Sony made it sound like Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse wasn’t part of the massive MCU multiverse after it included mind-blowing references to the action in Spider-Man: No Way Home during a trailer. But it turns out that the Spider-Verse is part of the larger MCU multiverse. I had reason to suspect it from the moment I saw the movie, and a Marvel insider said that was the case: Marvel reportedly worked with Sony on the multiverse aspects of the film.
The same insider shared details about potential connections between Across the Spider-Verse and other future MCU movies. After all, everyone will wonder whether Spider-Man 4 will feature any version of Miles Morales (Shameik Moore). But it turns out Across the Spider-Verse might have a connection with Avengers: Endgame. Ensure you see the movie before proceeding with this, as spoilers might follow below.
The Avengers: Endgame timeline
Endgame continues to be one of the reference points on the MCU timeline, as the Phase 4 and first Phase 5 adventures happen in the years that follow the big fight between the Avengers and Thanos (Josh Brolin).
As a reminder, Endgame covers a period of over five years. It starts in 2018, in the aftermath of Infinity War, but the main action moves to the future. That’s October 2023, to be more precise. We haven’t even reached that point in time in our real world.
All the Phase 4 movies and TV shows happen after that October 2023 point, except for Black Widow. And present-day in the MCU is sometime in 2026, considering what we have seen so far.
I’ll also point out that Spider-Man: No Way Home starts in the summer of 2024, picking up right after Far From Home. But the main action in it occurs in the fall, around Halloween 2024.
All that is important to understand before we look at this surprising Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse detail.
Does Across the Spider-Verse precede Endgame?
The Cosmic Circus’s Alex Perez is the Marvel insider who found evidence that Sony worked with Marvel on Across the Spider-Verse. That’s on top of information from his sources, who claim, among other things, that the live-action Prawler in the sequel comes from the MCU’s main reality. And that Marvel and Sony want Across the Spider-Verse characters in Secret Wars.
Perez posted the following images on Twitter, saying he shouldn’t be going down this rabbit hole, yet here we are:
The first image shows footage from a camera in a convenience store where Miles battles The Spot (Jason Schwartzman) early in Across the Spider-Verse. What matters here is the date on the screen. It’s July 11th, 2023. That puts the action in Across the Spider-Verse before Endgame.
The second image shows the Avengers getting ready for the fight of their lives in October 2023.
I’ll remind you that we’re looking at two different realities here. Thus, the chronology between them doesn’t matter. It’s also important to note that time could pass differently in each reality. And also that, when looking from outside the flow of time, like He Who Remains does in Loki, everything occurs at the same time. The past, present, and future are all taking place simultaneously.
Therefore, the events in Across the Spider-Verse could be concurrent with those in Endgame. Or No Way Home.
What I’m getting here is that the Across the Spider-Verse chronology doesn’t matter to the MCU’s Earth-616 chronology.
But what seems to be clear is that Miles’s universe did not have a Thanos event. Or, at least, not one to coincide with Earth-616. Otherwise, the action in Across the Spider-Verse would happen during the blip. Yet there’s no reference to such a tragedy in the movie.
Conversely, if Across the Spider-Verse is placed in mid-July 2023, then Into the Spider-Verse happens some 16 months before that. Therefore, in March 2022.
What is Miguel O’Hara’s present-day time?
Given that Marvel consulted with Sony, these dates were likely chosen for a reason. One that isn’t clear yet.
I said before that Across the Spider-Verse has some plot issues that Sony will hopefully fix. One of the things that disturbs me the most is the Spider Society and its inner workings. And there seems to be no instance in this movie where the society moves back in time to preserve canon events even if their actions would create new timeline branches.
While the Across the Spider-Verse date above isn’t a plot issue, I’m definitely curious to know how Miguel O’Hara (Oscar Isaac) oversees all these timelines. He references the November 2024 No Way Home action while his in Gwen’s (Hailee Steinfeld) universe, where we don’t know what year or month we’re in.
We have no idea what year we’re in on Miguel’s home universe, either. It could be July 2023 on both of those worlds. Or we could be looking at different dates for each universe. After all, Miguel’s world looks much more futuristic than anything we have seen in the MCU.
But the Across the Spider-Verse cliffhanger implies Earth-42 has the same time as Miles’s reality.
It might be important to know the time of these different realities relative to each other. Maybe Miguel’s present-day time is several years after the 2022 events in the first Spider-Verse movie. And several years after No Way Home. Miguel’s present-day might be well into the future, maybe well after the MCU’s 2026 present-day. Maybe Miguel is operating in the past from his point of view, a more distant future, after all.