When Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 hits the PS5 at the end of the week, Spidey fans will catch up a little while into Peter Parker and Miles Morales’ tenure as the Spider-Men of New York. But even with that time difference, a lot has happened to these versions of these characters you might have forgotten about since the events of their respective games—so here’s what you need to remember.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 opens with a “Previously On” video that gives you a general rundown of the recent events in the lives of Peter and Miles, but it’s vague enough that you might not remember all the ins and outs of the original Spider-Man and its DLC stories, as well as its PS5-launch follow-up, Miles Morales. If you somehow think you can plow through 40+ hours of video game in the remaining couple of days before Spider-Man 2 hits, be our guest, but otherwise—click through for some key reminders. And, of course, there are spoilers for Marvel’s Spider-Man, its DLC, and Spider-Man: Miles Morales throughout, so…
Peter’s Non-Spidey Career Is a Mess
Marvel’s Spider-Man skips the origin story to give us a Peter Parker who is not just an experienced Spider-Man, but also a very experienced victim of classic Parker luck—suffice to say, that means his job prospects beyond superheroics are kind of a hot mess.
In Marvel’s Spider-Man, Peter has put aside a prior career in photojournalism to focus on being a scientist, working with his mentor Otto Octavius on game-changing prosthetic limb research at their own independent lab. You see where that one’s going, yeah? Over the course of the game as an increasingly sick Otto gets more desperate to get revenge on his own former partner in science, Norman Osborn, he transforms into the villain we all know as Doc Ock. Naturally, his confrontation with Peter—who he learns is Spider-Man along the way—and his eventual imprisonment puts an end to Peter’s current employment.
During the events of Miles Morales it’s revealed that Peter has taken a brief sabbatical after rekindling his relationship with Mary Jane, and travels to the nation of Symkaria—home of the mercenary Silver Sable, who appeared as a thorn in Spider-Man’s side throughout Marvel’s Spider-Man—to help take photos for a book she is writing. But by the end of that game, Miles has convinced Peter to consider taking up a career in teaching, something he has done by the start of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.
The Sinister Six, No More
An already experienced Spider-Man means plenty of rogues in his gallery already, and by the time Marvel’s Spider-Man opened Peter had already put some of his most famous villains behind bars at the off-shore supervillain prison known as the Raft: Scorpion, Rhino, Electro, Shocker, and Vulture, specifically.
Peter also eventually manages to put Martin Li, aka Mr. Negative—the proprietor of a charitable shelter franchise in New York called FEAST that was also a cover for Li’s status as the head of a criminal gang known as the Demons—in the Raft over the course of the first game, but when Otto breaks bad, he liberates them all as part of his revenge plot against Norman Osborn. After fighting them all again Peter gets them all, and Otto to boot, locked back up in the Raft by the end of the game.
Mary Jane Watson, Daily Bugle Reporter
The Mary Jane of Insomniac’s take on Spidey lore picks up Peter’s prior career in journalism—having previously broken up with him by the start of the original game, she’s forged a successful career as an investigative reporter at the Daily Bugle. Working under the Bugle’s Editor in Chief, Robbie Robertson, M.J. gets the inside scoop on the big stories of the original game, working alongside Peter as Spider-Man even as they navigate their distanced relationship. The two rekindle their romance by the end of Marvel’s Spider-Man, however, taking a working vacation together so M.J. can write a book about Symkaria—but she’s back working at the Bugle by the time of the sequel.
RIP Aunt May
Marvel’s Spider-Man climaxes with Doc Ock releasing an experimental bioweapon known as Devil’s Breath—a dangerously unstable attempt at a curative for a degenerative disease developed by Oscorp at Norman Osborn’s behest—across Manhattan, creating a deadly viral outbreak that sickens many. Among those struck low by the disease is none other than Peter’s Aunt May.
A volunteer at FEAST throughout the game, May falls ill attempting to triage other victims of Devil’s Breath, and by the time Peter has managed to recover an antiserum for the disease, he’s forced to make a choice: use it to cure a dying Aunt May, or synthesize an antidote to save the city that will come too late for her. May tragically passes away with Peter by her bedside, as she reveals to him that she’s long known that he’s secretly Spider-Man, and is proud of everything he’s done.
Enter the Wraith
Over the course of the first game Peter regularly teams up with NYPD detective Yuri Watanabe, a major ally of his among New York’s police officers and the detective who essentially lets Spider-Man tap into the NYPD’s Oscorp-provided surveillance system across Manhattan. It’s… not great!
Over the course of Marvel’s Spider-Man’s DLC side stories, a growing rift between Yuri and Spider-Man while investigating the Maggia crime family and mob boss Hammerhead sees Yuri put on administrative leave, but the trauma of facing Hammerhead sees her quit the force altogether and become a violent masked vigilante known as the Wraith—putting her at odds with Peter when they inevitably cross paths again in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.
