Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse ★★★★★

"What makes you different...makes you Spider-Man"

In 1962, Stan Lee came up with the idea for a new superhero. This hero, he decided, would be a teenager, and face many of the same problems that the comic readers themselves were facing. While the publisher disliked the idea, Stan had confidence in his new creation, and brought aboard his friend Steve Ditko to develop the visual motif for this character.

Now, in 2018, that same character has made me cry 3 times in one year. Once was in the biggest blockbuster of the decade, where he wasn't even a main protagonist. Once was a PS4 game, that I didn't even play but still got emotionally invested just by watching the cutscenes.

And the third time was during Stan Lee's cameo in this movie. Without spoiling anything, that scene perfectly embodies what makes this character so special and significant. (Not to mention it has an extra unintended layer of poignancy due to the passings of both Lee and Ditko earlier this year)

This movie, more so than perhaps any other piece of media, is a testament to how far that character Lee and Ditko created has come. Once, he was just a kid in a mask. Now, he's a symbol and inspiration to people everywhere. And this movie, while it is a by-the-book Hero's journey for Miles Morales, also explores what it means to be that symbol, both within the context of the fictional world and the real world.

You'd think that having so many iterations of the same character in one movie would serve to make him feel less special. In reality the opposite is true. See, there's a reason why this one character has a timelessness to him/her that few other fictional characters have; and it's the wish-fulfillment factor: Anyone could don that iconic mask and be that hero, living on the edge, fighting crime and spinning webs. And this movie, in all its silly fanwank crossover glory, captures that ideal better than anything else.

For all those reasons and more (that animation sure is pretty...and that sure are some great Raimi references...), I consider Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse not only one of the best Spider-Man films, but one of the best superhero films and best animated films out there. Please go see it, movies as colourful and creative as this don't happen every day.

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Spectacular Spider-Man is still the best Spidey tho. Don't @ me

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