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The Spot

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
by yo go re

And now, Spider-Man vs. an evil dalmatian.

If The Spot can realize the power of his abilities, he could become a threat to the entire universe.

The Spot is a perfect choice for a Spider-Verse villain: in the comics, he was Dr. Jonathan Ohnn, a research scientist working for Kingpin; while attempting to duplicate Cloak's dimensional powers, a blackout at the moment he was entering the portal adjusted its frequency, sending him not into the Darkforce Dimension, but into one that was half black and half white. So honestly, with a story involving Kingpin, dimensional rifts, and blackouts, he can slot into the existing story from the first movie with basically no changes! Of course, that's if they decide to just use his 616 origin; as we already know, the movies aren't afraid to change things when it's necessary. Or even when it's fun.

We can immediately see from this figure that the second movie isn't shying away from exaggerated designs. The only difference between Johnny Ohnn the scientist and Johnny Ohnn The Spot [*groan* --ed.] is that his body was now entirely white, with big black dots all over - no physical changes. Spider-Verse's Spot, though, has proportions that are just a bit off from human: long, spindly legs on a short, broad body. It's a very anime kind of silhouette, especially once you consider his flat, oversized hands. Because he was a simple scientist before gaining powers, he's portrayed with a paunch and slight love handles, rather than a typically superhuman physique. All that also means it's unlikely this Dan Mitchell sculpt will see a lot of re-use.

Across the Spider-Verse has apparently opted for the "one giant dot in the middle of Spot's face" look, presumably in an effort to make him seem more alien. Remember, his initial design gave him normal eyes (and sometimes even a mouth and nose); it wasn't until much, much later that this style developed. The toy's head is purposely asymmetrical, and has no features - not even ears on the sides.

The level of articulation is normal for a Marvel Legend, even if the body has a unique shape. The Spot has a balljointed head, hinged neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/ hinge wrists, a balljointed chest, balljoint hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, and swivel/ hinged ankles. The plastic used for the toy's torso feels slicker than usual, possibly just because the body is so smooth, but it may be a different formulation: the head (made of the same stuff) tends to stick on the balljoint more than usual.

The Spot's powers were basically to create Looney Tunes-style portable holes. He would peel the black dots off his own body and hang them anywhere he wanted, then use their access to the Spotted Dimension to teleport somewhere else. This always seemed like an impossible thing for an action figure to portray, but Hasbro came up with a really smart solution. The Spot comes with two separate black ovals that are molded with part of Spider-Man's body sticking through them: a large one with his head and one shoulder, and a smaller one with a hand. They're solid pieces - though sculpted by Dennis Chan, the same guy who did the full Miles figures, there's no articulation - but they can both be attached to the included clear plastic stand to make them hover in mid-air. That's great! There's also an alternate pair of fists for The Spot, but those aren't as exciting as the portals.

Perhaps the most exciting thing about the Across the Spider-Verse figures is that they don't have any Build-A-Figure pieces, theoretically because these single-use animated bodies are expensive, but that means we don't have reason to buy characters doubled up from the first movie. Already got a Miles and a Gwen? Well good news, you can leave them on the peg and not worry about it! I've wanted a figure of The Spot for years, though, so no question he'd be one to get.

-- 04/24/23

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