Our 11 Most Burning Questions For Marvel's Spider-Man 2
Our 11 Most Burning Questions For Marvel's Spider-Man 2
Marvel's Spider-Man hit back in 2018 and instantly became the new standard-bearer for superhero games, taking the responsibility on from Rocksteady's Batman Arkham series. Since then, we've seen three DLC chapters, releases on PlayStation 5 and PC, and a somewhat condensed expansion-sequel in 2020's Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Now, Spider-Man 2 is right around the corner, and suddenly we're thinking back to not just all of the great moments in Spider-Man, but all the questions we were left wondering about. Teases for later, plot threads left dangling, maybe even a few plot holes.
As we go into Marvel's Spider-Man 2, we're left with a bunch of burning questions. Who's in the Symbiote suit? Is Doctor Octopus going to tattle on his friend Peter? Is Norman Osborn going wind-surfing this fall? This list certainly isn't exhaustive, but these are the ones swinging around in our heads as we hang on for just a few more weeks. If you haven't played Marvel's Spider-Man just yet, turn around and get playing--we're going to be spoiling basically the entire game here in one way or another.
1. Will Harry Osborn become Venom?
Harry Osborn has been lots of things in the comics: Peter's best friend, a hyperintelligent AI, a dead guy, and, of course, Green Goblin, just to name a few. He's never been Venom in the comics, though he did don the suit to become Venom in 2012's Ultimate Spider-Man animated series. Insomniac showed a willingness to mess with some tried-and-true aspects of Spider-Man lore in the first game, such as making Otto Octavius one of Peter's closest friends and mentors to tell the story of his tragic downfall. So might we finally see Harry become Venom once again?
The clues are certainly there. Harry has been "away" for some time as the first game starts due to what we later learn is a debilitating chronic illness called Oshtoran Syndrome. He told his friends that he was going to Europe, but we learn in a mid-credits stinger that Harry isn't across the sea, the East River, or even across town. In fact, Mary Jane stood just a few feet away from him at one point. The ominous steel tank in Norman's hidden laboratory contains Harry himself, suspended in a clear green fluid, with black tendrils moving around him.
It's all but given that the black tendrils are the Venom Symbiote. We assumed as much at the end of the first game, and the introduction of Venom as a major character in Spider-Man 2 guarantees it. But whether Harry will be the one to wear the Symbiote is much more difficult to tell. On the one hand, it seems likely that this Symbiote would've bonded with Harry and could act as a sort of life-saving suit. In the comics, Venom bonds with Flash Thompson former bully of Peter Parker, turned war veteran and amputee. Flash becomes Agent Venom, a heroic character wearing the Symbiote suit.
On the other hand, Harry has absolutely no beef with Peter or Spider-Man. He seems to know that Peter is Spider-Man based on the fact that he left him all kinds of notes to do work in inaccessible rooftop labs, but he still considers Peter his best friend. Further, we know from the footage that we've seen that Peter wears the Symbiote suit for at least part of the game. Historically when the Symbiote splits off, it forms separate personalities like Carnage and Riot. So it seems unlikely that Peter and Harry would be wearing the Symbiote at the same time, and even less likely that Peter would take on the Symbiote knowing what it is.
We're open to possibilities--just about every tweak Insomniac made to known Spidey villains in the original game made it more interesting in the long run. But right now, we don't think Harry is Venom--someone else will take that on.
2. Will Norman Osborn become Green Goblin?
Just as with Venom, the first game laid out a lot of clues for this, and Mary Jane got a look at most of them while searching the Osborn penthouse. During her infiltration, she found an augmented reality helmet with some pretty nifty abilities, as well as some purple bombs and lots of blueprints. Norman also wears a dark green suit and happens to be a pretty bad person. He has the technology to become the Goblin, and there's certainly a version of events from the first game where you can imagine Norman resenting Spider-Man for his role in destroying the Devil's Breath virus that was supposed to be a cure for his son Harry.
Norman Osborn isn't a young guy, though. He's a contemporary of Otto Octavius, whose body was failing him due to a combination of chronic illness and age. He's easily in his fifties or sixties. Then again, when Otto got angry enough, his age certainly wasn't a factor in him deciding to team up with other villains and face off against Spider-Man.
Nothing about Osborn is coded as being a future villain, though. He's already a really bad guy, doing mostly bad things for bad reasons. Even his motives for saving his son seem selfish. He's already the villain he's going to be.
An equally likely scenario is that, if the symbiote didn't bond with Harry, maybe the green fluid corrupted him while he was marinating in it, and he's sporting the same kind of schizophrenic-type behavior that Willem Dafoe's version of Norman did so well in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies, letting Harry become the Green Goblin instead of Norman.
3. Will Doc Ock reveal Peter's identity?
Split and secret identities are core to many of our favorite characters. Anyone around us could be Spider-Man, Superman, Daredevil, or whoever. Peter has carefully maintained his secret identity for most of a decade by the time Marvel's Spider-Man comes around, and only a few people know it by the end of the game. Mary Jane and Miles Morales know. May revealed that she knew it before she passed away. Black Cat knows it, but she's not out to ruin Peter's life--just tease him. And trailers for Spider-Man 2 reveal that Miles' best friend, Ganke, knows the original Spider-Man is Peter.
