As fans of Miles Morales prepare to go Across the Spider-Verse for Sony’s new animated Spider-Man sequel, one of the villains of the two-part Across the Spider-Verse has been revealed as the Spot, one of Spidey’s weirdest cult villains, who is voiced by Jason Schwartzman in the movie.
Though the Spot hardly has the profile of characters such as Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, or Mysterio, his long history with Spider-Man, including a memorable role in the ’90s Spider-Man animated series, makes him an unlikely but formidable choice for a villain for the new animated film.
And even if you remember the Spot from the ’90s Spider-Man animated series, you’re probably wondering what his actual deal is, from his bizarre powers to his eccentric look, and his role in Marvel Comics on the page. Fortunately, Newsarama has all the answers for everything you need to know about the Spot before he appears in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.
Who is The Spot?
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The Spot first appeared in his civilian alter ego of Dr. Jonathan Ohnn in 1984’s Spectacular Spider-Man #97 (opens in new tab), becoming the Spot in Spectacular Spider-Man #98 (opens in new tab). Created by Al Milgrom and Herb Trimpe, Dr. Ohnn was a physicist working for Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin, to create a teleportation machine based on the powers of the hero known as Cloak, who can transport himself and others through darkness.
When one of Ohnn’s experiments succeeds, he manages to create a portal out of total darkness – though the amount of energy used to create the portal causes a citywide blackout. Worried his experiment will be a total failure if his machine loses power, Ohnn steps through the portal, entering an alternate dimension full of small hole-shaped portals that connect to numerous different locations, which Ohnn later came to call ‘the Spotted Dimension’.
After eventually escaping the strange dimension in which he was trapped, Ohnn discovers that his body has fully bonded with the portals, which now manifest as black holes in his physical form through which Ohnn can teleport himself, others, and objects, often with bizarre and sometimes disturbing effects.
Just for an example, promotional art released to announce the Spot’s inclusion in the film and the casting of Jason Schwartzman shows Miles Morales punching into one of the portals on the Spot’s body, with his fist emerging from a totally different portal to instead strike Gwen Stacy.
The Spot’s powers do come with a weakness, however. He has a limited number of ‘spots’ on his body, so if he expends all his portals before reabsorbing them, he can run out of places to hide and ways to teleport.
The Spot in the Marvel Universe
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Dubbing himself ‘The Spot’ – which causes Spider-Man to laugh uncontrollably – Ohnn becomes the Kingpin’s newest enforcer, even defeating Spider-Man in their first fight despite Spidey’s reaction to his chosen codename.
Over the years, the Spot has become one of Spidey’s oddest recurring enemies, often teaming up with other oddball villains to form short-lived teams, including the so-called Spider-Man Revenge Squad, which also included Gibbon, Grizzly, and Kangaroo. He’s also teamed up with MODOK, Tombstone (who fans will recall from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), the Hood, and Doctor Octopus.
More recently, the Spot was part of a newer incarnation of the Sinister Six who specifically challenged Miles Morales, led by Miles’ uncle Aaron Davis, who fans of Into the Spider-Verse will remember as the Prowler.
The Spot last appeared in comic books not too long ago in June 1’s Carnage #3 (opens in new tab), where the eponymous symbiote attacked the Spot, going so far as to fully dismember him and absorb some of the portals from his body. However, as he seemingly died, the Spot vowed that he is immortal and will simply reconstitute his body inside the Spotted Dimension.
The Spot in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
The Spot’s inclusion in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is a bit odd, considering the character’s C-list status. But the visual component he offers, especially with the inky, flowing darkness that the animated movie version seems to have, makes sense as a counterpoint to the colorful crew of Spider-characters he’ll be fighting.
And of course, the Spot’s comic book history as an agent of the Kingpin working to create a portal between dimensions lines up significantly with the plot of Into the Spider-Verse, in which Kingpin built a machine to cross into alt-realities as part of a plan to find a living version of his dead wife in another part of the Multiverse.
The Spot’s inclusion as a villain indicates that there will likely be some level of direct connection between the plot of the first film and the Spot’s origin, perhaps with some level of Multiverse-traveling ability included with his usual dimensional teleportation powers.
It’s also significant that the Spot has become associated as a villain for Miles Morales in recent years, indicating that Across the Spider-Verse will be even more Miles-focused than Into the Spider-Verse with some Miles-specific villains in the mix.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is due out in theaters in June 2023.
The Spot is a part of the current Carnage ongoing series, which you can keep up with via our listing of all the new Spider-Man comics planned for release in 2022 and beyond.