Marvel’s Spider-Man — Analyzing the New Concept Art Reveals Unspoken Details About the Game
Insomniac has recently revealed a new slew of concept art for Spider-Man, so now it's time to scan them over to see if we can find any hidden secrets.
Hello everyone, it’s your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man fanatic back once again to talk about what else, but Marvel’s Spider-Man. Last time we talked about the upcoming PS4-exclusive from Insomniac Games, we looked at the recently-released Spider-Man: Homecoming and tried to see if there was anything from the new Spidey movie that we would want to see implemented in the new game. Today though, we have something a bit more important to analyze.
Over the past weekend during D23 Expo in Anaheim, we received a small amount of new information regarding Marvel’s Spider-Man which mainly took shape in a new behind-the-scenes video discussing the game’s development. However, within this new video we caught some glimpses of concept art for the game which we hadn’t seen before. While at a quick glimpse this might not seem like much, I decided to dive a bit deeper and see if there is anything hidden in these images that could provide us with some more information about the game.
Let’s start with what is perhaps the most straightforward piece of concept art in the bunch. I scanned this image hard to see if there was anything that I happened to be missing but I could not find anything of note.
You can see Mister Negative and some of his henchmen busting out of a large building with an APC and there’s a ton of damage that’s been done to the streets. I also looked at the police officers carefully to see if I could recognize any characters like Yuri Watanabe or even a classic character like Captain George Stacy, the father of Gwen Stacy. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything relating to either of them.
Checking out the small print at the bottom though, we learn that the building being vandalized is none other than the New York Stock Exchange. This makes me wonder why exactly Mister Negative and his henchmen are at the NYSE, but I can’t think of a good reason. I guess we’ll just have to wait for the full game to understand why.
Next up is this image of Spider-Man swooping in on Wilson Fisk a.k.a. the Kingpin. Fisk’s inclusion in Marvel’s Spider-Man was revealed during the E3 2017 demo of the game, but we didn’t get a look at him for too long. This piece of art gives us another glimpse at what Kingpin will look like within Marvel’s Spider-Man and also confirms to us that we will indeed be fighting him at some point.
Insomniac commented on this piece of art on their Twitter page and confirmed that this fight takes place very early in the game, so we now have an idea as to who could be our first opponent within Spider-Man. If you remember correctly, Fisk is wearing an orange jumpsuit in the E3 2017 footage, which to me means that the game will most likely begin with this sequence leading to you putting Fisk behind bars.
The last thing that stands out to me is the helicopter in the top left corner of the image. While we don’t know if it’s a police chopper, that would be my best guess considering we know that Fisk likely gets arrested here. I also wouldn’t be surprised if the aforementioned Yuri Watanabe was in the chopper. This could perhaps lead to Spidey’s first interaction with Watanabe and could be the start of their partnership that we saw a bit of in the E3 demo. Regardless of how the scene plays out, it’s a good bet that this will be our first major mission in the game.
Now this is perhaps the most important piece of concept art that Insomniac has given us so far, and it provides a ton of information that we had not yet received. As you can see, this is an image of Peter’s apartment in the game and there’s a ton of little clues within.
To begin, we can now assume that Mary Jane Watson will appear in Marvel’s Spider-Man and she will almost certainly serve as the love interest. To begin, the lower left corner of this piece shows a set of keys with a keychain containing the initials “MJ” upon it. In the top right corner, we see a cabinet that contains a handful of sticky notes, one of which says “Call MJ”. On this same sticky note, another message comes below that, but it’s harder to make out. I’m not certain about this, but I think it states, “Don’t forget” followed by “I dare you!!” This might imply that Peter might have been neglecting her of late and is challenging himself to reach out to her. Lastly, if you look at Peter’s door to the apartment you can see a few Polaroid photos, one of which contains a red-haired woman.
Mary Jane’s inclusion in Spider-Man isn’t a big surprise as Insomniac has previously told fans that Peter will in fact have a love interest in the game. That said, Peter has a long list of former lovers in the comics, so Insomniac had a variety of options to choose from. Mary Jane is Peter’s true love though, so her addition is somewhat obvious.
