Spider-Man PS4: The 11 Most Fascinating Easter Eggs And Marvel References
Despite having its own unique interpretation of the web-slinger's established world, Insomniac's Spider-Man is deeply entrenched in Marvel's expansive lore. The game makes reference to several characters and entities from the comics and movies, which includes mentions of the Avengers, Damage Control, Crusher Hogan, and a lot more. If you're an avid comic book reader or even a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you're likely to catch onto these subtle nods and details. But if you're among the many who love the character but may not be familiar with the more obscure facets of his world and those inhabit it, these references might swing over your head.
During our time spent playing the game, we discovered a wealth of references and easter eggs that we'd be remiss not to share. With so many clever details to notice and discover in Spider-Man's bustling world, we've highlighted the most fascinating Easter eggs and Marvel references.
There's a lot of late game story details present in this feature, so if you haven't beaten the game, we recommend you bookmark this page and return once you've cleared the game. If that doesn't bother you, feel free to click ahead.
Spider-Man is out now and it's a fantastic game that exudes passion for the character at every turn. For our full thoughts on the game, be sure to read our review. You can also check out our guides detailing all the tips we wish we knew before starting the game, as well as our in-depth skills guide. And if you're loving what you're playing, you're in luck. The game's first DLC expansion is set to launch on October 23.
In the meantime, were there any Spider-Man or Marvel Easter eggs you discovered that you don't see here? Feel free to let us know about them in the comments below.
There's a ton of landmarks in Insomniac's take of Manhattan. Some are real--like Madison Square Garden and the Empire State Building--but others not so much. After all, this isn't our Manhattan, it's Marvel's version of the famous real-life burrough. As one of Marvel's central superhero (and supervillain) hubs, there are a ton of iconic locations packed in that Marvel fans will recognize.
The first major one folks will notice is likely the Avengers Tower located in the Upper East Side district, but there's so much more scattered around! You can find the Wakanda Embassy in the Midtown district; Peter will make a comment about King T'challa aka Black Panther, wondering if he was bitten by a radioactive panther in order to get his powers. Dr. Strange's home--the Sanctum Sanctorum--is located exactly where it should be in Greenwich Village. And there's even some deeper, like Damage Control HQ, an organization specializing in cleaning up the wreckage of superhero fights. And The Bar With No Name, which is a hidden speakeasy where supervillains can drink and relax in peace.
Spider-Man is littered with Marvel landmarks. We're only scratching the surface here, so we highly encourage you to explore and see the rest for yourself!
Mr. Phillip Chang
One of the side-missions has you helping out a fella named Phillip Chang, an ESU student who has you looking for his missing classmates. He's a resourceful guy, having developed advanced facial recognition technology that allows him to track down people via their social media feeds. Okay, maybe that sounds a bit creepy, but it helped Spidey save the day.
Anyway, Phillip Chang is actually a character from the comics; though, his origins are much different. Peter attended university with Chang and they were even labmates for a time. He was a pivotal character in a story arc involving a deadly gang known as the Tiger's Claw. In his teenage years, Chang lived a troubled life, becoming involved with an underworld organization in China. However, he renounced his ways when the effects of his criminal dealings tragically took the lives of his parents. Chang then moved to the U.S., attending college at ESU where he met Peter Parker. But this peace was soon disturbed by the Tiger's Claw, who noticed Chang's impressive fighting ability and wished to make him their leader. Of course, Chang was reluctant and refused, but this triggered a series of events that ended with Spider-Man saving Chang from the clutches of the Tiger's Claw.
Otto's AIM Contract
After losing their support from the grant committee and having all their resources revoked from them by Norman Osborn, Otto calls in some favors and takes on a few grants in order to fund his research. One of the funding partners should be instantly recognizable to Marvel fans. If you examine some of the new equipment in the lab, you'll discover paperwork detailing a grant from A.I.M. aka Advanced Idea Mechanics. Peter remarks that their reputation is a tad shady, which is a bit of an understatement if we're talking about the very same organization from the comics.
A.I.M. is a privately funded organization of terrorist arms dealers and scientists whose sole mission is to overthrow the governments of the world through the use of technology and scientific advancement. Their list of clientele and allies includes big-name supervillains, like Red Skull, Hydra, General Thunderbolt Ross, and the Serpent Society--which is an enterprise of criminals and mercenaries dressed as snakes. So yeah, pretty shady.
About halfway through the game you'll run into a shadowy figure who challenges you to complete some difficult tasks involving beating/sneaking up on goons, disarming bombs, and chasing drones. This menacing foe is none other than Taskmaster, a supervillain who battles Spider-Man every once in a while in the comics. Though, he has also made appearances in the comics of The Avengers, Deadpool, Daredevil, and more. Fighting game fans will likely recognize this skull-faced mercenary, as he was featured several years ago in the roster of Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
As you complete Taskmaster's challenges, you'll start to learn that he has what's called "photographic reflexes," which allows him to duplicate almost any physical activity he sees by simply seeing it performed once. It's literally the reason why he's setup these challenges throughout Manhattan; he wants to take you down by learning your every move. What a creep!
