WARNING: MAJOR spoilers ahead for “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”
When you open up the entire Spider-Verse, you’re going to meet a lot of Spider-Men. But, “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” brought the appearance of more than just Spider-men, -women, and -animals — it also brought a few major live-action characters.
Once again, spoiler warning; this is where you turn back if you don’t want to know who we’re talking about just yet.
OK, still here? Let’s get into it. For some, it felt inevitable that the core three Spider-Man might show up somehow. And yes, two of them did. Repurposed footage of both Andrew Garfield’s and Tobey Maguire’s take on the wallcrawler showed up in the movie. But there are a few major characters who showed up in the flesh.
Though he wasn’t the first cameo in “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” he was arguably the biggest (next to Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire of course). And that “he” is Donald Glover.
He shows up as the live-action version Prowler, a villain that was captured by Spider-people of alternate dimensions and is set to be sent back to his own. What dimension is that exactly? Well, that’s a bit more complicated.
Presumably, it’s the MCU that we’ve come to know, in which Tom Holland is Spider-Man. You might recall that in “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” we met Donald Glover as a low-level criminal who ends up helping Spider-Man take down the Vulture’s illegal weapons operation.
Glover is revealed to be Aaron Davis, also known as Miles Morales’ Uncle Aaron. Obviously, we don’t have a live-action Miles yet, but in “Homecoming,” Glover’s character did note that “I don’t want those weapons in this neighborhood, I got a nephew who live here.”
You can watch that moment in the video below.
That said, Glover never actually suits up in “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” so it’s impossible to know if he becomes, or already is Prowler. So, the version of him we meet in “Across the Spider-Verse” could still be another version altogether, since we never see what Earth he’s from.
Still, it’s a nice nod to “Homecoming” and potentially a huge thread for them to pick up. Whether or not Glover will become the Prowler of the MCU, we’ll just have to see.
Before Glover even enters the picture though, we get another live-action cameo. This one ties “Across the Spider-Verse” to Sony’s “Venom” films.
As The Spot (Jason Schwartzmann) starts testing the limits of his abilities, he realizes his spots are actually capable of taking him to other dimensions. That includes the bodega of Mrs. Chen (Peggy Lu), the sassy but very understanding ally of Venom/Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), who Venom once inhabited.
When Spot appears, Mrs. Chen is entirely unphased considering, well, everything else she’d encountered up to this point. Sadly, Venom himself doesn’t make an appearance in the scene, but it’s still a quality tie-in to Sony’s other major Spidey property.
“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” is now in theaters everywhere.