Last week Sony announced what fans had all been hoping for, that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 is coming and will web-sling its way into theaters in the spring of 2022. Though that clearly means it will be some time before we are given any real details about the plot of the movie, it has already been revealed who the first alternate Spidey will be. Without further ado, we give you Takuya Yamashiro, the main protagonist from the Japanese Spider-Man television series from the 1970s.

The reveal comes courtesy of Into the Spider-Verse writer Phil Lord's official Twitter account, who after being contacted by a fan on Twitter offering to design the Japanese Spider-Man if he were to feature in the upcoming sequel, responded simply with:

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"He's designed!"

Though we have no idea how he will be introduced, or what exactly he will look like, it is encouraging to know that Into the Spider-Verse 2 will continue bringing audiences the more bizarre versions of our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man.

But, who exactly is the Japanese Spider-Man? Originally premiering in 1978 and running for 41 episodes, the Japanese Spider-Man series came from the same studio that gave us such beloved series' as Sailor Moon, Digimon and Dragon Ball. The series featured some of the more familiar Spider-Man iconography, but diverged massively in some areas, particularly the character's origin.

Instead of Peter Parker and the more recently introduced Miles Morales, the series follows young motorcycle racer Takuya Yamashiro who witnesses a UFO falling to Earth. The UFO happens to be a space warship cheekily named the Marveller, and Takuya calls in his space archeologist father, Dr. Hiroshi Yamashiro, to investigate the downed craft. Sadly, Hiroshi is killed upon finding the spaceship, with the incident also attracting the attention of Professor Monster and his evil Iron Cross Army, an alien group with plans to rule the universe.

After following his father to the Marveller, Takuya discovers Garia, the last surviving warrior of Planet Spider, an alien world that was destroyed by Professor Monster and his army. Garia explains that he was looking to find and defeat Professor Monster, but now needs someone to carry on the fight for him, and injects Takuya with some of his blood.

Rather than killing Takuya, the blood gives him spider-like powers, and as if that wasn't enough, Garia also gifts Takuya with a bracelet that can activate his costume, web-shooters and even controls the Marveller ship, which can of course transform into a giant battle robot called 'Leopardon'. Takuya takes on the name 'Spider-Man' and using his new gifts, must battle Professor Monster and his Iron Cross army to save the world.

You were warned that the origin diverges slightly.

The episodes featured many of the tropes that will be familiar to fans of the Power Rangers television series including lots of generic masked henchmen, martial arts fights and enemies who in the final act would transform into giant monsters, forcing Spider-Man to unleash his giant robot. So far, it sounds perfect for the Spider-Verse treatment. This news comes direct from producer Phil Lord.

Jon Fuge at Movieweb
Jon Fuge