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Star Signs: Into the Spider-Verse
In the beginning, there were alignments. Then there were Hogwarts Houses. And then there was BDE.
When it comes to judging your favorite characters, these are all very fine and worthy metrics, but isn’t it time we went back to the metrics that mattered? You know, the stars?
With their hands determinedly covering up the birthdates of your favorite characters, FANGRRLS Clare and Sara set out to assign star signs to all your faves, one franchise at a time.
This edition, we travel INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE.
Sara: Gwen definitely has all that Libra charm and then some, but also that esoteric sense of humor they’re known for. She’s concerned about helping other people, but she’s the most likely to achieve excellence fighting crime while posing for the camera.
Clare: It’s impossible to take a bad photo of Spider-Gwen. Also, she’s the avenging angel of the marginalized fridged, which is seriously awesome.
Sara: She is! In our reality, she pretty much only served as a semi-perfect girlfriend type who was pretty much the definition of a fridged character. She 100% existed in context to Peter Parker, and he glorified her to saintlike proportions in his mind. Meanwhile, Spider-Gwen swings in as essentially the Gwen who was never reduced to this single tragic moment. She’s the Gwen that gets to be the hero, and that is why she is the best.
MILES MORALES: LIBRA
Clare: Two Libras in a row? Yes, yes, I know, but Gwen and Miles represent two people at very different points in the journey of a Libra. Whereas Gwen literally and emotionally brings balance to the table, that balance is something Miles is still struggling to find in Into The Spider-Verse.
Sara: Miles is still doing that Libra thing and trying to surround himself with people he looks up to. Libras are kind of the best at surrounding themselves with an aspirational crew. Also, that Libra tendency to just want to coast through life on their charm but being forced to learn that they, unfortunately, must back it up with talent and tenacity is… basically the plot of Into The Spider-Verse.
Clare: Ugh, that’s so real. Libras also tend towards admiring older figures. Obviously, Miles is a young man looking for role models in life, as well as a young cape needing a mentor, so he looks up to his dad, Spider-Man, and his Uncle Aaron in different ways.
Sara: Poor Miles, Peter Parker is your role model.
Clare: We do not aspire to crying in the shower with pizza, Miles! That’s just real life!
DOCTOR OLIVIA OCTAVIUS: ARIES
Clare: While communing with the cosmos over this (i.e., having a chat), Sara and I knew Liv was a fire sign, but dithered between Sagittarius and Aries. True, Liv’s all-out assault on scientific ethics feels like a classic evil Lady Sag move, but Liv lacks the classic focused aggression of the lady Sag, as in the "eff you and specifically you" energy of, say, a Carol Danvers.
Sara: But she does not lack the chaotic energy or the sheer ruthlessness of a work-obsessed Aries.
Clare: Yup. That turn in the lab where she goes from lovably daffy professor to menacing tentacled badass? That’s a visual representation of what happens in the brain of an Aries when they get onto the thing that is their thing. In this case, evil science and vanquishing the Spider-Man.
Sara: So, she’s probably an Aries, formerly in love with Aunt May, and we’ll talk more about that in about three entries.
PETER B PARKER: LEO
Clare: Even though Peter B. Parker is meant to be Earth-616 Petey, he’s a lot different from Comics-Spidey.
Sara: I feel like Peter Parker is a Cancer but Spider-Man is a Leo. So basically he’s a Leo with a Cancer moon. Probably Sagitarrius rising. This guy is all over the place, but at least he means well.
Clare: I think this comes out most in how he improvises? Comics-Spidey tends to improvise with a kind of tense, anxious energy (think “INSTINCTS BAD!” — one of my favorite Spidey panels of all time), whereas Petey B. kind of… just rolls with his improv, even if he’s wrong or if it’s bad. There’s a coasting energy there that I associate with the Leo man, which usually expresses in some kind of jerk behavior, but here balances out really nicely. Probably because he is the most intensely relatable superhero I’ve encountered so far in my many travels.
Sara: Clare is Leo rising.
Clare: Ah, Leo rising, the Diet Coke to Leo’s Pepsi.
Sara: I feel like Peter is a great Leo because he had to be actively shown to care about other people through tragedy. I’m not saying that Leos can only learn to use their forces for good through blatant moral parables, but that is exactly what I’m saying.
MARY JANE WATSON: TAURUS
Clare: One of my absolute favorite comic panels is a classic Spider-Man panel featuring Peter and Mary Jane dancing. Mary Jane tells Peter that their song is playing, and Peter is just like, “Wait, when did 'Kung Fu Fighting' become our song?” This miiiiight be Photoshopped—I first came across it back in the days of demotivational posters, children ask your parents about the ancient Internet—but it feels right, you know?
Sara: One time Peter yelled angrily at MJ and accused her of not having any feelings and MJ still stuck around and let him vent because she knew it was just his grief talking, and that is one of the most Taurus moments ever have I read.
