Warning: this article contains spoilers for Spider-Man 2!
If there’s been one consistent theme across all of Insomniac’s Spider-Man games, it’s that Spider-Man is bigger than Peter Parker himself. Miles Morales has evolved from supporting character to rookie superhero to a full-fledged Spider-Man in his own right. And based on some of the developments in Spider-Man 2, Miles may not be the only new Spider-Man in town for much longer.
Which alternate versions of Spider-Man are teased in this sequel? How will they fit into future games? Here’s everything you need to know about how Insomniac is beginning to mine the larger Spider-Verse for this ongoing franchise.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 Screenshot Gallery
Spider-Man 2099 and Delilah
One of the many quest lines in Spider-Man 2 involves Spidey tracking down a series of runaway Spider-Bots. That culminates in a bizarre encounter where Spidey meets a futuristic bartender named Delilah. Delilah promptly summons all the Spider-Bots through a portal and into a convenient carrying case. She leaves Spidey with the parting words, “If Miguel comes looking for these, tell him finders-keepers.”
The Miguel in question is undoubtedly Miguel O’Hara, better known as Spider-Man 2099. Miguel is the designated Spider-Man of Nueva York in the year 2099. A former employee of the sinister corporation Alchemax, Miguel turns against the company and has his DNA partially overwritten with that of a spider. He possesses similar abilities to those of Peter Parker, in addition to other powers like night vision, finger talons and venomous fangs.
Spider-Man 2099, of course, got exposed to a wider audience this year when he appeared in the animated film Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (voiced by Oscar Isaac).
But who is Delilah? That’s a more difficult question to answer, as she doesn’t seem to directly correspond to an existing Marvel character. There’s a Spider-Man villain named Delilah in the comics, but she doesn’t have any ties to Miguel or the world of 2099. We’re not even sure Delilah is human, given her weirdly polygonal body shape. Is she even a physical person or a VR-based avatar?
It could be the latter, which might mean Delilah is connected to the character Lyla. Lyla is Miguel’s wise-cracking, holographic AI companion. Delilah the bartender may just be Insomniac’s spin on Lyla.
Miles Morales Meets Cindy Moon
Spider-Man 2 teases another major Spider-Verse character at the very end. The post-credits scene shows Miles, Rio and Hailey preparing a dinner for Albert. Albert introduces the group to his daughter Cindy. Cindy Moon is better known as the spider-powered heroine Silk.
In the comics, Cindy was revealed to be a classmate of Peter Parker’s who was bitten by the same radioactive spider that gave Peter his powers. She gained many of Spider-Man’s abilities, with the added bonus of organic webbing.
However, Peter didn’t discover there was another Spider-Person in New York until years later. That’s because Cindy’s parents were approached by Peter’s onetime benefactor Ezekiel to mentor her and safeguard her from the vampiric villain known as Morlun. Cindy wound up spending years locked away in a vault before finally being freed and meeting Spider-Man. Nowadays, Cindy has built a new life for herself and fights evil as Silk, both on her own and on teams like the Agents of Atlas.
We see very little of Cindy in the post-credits scene (we never even actually see her face), but that scene does suggest Insomniac will be moving in its own direction with the character. The back-story with Ezekiel and the locked vault seems to be out. Cindy isn’t even a peer of Peter Parker in this universe, but rather seems destined to form a friendship with Miles instead. There’s reason to believe Insomniac will develop a direct sequel to 2020’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and we could see Cindy being a supporting character in that game.
Insomniac Explores the Spider-Verse
These Spider-Man 2099 and Silk cameos in Spider-Man 2 both point to one thing – Insomniac is beginning to explore the wider Spider-Verse. At this point, there are numerous Spider-man offshoots in the Marvel Universe. There are multiple Spider-Womans and Spider-Girls. There are the various Spider-Man clones and the Superior Spider-Man (a version of Spidey with Doctor Octopus’ mind imprinted over Peter’s). And that’s not even counting the dozens and dozens of versions of Spider-Man from various alternate universes. Spider-Man 2 makes it clear that nothing is off the table.
To be clear, this doesn’t necessarily mean Insomniac is delving into the Marvel multiverse. While the multiverse has been popular storytelling fodder for the Spider-Man movies lately, the Insomniac games have yet to really acknowledge the multiverse (though Insomniac’s Spidey does meet his alternate universe selves in the 2018 comic book crossover Spider-Geddon). The games have even avoided the multiverse where the Peter/Miles dynamic is concerned. Unlike the comics and the Spider-Verse movies, this Peter and Miles exist and have always existed in the same universe.
Even these new Spider-Verse cameos suggest Insomniac will be sticking to one version of the Marvel Universe going forward. Miguel hails from the future of this world. Cindy is part of this universe. We wouldn’t necessarily expect Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man Noir and Spider-Ham to come calling, in other words.
But what these cameos do suggest is that the series is going to become bigger than one or even two Spider-Mans. We could see Cindy’s superhero origin story in the next game, giving Miles a chance to play the veteran mentor to a rookie hero. Miguel may travel from the future, creating the possibility of a fourth Spider-Man in the same city. Spider-Man 3 could wind up being the spiritual successor to 2010’s Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, which allowed players to take control of four incarnations of Spider-Man.
Just how deep could Insomniac go into the Spider-Verse? Will we see Spider-Woman or Spider-Girl? Could we finally meet the Insomniac version of Gwen Stacy and see her become Spider-Gwen/Ghost Spider? The series could wind up having real legs beyond Peter Parker and Miles Morales. Even without the multiverse in play, the Spider-Man franchise has a lot of great heroes to offer.
Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.