Who Is The Villain In Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse? The Spot Explained

It's a truth universally acknowledged that Spider-Man is one of the greatest and most versatile superheroes of all time. Of course, there's so much to love about the ol' webslinger, but a hero is also only as good as his villains — and for the record, Spidey has some of the coolest around. Even his more obscure adversaries come with fan clubs all their own, which makes the announcement of a new Spider-Man movie (and the inevitable reintroduction of old villains) as much of an event as the movie itself.

Case in point: The forthcoming sequel to "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" is still quite a ways removed (a whole year, to be exact!). But all of the buzz surrounding "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" is likely enough to keep fans busy until then. That hasn't stopped the "Spider-Verse" filmmakers from releasing a crumb or two now and then, and their latest reveal — the film's official villain — is definitely keeping the hype train alive.

At the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Sony Pictures Animation revealed that The Spot would be the latest Spidey villain to get the Spider-verse treatment. The character is definitely a deeper cut from Spider-Man's rogues gallery, but his unique (and very creepy) powers make him a perfect fit for Miles Morales' next adventure.

The Spot's comic origins

The Spot was first introduced in Al Milgrom and Herb Trimpe's run of "The Spectacular Spider-Man" in 1984. A physicist formerly known as Jonathan Ohnn, The Spot acquired his interdimensional powers while working under Wilson Fisk, aka the Kingpin. Ohnn was tasked with reverse-engineering the powers of Cloak (the former half of the duo Cloak and Dagger), who could essentially harness the power of a dimension called the Darkforce. The Darkforce dimension hosts an unlimited amount of "dark" energy, as the name suggests, and has a variety of uses — notably teleportation.

In his attempt to create his own Darkforce conduit, however, Ohnn accidentally opened up what he believed to be some sort of black hole. Naturally, Ohnn stepped through said portal, and discovered an entirely different dimension that hosts an infinite number of smaller black portals. After his brief time there, Ohnn found his way back to his universe — but in passing through a portal once more, his body somehow bonded with the unknown properties within that new dimension.

Ohnn came away completely transformed and covered in interlinked, interdimensional portals. He also discovered that he could remove or even suspend these portals to temporarily warp space, and wasted absolutely no time in testing these new powers against the first hero he encountered: Spider-Man.

A spotty track record

The Spot's very first fight against Spider-Man was also his very first triumph against the hero, but it'd also be his very last. The Spot doesn't have a great track record against heroes or villains, even when he teams up with other like-minded rogues. Notably, Ohnn joined forces with a group he'd call the Spider-Man Revenge Squad, but their abysmal defeat at Spidey's hands quickly earned them another, more fitting title: the Legion of Losers. Ouch.

Obviously, the Spot could have done with a little supervillain training in his earlier days. He was often used as cannon fodder in the handful of storylines he appeared in. It wasn't until "The Amazing Spider-Man" #589 that the comics finally began to capitalize on his potential. The Spot's motivations in this arc, called "Marked," are much less superficial than those in previous appearances. Writer Fred Van Lente and artist Paulo Siquiera work to create a complicated inner world for Jonathan Ohnn, and a quest for revenge that his alter ego is uniquely qualified to take on.

"Marked" successfully reboots Ohnn as a husband and father whose son was left comatose during a hit-and-run. In an effort to kill the Russian gangster who caused the casualty, the Spot runs into Spider-Man, who's tracking down the same man. What's most interesting about this arc is that The Spot never speaks, adding to his menace and his mystery in a really genius way.

Old habits die hard

Unfortunately, this fresh take on Spot was incredibly short-lived. Other appearances from the character have since pinned him as a total loser yet again, which has been really frustrating for fans who loved his characterization in "Marked." Though he's brawled with heroes and villains alike — Daredevil, Wolverine, the Mandarin and even Carnage, to name a few — a lot of storylines see him serving under another, more competent villain.

For a guy with such interesting powers, it's a little disappointing to see the Spot used and abused so often. It could be really interesting to see what he could do in a larger role, with fewer villains to distract or even derail his plans — and call me optimistic, but it seems like  directors Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers and Justin K. Thompson had a similar idea in positioning him as the villain in "Across the Spider-Verse."

Besides the fact that Jason Schwartzman will portray the character in the forthcoming film, it's a little hard to tell what fans should expect. But if Sony's first look at The Spot is any indication, he's sure to pose a real challenge to Miles Morales and his allies. The "Spider-Verse" animators also put a lot of love into adapting The Spot, with a design meant to change throughout the film as he begins to grasp his powers. How will those powers affect the multiverse exactly? Unfortunately, we'll just have to wait and see, but it all looks promising so far. Not even a surprise appearance from the Legion of Losers would be unwelcome at this point.