learning the value of freedom and independence, May fashioned herself set a mechanical arms (resembling the Iron Spider outfit of our own Spider-Man), and proceeded to venture into multiversal battle at the side of other Spider-People.
Power-responsibility score: 6 Uncle Bens out of 10.
Ben Reilly/Scarlet Spider
First appearance: Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 1) #149
What’s his deal?: Oh, boy. OK, here we go. In 1975, writer Gerry Conway and artist Ross Andru kicked off an extended storyline subsequently known as the original Clone Saga. Peter Parker found himself cloned by the villainous Jackal, and was eventually forced to confront his duplicate in a fight to the death, with only one surviving. The living Parker then disposed of the clone body in a smokestack, but, importantly, declined to verify with certainty that he himself wasn’t actually the clone to begin with.
Cut to two decades later, when Marvel revealed that the unfortunate double was alive after all, had dyed his hair blond, started calling himself Ben Reilly, and was fighting crime under the identity of the Scarlet Spider. That series of revelations kicked off a multi-year, deeply regrettable second Clone Saga, during which it was revealed that Ben was actually the real Peter Parker all along, then that he wasn’t, and eventually he was killed all over again. But you can’t keep a good or bad Spider-Man down, so Ben was inevitably revived once more during the Clone Conspiracy storyline in 2014. As Peter Parker’s even more angsty duplicate, he has been a beloved, or at least reluctantly tolerated, fixture of Spider-Man’s world ever since.
Power-responsibility score: 6 Uncle Bens out of 10. Points for longevity, but Peter Parker is already angsty enough, if you ask me.
First appearance: What If…? (vol. 2) #105
What’s her deal?: Mayday “May” Parker was the Spider-Girl who was never supposed to live. Created by writer Tom DeFalco and artist Ron Frenz, she was intended initially for a What If…? one-shot in 1998, imagining the teenage adventures of the child of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. That story met with such unexpected success, however, that DeFalco and Frenz were caught off-guard by Marvel’s request to spin May off into an ongoing series.
What followed was a seemingly endless series of near-cancellations and fan campaigns to keep Spider-Girl alive, ultimately resulting in a series of May Parker books that ran (against all odds) until 2009. She has appeared in comics sporadically since then (almost invariably under the auspices of her original creative team), and retains the affection of her still-dedicated fandom.
Power-responsibility score: 8 Uncle Bens out of 10.
First appearance: Spider-Island: I Love New York City #1
What’s his deal?: He is Spider-Man, and also a cat. The typical pet of a coterie of gamers from Earth-999, Spider-Cat gained his powers through an encounter with one of the mystical Spider-Totems, in an untold tale that presumably makes as much sense as any other story involving the mystical Spider-Totems. Taking on the costume of his Earth-616 counterpart to fight crimes committed by small mammals and birds, he tragically went on the lose his life at the hands of the vampiric Morlun during the lead-up to Spider-Verse in 2014.
Power-responsibility score: 10 Uncle Bens out of 10. Brave kitty. Brave, brave kitty.
First appearance: Edge of Spider-Verse (vol. 2) #1
What’s his deal?: A resident of the prehistoric world of Earth-66, wallflower T. rex Pter Ptarker had a chance encounter with a spider-filled meteorite, granting him wonderous spider-like powers. In an early battle against his nemesis Norrannosaurman, Ptarker accidentally allowed a tree branch to take the life of the villain, teaching him an important lesson about responsibility. Only recently introduced to comic book canon, Ptarker survived a trip to our reality and a near-death brush with our own Norman Osborn, and at present continues to fight crime as the toothiest of Spider-Men.
Power-responsibility score: 8 Uncle Bens out of 10.
First appearance: Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 3) #12
What’s his deal?: Who but writer Dan Slott — creator of the name Peter Parkour for the acrobatically impressive webslinger — could have been responsible for Peter Parkedcar, the anthropomorphic talking car Spider-Man? First appearing in the original Spider-Verse crossover in 2015, the most vehicular Spider-Man of all actually originates with the Spider-Mobile, a jokey, toy-company-mandated car briefly driven around town by Peter Parker during the 1970s. Slott would later reveal via tweet that he intended Parkedcar to come from a Pixar-esque dimension of talking cars, hence his wise-talking capabilities. At present, the potential existence of Mary Jane Datsun remains unknown.
Power-responsibility score: 8 Uncle Bens out of 10. Passengers of Peter Parkedcar are required to wear seat belts at all times.
Web-Slinger (the cowboy Spider-Man)
First appearance: Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 3) #9
What’s his deal?: Having previously reintroduced the Two-Gun Kid to Marvel in the pages of his She-Hulk run, it’s no surprise that Dan Slott would generate this cowboy Spider-Man from the Wild West universe of Earth-31913. Though little is known of Web-Slinger’s mysterious origins, he is known to have a devoted friendship with his Spider-Horse (real name unknown). Just consider Spider-Horse the Peter Parkedcar of an earlier time (so to speak). Web-Slinger had his most extensive appearance in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon series, where he teamed up with Spider-Man to free a frontier town from the clutches of Doc Ock Holiday.
Power-responsibility score: 6 Uncle Bens out of 10. That horse seems suspicious.
