Sun-Spider A Rising Star Among Spider-Verse Spidersonas
The emergence of a wheelchair-using superhero captivates Spider-Verse fans and inspires inclusivity.
The Spider-Verse fandom has witnessed a surge of creative expression through "spidersonas," with imaginative takes of how fans and artists might look as part of the Spider-Verse. Among the myriad spidersonas, one--Sun-Spider--gained notable attention for actually making her debut in Across the Spider-Verse.
Note: Spoilers are ahead for the recently released Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.
In Across the Spider-Verse, viewers witness a moment where Miles encounters numerous spider-persons from various dimensions. Among them, a spider-character using crutches playfully taps Miles Morales with one of them, and makes light of Spider-Man's reliance on humor as a defense mechanism. This character is Sun-Spider (originally Sunspider), created by cartoonist Dayn Broder.
Broder introduced their artwork featuring Sunspider in 2018, shortly after the release of Into the Spider-Verse. Marvel later approached Broder and other spidersona artists to commission new artwork for a Spider-Verse miniseries. Broder explained in an issue of the Spider-Verse miniseries that (via Polygon) that as a disabled individual, "l wanted to create someone like me: an ambulatory wheelchair user, who can still kick butt in her own modified way. Sun-Spider is hyper-flexible, though this does have drawbacks since it means she requires extra stability, and the crutches help with that." Oh, and the crutches also function as web-shooters.
In the 2022 Edge of Spider-Verse, writer Tee Franklin and artist Jethro Morales delved into Sun-Spider's own standalone story. Known as Charlotte Webber, Sun-Spider navigated her high school prom, battled her universe's Doc Ock, and ultimately joined forces with other spider-persons to protect the multiverse.
In Across the Spider-Verse, comedian Danielle Perez, herself a wheelchair user, voiced the character of Charlotte, solidifying Sun-Spider's presence alongside notable Spider-Man iterations like Ben Reilly and Jess Drew. Sun-Spider's inclusion in Across the Spider-Verse illustrates the power of representation and its profound impact on audiences.
GameSpot's Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse review scored the movie an 8/10. Reviewer Phil Owen said, "Across the Spider-Verse is a visual feast unlike anything I've ever seen before in a movie theater. It's transcendent, really. Maybe, for this film, that's all that will end up mattering."
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