As two Multiverse films, each Spider-Man movie, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse and Spider-Man: No Way Home each exhibits their central Spider-Man, Miles Morales and Peter Parker, respectively, dealing with the tribulations caused by interacting with the Multiverse. In Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Miles dips into the Multiverse for the second time, but unlike Into The Spider-Verse, where various Spider-Man variants arrived in Miles’ world, Miles leaves his dimension to follow Gwen Stacy, and the Spot, into another reality. Miles’ decision results in meeting many other Spider-Man variants, and his actions nearly destroy another world when he saves someone who, according to canon, was meant to die
In No Way Home, the alternate universes come to Peter after Doctor Strange’s spell goes horribly wrong. Rather than introducing hundreds of new Spider-Man variants, Spider-Man: No Way Home sticks to the familiar worlds and faces of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield to act as Peter’s variants with the adult perspective and experience of being Spider-Man, the responsibility it means, and the grief following a loved one’s death. While Miles and Peter each portray a coming-of-age story as they come into their own as people and heroes, each of their films also has several differences that make them unique.
10 Peter’s Interest in College Is a Larger Part of the Story
In Across the Spider-Verse, Miles is still only fifteen. So, while Miles does have a meeting that discusses his desire to attend Princeton in the future, his interest in college is still a while away before he actually has to do anything about it. That is not the case for Peter, entering his senior year.
Peter’s college applications play a role in his dealing with the fallout of his identity as Spider-Man being revealed to the public, as he, MJ, and Ned are all rejected due to being Spider-Man and their connection to Peter. Peter’s rush to speak to a representative of MIT to argue for MJ and Ned to be accepted into college brings him to meet Doc Ock and Green Goblin, and his actions saving the MIT representative give him a better chance at getting accepted as it does his friends.
9 Miles’ Identity Is Still a Secret to Those Closest to Him
Peter Parker’s identity had been revealed to Aunt May, Happy, Ned, MJ, and the Avengers before No Way Home swings around. However, Mysterio’s final act in Far From Home is immediately followed up on during No Way Home, which finds the entire world discovering Peter Parker is Spider-Man. Everyone now knows his identity and Peter has to deal with the consequences of that.
In Across The Spider-Verse, Miles’ identity as Spider-Man is only known by the other Spider-Man variants and his school roommate. Otherwise, the rest of the world, most specifically his parents, are completely in the dark about Miles being Spider-Man. Although Miles’ parents know he is lying to them about something, Miles has kept his identity from his parents for a reason, even if he hopes they will not hate him if he were to reveal the truth.
8 Peter Battles His Variants’ Villains
For the most part, Miles’ villains are his own. Spot directly states that Miles was responsible for his creation. However, the spin on No Way Home is that rather than creating a new antagonist for Peter, the movie relies on previous villains of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s counterparts to play the opposition. Peter has no connection to Doc Ock, Green Goblin, Electro, Sandman, or Lizard. However, they all know a version of him. Still, rather than only fighting them, Peter also leans into the savior part of him, creating cures for each of the villains to help them, rather than kill them.
7 Miles Meets More Spider-Man Variants
While Peter only meets two variants of himself throughout No Way Home, Miles encounters hundreds of Spider-Man variants in Across the Spider-Verse. While Miles fights alongside some, such as Spider-Punk, others he watches from afar, and is blown away just seeing so many alternate Spider-Man variants. Across The Spider-Verse established an unlimited amount of universes, with an infinite amount of Spider-Man alternates. Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland’s iterations are also referenced throughout the movie, connecting them to the overall Spider-Verse, as is Venom.
6 No Way Home Offers More Nostalgia
Considering the return of the many previous Spider-Man villains, from Green Goblin to Electro, to the returns of two well-known Peter Parker variants, of course, No Way Home would offer more nostalgia. However, it also uses the characters in a more substantial way than just a cameo. The villains offer more than just villainy through Peter’s strive to cure them of what had gone so wrong originally.
Peter 2 and Peter 3 give Peter 1 a look at another perspective on what it means to be Spider-Man. It also uses it to right an old wrong, with Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker earning his much-needed redemption by saving MJ in nearly the exact same circumstances that his girlfriend, Gwen Stacy, died.
5 Across the Spider-Verse’s Art Design
Given that Across The Spider-Verse is an animated movie, there are far more opportunities to do different things that live-action could not handle well. However, just in general, Across The Spider-Verse uses a phenomenal animation style, fully embracing the comic book identity while still crafting a unique and individual look for its characters and world that separates it from other animated films.
4 Miles Causes the New Villain
For as much as Peter Parker may have messed up in the past, when it comes to the MCU, inadvertently creating a new villain is more of Tony Stark’s specialty. In Across The Spider-Verse, Spot reveals that Miles’ actions in Into The Spider-Verse had accidentally backfired, leaving the new villain to turn into a giant white blob with black spots. The spots turn out to be holes to alternate realities. Still, Miles spends the movie trying to clean up Spot’s mess, only to find out there is a bigger concern afoot when Spot turns out to be far more than just another villain of the week.
3 Peter’s Big Loss
In Into the Spider-Verse, Miles’ big loss comes in the form of his Uncle Aaron. Although his uncle had been the villain, he was also Miles’ uncle, and he was devastated to lose him. But, in Across the Spider-Verse, Miles learns that his father may be dying soon. However, the event does not come to pass by the film’s conclusion.
However, Peter does face an unexpected tragedy. The MCU never introduced an Uncle Ben for Peter to lose, and it was bad enough that Peter lost Tony Stark, who had been a big influence in his life. But, Aunt May’s death is the devastating turn that leaves Peter feeling utterly alone. Although Peter still has his friends, the last piece of Peter’s family is gone.
2 Miles’ Multiversal Cliffhanger
At the conclusion of Across the Spider-Verse, Miles is sent back home, except he never actually makes it. Instead, after Miles learns that he was never meant to be Spider-Man and had gotten bitten by mistake, leaving him as an anomaly in the timeline, Miles ends up on Earth 42, the world without Spider-Man because Miles was bitten instead. Miles gets a glimpse of the darkness that exists in a world without a Spider-Man to protect it.
But, he also discovers a dark truth about himself, and that his variant had grown up to become a villain. Miles, trapped in a dark world and cornered by an evil version of himself, is left to rely on himself and his abilities in the final moments of the movie, not knowing that Gwen Stacy has gathered a group of Spider-Man variants to find and help him.
1 Peter’s Sacrifice Ending
Realizing that the universes are blending into each other, Peter realizes that there is only one way to save the world from imploding on itself and destroying the Multiverse. Accepting a lonely fate, Peter encourages Doctor Strange to cast a spell that will cause everyone to forget Peter Parker. While everyone will still remember Spider-Man, no one will recall who is underneath the mask. Peter is truly alone at this point, without his girlfriend, friends, or relatives. While he will continue his hero work, Peter has likely been irrevocably changed by his experience.