Harry Osborn Is Really Sick
Largely unseen outside of photos and diary entries in the first game, Harry Osborn becomes a major cast member in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. Having lost his mother to Oshtoran Syndrome at a young age, Harry eventually learns that he has inherited the rare disease, keeping it a secret from M.J. and Peter until he becomes too sick to hide it. During the events of the first game Peter and MJ are led to believe by Harry and his father Norman that Harry has gone to Europe to manage Oscorp’s international interests, but M.J. eventually discovers that this is a cover for the fact that Harry has had to undergo a years-long period of stasis as part of an experimental therapy to cure him.
A post-credits scene reveals that Norman’s desperate attempts to cure first his wife, and then his son of Oshtoran (of which Devil’s Breath was an early failed experiment in doing so) have led to him keeping Harry in secret within his own Manhattan penthouse, hooked up to a large regenerative vat full of green liquid and a strange, goopy black substance that begins bonding with the unconscious Harry. Best not worry about that one, it probably won’t come up at all in the new game.
Miles Morales, Spider-Man
As Peter races all over Manhattan to stop Doc Ock and find a cure for Devil’s Breath in the third act of Marvel’s Spider-Man, he finds himself working closer than ever with a young man named Miles Morales. Miles is the son of a police officer, Jefferson Davis, who is killed in an attack by Mr. Negative and the Demons at City Hall. Peter offers Miles a chance to distract himself from his grief by working part-time with Aunt May at FEAST. But during the hectic events of the first game, Miles is bitten by a genetically enhanced spider inadvertently brought into FEAST by Mary Jane after her investigation into Oscorp—and reveals to Peter at the end of the game that he has developed spider powers.
In turn, Peter reveals to Miles that he is indeed Spider-Man, and takes him under his wing as fellow web-swinging superhero, training him how to hone his powers.
The Rise and Fall of the Tinkerer
After tutoring Miles—both as a cover in his academic studies, and as the new Spider-Man—in the year between the events of Marvel’s Spider-Man’s DLCs and Miles’ own game, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Peter leaves his young protege as New York’s one-and-only Spidey to join M.J. on her working trip to Symkaria. In that time, now living in Harlem with his mother Rio, Miles finds himself facing off against a tech-savvy criminal group known as the Underground, lead by a masked vigilante called the Tinkerer.
Attempting to push back against the Roxxon Corporation and its desire to harness a purportedly clean, yet highly unstable energy source called Nuform, Miles eventually discovers that the Tinkerer is none other than his former schoolmate and close friend Phin Mason. Seeking revenge on Roxxon after the company killed her brother, Phin used the Underground to wage war on the corporation and clashed with Miles multiple times, before eventually seeing that she was being played by Roxxon and its chief R&D officer, Simon Krieger.
When an Underground assault on an experimental Nuform reactor in Harlem threatens to level the borough and kill thousands, Miles and Phin team up so that Miles can use his bioelectric absorption powers to harness as much of the energy as he can, nearly killing himself in the process. Phin saves Miles at the cost of her own life, flying him up high into the skies above Harlem so he can safely disperse the Nuform energy without harming anyone else.
On the Prowl
Throughout Miles Morales we also see Miles redevelop the distanced relationship between his family and Jefferson’s brother, Aaron Davis, who had turned to a life as crime as a tech-armored mercenary known as the Prowler, acting as an agent of Roxxon and other nefarious clients. After briefly clashing with Miles as the Prowler throughout Miles Morales—and learning that his nephew is the new Spider-Man—Aaron has a change of heart, and chooses to end his career as the Prowler in order to turn himself in and testify against Roxxon after the events around the Nuform reactor. In exchange for co-operating, Aaron finds himself given a reduced two-year prison sentence, and keeps in touch with Miles.
The Doctor Is In
Miles Morales’ post-credit scene directly sets up Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 by returning us to Norman Osborn and the in-stasis Harry, while also formally introducing us to a major Spidey character for the first time: Dr. Curt Connors, who is seen working on Harry’s cure, and disagreeing with Norman’s insistence that Harry be brought out of his mysterious stasis.
In Marvel’s Spider-Man, various passing comments and Easter-egg collectibles reveal that in this version of Spidey continuity, Connors had already inadvertently transformed himself into the Lizard in an attempt to regenerate his lost arm, becoming one of Peter’s first villains in his time as Spider-Man. Suffice to say his connection to Norman and Harry is going to lead to him having a big role in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2… including as the Lizard, as we’ve already seen footage of Miles and Peter battling the creature in the run up to release.
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