‘Across the Spider-Verse': Who Is Spider-Man India, Pavitr Prabhakar? (2024)

By Shreejit Nair

Updated

It's tea, not "chai tea"!

‘Across the Spider-Verse': Who Is Spider-Man India, Pavitr Prabhakar? (1)

Editor's Note: The following may contain spoilers for 'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse'

The Big Picture

  • Pavitr Prabhakar, an alternate version of Spider-Man, joins Gwen and Miles in their search for a potential threat in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. He brings a distinct Indianized flavor to the superhero role, with his own unique background and supporting characters.
  • Pavitr Prabhakar's origin story mirrors Peter Parker's, with the loss of a loved one teaching him the importance of responsibility. He faces off against Nalin Oberoi, who becomes a version of Doctor Octopus, and ultimately saves his aunt and love interest Meera Jain.
  • In Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Pavitr Prabhakar is a member of the Spider Society and displays enthusiasm and style in his role as Spider-Man. His Indian heritage is showcased through his traditional clothing and accessories, adding diversity and flavor to the Spider-Verse.

As Gwen Stacy (voiced by Hailee Steinfeld) and Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) find themselves in the city of Mumbhattan — a city on Earth-50101 based on Mumbai and Manhattan — in search of a potentially havoc-wreaking anomaly in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, they come across the newest Spider-Man to be added to the roster of characters — Pavitr Prabhakar, an alternate take on Earth-616's Peter Parker. A truly Indianized iteration of the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, Pavitr Prabhakar made his debut appearance in Spider-Man: India #1 in January 2005. Voiced by Deadpool's Karan Soni in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Pavitr Prabhakar is new to the superhero life as he just got his superpowers six months back. While Pavitr Prabhakar's interaction with Miles and Gwen becomes an important turning point in the latest Spider-Verse film, the newly introduced Spider-Man has an interesting background, one which is familiar yet distinctively unique.

‘Across the Spider-Verse': Who Is Spider-Man India, Pavitr Prabhakar? (2)
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Animation

Superhero

Action

Adventure

Miles Morales catapults across the Multiverse, where he encounters a team of Spider-People charged with protecting its very existence. When the heroes clash on how to handle a new threat, Miles must redefine what it means to be a hero.

Release Date
June 2, 2023
Director
Joaquim Dos Santos , Kemp Powers , Justin K. Thompson
Cast
Shameik Moore , Hailee Steinfeld , Oscar Isaac , Jake Johnson

Given his superpowers by an ancient yogi, Pavitr Prabhakar retains the overall legacy of the comic book character but also emerges as a distinct character standing (or swinging) on his own. His name's phonetic similarity to Peter Parker is no coincidence. The journey of Pavitr Prabhakar heavily draws from his original inspiration as he struggles to manage the newly-bestowed responsibility of being a superhero. His journey is supported by characters such as Uncle Bhim (inspired by Uncle Ben), Aunt Maya (inspired by Aunt May), and Meera (inspired by Mary Jane) while he goes through the well-known character arc of the Marvel superhero. However, while operating on terrain familiar to Spider-Man fans, the character seems to bring a lot more to the Spider-Verse.

Pavitr Prabhakar's Comic Book History

‘Across the Spider-Verse': Who Is Spider-Man India, Pavitr Prabhakar? (3)

The origin story of Earth-50101's Spider-man runs back to the time when a young Pavitr Prabhakar, a poor boy who lived in a village in India, moved to the bustling city of Mumbhattan with his Aunt Maya and Uncle Bhim. Having lost his parents a few years ago, Pavitr found solace in the company of his kind aunt and uncle. At school, he faced a tough time at the hands of the bullies who teased him. A character inspired by Mary Jane from Earth-616, Meera Jain befriends Pavitr. Things took a turn for worse for Earth-50101 when a local crime lord, Nalin Oberoi, used an amulet to perform an ancient ritual and got possessed by a demon who wished to lead an invasion on Earth.

An ancient yogi (sage) chooses Pavitr Prabhakar to rid Earth of the evils perpetrated by Nalin Oberoi. From thereon, his character suffers a similar tragedy as that experienced by Peter Parker when he loses his uncle after he tries saving a lady who was being attacked by goons and whose cries for help were ignored by Pavitr earlier. Similar to Peter Parker's journey, this canon event pushed Pavitr to realize that great power comes with great responsibility (yes, we've heard this before).

What Villains Does Pavitr Prabhakar Fight?

‘Across the Spider-Verse': Who Is Spider-Man India, Pavitr Prabhakar? (4)

While Pavitr Prabhakar discovers the true burden of being a hero, he also ends up becoming the target of Nalin Oberoi, who, back in human form, has turned his doctor into a version of Doctor Octopus. Although this Doctor Ock also fails much like his American inspiration, Spider-man becomes a menacing figure in the newspapers. After failing once, Nalin kidnaps Aunt Maya and Meera Jain in hopes of luring Pavitr out. He then goes on to betray his ally, Doctor Ock, by blasting him away. The final showdown follows Spider-Man battling it out with Oberoi, who allows Aunt Maya and Meera Jain to fall. While Spider-Man happens to save his aunt, Doc Ock ends up saving Meera after the betrayal by Oberoi makes him have a change of heart.

Different storylines from the original comics merge at this instance in Pavitr Prabhakar's storyline. As Oberoi rids himself of Doc Ocks' presence, he ends up using his amulet to convert Spider-man with the help of a Venom-like creature. Sticking to the memory of his heroic uncle, Pavitr manages to keep the demon away, breaking the link Oberoi shares with the demons. In the end, Oberoi returns to his human form. Thus, much like Bollywood movies, Pavitr Prabhakar's Spider-Man origin story comes to a happy ending with him uniting with the love of his life, