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Fans love Scarlet Spider in ‘Across the Spider-Verse’ poster

Think about that meme where Spider-Man is pointing at Spider-Man. Now, multiply it by 12 or 13.

That’s roughly how many web-slinging spider-like heroes were revealed Tuesday in Marvel’s poster for the much-anticipated animated feature “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” the sequel to 2018’s Oscar-winning “Into the Spider-Verse.”

The new poster prominently features the upside-down bust of teenage Spider-Man Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), his suit slashed with tear marks. Directly behind him are dozens of spider-people.

And fans are already dissecting the poster like expert arachnologists, pointing out the returning Gwen Stacy’s Ghost Spider (Hailee Steinfeld) and Spider-Man 2099 (Oscar Isaac), who were featured in the 2018 film. The poster also revealed new-to-this-story characters, Spider-Woman (Issa Rae) and Spider-Punk (Daniel Kaluuya), a few heads back to the left and right of the bust, respectively.

An illustration of a Black woman superhero seen in a low angle standing riding a bike and shooting rays out of her left hand.

Jessica Drew (Issa Rae) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation’s “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.”

(Sony Pictures Animation)

But some fans’ spidey senses were tingling about Scarlet Spider, who appears to the far left of Miles and near the front on the new poster.

Scarlet Spider and his iconic spider suit —recognizable by his punkish blue hoodie with torn sleeves — became a cult classic during a controversial 1990s comics storyline.

In that saga, Ben Reilly, the person usually underneath the Scarlet Spider suit, is a clone of Peter Parker. The initially unnamed clone first appeared in the comics in 1975 and was believed to be killed off after a battle involving Parker’s Spider-Man at Shea Stadium.

However, in 1994, fans learned that the clone survived and left New York City before returning as Ben Reilly, still struggling to process his identity as a clone. To craft his iconic costume, Ben anxiously grabs a spider hoodie from a spider museum exhibit’s gift shop before setting off to confront the city’s villains and ultimately meeting a tragic fate.

In the decades since, Scarlet Spider has remained a fan favorite, with Marvel teasing concept art for recent Spider-Man films that paid homage to Parker’s clone. The new poster shows the Scarlet Spider wearing his iconic torn hoodie, triggering nostalgia across social media.

“As a ‘90s kid, the fact that we’re getting a major theatrically-released animated film with both Scarlet Spider and Spider-Man 2099 is doing something to the nostalgia corridors in my brain,” wrote film programmer Rob Saucedo.

“I remember back in the 90s when I collected Spindelmannen comics,” recalled one user after the poster’s release. “The Ben/Scarlet Spider arc, or clone arc I guess, was really good. The ending was damn sad though.”

Bharat Reddy, a product manager at Twilio, also praised the poster reveal and reminisced on the character’s importance.

“I see my guy Scarlet Spider on the poster!” Reddy wrote. “The reveal of his identity was probably the first major pop culture plot twist that left a memorable impact on me #90sbaby”

The release of the poster comes one week after Sony Pictures Entertainment shared a trailer for “Across the Spider-Verse,” which featured an evocative voice-over from Miles’ mother, Rio Morales (Lauren Velez), speaking to him as he faces a new round of threats. The trailer also gave fans several glimpses at the many spider-heroes to come, although Scarlet Spider did not overtly appear among them.

An illustration of a Spider Man Miles Morales kicking a white figure while flying through air in between high-rise buildings.

Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) and Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) take on the Spot (Jason Schwartzman) in “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.”

(Sony Pictures Animation )

In the new film Miles is thrust across the Multiverse where he encounters other Spideys who are there to protect it, Marvel said in a statement. He clashes with the team of Spider-people over how to handle a new threat.

Last week’s trailer ended with a dramatic chase sequence where Miles’ Spider-Man struggles to leap away from a horde of Spider-people. As the protagonist is being swallowed by the group, one of the Spider-people yells, “Who do think you are, really?”

“Across the Spider-Verse,” co-directed by Joaquim Dos Santos. Kemp Powers and Justin K. Thompson, is set for a theatrical release June 2.

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