After the Academy Award-winning ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ in 2018, it was hard to imagine that the sequel would live up to the same standard. Well, ‘Across the Spider-Verse’ blew us away maybe even more, with a plethora of amazing returning characters – and some new ones.
One of the minor – yet important returning characters is Lyla. So, who is Lyla, exactly, and how is she connected to Miguel O’Hara?
Lyla, an acronym of LYrate Lifeform Approximation, is a holographic android AI software that serves as the personal assistant of Miguel O’Hara, aka Spider-Man 2099. They live on Earth-928, which is a possible future variation of Earth-616, the main Marvel Comics universe.
While it wasn’t explicitly confirmed in either of the two Spider-Verse movies, it is believed that Lyla and Miguel from the movies come from that particular Earth-928 universe as well. Hence, we can figure out more about Lyla from the comics despite her having quite a minor role in the films. It’s an incredibly interesting character to me, so stick around to find out why.
Who is Lyla in Marvel Comics?
Lyla first appeared in the comics back in 1992, when ‘Spider-Man 2099 #1’ first came out. Her full name is LYrate Lifeform Approximation, shortened into Lyla, and she is a 22nd-century holographic android artificial intelligence that was also the personal assistant of Miguel O’Hara.
O’Hara is Earth-928’s Spider-Man, a universe that is essentially one of the possible futures and variations of the Earth-616 universe – the main Marvel Comics universe. Miguel became Spider-Man there and used Lyla’s help to tackle threats against his city and the world.
Their most common enemy was Alchemax – a colossal corporation that infiltrated and owned virtually every part of a consumer’s life, manufacturing every product one needs and having their fingers in every economic branch you could imagine, from schools to space travel. They even formed an entire city controlled exclusively by the corporation and its affiliate companies.
In ‘Spider-Man 2099 vol. 3 #24,’ Lyla says that she is ‘rather ordinary’ for her time period, which is the year 2099 and beyond, but in our time, she is beyond cutting-edge technology. She was extremely useful to Miguel in countless situations, but her efficiency was limited regarding humankind’s emotional aspect.
While Lyla could imitate human emotion, she couldn’t actually feel it herself. That changed – for the worse – in ‘Spider-Man 2099 312.’ Lyla was connected to the worldwide news network to harness information but was suddenly overflown with ‘human emotion,’ causing her system to fail and shut down.
After being rebooted, Lyla became strange, displaying negative emotions such as jealousy and even extreme violence. It started manifesting in ‘Spider-Man 2099 #14’ when she lied about his fiance not giving Miguel a call.
But then, it brutally escalated four issues later when Lyla tried to kill Miguel by sending security droids to get him and his fiance by locking her inside a bathroom and trying to cook her with boiling hot water. Yup, pretty grim stuff.
Anyways, Miguel manages to save Dana, his fiance, and shut down Lyla to reboot her. After being cleaned and rebooted, it was discovered that Lyla was infected with a virus that plagued all the city’s computer systems, resulting in aggressive, violent, and wild behavior in Lyla.
There was yet another instance where Lyla was instrumental in saving her and Miguel’s reality after they were trapped in 2013. In ‘Spider-Man 2099 Vol. 3 #24-25,’ she managed to track down the source of their virus and, with the help of Spidey and Doctor Strange, got her and O’Hara back to 2099.
Who is Lyla in ‘Across the Spider-Verse’?
Not even Miguel O’Hara was among the main characters of the Spider-Verse franchise so far. He had a more prominent role in ‘Across the Spider-Verse,’ but his AI assistant didn’t have that much screen time. Still, Lyla is an important piece of the overall story despite being slightly different than the version in the comics.
Lyla, as Miguel’s assistant, is always tasked with gathering intel for him, as well as to help him deal with threats on a multiversal level. They overlooked the meeting of the Spider-Gang in ‘Into the Spider-Verse,’ knowing that the unfolding events could potentially lead to a huge multiverse collapse.
Miguel was late to the conclusion of the event that inadvertently left the multiverse intact, but Lyla was there to fill him in upon his return. She also created the ‘gizmo’ – a device capable of traveling to other dimensions and helping its user travel to other dimensions intact as well – or make an ‘autonomous multiverse jump,’ as they had explained.
We haven’t seen too much about Lyla, perhaps, but if she has all the same qualities as her comic book counterpart, she’s an incredibly powerful tool to have at your disposal – almost like Vision was for the Avengers in the MCU.
She can project multiple holograms, garner information in no time, and is capable of heavy computing and developing, solid even for futuristic standards.
Greta Lee voiced the character of Lyla in the Spider-Verse.
What universe is Lyla from?
As I’ve mentioned, Lyla is from Earth-928 in the comics. Seeing that the Spider-Verse took a lot of inspiration from the ‘Spider-Man 2099’ comics, it’s likely that the version of Miguel and Lyla we’ve seen in the Spider-Verse is at least a similar, if not the same version of the two characters we know from the comics since the 90s.
That being said, the number of Miguel O’Hara’s universe within the Spider-Verse movies hasn’t been specifically disclosed, so you can take that with a grain of salt.
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