What’s next for Marvel’s Spider-Man? The end credits have answers.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe knows how to keep fans on the hook, and it’s got everything to do with all of those dang post-credits scenes. Every fan is trained at this point: Whenever there’s a new movie, we wait and we watch the credit roll in anticipation of a tease for what’s next.
The same holds true in Marvel’s Spider-Man (that’s the official title of the PS4 game, btw). The game has its own story to tell, one that’s disconnected completely from the MCU. But the intro is Marvel’s now-familiar page flip movie logo. And sure enough, two entire scenes pop up during the end credits.
Let consider what they’re saying. Needless to say, spoilers ahead.
This straightforward scene is filled with meaning if you have any background in Spider-Man comics.
At the end of the game, we see Miles Morales moving into his new digs, an apartment he shares with none other than Peter Parker himself. At this point in the game’s story, the two are friends but both are hiding secrets: Peter, that he’s Spider-Man; and Miles, that he’s picked up powers after being bitten by an escaped Oscorp spider.
In this moment, both men come to understand who the other really is. It’s powerful. It’s probably setup for a sequel where Miles dons the Spider-Man tights. If we’re very lucky, it might even be a co-op game where Peter and Miles are playable simultaneously.
Can you imagine?
But there’s some comic book history here, too. In Marvel’s books, Miles Morales was introduced in the “Ultimate” line of stories as a new Spider-Man. Just like the game’s Miles, comic book Miles got his powers from a spider bite.
He comes from a different background than Peter, and as a result he deals with a different set of internal struggles. His comic book father, Jefferson, is a reformed ex-convict and his uncle, Aaron, is a career criminal.
In a loose parallel of Peter’s arc, Uncle Aaron dies as an indirect result of Miles’s actions. But where Peter’s lesson from that moment was framed around his moment of inaction and how it rippled outwards — thus reinforcing his deep-seated need to be everywhere and solve all problems at once — Miles came to the realization that criminal behavior may just be in his DNA. Both men fight crime, but their reasons for doing so are different.
Of course, that’s not necessarily the case with video game Miles. In the game, his dad (still Jefferson) is a cop who dies heroically during a super-villain attack. We never see Miles complete his transformation into crimefighter, but it’s fair to speculate that he’ll be driven to follow in his father’s footsteps.
There’s a lot to unpack here.
So. We now know that Marvel’s Spider-Man is a sort of origin take on Doctor Octopus and the Sinister Six. The game introduces Norman Osborn, Harry Osborn, Oscorp. Norman is the mayor, and he’s kind of a dick. He’s also some manner of mad scientist.
Let’s look to the comics first (the original versions, since there are so many). Spider-Man really has two trademark arch-nemeses: Doc Ock is one, and Green Goblin is the other. Norman Osborn is the Green Goblin.
So is Harry, later on. He takes on Norman’s super-villain alter-ego after he learns that Peter is Spider-Man. See, the original Norman Osborn died (not really, but just go with it) when he, too, learned who Peter was and kidnapped Gwen Stacy, Peter’s SO at the time. Norman didn’t actually die, but he appeared to, and he disappeared for a long time.
Now, back to the game. If you spent any time exploring Norman’s apartment when MJ sneaked around in there, you saw evidence of powered armor and other equipment that could be used by a Green Goblin-esque villain. You also saw Norman’s secret lab space with all of its experiments.
The post-credits scene returns us to that lab space. Harry, who we learned earlier in the game is sick with an incurable, terminal illness, is back home with his dad and apparently living in some kind of liquid-filled tank. He’s unresponsive (seemingly), but alive.
There’s something funky about that tank, though. Look closely and you’ll see a tangled network of black strands arrayed all around Harry. Further, there’s some suggestion that those strands are conscious; in the final seconds of the scene, as Norman rests his head against the tank, a tendril of the stuff suddenly appears and adheres to the glass next to Norman’s head.
There’s nothing to confirm it at this point, but everything about those ropey, black strands screams one thing: Symbiote. If that one isn’t familiar to you, try this one on: Venom.
Yes, it sure looks like the second post-credits scene is teasing the emergence of Venom in an eventual sequel. The character of Venom is part-human, part-alien. The human side is the person inside the “suit.” The suit, meanwhile, is actually a symbiotic alien life form that wraps itself around its host.
It’s not clear how Harry came into contact with the Symbiote. He’s never worn the Venom mantle in the comics before, so this is uncharted territory for those who might be looking to the comics for answers. But given the creative liberties taken in the game with so many familiar characters, it’s a safe bet that this won’t be the Venom you know— if it even is Venom in the end.
Those tendrils are an unmistakable reference to the Symbiote, though. Could we be in for a Green Goblin/Venom team-up in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2? Anything is possible. But there’s plenty here to mull over while we wait for the inevitable sequel to surface.