If you’re playing Insomniac’s Spider-Man 2 and wondering where all the other Marvel superheroes are, you’re not alone.
While there are two Spider-Men in the PlayStation 5 exclusive to fend off the advances of Kraven the Hunter, Venom, and all the other horrible villains who take issue with New York, at points they really could use some help.
Of course, developer Insomniac only has so much to work with for Spider-Man 2. PlayStation owner Sony licenses the use of Spider-Man characters for the game, licenses that are heavily controlled and costly. Throwing the Avengers, for example, into the mix, just isn’t realistic.
Some fans, though, have called into question the lack of superheroes knocking about in Insomniac’s New York. It’s not something directly addressed in Spider-Man 2 itself, but there was a recent nod to Insomniac’s superhero problem in a recent comic book.
In issue five of Spider-Man Unlimited Infinity, a comic series exclusive to the digital Marvel Unlimited subscription, there’s a somewhat downbeat admission in a conversation between a two Spider-Men from different universes.
In the comic, 616 Spider-Man asks Insomniac’s Peter Parker: “How many superheroes are there in your Manhatten?” “Regularly? Maybe half a dozen. You’ve got more?” “Just a tad.”
Then, later: “Where I’m from, they’re always gone.”
Insomniac Spidey saying his Avengers are always away is a nice lil jab at them not being in the game pic.twitter.com/VofkAr6Rqh
— Ashley Talks Comics! (@ComicGirlAshley) October 20, 2023
Spider-Man 2 isn’t completely devoid of reference to the wider Marvel universe. Easter eggs point to the existence of The Avengers, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, and the Fantastic Four in Insomniac’s universe via various landmarks placed in New York. The most obvious is the Avengers Tower, which you’d imagine would have Tony Stark and co pottering about every now and then. Not so (I’ve had a good look!). As Pete says, “they’re always gone.”
Of course, this isn’t a problem isolated to Insomniac’s Spider-Man games. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has wrestled with the same issue for years. Where were The Eternals, for example, when Thanos was kicking butt? That was a question the movie had to answer. Where was Captain Marvel? Again, that was a question that needed to be addressed.
Insomniac’s also working on a Wolverine game, and while the X-Men fan-favourite doesn’t pop up in Spider-Man 2, perhaps fans will get some sort of crossover in the future.
If you’re playing, check out our list of Spider-Man 2’s best skills to get first as well as all of the Spider-Man 2 suits in the game.
We wrote in our Spider-Man 2 review: “As a sequel in a spectacular series, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is both blessed and cursed… Insomniac refines a successful formula of combat and web-swinging without revolutionising either in major ways, making them comfy and familiar with just enough new tweaks and abilities to elevate them to fun new heights. The part that feels like it actually needed a radical rethinking is the open world of New York City, which has been made bigger but not better, with an exhausting checklist of mostly repetitious side activities.”
Wesley is the UK News Editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter at @wyp100. You can reach Wesley at email@example.com or confidentially at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Author: Wesley Yin-Poole