Don't just be better, be Ultimate.
PS4's Spider-Man makes dozens of references to the stories, allies, and enemies from the wall crawlers' comics. There are quite a few littered throughout the game's final moments, which all seem to be pointing towards a specific comic series.
Although Insomniac has not confirmed a connection, most of the characters in Spider-Man are similar to their counterparts from the Ultimate Spider-Man comics. As opposed to earlier stories that used radiation and pseudoscience as the basis for how Spider-Man and his rogue's gallery of super-villains came to be, Ultimate Spider-Man takes a more modern approach and uses genetic splicing, tinkering, and degradation as the origin story for its heroes and villains. The comic debuted in October 2000 and ran for nearly 11 years, making it the second longest continuous Marvel series that's created by only two people.
Like Ultimate Spider-Man, PS4's Spider-Man gives Peter Parker a larger background in science and mathematics, making him an engineering prodigy. Mary Jane is also the first to find out that Peter and Spider-Man are the same person. Plenty of other characters have similar personalities and appearances to their Ultimate counterparts too, including Aunt May, Rhino, Kingpin, and more.
Admittedly, some of the game's characters do not match up with their Ultimate Spider-Man counterparts. Spider-Man's Vulture is Amazing Spider-Man's Adrian Toomes, and not Ultimate's Blackie Drago. The Vulture costume is similar in both the game and comics though, as is Toomes' poor health (he's initially not in Ultimate because he dies from an illness). There are enough similarities, though, to use Ultimate Spider-Man to help dissect the final scenes of the game.
Spoiler Alert: The rest of this article delves into the ending, mid-credits, and post-credits scenes of Spider-Man, as well as major plot points from the Ultimate Spider-Man comics.
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The Ending: A New Ally
A lot happens in the final moments of Spider-Man, but one of the more puzzling developments is the departure of Silver Sable. After being prominently featured in promotional material for the game, Silver Sable has a pretty minor role in the overall story. She leads the private military force hired by Norman Osborn to keep order in the city, but after warming up to Spider-Man she just leaves. Moments before the final battle, she calls Peter to say she's gone home and we never see her again. It's odd she was included in the game at all with how minor a role she plays.
That changes if this Silver Sable is inspired from her Ultimate counterpart. In Ultimate, Silver Sable is initially one of Spider-Man's villains, but only because she was hired to hunt him down. She has a begrudging respect for the wall-crawler and tolerates him when a job needs to get done. More importantly, Silver Sable and Spider-Man eventually team up in Ultimate, and it's to take down Venom in the "War of the Symbiotes" arc.
Spider-Man's post-credits scene reveals that Venom's origin might be on the horizon, and that lends more credence to the prediction that Silver Sable will return to New York. Silver Sable might have been introduced in this game so that she and Spidey can work together to hunt down Venom in a future expansion or sequel.
The Mid-Credits Scene: Peter's Successor
In Spider-Man's mid-credits scene, Miles reveals to Peter that his body is undergoing some changes, before showcasing that he can stick to the ceiling. Peter immediately jumps up to join him to reveal that he's Spider-Man. It's a touching, almost brotherly moment.
Miles Morales was first introduced in 2011's Ultimate Fallout, which ties into Ultimate Spider-Man's final arc. Like Peter, he's bitten by a genetically enhanced spider from Oscorp's lab. This gives Miles similar powers to Peter, including the ability to stick to walls, super strength and reflexes, and an enhanced sixth sense. However, Miles is bitten by a different species of spider, so he ends up with a few more powers. Miles isn't as strong as Peter, but he can emit a paralyzing venom from his fingertips and camouflage himself against nearly any surface, rendering him invisible.
We'll have to wait and see whether or not Miles has inherited all of the powers he has in Ultimate, but the fact that he has powers at all might foreshadow a dark future. In Ultimate, Miles becomes a superhero to honor Spider-Man after New York watches Peter Parker give up his life to stop the Green Goblin in the "Death of Spider-Man" arc. There's no guarantee that Insomniac is moving towards that storyline, but the post-credits scene does hint at the rise of Green Goblin. In the game's final battle, Peter also lets himself get stabbed so he can stop Doctor Octopus and save the ones he loves, so it's not that big of a stretch to imagine him sacrificing himself in a future game.
The Post-Credits Scene: Two New Foes
As stated before, Spider-Man's post-credits scene hints at two possible supervillains appearing in Peter's future: Venom and Green Goblin. There's a lot to unpack in that final scene, including the fate of Harry Osborn. Earlier in the game, Peter and Mary Jane learn that Harry didn't go abroad for vacation but instead left the country to receive intensive treatment for a genetic disorder. In the post-credits scene, we find out that Harry didn't even leave. His father is keeping him in a tank that's filled with green liquid.
This green liquid is most likely OZ. In Ultimate Spider-Man, Norman Osborn develops the green goo as an experimental drug that boosts strength, reflexes, and intelligence. He's not completely successful in keeping the substance stable, and so he tests the drug on other animals, one being spiders. When the spiders bite Peter and Miles, they transfer the drug in a less volatile state into their systems, which is why Peter and Miles are enhanced without becoming deformed in the process. Perhaps in the game's continuity, Norman developed OZ as a way to strengthen his son and stabilize his genetic condition. However, it's clearly not enough as Norman also has a black substance webbed around Harry that's seemingly keeping him alive in suspended animation. The black web reacts to Norman when it senses the man's presence. It might be what's keeping the OZ from mutating Harry.
In Ultimate Spider-Man, the symbiote isn't an alien, but a man-made suit that's seemingly alive. Its primary purpose is to cure cancer by strengthening the host body's immune system and giving them superhuman levels of strength and endurance. Perhaps--much like the OZ--Norman builds the suit for his son, and the suit--much like its Ultimate counterpart--desires more humans to feed on in order to strengthen its host. If the suit's hunger for more humans is strong enough, or if it feeds on the OZ, it could break Harry out of his tank and transform him into the toothy black monster that pushes Silver Sable and Spidey to work together.
If that's the case, stopping the suit would kill Harry, as it looks like it might be the only thing keeping him alive. The loss of his wife and son would probably drive Norman to madness and cause him to try and take revenge on Spider-Man and Silver Sable, who he'd see as murderers. If Norman ingested unfiltered OZ, then like his Ultimate counterpart, he'd transform into the monstrous-looking Green Goblin. His war against Spider-Man might lead to Peter giving up his life to save the city, and pave the way for Miles to become New York's next friendly neighborhood wall crawler. Insomniac has already proven they're willing to kill off major characters--like Aunt May--in order to tell an emotional story, so killing off Peter at the end of Spider-Man 2 so that Miles can be the protagonist of Spider-Man 3 is not so far-fetched.
But of course, that's all just speculation based on the information we can glean from Spider-Man's final scenes. We'd love to hear what you all think. Again, not all characters in Spider-Man follow the same beats as Ultimate Spider-Man so Insomniac could draw inspiration from a different comic--like Amazing, Spectacular, or All-New, All-Different--or create a completely unique storyline. What type of future do you think the final scenes of Spider-Man are hinting towards? Leave your responses in the comments below.
Spider-Man is currently only available for the PS4. We loved it, and gave the game a 9/10 in our review. Insomniac has revealed that the game is getting a New Game Plus mode in the future, as well as a three-part DLC expansion called The City That Never Sleeps.