It’s been almost a month since the anticipated second installment of the animated ‘Spider-Verse’ franchise, ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,’ premiered in theaters, but the ‘Spider-Verse’ mania is still all around us, and it will surely continue to be until the cliffhanger ending is resolved in the upcoming threequel, ‘Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse.’ But until then, there’s a lot of interesting stuff to talk about. As we know, the first installment, 2018’s ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ introduced us to Miles Morales and several other Spider-Man variants from across the Multiverse. One of them is Peter B. Parker. But is Peter B. Parker actually the original, first-ever Spider-Man?
In the source material, the mainstream Marvel universe is Earth-616, where the original Spider-Man, which was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in 1962, resides. In the ‘Spider-Verse’ franchise, the main plot is on Miles Morales’ Earth-1610B, where Kingpin killed the original Spider-Man. After that, Miles teamed up with Peter Benjamin Parker, who came from Earth-616B. Therefore, we know Peter B. Parker is based on the original Spider-Man from Marvel Comics. The ‘Spider-Verse’ franchise takes almost all the inspiration from the source material, and it only adds B to the names of the universes to differentiate comic book incarnations from the animated ones.
Everything that was spawned from Marvel Comics and all the animated or live-action adaptations are set in the same Multiverse, spread throughout different universes. For example, the Marvel Cinematic Universe takes place on Earth-199999, and the mainstream universe in the comics is Earth-616. While different universes crossed over numerous times in the comics, ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ pulled off a really big deal by making the first Multiverse adventure on the big screen. Thanks to its success, we got the live-action movie ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home,’ which assembled three live-action Spider-Men on the big screen, but this year’s ‘Across the Spider-Verse’ managed to raise the bar even higher than that.
How does the Multiverse work in Marvel Comics?
We all know the definition of the Multiverse: the entirety of space, time, matter, and energy. This theory describes the Multiverse as a set of all universes that co-exist. While this theory will maybe never be proven in real life, it was used as an inspiration for many entertainment products, and we aren’t only talking about Marvel and DC content. The premise of the Multiverse in the comic books means you can theoretically have an infinite number of everything, and this way, the authors of comic books always have a pretext.
For example, if some fan-favorite character dies, don’t worry; there’s still an infinite number of them across the Multiverse. We have to highlight Gwen Stacy’s case here. As we know, the original Gwen, who resided on Earth-616, was killed by Green Goblin in 1973. Still, the readers of comic books have met countless alternate versions of Gwen Stacy, and one of the most popular ones was Gwen Stacy from Earth-65, who was bitten by a radioactive spider and became Spider-Woman. The character’s incarnation was later adapted into the ‘Spider-Verse’ franchise, where she resides on Earth-65B.
From which Earth Peter B. Parker is in the ‘Spider-Verse’ franchise?
The character of Miles Morales was first introduced in the Ultimate Universe, aka Earth-1610, in 2011. In the animated ‘Spider-Verse’ franchise, in which he’s the protagonist, Miles resides on Earth-1610B. This Earth’s Peter Parker / Spider-Man was killed by Kingpin when he tried to stop him from activating a collider that opened the doors to the Multiverse and brought several Spider-Man variants from different dimensions to Earth-1610B. One of those variants was Peter Benjamin Parker, who came from Earth-616B.
Peter Benjamin Parker is depicted as an older, more experienced Spider-Man with 22 years of crimefighting career behind him. During those 22 years, he saved the city countless times, fell in love with Mary Jane Watson, married, and eventually split up. Peter B. Parker also buried his Aunt May, which shows that although he’s based on the original Spider-Man, the adaptation doesn’t follow the story closely since Earth-616’s Aunt May in the source material is still alive.
When Peter B. Parker arrived on Miles’ Earth-1610B, we could’ve seen that he lost his good shape and fallen into a mid-life crisis. Other Spider-variants that teamed up with Peter and Miles were Spider-Gwen (Earth-65B), Spider-Man Noir (Earth-90214B), Spider-Ham (Earth-8311B), and SP//dr (Earth-14512B). This team eventually succeeded in using a collider to send all the guests to their respective universes, after which their host, Miles, destroyed the collider and defeated Kingpin.
Following the events of ‘Into the Spider-Verse,’ Earth-616B’s Peter decided to call his Mary Jane again. They reconciled and had a baby named May “Mayday” Parker, who we met in the sequel. Peter B. Parker didn’t really have a huge role in ‘Across the Spider-Verse’ apart from being a dad, but the movie’s cliffhanger ending promises us another team-up of the ‘Into the Spider-Verse’ team and a few of their friends to save Miles from Earth-42, where he was kidnapped by own his counterpart.
Tobey Maguire was initially considered to voice Peter B. Parker in the ‘Spider-Verse’ franchise, but the idea was abandoned to avoid any confusion and comparisons with Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man from Sam Raimi’s ‘Spider-Man’ trilogy (which takes place on Earth-96283 in the Marvel Multiverse). In the ‘Spider-Verse,’ Peter B. Parker is voiced by Jake Johnson, who is set to reprise the role in ‘Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse.’
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