Across The Spider-Verse originally had this DC Comics Spider-Man variant
Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse brought a number of Spider-Men from various media into one huge film. However, the film had to omit the character Spider-Boy because of DC Comics.
It’s been a few months since Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse hit theaters. Since then, character and costume designer Kris Anka has been answering questions on Twitter and sharing his various designs for Spider-Man variants who appeared in the film.
In Across the Spiderverse, Miles Morales is taken to a multiversal hub where Spider-Men from various universes meet. Miles, however, is treated as an anomaly and faces persecution from the leader of the group, Spider-Man 2099.
Though there are hundreds of Spider-Man throughout the film, many more wound up on the cutting room floor. One such character didn’t make the cut because of their ties to one of Marvel’s most important stories from the ‘90s.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse had to cut Spider-Boy
The image in question, shared on Twitter by Anka and reported by ComicBookMovie.com, comes from a photo a fan took at an expo. The fan asked if it was real, and Anka confirmed it was indeed a legit design.
“It is real, I’ve never posted the actual drawing.” Anka explained, “Obviously, we ended up not being able to use it cause legal law reasons.”
Spider-Boys’ origins have ties to DC vs. Marvel, a landmark series in which Marvel heroes and DC heroes duked it out, with some outcomes even being determined by fan poll. Following issue #3, the universes were briefly merged in an effort to prevent them from imploding. The result was a brand new imprint, Amalgam Comics, which starred fused versions of Marvel and DC characters.
The first run of Amalgam Comics consisted of 12 one-shot comics, half produced by Marvel and the other half by DC. Marvel produced Spider-Boy #1, a fusion of Superboy and Spider-Man (who, at the time, was Ben Reilly).
Spider-Boy was a clone character who appeared to have Spider-like powers but actually had gravity powers (similar to Superboy’s Tactile Telekinesis). Rather than the traditional web shooters, Spider-Boy carried a pistol dubbed the web shooter that fired webbing.
A second wave of one-shots followed the next year that included Spider-Boy Team-Up, but neither Spider-Boy nor the Amalgam characters have appeared since. The precarious legal situation of Marvel and DC sharing ownership means a reappearance is unlikely, and meant the Spiderverse team wasn’t able to use them.
While Spider-Boy may not make an appearance, there’s plenty of other fan service to be found in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, which swings onto digital services August 8 and Blu-ray September 5. The sequel, Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse, has been delayed indefinitely.