In a reveal that comes as no surprise to anyone who has kept appraised of the film’s development, the first trailer for Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse has confirmed that the version of Spider-Woman set to appear in the animated sequel will in fact be a race-swapped version of Jessica Drew.
Released on December 13th courtesy of Sony Pictures Animation, the preview opens with a brief discussion between Miles (Shamiek Moore) and his mother, Rio (Luna Lauren Vélez), about his growing up.
“It’s just hard to see my little man not be my little boy anymore,” says Rio above a montage recapping the events of the first movie.
“Making sure he’s loved, that he feels like he belongs wherever he wants to be,” she adds. “He wants to go out into the world and do great big things, but what I worry about most is that they won’t look out for you like us.”
As Rio’s voice can be heard asking her son, “Wherever you go from here, you have to promise to take care of that little boy for me,” the trailer then turns to its main event, beginning with Gwen’s (Hailee Steinfeld) escorting Miles to an extra-dimensional outpost filled with a variety of multiversal Spiders.
Notably, included among the base’s occupants are a number of masked faces which long-time Spidey-fans may find familiar, including the hero of Insomniac Games’ recent Marvel’s Spider-Man video game:
Mary-Jane Watson and Annie May Parker as Spinneret and Spiderling (Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows):
And even a version of Otto Octavius as the Superior Spider-Man:
While most of these wall-crawlers make their debuts as quick, blink-and-you’ll-miss-them cameos, one particular variant gets a spotlight moment all to her own.
Confirming Bounding Into Comics’ previous speculation that Issa Rae’s casting as the heroine’s voice actress would result in such a change, a race-swapped Jessica Drew is then seen crashing her motorcycle through the multiversal barrier in pursuit of a Da Vinci-inspired version of the Vulture:
Further, not only does this version of Spider-Woman more resemble Misty Knight than her original counterpart, but she is also visibly pregnant – about five-months so, according to noted film reporter Erik Davis.
Between this biological detail and her outfit, it appears that this interpretation of Jessica will be taking heavy inspiration from writer Dennis Hopeless’ infamous run on Spider-Woman Vol. 6, wherein the titular heroine become pregnant and eventually give birth to a son, Gerry, via artifical insemination.
However, despite her pregnancy and motherhood being used as both the ‘selling point’ of this run and a turning point in regards to a ‘new direction’ for her character, Marvel has since left Gerry in the arms of various babysitters such as Jessica’s now-ex-boyfriend Porcupine and newly introduced side-character Lindsay McCabe while the hero continues rushing off to fight in the next crossover event.
Following a seeming tease that Jessica will be teaming up with Spider-Man 2099 (Oscar Isaac) to some anti-Miles end, Rio can be heard concluding “Make sure he never forgets where he came from, and never doubts that he’s loved, and he never lets anyone tell him that he doesn’t belong here.”
“You gotta promise Miles,” she begs.
“I promise,” her son says in turn – just as the trailer cuts to find the entire Spider-verse turned against him.
As the trailer closes out, Gwen can be heard chastising Spider-Man 2099, “We are supposed to be the good guys.”
“We are,” he replies, punctuating his narration by slamming Miles into the top of a multidimensional train car.
Telling the first half of a two-part story, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is set to swing into theaters on June 2nd, 2023.