Insomniac Games played a Marvel-ous hand at yesterday’s PlayStation 5 September Showcase, revealing teasers for two games based on characters from the popular Disney-owned comics company. They first showed a short trailer for the third game in their Spider-Man franchise before a brief teaser for a new game focused on everyone’s favorite X-Man, Wolverine.
Following the critically-acclaimed Marvel’s Spider-Man and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, the trailer for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 (not to be confused with the 2004 game based on the movie Spider-Man 2) features both characters fighting various foes as a voiceover from Kraven the Hunter narrates the search for a worthy opponent. The trailer closes with the symbiote monster Venom revealing himself from the shadows of a nearby alley, claiming to be that worthy opponent. The inclusion of Venom means the game, set to be released in 2023, will likely incorporate some version of Spider-Man’s alien costume kerfuffle, which was first written in 1984-1985 after the original Secret Wars series, inspired the creation of Venom in 1988, and then variously adapted in the Spider-Man cartoon from the 1990s, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 in 2007, and the 2018 Sony film Venom.
It’s a good sign that Sony and Marvel are continuing their partnership outside of the movies. While the MCU continues to dominate the box office, various adaptations of these beloved characters and stories still exist. Comic book canon remains a choose-your-own adventure. Although the PS5 upgrade for Spider-Man included a controversial update to Peter Parker to make him look more like Tom Holland that may be taken as a negative consequence of that success, the success of Sony’s non-MCU Into the Spider-Verse movie may have prompted the creation of the Miles Morales follow-up, and now Spidey-fans of all stripes can see the two Spider-Men fighting alongside each other against Venom, and maybe Carnage, in 2023.
Insomniac’s second teaser was a shorter one, but will likely prompt just as much, if not more, anticipation. Moving a little more slowly, the camera pans across the interior of a bar with bodies, broken furniture, blood and signs of dismemberment strewn across it. The camera cuts to a back-facing shot of a lone figure drinking at the bar in a plaid shirt and a cowboy hat. The edit cuts to a zoomed-in reverse shot as we see the man lower his drink and, in the background, some injured fellow pull himself to his feet with the help of a chair. The camera cuts back around to reveal this man walking past the billiards table, pulling a knife from his clothes and flipping it into a reverse hold, walking toward the mysterious figure at the bar. The camera cuts back to the bloody-knuckled fists of the man at the bar, hovering by his drink, before a familiar noise sounds as adamantium claws exit his fist, before the trailer cuts to black with a title shot. Wolverine does not have a release date, but Insomniac is continuing to earn good will from fans by pumping out hit after hit after Sony’s acquisition. Anticipation will be high.