The one we're really worried about, however, is Otto Octavius. During their battle atop the Oscorp building, Otto destroyed Peter's mask and revealed to him that he'd known the hero's identity for some time. Otto blames Peter for destroying, well, everything. He hated Norman Osborn before, but Peter is the one who not only prevented him from getting revenge but also took away his chance at a second life--his extra arms. Otto has every reason to want to destroy Peter's life, and it seems like a foregone conclusion that he'd reveal the truth just to ruin his former friend.
If Otto does reveal Peter's identity, though, it seems like it'll be through an insidious plan. If he had the resources to fund the whole operation in the first game, maybe he also has the money to hire a hunter like Kraven. He could also use it to blackmail Peter, making him act a certain way to protect his identity and loved ones. But then, this Otto is shown to be an honorable man with a dangerous sickness in his mind that takes control of him at times but isn't in complete control. The good in Otto that Peter sees could be holding him back from revealing that information. Heck--without the neural interface polluting his mind, Otto could be on the mend the same way we saw in Spider-Man: No Way Home: a man who understands what he's done wrong and how he's hurt someone he cares about.
4. Will there be any major Spider-Verse moments?
Even more than the way the multiverse is part of the Marvel landscape, the Spider-Verse is a part of Spider-Man's life. This particular version of Peter Parker popped up for a split second in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. He did so in the comics, too. Every Spider-Man has been in the Spider-Verse at some point or another.
The question is whether or not that stuff is canonical to this Spider-Man. Why hasn't he mentioned it? Is it yet to happen? Or maybe this isn't that Spider-Man. Or those Spider-Men. This multiverse stuff gets confusing.
The trouble with the Spider-Verse is that, when it appears, it tends to kind of flatten everything else and take over the main story, and that just doesn't seem likely for what Insomniac is doing here. We're betting against Spider-Verse moments outside of an Easter egg or Peter having just had "the strangest dream."
5. Will Peter Parker die?
In the first Miles Morales comics and the Spider-Verse films, Peter Parker had to die for Miles Morales to take on the Spider-Mantle. He's not Another Spider-Man, he's the new Spider-Man. It's absolutely within the realm of possibility that Peter Parker could die at the end of Spider-Man 2, and that Spider-Man 3 could be a Miles-only game.
Again, though, we're betting against that. First and foremost, there aren't multiple Spider-Man continuities here. If Peter dies, Peter is dead as far as Marvel's Spider-Man is concerned. Considering he's the center of one of the most successful PlayStation games, we're thinking Peter is probably okay--though we're betting Insomniac will drop in an Easter egg referencing Peter's former comic book fate in some close call later on. The first game, the DLC, and the Miles Morales game also framed Peter as a mentor for Miles, and that seems like something that will continue here.
Another way Spider-Man could die temporarily hinges on one of Spider-Man 2's major antagonists, Kraven. Kraven famously offed Spidey in the comic story Kraven's Last Hunt. And then Kraven tried to wear the suit himself and prove himself superior to the original model.
In that case, though, Spider-Man wasn't dead--he was in a drug-induced coma for a couple of weeks, and at that point dug himself out of his grave and took back his suit before defeating Kraven.
6. Will Eddie Brock take on the symbiote?
Probably not. Even if Brock does eventually bond with the Symbiote, it won't be to become Venom. During Summer Game Fest, Insomniac creative director Bryan Intihar confirmed that Eddie Brock is not Spider-Man 2's Venom.
"It's not Eddie Brock--our goal was to tell an original story, something you haven't seen in the comics and movies yet," Intihar said. "All those things you love about the character are going to be there, but how the story plays out, who is Venom, you'll have to play the game to see.
Granted, we've had developers try to argue the semantics of this kind of thing before. Ahead of the release of Arkham Knight, fans were told that the titular villain would not be Red Hood--former Robin Jason Todd--but instead would be an original character. In the end, though, the Knight was indeed Jason Todd, and he ultimately adopted an undeniably Red Hood-inspired look.
It's impossible to say. We do think that someone other than Harry will take on the Symbiote, and Eddie Brock is a strong possibility. We know he's in the Marvel's Spider-Man universe--his name was on a "going away" card that you could find in one of Spidey's many backpacks (he had a lifetime supply!). It's even possible that Brock thinks Peter wronged him in some way that Peter has forgotten so completely that he hasn't mentioned it thus far. Rocksteady argued that this Jason's backstory did not follow the original Red Hood storyline and was technically an original character.
It's not impossible that Intihar is doing the same thing with Eddie Brock, but we just don't have enough information to guess.
