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Explainer TV and Movies

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse -- who are all these Spider-people?

Let's take a look at Miles Morales, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Ham and the other characters ahead of their cinematic adventure.

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Miles Morales is the main Spider-Man in Into The Spider-Verse.

Sony Pictures Animation

"Wait, how many of us are there?" The latest trailer for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was released Tuesday morning and showed off a whole bunch of characters you might not be familiar with.

The title is based on the 2014-2015 Marvel Comics Spider-Verse event, which saw just about every spider-powered character breaching their dimensional barriers to battle Morlun and the Inheritors -- a group of beings intent on slaughtering them all.

The trailers don't give us any sense that the movie will stick to the story line beyond the interdimensional aspect, but let's dive into some of the confirmed characters' histories ahead of the movie's Dec. 14 release.

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Peter Parker

We don't need to explain this guy, right? Bitten by a radioactive spider, uncle shot, "with great power there must also come great responsibility" -- you know this.

He'll be played by Jake Johnson (of New Girl fame) and acts as a mentor to Miles after entering a parallel universe. Aunt May will appear too, voiced by Lily Tomlin.

"It's Peter Parker at 40, it's Peter Parker with a bad back... and who's not sure if he still wants to be Spider-Man, and what it means to be Spider-Man after the excitement of being Spider-Man," Johnson said during the San Diego Comic-Con panel.

"That just got really heavy, folks. But that's Peter Parker. It's chubby Peter Parker."

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Miles Morales' solo comic series will return in December.

Marvel Comics

Miles Morales

This guy just uses the name Spider-Man, and that (along with a grave he visits in the trailer) suggest that his universe's Peter Parker is dead. The former is the case for Miles' comic counterpart, who took over after Peter's apparent demise in Marvel's Ultimate universe in 2011.

The teenager from Brooklyn (played in the movie by Shameik Moore) was created by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Sara Pichelli and has had his own comic series pretty consistently since his debut in Ultimate Fallout #4. After Bendis departed Marvel for DC in May, Miles' solo book took a break. 

However, Marvel announced that it'll return on Dec. 12, with writer Saladin Ahmed and artist Javier Garrón on creative duties, two days before Miles makes his movie debut. 

"Spider-Man is, in his essential origins, a teenage hero," Ahmed told Marvel.com. "And Miles will be that Spider-Man: facing threats against the neighborhood rather than the multiverse."

There's also comic book precedent for Miles running into an older Peter from another universe -- the pair first met in the 2012 Spider-Men miniseries, which sees them taking on Mysterio.

Miles' comic book supporting cast will be joining him in the movie. His parents, Rio Morales (Luna Lauren Velez) and Jefferson Davis (Brian Tyree Henry) show up in the trailer.

The character showed up in the upcoming PS4 Spider-Man game.

"He's a black Spider-Man -- black and Mexican. I think that that's very powerful and iconic," Moore said of the character.

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Spider-Gwen is voiced by Hailee Steinfeld.

Sony Pictures Animation

Spider-Gwen

This character comes from a universe where Gwen Stacy, instead of Peter, was bitten by a radioactive spider. In the main Marvel universe, Gwen is best known for her death at the hands of Green Goblin in Amazing Spider-Man #121 -- a watershed moment in superhero comics.

Fortunately, this version of Gwen (voiced in the movie by Hailee Steinfeld) avoided that fate and took on the name Spider-Woman. Her comic book adventures have seen her battling familiar characters with neat twists, like a corrupt version of Matt Murdock/Daredevil.

Created by writer Jason Latour and artist Robbi Rodriguez, she first appeared in 2014's Edge of Spider-Verse #2 and her striking design won her an ongoing Spider-Gwen series, but that ended Wednesday after its 34th issue.

However, she'll be getting a new series by the name of "Spider-Gwen Ghost-Spider" on Oct. 24 and will also be among the central characters in the upcoming animated series Marvel Rising: Initiation.

"I get to play a female superhero, which was pretty cool -- and not just any female superhero, but the first Spider-Woman," said Steinfeld. "That was so exciting to me, and the fact that she really is the toughest and the coolest and the smartest and the most capable one in the room, and she knows it."

