Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse Comes Out In Support Of Trans Kids And Black Lives Matter

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse's latest trailer had two small references to trans kids and Black Lives Matter.

By Sean Thiessen | Updated

across the spider-verse

A new trailer for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is spinning a web of controversy over its support of trans kids and Black Lives Matter. Eagle-eyed fans caught a Transgender Pride Flag hanging in Gwen Stacy’s bedroom with the words ‘Protect Trans Kids’ written across it, along with a BLM pin attached to Miles Morales’s backpack. According to ABC15 News, reactions have been mixed.

The movie is a sequel to 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, a film that introduced various versions of Spider-Man from different dimensions. The diverse cast of spider-powered characters included a teenage girl, a middle-aged divorcee, a Japanese student and her robot, and the film’s main hero, the half-black, half-Hispanic Brooklyn teen Miles Morales.

The film’s diversity did not feel inherently political, but Across the Spider-Verse is taking a stance on hot-button topics. Featuring characters in a Spider-Man movie that openly support trans kids and Black Lives Matter on screen is a bold move, especially for a film geared toward young audiences. The lightning rod topics hidden in the film’s trailer have sparked passionate responses online.

Many have applauded the choice to show Spider-Man supporting marginalized people groups. The first film was built on the idea that anyone can wear the mask, and Gwen and Miles’s outward support of trans kids and Black Lives Matter broadens the umbrella of inclusion the franchise opened in the first film.

Others have lashed out at the film for injecting politics (in particular, alleged left-wing agendas) into a children’s movie. The backlash points to the larger political divide over transgender rights and the Black Lives Matter movement. Many blockbuster films skirt around social or political stances in order to maintain broad appeal, but the latest Spider-Man film featuring a sign that reads ‘Protect Trans Kids’ is quite direct.

The effort at inclusion and diversity in Across the Spider-Verse doesn’t stop with characters who support trans kids or Black Lives Matter. The film will feature hundreds of new spider-powered people, including Spider-Man 2099. Voiced by Oscar Isaac, this Spider-Man from the future is not Peter or Miles, but the Latinx Miguel O’Hara.

Screenshot from 2020’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales on PlayStation 5

The new trailer teases more of the story for Across the Spider-Verse than has ever been revealed. O’Hara is seemingly the leader of an inter-dimensional Spider-Man coalition, a group Miles Morales has intentionally been left out of. When Morales comes into contact with this group, he places himself at the center of a terrible choice that threatens the fabric of the Multiverse.

In the trailer, O’Hara also referenced Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, who disrupted the Multiverse with Doctor Strange in Spider-Man: No Way Home. In addition to the new faces, Across the Spider-Verse will see the return of trans kids supporter Gwen Stacy, Miles Morales with his Black Lives Matter pin, and a middle-aged Peter Parker, Miles’s down-on-his-luck mentor who is back with a child.

Across the Spider-Verse is already making waves with its trailer and will likely make even more when it swings into theaters on June 2, 2023. The world of Spider-Man is ever-growing, and its diverse cast of characters, with their support of trans kids and Black Lives Matter, continues to reflect the complexity of the world and the people in it.