Spoiler Alert: This post contains spoilers for Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse
In Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse, audiences are introduced to a host of new characters. But the most important one is Miguel O’Hara, voiced by Oscar Isaac in an engaging standout performance. Since he was introduced in the comics in 1992, O’Hara is known as Spider-Man 2099 of Earth 928, and he was imbued with superpowers through an accidental merging of his DNA with a spider. He was known to be a crime fighter and had run-ins with different multiversal villains as well as heroes including Doctor Doom, Vulture, and Doctor Strange. O’Hara’s main objective in Across The Spider-Verse is different from his story in the comics.
Here’s everything you need to know about O’Hara’s origins and his role in Across the Spider-Verse.
Who is Miguel O’Hara in Across the Spider-Verse?
The movie opens on Gwen Stacey (Hailee Steinfeld), who is struggling with concealing her identity as a spider person from her father, the NYPD police captain of her dimension. Her father responds to a disturbance at the Guggenheim Museum, and Gwen surreptitiously follows him. When she gets there, she realizes that the Vulture she’s fighting is not from her dimension. As she struggles to apprehend him, O’Hara appears and helps her along with Jessica Drew (voiced by Issa Rae). Audiences learn that O’Hara is the leader of a task force that is wrangling “anomalies” across the Spider-Verse who are in universes other than their own.
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Gwen gets a chance to join the group and meets up with Miles Morales, who ends up following her into a different dimension. They land in Mumbattan, a Mumbai/Manhattan hybrid, which is home to Pavitr Prabhakar (Karan Soni), this universe’s Spider-Man. While there, Miles disrupts a “canon event,” an event that happens to all of the Spider-Men across the multiverse, by not letting the police captain die in the alternate universe. Miles, Gwen, Pavitr, and Spider-Punk (Daniel Kaluuya) have to report back to O’Hara, who explains to Miles that what he did put the fate of the Spider-Verse in danger.
O’Hara explains to Miles that in every iteration of Spider-Man across the Spider-Verse, the police captain has to die—which in turn prompts Miles to remember that his father was just promoted to captain and realize that his dad’s life is in danger. Miles tries to escape but O’Hara and the legion of Spider people try to stop him: if Miles manages to save his father, then the disruption of that “canon event” could have catastrophic consequences.
Who is Miguel O’Hara in the Marvel Comics?
O’Hara was a trailblazing iteration of Spider-Man when he was introduced as the first non-white version of the superhero in a preview of June 1992’s Amazing Spider-Man #365 and received his own title in September of that year. He was the head of the genetics department at Alchemax, the major biomedical corporation that’s mentioned in Across The Spider-Verse as the lab where the main antagonist, The Spot (f.k.a. Dr. Jonathan Ohnn, voiced by Jason Schwartzman), was a scientist. In his work, O’Hara tried to recreate the original Spider-Man’s powers, and in the process, his boss—a man named Tyler Stone—gave him a drug called Rapture that he ended up getting addicted to.
In an effort to curb the addiction, O’Hara became his own test subject for his experiments in replicating Spider-Man’s powers. During an experiment, his coworker messed with the machine and O’Hara’s DNA became 50 percent spider. In story lines that unfolded in the years to come, the newly-minted superhero teamed up with Peter Parker to fight against Alchemax and some of the comic’s most notorious villains, including the Green Goblin. O’Hara’s series ran for 46 issues until the late ‘90s, when Marvel hit a snag with financial troubles. Throughout the years, he made appearances in crossover issues, but Across The Spider-Verse marks his debut on the silver screen.
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