The ‘42’ Easter Egg: What Does ‘42’ Mean in The Spider-Verse?

Easter eggs are nothing new, especially when it comes to superhero movies adapted from its comic book counterparts, and Sony’s Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is no different.

In this case, you might be wondering why Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse keep on referencing this specific number, 42, but most prominently in the sequel. Well, read on to find out!

WARNING: This article contains MAJOR SPOILERS for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, so READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!

What Does ‘42’ Mean in The Spider-Verse? Explained

What Does ‘42’ Mean in The Spider-Verse? Explained
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Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse practically shoved the number ‘42’ into its audience’s eyes as it was plastered across the big screen from the very beginning.

It was marked on the spider that bit Miles Morales, and even on the very sidewalk he fell on. Well, there’s one good explanation for that, according to the Spider-Verse sequel.

How Miles Morales Turned into Spider-Man: Earth-42 Spider

As it turned out, the spider that bit Miles came from a different dimension, Earth-42, as first revealed by The Spot when he explained it was the boy’s fault he turned into the villain in the first place.

Apparently, the spider came from Osborn Industries laboratory where Norman Osborn was attempting to create something to cure diseases. Well, it escaped into Miles’ Earth-1610 universe somehow and bit the 15-year-old, transforming him into the only Spider-Man in his reality.

Miles Morales’ Co-Creator Confirms What 42 Is Referencing

The Spider-Verse films reflected what the comics created: 42 was Miles’ winning number when his name was picked off the lottery to enter Brooklyn Visions Academy (via Polygon).

Back in a 2014 blog post, the co-creator of Miles Morales, Brian Michael Bendis, answered a fan query of whether 42 was to reference pioneering baseball player Jackie Robinson’s jersey number, Bendis responded:

“It’s either that or someone who wrote the book is a huge Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy fan… or both :-)”

RELATED: Is Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse A Box Office Hit Or A Flop?

Spider-Verse Creator Explains ‘42’ Easter Eggs in Sony Films

One of the Spider-Verse film creators, Christopher Miller, confirmed that 42 had something similar of a mix between the canon comic books and with what the Miles co-creator said.

Miller tweeted back in 2020 on what 42 was based on in the Spider-Verse franchise, which you can check out below:

“Yes, the 42 at the beginning was the lottery ball that got Miles into Visions Academy. 42 and Miles have a lot of synergy.”

Not to mention, it was also in honor of Jackie Robinson, the first African American Major League Baseball player, who is similar to Miles — with Jackie as a Black superhero in baseball whereas Miles is a Black superhero in his own Spider-Man comics.

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ALSO READ: Is Miles Morales The Strongest Spider-Man in The Spider-Verse?

Why Is ‘42’ Important in the Spider-Verse? Explained

Why Is ‘42’ Important in the Spider-Verse? Explained
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Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment

At the ending of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, when Miles thought he was finally getting back home to Earth-1610, he found himself in a reality where Spider-Man never existed.

It was corrupted, the city had no color, and his dad’s face was plastered on the wall based on a graffiti his Uncle Aaron made to commemorate him. Miles’ father was dead in that universe.

And the universe? Well, it happens to be Earth-42, where the spider that turned him into Spider-Man was located.

The portal took him there instead of his home in Earth-1610 because of what was being carried through his blood vessels – the spider’s DNA from Earth-42.

And it is in Earth-42 where he saw his other version, the Miles who turned into the ‘Prowler’ instead of the Spider-Man he has come to know himself today.

Everything Miles did, from winning the lottery to enroll in Visions Academy to getting to write his own story as the superhero of Earth-1610 — everything had the ‘42’ marked all over it.

As for what ‘42’ becomes once Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse releases, well, we’ll be sure to keep an eye out for when the easter egg returns.

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