I'm only asking about the comics, but I distinctly remember from watching Spider-Man: The Animated Series growing up, that Spider-Man was somehow special in that there were alternate versions throughout the multiverse.

As a child, I never fully grasped if that was unique to Spider-Man, or if that was merely because he was the star of the show? There was Madam Web who seemed to imply the former, but I don't know how or if this was translated from the comics.

I know, for instance in one comic universes, Peter Parker

becomes The Lizard, and Gwen Stacey becomes Spider-Gwen

Or in another universe

he dies and is replaced by Miles Morales?

So is it unique to Spider-Man that every universe has its own Spider-Man connected in someway, whether they are Peter Parker or otherwise? Or are there just as many versions of other heroes or individuals? For example, does each universe have its own uniquely different version of Captain America and Hulk or is Spider-Man somehow special in some other way that gives him different versions in different realities?

As a note, I'm asking this in preparation of watching Spider-Man: No Way Home, so I would appreciate no spoilers or details from any of the films.

  • Could you provide a quote of the statement (from the animated series) that you have in mind, for context? Or specify the episode you have in mind? If you can't recall/determine the title of the episode, can you describe the basic plot of the episode? Commented Dec 19, 2021 at 14:12
  • @LogicDictates it was more a consistent theme than any one episode or quote. You may need to have watched multiple seasons and been reading the comics for a long time to be able to answer this.
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Dec 19, 2021 at 14:20
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    There is something called the Web of Life and Destiny in the comics. It's supposedly the source of power for every Spider-Person variant across the Marvel multiverse. Commented Dec 19, 2021 at 15:32
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    Something something Spider-totem, or what have you. Commented Dec 19, 2021 at 15:43
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    It seems the animated series did it first. Documentary youtu.be/m0cWibGpMHI Commented Dec 19, 2021 at 22:58

1 Answer 1


This is really hard to answer. We have seen universes without other heroes, such as the Sony movies that (Spoiler for SM NWH)

just got merged with the MCU, and both Spider-Man were confused by the mention of the Avengers and other heroes beside Spider-Man, as well as Venom being confused at the mention of other Superheroes

so we absolutely have universes with only Spider-Man. (We can probably safely assume, that the movies all exist in the Marvel Comic Universe somewhere, as most shows and games also get to exist in the Universe).

Edit: As of the release of Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness, this part also gets more complicated, as the MCU main universe is now officially called 616, which is the comic main universe, however, there are comics that are not part of comic 616 about the MCU and other Marvel movies. At the time of first writing this answer, it was already mentioned in Far From Home that the MCU universe is 616, but as the whole multiverse stick in that movie turned out to be bogus made up by Mysterio and his gang, i assumed that was also completely made up by him. So there is evidence the MCU is part of the comic multiverse, but there is conflicting information from the MCU itself.

However, there are also universes where Spider-Man does not exist, like most shows that do not feature Spider-Man as the main character, as well as some older Marvel movies that are inside their own universe.

If we talk comics the answers gets a little bit more complicated and less clear. Here, in the Spider-Verse event, we learn that the multiverse is held together by the Master-Weaver weaving the Web of Life and Destiny and that Spider-Totems (of which the current comics equivalent of Madam Web is one) are kind of a constant. BUT a lot of Spiders were already killed by the inheritors, leaving their universe without a Spider-Totem. So while in here, we learn every universe HAD a Spider-Totem...not every universe still has a Spider-Totem anymore.

However, later on we get a bit of a different explanation for the multiverse in the comics in the Secret Wars event from 2015. So the question is: does the Master-Weaver REALLY weave all universes? If yes, we can safely assume the Spider-Totem is a constant, while we saw universes that did not have different versions of other heroes. And with a bit of imagination, we can assume that these universes, in which we did not yet see a Spider-Totem, still have one, but they are staying under the radar (like Ezekiel did), are in hiding (like Ezekiel put Silk in hiding), or the universe will eventually have one in the future. If the Master-Weaver however does not Weave all universes, we can assume that the Spider-Totem is kind of special in that regard, but there are universes out there that never had or ever will have a Spider-Totem, just like we saw universes where certain heroes did not exist.

  • 1
    I clicked that spoiler and then hit refresh just in time to not get spoiled! This is a fantastic answer — exactly the sort I was interested in getting. Does Madam Web or the events from the cartoon factor in, on anyway? Can you go into more detail about what the spider totem is? My comic tbr list is long, but I'm not as concerned about spoilers there.
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Dec 19, 2021 at 20:33
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    @AcientSwordRage explaining the totems would be too much for this answer, but I will update my answer to link to inlcude this link for the totems. Madam Web is just a Spider-Totem with a very special connection to the Web of Life and Destiny, giving her some extra abilities (current Madame Web)
    – Lofter
    Commented Dec 19, 2021 at 20:45
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    @AncientSwordRage Are you sure editing the answer is a good idea? You're going to see the spoiler in the edit window.
    – Clockwork
    Commented Dec 19, 2021 at 21:13
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    @Clockwork now I know it's there I can avoid reading that bit
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Dec 19, 2021 at 21:18
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    @AncientSwordRage sorry, but I don't have much behind the scene knowledge.
    – Lofter
    Commented Dec 30, 2021 at 14:39

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