Spider-Verse Canon Events Explained & All Confirmed Moments

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Canon events were introduced in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, changing the context of Spider-Man's numerous theatrical adaptations. The sequel to 2018's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse released on June 2, 2023, catching up with Miles Morales sixteen months after he first became Spider-Man. While Into the Spider-Verse saw interdimensional Spider-People join Miles in his universe, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse featured Miles setting out on his own multiversal adventure. He eventually comes face-to-face with Miguel O'Hara, a.k.a. Spider-Man 2099, and the Spider Society, who taught him some valuable lessons about being Spider-Man.
While the Marvel Cinematic Universe has started to explore the multiverse with projects such as Loki, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Sony's animated Spider-Man franchise has branched out even further. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse introduced the Spider Society, a team tasked with protecting various realities from anomalies - characters who had fallen through the multiverse following the events of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. While these Spider-People could all be wildly different, they share a few transformative life events in common, which are referred to as "canon events" in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.
What Are Spider-Verse Canon Events? During Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Miles Morales meets Miguel O'Hara, a version of Spider-Man from an alternate year 2099 who leads the Spider Society. Miguel informs Miles that a certain pattern of events must happen to every Spider-Man in every universe, bonding them in the "Spider-Verse," and these events are known as canon events. Miguel notes that these canon events - though they are not the same for every Spider-Man - bind the Spider-Verse together and usually end up forging each universe's Spider-Man into the hero they need to be. However, should a canon event be broken or avoided, there could be potentially destructive ramifications for the entire Spider-Verse.
After traveling to Earth-50101 and meeting Pavitr Prabhakar, a.k.a. Spider-Man India, Miles saves Captain Singh, breaking a canon event. This causes the universe to begin to collapse, though this is halted soon after by the arrival of the Spider Society. Miguel O'Hara has also seen this first hand, as he had replaced another universe's version of himself, though not realizing that his existence in that reality would destroy several canon events, leading to that universe's destruction. While the breaking of canon events is a terrifying concept, this idea is a fun way to explain how Spider-Man's adaptations have often changed his origins but have kept the core details the same.
Misconceptions About Spider-Verse Canon Events Since Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse's release, some viewers have misinterpreted canon events to specifically be referring to tragic moments in the life of every Spider-Man. This usually equates to people close to Spider-Man dying, motivating the web-slinger to be the best hero they can be by striving to do good in the memory of those they've lost. However, canon events don't always have to be traumatic moments in a Spider-Person's life but can often also be moments of joy, hope, optimism, and success. These have been seen in various adaptations of Spider-Man over the years, particularly in the films since Sam Raimi's Spider-Man in 2002.
One perfect example of a more upbeat canon event in the Spider-Verse was shown in 2002's Spider-Man, during one of the most memorable and tender moments of the film. The now-famous scene sees Kirsten Dunst's Mary Jane Watson kiss Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man while the latter is hanging upside-down from a web. This moment was later adapted into Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker kissing Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy after revealing his alter-ego to her in The Amazing Spider-Man, and later in Spider-Man: Far From Home, when Tom Holland's Peter Parker and Zendaya's MJ kiss on a bridge in Prague, proving that not all canon events need to be moments of suffering.
Every Confirmed Canon Event Moment From Spider-Verse & Spider-Man Movies Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse reveals that several canon events have already been seen in Spider-Man adaptations, with scenes from Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy and Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man double feature being revisited. During Miguel's explanation to Miles, several Spider-Man variants can be seen striking the same upside-down pose as Tobey Maguire's iteration, kissing their loved ones in their costumes. This proves that the kiss is a canon event and an important one in forging Spider-Man into a hero with something to lose. This moment was even hinted at earlier in Across the Spider-Verse, though Miles' invisibility at the time stopped him and Gwen from actually sealing the deal.
Gwen Stacy mentions in Across the Spider-Verse that Gwen falls in love with Spider-Man in every other universe, perhaps hinting at this being another canon event, though this could spell bad news for Across the Spider-Verse's version of the character. She says it always ends badly, though Miles argues that things can be better for them. Not every film version of Spider-Man has featured a tragic end for Gwen (or even features Gwen at all), so it's unclear if this is actually a canon event or simply a common occurrence.


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