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Spider-Man Noir is from the Great Depression era.

Marvel Comics

Spider-Man Noir

This Peter Parker of an alternate timeline is quite unlike the hero we're used to, since he's from 1933 and battles the gangsters of the Great Depression.

1930s Peter was created by writers David Hine and Fabrice Sapolsky, along with artist Carmine Di Giandomenico. He made his first appearance in 2009's Spider-Man Noir #1. Unlike the other characters we've looked at, he hasn't had an ongoing series -- his story was told in a self-titled miniseries and its sequel, Eyes Without a Face. Both lasted four issues.

Gamers will know him from 2010's Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, where he was voiced by Christopher Daniel Barnes -- who played a more traditional Peter in the '90s animated series. The game saw him team up with Spider-Men from three other parallel universes.

This movie will reportedly see Nicolas Cage swinging into the role, much to Hine's glee.

"I'm thrilled that it's Nicolas Cage," the writer told ScreenGeek. "He's a true comic book fan!"

Cage getting to live out all his comic book dreams this year, since he'll also finally play Superman in "Teen Titans Go! To the Movies."

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Spider-Ham will swing into action in the animated movie. He's seen as depicted by late artist Mike Wieringo on a variant cover for Amazing Spider-Man #528.

Marvel

Spider-Ham

The Comic-Con panel confirmed that John Mulaney will be playing the porktacular Spider-Ham.

Peter Porker is a parody character created by writer Tom DeFalco and artist Mark Armstrong. He made his first appearance in 1983's Marvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1.

This was followed by a 17-issue series, which saw dozens of other anthropomorphic versions of familiar characters showing up with amazing names including Ducktor Doom, Captain Americat (Steve Mouser) and Goose Rider. Since his series ended, Spider-Ham has shown up in wacky guest appearances through the years.

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SP//dr is piloted by the teenage Peni Parker.

Marvel

SP//dr

Peni Parker, created by writer Gerard Way and artist Jake Wyatt, is the 14-year-old daughter of the the SP//dr mech suit's original pilot. 

After her father was killed in action, she took his place by letting the radioactive spider that formed the other half of the suit's CPU bite her -- forming a psychic link.

Her first appearance was in 2014's Edge of Spider-Verse #5 and the Comic-Con panel revealed that she'll be voiced in the movie by Kimiko Glenn (known for her role as Brook Soso in the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black).

Villains

We know that Liev Schreiber will be voicing the Kingpin, also known as Wilson Fisk. Kingpin will be familiar to Marvel Cinematic Universe fans as the vicious arch nemesis of Daredevil in the Netflix show where he's played by Vincent D'Onofrio.

This crime boss was created by writer Stan Lee and artist John Romita Sr. for his first comic book appearance in 1967's Amazing Spider-Man #50. Kingpin has been a recurring villain ever since, but the current Marvel Comics status quo has him as New York City's democratically elected mayor, and he's been menacing Daredevil with all the resources that office brings.

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The Green Goblin we've seen in the trailer resembles the Ultimate version of the character.

Marvel Comics

The last major character we've spotted is the Prowler. The first person to take on this identity was Hobie Brown, in 1969's Amazing Spider-Man #78, and he became an ally of Spidey.

However, this Prowler is based on the Ultimate universe version, where the mask is worn by Miles' morally questionable and antagonist uncle, Aaron Davis. He first appeared in 2011's Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #1, and will be voiced in the movie by Mahershala Ali.

Mind bendingly, Aaron was played by Donald Glover in Spider-Man: Homecoming, six years after the actor inspired Miles' appearance (along with then-President Barack Obama).

We've also seen Miles face off against a demonic version of the Green Goblin, Spider-Man's greatest villain. The original costumed Goblin first showed up in 1964's Amazing Spider-Man #14, but the monstrous version's first appearance was in Ultimate Spider-Man #4.

Both versions are Norman Osborn, the father of Peter's best friend Harry, driven to insanity by his experiments in a quest to gain superpowers.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse arrives in theaters on Dec. 14.

This piece was originally published July 20 and is updated as new footage and spider-people appear.

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