Clare: Peter Parker has made a lot of mistakes, but Mary Jane is still there for him. She’s very loyal, believes in him, and is remarkably chill about his behavior. If she’s freaking out on any level, she’s playing it real close to the chest.
Sara: If anyone should be freaking out, it’s Mary Jane Watson.
Clare: Now, I’m not a particular devotee of the comics, but how much about Mary Jane do we really know? Or is she that kind of a girl that you spent an entire party talking to and have a GREAT time, only to realize you have no idea what her last name is and it takes, like, a year to update the contact from “MJ New Year’s Eve” to “MJ Watson”? She is cool and inviting but also… very mysterious.
Sara: What I know of Tauruses is that they love to tell anecdotes that inform people of random weird things they’ve experienced but not that much about their own inner workings, and that is certainly a connecting thread between all the Mary Jane Watsons across all of space and time.
AUNT MAY: SAGITTARIUS
Clare: Comics!May is a bit more of a dear old biddy whose biggest vice is occasionally sleeping with Doc Ock. Sweet, kind, would never hurt a fly, giggles a little too much at whatever Otto’s up to, you know?
Sara: Nope. I refuse to know.
Clare: It is too late, the knowledge is already within you. But, naturally, we’re both most drawn to Lily Tomlin’s Aunt May in Into the Spider-Verse, because she does not give ONE SINGLE EFF, the defining characteristic of the Sag woman.
Sara: Spider-Verse May is still a great parental guardian and in fact probably a better one than comics May because you can tell that she was a wine mom and also way less concerned with whether or not her nephew happened to be Spider-Man. In fact, she was extremely supportive, which I would chalk up to the Sagittarius trait of not caring that much.
Clare: “You’re a teen vigilante, Peter? Oh, great, I was already digging a cave in the backyard anyway, let’s design some suits.” Her being a Sag explains why she and Liv had such an acrimonious breakup that the words “Hey, Liv” make me go “oh, snap, someone’s in TROUBLE.”
Sara: Liv, what did your foolish Aries self do to Aunt May, and how are you going to let go of your pride long enough to make it up to her? A question only archiveofourown.org can answer.
Clare: HOW ARE THERE ONLY 32 FICS FOR THIS?!
THE PROWLER: CAPRICORN
Clare: Capricorns often serve as right hand people. In this case, Aaron clearly sees being the Prowler as a job—it’s a means to an end. Yes, he is working for “the bad guys,” but as long as the ultimate moral decision is in someone else’s hands, he’s fine. It’s only when that comes face to face with Miles that he starts to let himself engage with that responsibility.
Sara: Capricorns are well known for being super-responsible, but they can also just kind of shrug off moral and emotional obligations at will if they don’t feel inclined towards them.
Sara: Jessica Drew, you are a goddess of empathy. Even in the early days, most of Spider-Woman’s stories and appearances featured her glowering distrustfully at everyone else from a corner, one single tear rolling down her cheek. What could be more Cancer than that?
Clare: I’m in awe.
Sara: She attached to Carol Danvers during their days in the Avengers, and, wow, they sure were a great match (couple, probably, again I direct you to archiveofourown.org). Later, when it was randomly revealed that one of her unknown powers was empathy, she just kind of shrugged and said, “well, that figures” while literally empathizing with a living bomb.
Clare: Very Cancer—"oh, was that actually a superpower the whole time? I guess."
Sara: Though she does end up in fights a lot, her love for privacy, her paranoia, the conviction that nobody really loves her like she loves them, and the fact that she will empathize her way out of pretty much any fight all point to our girl being a Cancer.
Sara: I feel like Eddie is a Pisces because he just kind of lets resentment build up in his heart until it literally manifests in the form of a symbiotic monster. This transformation will be relatable to many Pisces.
Clare: Sometimes you’re just so resentful that you become a homing beacon for rebellious space goo babes. Happens to the best of us. Or maybe he’s a Pisces because… Pisces is two fish. This is an art, not a science, but sometimes things are right there in front of you.
Sara: Just two fish with their tails tied together, in love with themselves, like any Pisces.
Clare: Tails, tentacles—what’s the difference? Also, I just gotta say: that Eminem song is exactly what you need after that movie. Especially after two margaritas.
Sara: Silk wasn’t in the Spider-Verse, but hopefully she’ll be in the sequel because her comic is kind of the best. Silk might have made some mistakes in life, but her seriousness in holding herself fully accountable for them is definitely a Virgo trait. However great she is, she’ll always chastise herself for not being just a little bit better.
Clare: Silk, it’s okay! You don’t have to be Batman! It’s the Marvel Universe, nobody has to be Batman!
Sara: Please don’t be Batman! Just be Silk. Silk is amazing. Truly one of the greats among the Spider-People. Besides, her willingness to step in and take responsibility genuinely sets her apart even in the somewhat self-flagellating universe of the Spider-Folk.