Spider-man has always arguably been one of the most relatable superheroes to ever exist, no matter which version of the multiverse he’s from. And that’s because his stories have never been so grand and larger-than-life as compared to other alien-fighting heroes – he’s just a friendly neighbourhood superhero.
There’s a lot to learn from his stories. Uncle Ben’s infinite wisdom that “with great power comes great responsibility” is one of the more well-known lessons, but my favourite thing is the constant message through his stories that anyone can be Spider-man. The mask, as Stanlee said, “always fits, eventually”. And in carrying on this legacy of churning out life lessons, the new Spiderverse movie brings us another fresh perspective on life. Needless to say, spoiler alert for Across the Spiderverse.
“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” has left an indelible mark on popular culture, captivating audiences with its stunning animation, compelling storytelling, and most importantly, its profound themes. At the heart of the film lies a multiverse concept that embraces the existence of multiple versions of Spider-Man, each with their own unique traits and stories. A concept that is central to the story is that of ‘canon events’: Each universe is held together by one single life-altering event in that particular Spider-man’s life which is his destiny. A canon event could be anything, in Spider-man’s case it’s usually Uncle Ben’s death. In Spider-Gwen’s (Gwen-variant of Spider-man) case it’s the death of Peter Parker in her universe. And here’s the catch: it’s fate. If you try to interfere with a canon event, you might quite literally rip a hole in the fabric of the space-time continuum (whatever that means it doesn’t sound good).
The film’s popularity has inspired viewers to look for ‘canon events’ in their own lives – events that had to happen for their life to turn out the way it did. And there are actually quite a few canon events that everyone goes through. No matter how cringe you might find it, every other teenage girl goes through her ‘I’m not like other girls’ phase. I did, and now my 14-year-old cousin is going through one too. I usually try to steer her in what I believe is the “right direction”, but I also think that there are some things she just has to learn by herself.
there’s a tiktok trend where people are watching others go through very cliche events but they can’t interfere bc it’s a canon event and it’s so true. sometimes you just have to watch someone make their own mistakes bc they won’t listen to you & its needed for their growth😔
— miss honey 🍯 (@foyinog) June 15, 2023
Miles, the movie’s protagonist initially tries to challenge this idea of canon events and take matters into his own hands, and there’s a lesson in that too. Traditionally, the notion of canon has been rigid, defined by strict rules and established norms. However, he fights this notion, inviting us to reconsider what we perceive as canonical and embrace the limitless possibilities that exist. This invitation extends beyond the realm of fiction and encourages us to question societal norms, challenge stereotypes, and celebrate individuality. In doing so, it promotes a more inclusive and accepting society.
Ultimately, what you want to take away from the film is up to you. Across the Spiderverse sparked a transformative trend promoting acceptance and embracing the diversity of our world. Through social media’s “canon events” and the broader cultural conversation surrounding the film, we are reminded that accepting things the way they are can be a powerful and liberating experience too. This trend not only redefines the concept of the ‘canon’ but also encourages us to find beauty in our imperfections and celebrate the richness of our diverse society.