Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is a flashy and fantastic new spin on the story of boy meets radioactive spider. Tori sang the praises of its heroes, soundtrack, and jaw-dropping style. But we’re going into spoilers to dig into the dimensions-threatening plan of its villain, Kingpin.
Major spoilers ahead for Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.
Wilson Fisk, A.K.A. Kingpin, (Liev Schreiber) has money, power, and the build of a brick wall. He is a man who gets what he wants. What he wants is his family back. Through a tragic flashback, we’re shown how they died. His wife Vanessa (Lake Bell) and his teen son Richard walked in on Kingpin attacking someone. Fleeing in panic, they got into a fatal car accident. To bring them back into his life, the grieving Godfather hires Doc Ock (Kathryn Hahn) to build him a massively dangerous device that will allow him to steal Vanessa and Richard from another dimension where they still live. It’s a romantic gesture, for sure. There’s just one problem, this was never going to work out.
Don’t get me wrong. The logistics were sound. During a battle with the Green Goblin, Peter Parker’s face is shoved into the device’s brilliant beam, which draws the Spider-Men from other worlds to his dimension. Presumably, all were connected via the DNA from a bite of a radioactive spider. In the big finale, it’s a bit of DNA that is lowered into the beam to attract Vanessa and Richard’s alternate dimension selves. Of course, the biggest problem with this plan is this portal threatens to tear the dimension of Miles Morales to shreds. Even a brief opening caused glitching and mayhem, which jaded New Yorkers naturally wrote off as a Banksy project. However, there are other snags that Kingpin’s ignoring.
Let’s imagine that his plan worked. Even risking the planet, he snatches Richard and Vanessa. But then what? How does Kingpin explain what happened? Can he smooth over the whole “I kidnapped you from another dimension” thing? How does he expect them to emotionally adjust to this scenario of multiple dimensions, abduction, and their substitution for their dead doubles? That’s mind-snapping stuff, especially when learning he was a violent gangster was enough to hurl them into traffic. And what about the Wilson Fisk this would leave behind? Had Kingpin succeeded, a Spider-Verse sequel could have been about an alternate dimension Kingpin invading Miles Morales’s New York in search of his missing family and hellbent on revenge!
Still, it makes sense that Fisk would willfully ignore all of these potentially catastrophic consequences. His drive to reclaim his family was so intense that it blinded him to the plan’s flaws. Grief makes people do all kinds of crazy things. But even if the world wasn’t destroyed by this half-cocked scheme, and even if Vannessa and Richard didn’t reject his dimension-swapping offer, this plan would have failed horrifically because Kingpin didn’t run a safety check to see what this kind of travel would do to the family he loves.
Doc Ock was aware. After the first attempt, she caught Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson) in her office and studied his cells, discovering they decay at an alarming rate. She knew the deadly side effects to exist outside your original dimension. Studying Parker was probably part of the reason she set out to reclaim him. But even though Ock suspects that bringing Vanessa and Richard through the portal will threaten their lives, the plan goes ahead, meaning whichever alternate dimension versions would be pulled through would be doomed to the prolonged and painful death of destabilization. Kingpin would lose them all over again. And once again it would be his fault.
This man was destined to lose his family. It was only a question of how many times he’s cause that to happen.
Header Image Source: Sony