Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse ending explained: your biggest questions answered

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
(Image credit: Sony)

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse has finally exploded onto the big screen after a nearly four-year wait since Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse took the world by storm. Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) is back, and he's reunited with Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld) on another universe-hopping adventure. This time around, their paths cross with the Spider Society, led by the intimidating Miguel O'Hara, AKA Spider-Man 2099 (Oscar Isaac) – and he and Miles don't quite see eye to eye, which spells trouble for everyone. 

With so much going on in the movie (and around 100 named characters to contend with), you'd be forgiven for not catching everything. That's where we come in: we've got your complete guide to the Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse ending explained, answering every question that you might have had once the credits started to roll. As you might expect, there are major Across the Spider-Verse spoilers ahead.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse ending explained 

Gwen Stacy and Miles Morales in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

(Image credit: Sony)

Across the Spider-Verse gets very complicated when Miles Morales goes to Spider Society HQ. Here, he meets hundreds – if not thousands – of Spideys, but the most significant of them is one Miguel O'Hara. 

Miguel is very concerned with protecting the multiverse, explaining that disrupting a canon event could be disastrous. A canon event is something that happens in every Spideys' life no matter what, and stopping it from happening (as Miles does in Mumbattan) can cause the universe to collapse in on itself. Miguel reveals that he himself did this, going to an alternate dimension where he was dead and taking his own place, which caused the entire universe to unravel. If too many canon events are disrupted, the entire multiverse could collapse. 

An example of a canon event would be the death of Uncle Ben or Uncle Aaron, but also the death of a police captain close to Spidey. The villainous Spot showed Miles a vision of the future, which saw his father crushed by rubble. His father… who is about to become a police captain. Miguel tells Miles that his father's death will happen in two days. 

Miles feels he can't let this happen, so tries to escape, but is quickly trapped. Luckily, thanks to some help from Spider-Punk, he is able to use his electrical powers to blast free, and he's chased all through HQ by multiple Spideys. 

In the chase, Miguel reveals that Miles is "the original anomaly." The spider that bit him was brought (by The Spot) from another dimension into Miles's Earth, and because of that, there's a universe out there with no Spider-Man. Miguel tells Miles that his Peter Parker would still be alive if not for this event, too, as Peter died saving Miles. That means Kingpin's collider never would have gone off, either. 

Miles, though, has had a master plan this whole time – by running, he lured all the Spideys away from the so-called "go home machine," which scans a person's DNA and returns them to the correct universe. Miles then makes it back to the machine, Miguel still in hot pursuit, and manages to just make it away on time (with some help from the other Spideys). 

Miguel sends Gwen back to her universe, which she abandoned after revealing her secret identity to her father – a police captain who has been trying to catch Spider-Gwen, suspecting her of killing Peter Parker (of course, it was all an accident). Miguel, Jessica Drew, and Scarlet Spider, meanwhile, go after Miles. 

Back in her home dimension, Gwen learns that her father is no longer a police captain, meaning it's possible for Miles to save his own father's life. Gwen and her father reconcile, then she learns that Spider-Punk dropped by and left her a bespoke dimension-traveling device of her own. She goes to find Miles. 

Miles, meanwhile, finally tells his mother that he's Spider-Man – only she has no idea who that is. It turns out that Miles has accidentally entered the wrong universe; the Go Home machine operates on DNA, and Miles was bitten by a Spider from another dimension. That means he's been sent to the spider's universe, rather than his own. 

In this new universe, his father has died but Uncle Aaron is still alive. He also learns – to his shock – that he's the Prowler in this 'verse. This dimension also has no Spider-Man, explaining why Miles's mother had no idea what he was talking about (and why a news report reveals the Sinister Six are rampaging with no one to stop them). 

Meanwhile, The Spot arrives in Miles's real universe, while Gwen, Peter, Spider-Punk, Spider-Byte, Spider-Noir, Spider-Ham, Pavitr, and Peni Parker unite to find Miles. Jessica Drew is aware Gwen is going after Miles but doesn't intervene. 

The film ends with Miles about to use his electric powers to break free from Uncle Aaron and the Prowler, before we're told that Miles Morales will return in Beyond the Spider-Verse in a post-credits message. 

Why is Miles in the wrong universe?

Miles Morales in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

(Image credit: Sony)

Well, that's all thanks to The Spot. Or, more specifically, Jonathan Ohnn, the Alchemex employee who would eventually become The Spot. While working at the corporation, Ohn brought a spider from another dimension (Earth-42, to be precise), and this is the spider that bit Miles. When Miles escaped from the Spider Society headquarters, he used the machine that sends people back to the dimension they came from. However, the machine picked up on the DNA from the Earth-42 spider and sent him there instead of his home, Earth-1610.

What is a canon event? What happens if they're disrupted?

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

(Image credit: Sony)

According to Miguel O'Hara, a canon event is what "binds their lives together" as Spider-Men. Essentially, they're pre-ordained events that have to occur in every universe – for example, a police captain close to Spidey has to die while saving a kid from falling rubble during a Spidey fight with a villain. And, if you break enough canon? They could "lose everything," according to Miguel and the multiverse could unravel. 

Who is Miguel O'Hara? What is his past?