7. Where's Black Cat?
The first Spider-Man game introduced Black Cat but didn't do much with her in the core game. She acted as a voice-over framework for a series of photography missions and not much more. In The City That Never Sleeps DLC, she took more of a central role, helping and deceiving Peter in equal measure before finally providing him with information that would help him defeat the powered-up Maggia boss Hammerhead.
An audio recording in Spider-Man: Miles Morales from antagonist Simon Krieger described her as having gone "straight...ish" and listed her as inactive. In other words, she's alive and well but her whereabouts are unknown, meaning that she could definitely pop up in Spider-Man 2 to mess with Peter's head again. Right now, we have no indication that she's definitely going to return, but black cats have a habit of showing up where you least expect them.
8. Is Morgan Michaels Morbius?
One of the main characters in the latter half of Marvel's Spider-Man was Dr. Morgan Michaels. Michaels was tasked with carrying the ultra-deadly Devil's Breath virus on his person at all times, handcuffed to a steel briefcase like it was a nuclear football. Michaels saved Spider-Man after he was almost mortally wounded fighting the Sinister Six and helped turn the cure for Devil's Breath into a vaccine that could be administered to everyone in New York City.
So why would Morgan Michaels be Morbius? While we know Morbius the Living Vampire went by the name of Dr. Michael Morbius before his transformation, he used Morgan Michaels as an alias. We have no indication that this was more than an Easter egg in the game, but the game world is ripe for Morbius to appear for reasons we'll get into next.
9. Are there any new villains on the way?
One of the themes that pops up over and over in Spider-Man stories is the tragedy that befalls those who tinker with DNA. Spider-Man got his powers through modified and irradiated DNA, but that was an accident. We've seen footage of the Lizard, formerly Dr. Curt Connors, in Spider-Man 2, so we know there's at least one ding-dong in New York City rooting around in their genetic makeup. But he's far from the only one. In the comics, Dr. Michael Morbius became a living vampire while trying to cure his blood disease.
And then there's the Jackal, the villainous scientist responsible for cloning Peter Parker in the comics, which is how you get the extremely toned and muscular Ben Reilly, who captured Miles Morales in his perfect musculature in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (for like a second before getting his butt kicked). Reilly is far from the only clone Jackal has made, though, and we're sure a genius biologist could come up with things to do other than make clones. Similarly, there's the Spider-Man and Captain America villain Vermin, a geneticist who was mutated into a humanoid rat.
Another path is villains related to other villains. Wilson Fisk has a son named Richard who goes by the name The Rose. Spider-Man's very first adversary, the master of disguise known as the Chameleon, is the half-brother to Kraven the Hunter. We know Kraven plays a major role in Spider-Man 2, so maybe his half-brother isn't far behind.
A Free Comic Book Day comic said to be canonical to Spider-Man 2 features the magical villain The Hood, and there's a brief mention of Tinkerer and Tarantula there as well.
10. Which villains are returning?
None of Spider-Man's villains actually died in Marvel's Spider-Man, so any of them could come back. The big one that we know of is is Mr. Negative. He appeared in shots shown at San Diego Comic-Con 2023 in a prison uniform, sporting longer hair and a beard. Aside from him, though, we know very little. Wilson Fisk is one of the most tenacious villains in New York, as good at getting himself out of prison legally as he is at getting put in there. There's also Wraith, who you've met even if you don't know it quite yet. The City That Never Sleeps DLC was primarily about Black Cat, but it also chronicled Captain Watanabe's descent from a by-the-book cop into a murderous anti-hero hell-bent on revenge. The DLC heavily hints that she'll become Wraith, a vigilante using the collected technology of a bunch of various arrested villains. She's not exactly a villain, but her tech will give her abilities, and she won't be using them to save people.
The aforementioned Free Comic Book Day comic also hints that J. Jonah Jameson could become mayor of New York City, and he definitely counts as a villain unless you think Spider-Man is a threat and a menace.
11. No Hero New York - Where's the rest of Marvel?
This one is complicated. The Manhattan Island shown in Marvel's Spider-Man was awash in Marvel Easter eggs. You could jump off Avengers' Tower, swing by the Sanctum Sanctorum, and take pictures of Josie's Bar or the Wakandan Embassy. But aside from Black Cat and Miles Morales, there weren't any super-powered good guys--just the silhouettes of them to remind us that they exist. Sony's stake in Marvel is specifically with Spider-Man. Sony can use Spider-Man and the Spider-Man-related characters in movies and games in just about any way that they like. The rest of Marvel, though, belongs to Marvel. Sony can't just have Doctor Strange show up without talking to Marvel first.
With that said, Insomniac is also working on a Wolverine game, and that provides a path to have him and other X-Men show up, and it's possible to see a path where Insomniac and Sony worked with Marvel to agree on letting certain characters show up. We wouldn't be at all surprised if Logan stopped by. Other heroes, though, we're less inclined to expect. This game is already jam-packed with Marvel characters--Peter, Miles, Mary Jane, Mr. Negative, Venom, Kraven, The Lizard--that we're not far from hitting an overflow point with Marvel characters. So don't expect an Avengers Assemble moment anytime soon.