In the side-mission, Internet Famous, you get wrapped up in an internet challenge that takes a turn for the worse. After scanning a QR code, you're forced to complete combat and puzzle trials under a strict time limit in order to reveal the location of a kidnapping victim. The individual forcing you to do all this is a social media personality known as Screwball, who is only trying to take advantage of your involvement with the challenge to wrack up more subscribers.
Screwball definitely has some screws loose, that's for sure. Her whole shtick is the same in the comics, committing crimes while a camera crew films her and then uploading the footage on YouTube to earn money. She makes it a point to get Spider-Man in the footage, as she acknowledges that her internet hits are even better with him around. It's worth noting that Screwball was first introduced in 2008 right around the early years of YouTube; her antics are more relevant now than ever before.
Spider-Man 2 Reference
During the latter half of the game, Spider-Man needs to make a quick save in order to stop a speeding subway train after dispatching Mr. Negative. His first attempt should be a familiar one to Spider-Man fans, as it's the same method that he used to save a subway train in Spider-Man 2. The game makes a very clear nod to this, even going as far as to having Spider-Man say "That totally worked the first time!" when it inevitably fails. Nice one, Insomniac, we see watchu doin'.
The game's 55 backpacks are more than just mindless collectibles you grab to upgrade Spider-Man's abilities. They each represent and inform a little about Peter Parker's life and history as a superhero. For example, you can find the last pair of glasses Peter used before he got his powers and even his Mk I web shooters! But there's a lot of other fascinating references and tidbits in-between, like a business card for Daredevil's law practice, and vials containing the blood of The Lizard and the sand of..well, Sandman--both are iconic supervillains from the comics.
There's even a lovely nod to the past with the Arm Web collectible, which Peter comments he tried to use to glide short distances, but never worked. This Arm Web is an iconic aspect of Spider-Man's early designs in the comic books by artist Steve Ditko, who often drew the character with these underarm webs for aesthetic purposes.
The references don't stop at characters and in-universe lore, though. There's a pin for the Spidey Squad, a real-life Spider-Man fan club. Peter acknowledges their presence in-game as his one and only fan club who always supports him when J. Jonah Jameson attempts to attack his reputation.
The backpack collectibles are rich with narrative details that reference both Spider-Man and Marvel history. Don't hesitate to grab them in your travels!
Yuri Watanabe's Potential Secret
Yuri Watanabe is one of your closest allies in the game. As you'd expect, she exists in the comics, but she has a much more fascinating alter ego that's not yet confirmed to exist in this game's universe. In a similar vein, Yuri is an NYPD captain and ally of Spider-Man, but at night she acts as a ghostly vigilante known as the Wraith. She's technically the fourth person to take on the mantle of Wraith, but we won't go too hard on the specifics of the history of that. What matters is that there exists a possibility that this version of Yuri could very well become the Wraith. But will it happen? Time will tell.
The Black Cat
As you'll gather, the stakeout side activity centers around a thief named Black Cat, who is alluded to have quite the history with Spider-Man. In the comics, Black-Cat is a major character. She started out as a supervillain to Spider-Man, but this ended when the two eventually fell in love. Acting as on-again, off-again romantic partners, the couple worked together on several occasions to fight crime. However, the relationship inevitably ended when Black Cat eventually fell back into her thieving ways.
Black Cat is considered one of Spider-Man's most trusted allies. However, at this point in the game's universe, she appears to be going through that same lapse she experienced in the comics. Though, were they romantic partners in this universe? That much remains unsaid. We imagine these stakeouts are a teaser for the upcoming Spider-Man DLC, titled The Heist, where Black Cat is to be prominently featured.
Dr. Morgan Michaels
In your quest to stop the "Devil's Breath" attack, you meet an Oscorp biochemist by the name of Dr. Morgan Michaels. Aside from showing remorse for his actions, you don't get much more out of him. However, this scientist is a lot more in the Marvel universe. In the comics, Michaels is better known as Morbius the Living Vampire. That's right, a vampire.
A brilliant scientist, Michaels suffered from a rare blood disease, which he attempted to solve with an experimental treatment involving vampire bats and electroshocks. Of course, this didn't work out, instead instilling in him a thirst for blood and an intense aversion to sunlight. The resulting shift in his physiology rendered him into an unstable creature of the night. He would go on to fight Spider-Man a few times, but would ultimately become an anti-hero who preys on the blood of criminals.
You unlock a multitude of suits as you progress through the story. A few of them are canonical to the story, but the others are all based on Spider-Man suits from the comics and movies. Some standouts include the Stark Suit from Spider-Man: Homecoming; the Scarlet Spider suit from the infamous Clone Saga arc; and the Spirit Spider suit, which is based on an alternate-universe version of Spider-Man who returns from the dead with supernatural abilities. For the full rundown on where each Spider-Man is from, check out our feature highlighting each one and their background.