First appearance: The Spectacular Spider-Man (2008 animated series)
What’s his deal?: Spider-Man has had many iconic animated iterations, from the 1960s version with its earworm of a theme song to the goofily unforgettable 1990s Fox Kids series. One of the most beloved and lamented recent versions was 2008’s The Spectacular Spider-Man, which took the character back to his roots as a high schooler learning the ropes of superheroics while navigating the complexities of adolescent life. Though initially controversial for its more stylized and less realistic character designs, the show soon won over fans for its ability to distill the essence of Steve Ditko-era Spider-Man for a modern audience. So the Peter of this reality is, for all intents and purposes, the one we know: nerdy, funny, and still learning to walk the line between responsibility and power.
Power-responsibility score: 5 Uncle Bens out of 10. We’ll talk when he turns 18.
First appearance: Spider-Man Unlimited (1999 animated series)
What’s his deal?: Oof. At the end of the ’90s, after a long and successful run on Fox Kids, the network and producers at Saban decided the time had come to restart the animated Spider-Man show as a faithful (and ideally low-budget) adaptation of early Spider-Man comics. Alas, Marvel had just sold the Spider-Man rights to Sony in a deal that would eventually result in the Sam Raimi film series, meaning that whatever Saban created would have to be wholly disconnected from any existing version of the Spider-Man mythos.
Thus emerged a show revolving around Spider-Man’s arrival on the techno-futuristic Counter-Earth, where he combats reimagined (and extraordinarily late-’90s) versions of Man-Wolf, the Green Goblin, and other recognizable names in unrecognizable forms. After limping through a season that met with lukewarm reception, the series vanished from public consciousness, only to be revived in big-screen stardom this year.
Spider-Maguire and Spider-Garfield
First appearance: Spider-Man (2002) and The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
What’s their deal?: Spider-Man had spent a full decade in the purgatory of tangled Hollywood film rights before a minor miracle occurred in 2002, with director Sam Raimi finally bringing the character to the big screen as portrayed by Tobey Maguire. Though Maguire himself was considered a surprise choice at the time, he managed to impress audiences with his convincingly put-upon and introverted portrayal of young Peter Parker — notwithstanding his questionable dance moves in Spider-Man 3. The same universal praise, alas, was not bestowed on Maguire’s successor, Andrew Garfield, when Spider-Man was rebooted in 2012 as a surlier, skateboarding, Ultimate Comics-influenced Parker. Nevertheless, both actors returned to warm fan reception in 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, where they pointed at one another accusingly as the memes foretold.
Power-responsibility score: 9 Uncle Bens out of 10 (Maguire). 2 Uncle Bens out of 10 (Garfield).
First appearance: Vault of Spiders #1
What’s her deal?: Margo Kess comes from Earth-22191, a semi-futuristic reality where the dreams of Mark Zuckerberg have come true, and people spend their days hanging out in metaverse-esque virtual reality simulations. To that end, Margo dons a spider-themed outfit and decides to combat electronic crime in her digital world.
Power-responsibility score: 2 Uncle Bens out of 10. Points for effort, but you can’t help but feel like this is a Spider-Man who wants to give you a stern warning about downloading from Napster. Her movie incarnation seems much more chill.
First appearance: Spider-Man (1967)
What’s his deal?: When Spider-Man first appeared on television sets in animated form in 1967, it was a watershed moment for the character. The second cartoon series ever to be adapted from Marvel Comics, and the first to involve any actual animation, the show’s unforgettable theme song and occasionally faithful interpretations of Ditko-era concepts made it instantly iconic for a generation of viewers, and contributed to Spider-Man’s emergence as Marvel’s flagship hero.
The Spider-Man of this cartoon universe is much like our own Peter Parker, working for a tyrannical J. Jonah Jameson at the Daily Bugle and fighting his colorful cast of rogues, but he wears a suit lacking its distinctive web-lines (the better to save on costs of animation) and speaks in a baritone at least two octaves too low for his ostensibly teenage self. He has been known to stand in a circle and point at other Spider-Mans.
Power-responsibility score: 6 Uncle Bens out of 10.
First appearance: Spider-Verse (vol. 3) #3
What’s her deal?: Another of the Spider-Totems who were enlisted to help in the multiversal Spider-Verse events, Charlotte Webber is one of the Spider-characters of more recent vintage. She is, however, distinguished for being a rare instance of a hero with a disability, living with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, as a result of which she uses a wheelchair or crutches even in the context of her costumed identity.
Power-responsibility score: 9 Uncle Bens out of 10. She’s new, but she’s got the right stuff.
Spinneret (in the white and red costume)
First appearance: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #1
What’s her deal?: By 2015, a generation of fans who had come up during an era when Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson were happily married in the comics had become consistently and unwaveringly salty over the retcon of both characters into bachelorhood a decade prior. Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows thus served as a sort of goodwill gesture, offering an alternate reality in which Peter and MJ, still married and with a superpowered kid in tow, formed a crime-fighting family in which Mary Jane took on the costumed identity of Spinneret. With her red hair and distinctive white jumpsuit, she makes a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo in Across the Spider-Verse.
Power-responsibility score: 9 Aunt Anna Watsons out of 10.