Moving on, the next thing that stands out to me are the amount of textbooks that are scattered over Peter’s room. You can see a stack of science books under the little table near the workshop bench and some others on the shelf between the two windows. To me, this might confirm that Peter will in fact be in college in the game and will be trying to juggle his studies alongside being Spider-Man. To add to this even further, Bryan Intihar – the creative director of Marvel’s Spider-Man – wore an Empire State University shirt on stage at D23 this past weekend. Both the textbooks in this image and Intihar’s likely intentional outfit choice say to me that Peter will be in school during the events of the game.
Of course, if Pete is enrolled in college then that could open up the possibility of Dr. Curt Connors being included in the game. If you’re unaware, Connors is one of Peter’s professors who eventually mutates and becomes the villainous Lizard. While this is just pure speculation on my part, it’d be cool to see Connors in the game, as he is a classic character from the comics.
There’s a handful of other noteworthy things tucked away in this image, so I’ll rattle them off quickly:
- You can see the Spider-Man mask on what seems to be Peter’s workshop desk.
- Aunt May is mentioned in a sticky note in the top right corner. The message says “Don’t forget to pick up Aunt May.”
- Peter is struggling to pay his rent as seen on a piece of mail in the lower left corner underneath the keys. We also see it mentioned in another sticky note that says, “Rent past due again Peter!!!” Another note also says, “Peter get a job!”
- The cork board over the bed in the room contains a variety of cutout pictures of people’s headshots. If I had to guess, they’re most likely criminals that Peter is trying to track down. Also worth mentioning are some of the newspaper headlines that are posted on the board from of course, the Daily Bugle.
- There is a police scanner in the right corner of the room sitting next to a globe.
- Electronics are scattered all over the room. This most likely coincides with what Insomniac has previously said about Peter inventing his own gear in the game.
- In the middle of the floor beneath the pizza box, you can see a sketch of the Spider-Man mask and outfit where Peter has clearly been workshopping his suit’s design.
There might be more hidden in this image, like more sticky notes and pictures, but I couldn’t make them all out at this resolution.
This is the last image of the group that we will be looking at and it’s also my favorite of the bunch. I think the detail on both Spidey and Mister Negative are fantastic in this piece of art, and I specifically really like the power stemming from Negative’s fist. Honestly, Mister Negative isn’t my favorite Spider-Man villain, but I think his character has a cool design that I think really shows off well in this image.
As for secrets tucked away in this one, I couldn’t find anything. The only thing that I really noticed was the Daily Bugle newspaper that the bystander in the left of the image is in the process of dropping. Like usual, we can also see Spider-Man gracing the cover of the paper, but there isn’t an inflammatory headline included declaring Spider-Man to be a criminal or a crook. Maybe J. Jonah Jameson likes Spidey in this universe? Who am I kidding; that would never happen. Still, Peter has been Spider-Man for eight years in the game, so his public image is probably positive enough at this point that defamatory headlines wouldn’t work any longer. That said, I am curious to know if the picture on the front of the paper was taken by Peter himself.
I also took a look at the train’s destination on the right side of the image to try and determine if it was vital. Insomniac identified this as the A Train in New York City, but the A Train doesn’t go to Astoria-Ditmars in the real world. We don’t know if this is simply an inaccuracy or an instance of simplification for gameplay purposes. Either way, it’s probably not too important.
The only other thing I really noticed was the cuts in Spider-Man’s costume on each of his legs. Clearly he gets pretty roughed up by Mister Negative in this showdown. I’m also left wondering as to how this fight ended up taking place in a subway system. While we will surely see the highs of New York City when we play Marvel’s Spider-Man, I like that we might also be able to check out the depths of the city as well at some point. This sequence looks like it could be awesome.
That’s everything I noticed when scanning over these four concept art images. Keep in mind that sometimes concept art on projects like this don’t end up being reflective of the final product, so some sequences in these images might not be included in the final release of the game next year. Additionally, I did a lot of speculating and guessing in this article so please don’t take anything that I wrote as fact. These are just my educated assumptions based on what we have seen of Marvel’s Spider-Man so far.
Of course, if you think I missed anything in these images then be sure to let us know in the comments. I did my best to pour over them but I’m sure that I’m missing a few things. I’d love to try and uncover as much as possible, so that we can maybe start piecing the story and world of Marvel’s Spider-Man together.