Explaining That Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse End-Credits Scene

4 minute read

In an era when end-credits scenes are often used to tease new characters and villains, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse finds an innovative way to both introduce a new character and make fun of a popular Spider-Man meme.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse already counts six Spider-beings among its cast. Several will return to the big screen in the near future: Sony is already working on a sequel featuring Miles Morales and a spinoff starring Gwen Stacey. But there could be even more Spider-spinoffs to come. Fans who stuck around for a post-credits scene were introduced to yet another Spider-Man: Miguel O’Hara, played by Oscar Isaac.

The scene begins with a narration box that says, “Meanwhile, in Nueva York.” That text alone should clue comic book readers into Miguel’s entrance into the Spider-Verse. Miguel O’Hara stars in a Spider-Man comic titled Spider-Man 2099. Miguel was the first Latinx character to take on the Spider-Man mantle when he debuted in the comics in 1992. His story is set in a future, dystopian New York City that’s been dubbed Nueva York.

MORE: Why We’ll Never Stop Getting New Spider-Man Movies

In Miguel’s comic book story, America is controlled by a few menacing corporations—including Alchemax, the company run by villain Kingpin in Into the Spider-verse. Miguel is a geneticist working for Alchemax when his life is threatened. He rewrites his own genetic code to sustain himself and gains spider-like abilities in the process. He has many of the same powers as the other Spidey, though he also has teeth that can inject bad guys with paralyzing venom. He becomes a superhero and fights crime with the help of a hologram named Lyla, who provides him with intel on his enemies.

Lyla is the first person audiences see in the Into the Spider-Verse end-credits scene. She chastises an unseen Miguel for being late. She tells him he has missed out on all the fun of closing the hole in the space-time continuum with Miles and the rest of the Spider-people. “Here’s the good news, the multiverse didn’t collapse, though it was touch and go,” Lyla says.

Miguel then asks Lyla if she “finished the goober,” the piece of technology that will allow him to jump to another universe. Lyla warns Miguel that he is about to be the first person to make a multiverse jump with the device. Miguel says, “Let’s start at the beginning one last time: Earth ’67.”

Miguel then appears in the Spider-Man cartoon from the 1960s, the one with the catchy “Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a Spider can” theme song that’s now stuck in your head. He lands on earth and tells Peter Parker, “I’m Spider-Man. You need to come with me.”

“Who the heck are you?” Peter Parker replies, pointing at him. Miguel points back at Peter, and they begin to bicker, pointing back and forth from one another.

MORE: This Is the Definitive Ranking of Every Single Spider-Man Movie

Those who spend too much time on Twitter will recognize this scene of two Spider-Men pointing at one another as a popular meme. The Spider-verse writers riff on the scene by adding new dialogue. Miguel and Peter Parker point at one another and argue over who started the pointing first. The scene cuts before the two Spideys resolve their quarrel.

The actual reference to the original television series is less important than the introduction of Miguel. Isaac probably didn’t drop into a recording booth just for fun: Expect to see this character return in future iterations of Spider-verse.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Write to Eliana Dockterman at eliana.dockterman@time.com