Miles Morales is a pioneer for every child of color that has ever dressed up as a superhero or imagined being one. He inspires all of us to be great and shows the world that we can all become anything or anyone we want – even Spider-Man.
Morales isn’t the first hero to do this though. There have been many legendary real-life heroes before him that have paved the way for diversity and acceptance, and one of them is Jackie Robinson.
Jackie Robinson once said “a life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives” and that theme rings true throughout Spider-Man Into the Universe. This is likely why Jackie Robinson is referenced multiple times throughout the movie. The directors were clearly moved by the baseball player’s story and therefore, whenever Miles struggled or needed a little push, there was always an Easter egg or reference to Jackie Robinson somewhere in the scene.
So, let’s see if you caught these references in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Number 42 in Opening Credits
Before the movie starts, we see the opening credits acknowledging the studios that helped make Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse a reality. After the Sony and Marvel logos pop up on the screen, we also see the number 42. This number clearly represents legendary baseball player, Jackie Robinson’s jersey number and can also be spotted throughout the entire film.
Spider Number 42
The spider that bit Miles in the underground tunnel had an Alchemax logo on it. However, it also had the number 42 on it, further referencing Jackie Robinson. This Easter Egg references the start of Miles’ powers and the creation of a true hero.
The Numbers 4 and 2 Fall Around Miles During His Epic Fail
After Miles gets his powers, he tries to test them out by jumping off the top of a building. However, he chickens out and hilariously runs downstairs so that his fall isn’t too far from the ground. When Miles finally jumps, he fails miserably and comes crashing down. However, when he falls on the floor, take a look at the numbers that fell with him. There’s a 4 laying on his right (our left) and a 2 on his left (our right), making 42 – Jackie Robinson’s jersey number.
This Easter egg is placed at a moment where Miles has to get back up and try again. Just like Jackie Robinson, Miles has to overcome great difficulty to pave the way for others.
Uncle Aaron’s Weighted Ball is 42lbs
When Miles is hitting the punching bag in Uncle Aaron’s apartment, the camera zooms out to show the rest of the room. If you take a look in the bottom-left corner, you’ll see a weighted ball with the number 42 on it. It’s an odd value for a set of weights, but that’s because it refers to Jackie Robinson’s jersey number.
The Max Occupancy of the Hudson Bus is 42
Miles Morales and Peter B. Parker head to Hudson the old-fashioned way: on a city bus. While they’re sitting on their bus ride though, you might have noticed the sign above their head that says “Maximum Occupancy 42”. The sign is shown on the bus both on the way there and on the way back home.
Jackie Robinson Ads in Times Square
Throughout some of Spider-Man’s adventures in Times Square, we can see ads posted throughout the cityscape. Most of the time, the Spider-Men were moving too fast to spot anything relevant on the ads, but there was one that caught my eye. This ad showed a baseball player with a blue cap and a number 4. Once again, this most likely references Jackie Robinson.
Jackie Robinson Posters in Miles’ Rooms
In both Miles’ room at home and his dorm room, there are posters on the walls of the legendary baseball player. The one in Miles’ dorm room is extremely prevalent right after the death of Miles’ uncle and when Peter Parker comes to tell Miles he’s no longer part of the plan. Once again, these are both low points for Miles and showcase situations when he would need an idol like Robinson.
Stephen Curry’s Posters
Jackie Robinson wasn’t the only inspiring black athlete referenced in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Golden State Warrior, Stephen Curry can also be seen plastered throughout the movie. You’ll find a Stephen Curry billboard ad floating around the Times Square scenes and a poster of a basketball player wearing jersey number 30 in Miles’ dorm room. For all you non-basketball fans out there, that’s Curry’s jersey number.
The Michael Jordan Reference on Miles’ Feet
Whether it was for style or to create an Easter egg, Miles was wearing Air Jordans on his feet the entire movie. These were the shoes exclusively created for Jordan in the 80s and connects Miles to one of basketball’s iconic players.
Did you find any other sports references in Spider-Man: Into the Universe? Point them out in the comments and be sure to check out my complete list of Into the Universe Easter eggs here.