This forgotten Spider-Man villain is a lot scarier than he looks.
There is a lot to love about Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, but perhaps one of the biggest surprises stored in the film is the stunningly hilarious and shockingly intimidating new villain The Spot (Jason Schwartzman). This may lead to a question for even the most seasoned comic book fans: Who in the world is The Spot, and why, of all the villains Spider-Man has faced, was he chosen as the next big bad for a feature film?
Spider-Man is easily the Marvel equivalent of DC’s Batman in the sense that his rogues gallery puts all his superhero companions to shame. The webhead has an incredible collection of bad guys who are far more popular than The Spot. Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Venom, Electro, Vulture, heck even Big Wheel is more well-known than The Spot is. However, while The Spot may look like Marvel’s answer to Polka Dot Man, his role in Across the Spider-Verse makes him one of the most dangerous villains Spider-Man has ever faced. Plus, his history in the comics proves he’s no slouch, either.
Before becoming the supervillain known as The Spot, the comic book character was originally known as Johnathon Ohnn (notice how Johnathon has an extra “o” because…you know…spots). Ohnn was once a brilliant scientist who studied at MIT, even being the roommate of a much more popular Spider-Man villain, Quentin Beck, who would go on to become the deceptive Mysterio. Ohnn’s brilliant mind was also one susceptible to corporate greed and avarice, as he had no qualms about accepting a job offer from criminal Kingpin, Wilson Fisk.
Fisk became interested in the science behind teleportation, particularly in how another New York-based superhero, The Cloak, was able to teleport virtually anywhere at will. Ohnn’s research eventually opens a pitch-black portal, which the ambitious researcher made the ill-advised decision to step into the mysterious gateway. When Ohnn eventually finds his way out of the portal, the once-human scientist is now something else entirely. Many of his anatomic features such as his face have vanished, his skin has been turned a bright white, and is covered head to toe in black spots, each of which functions as portals to various realities including his own.
In Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, The Spot is frequently referred to as a “villain of the week,” implying that he’s a low-level goon rather than a significant threat to the heroes of Marvel. That’s pretty much how the Spot is frequently treated in the original comics, and his first meeting with Spider-Man makes that quite evident. After getting his powers from the portal he made and embracing his potential as a supervillain, The Spot confronts Spidey for the first time. The meeting doesn’t go as planned as Spider-Man can’t help but laugh at the villain’s goofy name and his even goofier appearance.
The Spot is Determined to be Miles Morales’ Arch-Nemesis in ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
When Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) first encounters The Spot, the bumbling, overconfident goon seems to be just another bad guy. He’s currently trying to steal an ATM from a local convenience store, and he’s not exactly doing a great job. However, once Miles begins fighting the villain, The Spot leads Spider-Man on a teleporting chase across the entire city. Once the two’s chase concludes, The Spot reveals a surprising connection he has with New York’s One and Only Spider-Man.
It turns out this universe’s version of Johnathon Ohnn was a scientist at Alchemex, the science division owned by Wilson Fisk (Liev Schreiber) and overseen by Olivia Octavius (Kathryn Hahn) from the first film. Their tests for the company’s dangerous super-collider began with bringing in smaller beings, with one of them being a radioactive spider from Earth 42 – the same one that bit Miles and gave him powers. Ohnn was caught in the explosion of the super-collider after Spider-Man and his friends destroyed it in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Now disfigured, The Spot has sworn vengeance on Spider-Man for what he did. He finds the location of another super-collider in Earth-50101, the home of Spider-Man India (Karan Soni). Once he uses it, The Spot becomes a being of pure dark energy, capable of destroying entire dimensions at the snap of his fingers. The Spot has threatened to destroy everything and everyone Miles Morales has ever loved. A terrifying threat that will presumably reach an epic conclusion once the third chapter of the trilogy, Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse, finally releases.
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