Thought we’d reached peak Spider-Man? Think again. After umpteen versions, here’s one that embraces the most out-there bits of Spidey lore and forges something totally fresh from them. Yes, it rips through yet more origin stories and sets up another villain with a giant multiverse-opening thingamajiggy, but by the time it’s also chucked a Spider-pig (yes, really), Banksy jokes and buckets of Day-glo-bathed spectacle at you, resistance will be futile. ‘It can get weirder,’ one character points out. It really does.
Inevitably, those giddy Hollywood mavericks Phil Lord and Chris Miller (‘The Lego Movie’) are involved – as co-writer and co-producer. This time, the spotlight falls on the Miles Morales version of Spider-Man: an Afro-Latino high-schooler (voiced by Shameik Moore). Bitten by that radioactive spider, he’s reluctantly tutored by the more jaded Peter Parker version (Jake Johnson), who’s been dropped in from a parallel dimension, complete with a broken heart and a burger belly.
Aside from the welcome sight of an ethnically diverse superhero, we’re treated to a clutter of other Spideys, including Spider-Man Noir, the anime Peni Parker, Spider-Gwen and, yes, Spider-Ham. All have their own animation style, packing each frame with eye-popping visuals. Sure, some of the plot twists are a bit laboured but it’s all so supercharged with charm and eccentricity, it’s hard to mind.