Oscar Isaac as Miguel O'Hara in Across the Spider-Verse

(Image credit: Sony Pictures Releasing)

Miguel O'Hara is also known as Spider-Man 2099 and he is the leader of the Spider Society in Nueva York on Earth-928. Miguel leads Jessica Drew, the newly recruited Spider-Gwen, and the rest of the society in their mission to stop canon events from being disrupted and return any beings who end up in other worlds back where they belong.

He knows the importance of adhering to canon because he was once guilty of breaking it himself. He reveals to Miles that he found a world where he was "happy" and decided to stay there when the version of himself that existed there was killed. Miguel replaced him in his life, helping to raise his child – until the multiverse started to unravel and tragic consequences ensued. Miguel lost his daughter, and now he's made it his mission to ensure that nothing similar ever happens again.

Is Jessica Drew on Miles's side?

Jessica Drew in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

(Image credit: Sony)

Despite working closely with Miguel O'Hara, who's hellbent on stopping Miles from breaking the canon and saving his father, Jessica Drew doesn't stop Gwen when she goes to find Miles at the end of the movie. She joins Miguel and Scarlet Spider when they set off on their own  mission to find Miles, but how much help will she actually be? 

Why is Miles the Prowler in the other universe?

Across the Spider-Verse

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

The Miles Morales who we see at the end of the movie on Earth-42 isn't Spider-Man – he's the Prowler, the alter-ego taken on by his uncle Aaron in our Miles's world. In this universe, things are a little different. For one thing, Miles's dad died instead of his uncle and, crucially, there's no Spider-Man on Earth-42. That's because the spider who should have bitten Earth-42's Spider-Man was transported to Earth-1610, where it bit the version of Miles that we've come to know. It's also why there were two Spider-Men in Miles' world, prior to Peter Parker's death in Into the Spider-Verse. 

Who is The Spot? What does he want? 

The Spot and Miles in Across the Spider-Verse

(Image credit: Sony)

The Spot is former Alchemex employee Dr. Jonathan Ohnn, who you may remember from the first Spider-Verse movie – when Miles is escaping from the company headquarters, Miles throws a bagel at his head. He's the Alchemex employee who brought the Earth-42 spider that bit Miles into their world, and he was in the company's collider room when Miles blew it up. This explosion made him The Spot, a being covered in spots that act as portals – both within his own world and into other worlds. The Spot wants revenge on Miles, and he's doing all that he can to become more powerful so he can beat him once and for all.

What happens to The Spot at the end of the movie? 

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

(Image credit: Sony Pictures Releasing)

After entering the collider on Earth-50101, the Spot is the most powerful he's ever been. We don't see him again until the end of the movie, when he turns up in Earth-1610 looking for Miles. Miles, of course, isn't there – he's stuck on Earth-42 – but the Spot is planning to wreak his revenge on Miles' dad.

Who are the other Spideys that Miles meets?

Spider-Man Unlimited in Across the Spider-Verse

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

Miles meets a plethora of other Spideys at the Spider Society HQ – too many to name. The big players, however, are Spider-Man 2099, AKA Miguel O'Hara (Oscar Isaac), Spider-Woman, AKA Jessica Drew (Issa Rae), Spider-Punk, AKA Hobie Brown, (Daniel Kaluuya), Spider-Man India, AKA Pavitr Prabhakar (Karan Soni), and Spider-Byte, AKA Margo Kess (Amandla Stenberg). Eagle-eyed viewers will have noticed brief appearances from the four-wheeled Peter Parkedcar, the cowboy Web-Slinger, Spider-Cat, and (many, many) more. 

There are also some familiar faces from the first movie: Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson), Peter Porker (John Mulaney), Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage), and Peni Parker (Kimiko Glen). 

Do Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire have cameos? What about Tom Holland or Venom?

Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man

(Image credit: Sony)

Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire have cameos thanks to some archival footage from their respective live-action Spidey movies. These clips play in Miguel O'Hara's office at the Spider Society HQ as he explains canon events, demonstrating that Uncle Ben (or Uncle Aaron) must always die in these worlds, as well as a police captain close to Spidey. We see glimpses of Garfield and Maguire's Spider-Men mourning Uncle Ben, as well as Garfield after the death of Gwen Stacy's cop father.

Tom Holland's version of Spider-Man doesn't appear in the movie, but there's a reference to the multiverse antics in Spider-Man: No Way Home – toward the beginning of the movie, Miguel O'Hara makes a comment about the mess made by Doctor Strange and "the little nerd back on Earth-199999" (ouch).

Venom doesn't make an appearance either, but Mrs. Chen the shopkeeper, played by Peggy Lu, does make a brief appearance when The Spot is rapidly traversing through worlds during the scene in the corner store at the start of the movie. She doesn't seem phased by The Spot, as you might imagine. 

Why is Donald Glover in the movie?

Donald Glover in Spider-Man: Homecoming

(Image credit: Sony/Disney/Marvel)

Donald Glover plays a live-action version of Aaron Davis, AKA the Prowler, in Spider-Man: Homecoming. He appears during a scene in Spider Society HQ as Miles and co. are walking past a host of characters that need to be sent back to their respective worlds to avoid wreaking any further havoc in the multiverse. It's unclear if this is the MCU version of him, though, since Glover's Davis hadn't become the Prowler yet in Homecoming and we haven't seen him since. 

For even more on Across the Spider-Verse, check out our spoilery deep dives and interviews:

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English. 

With contributions from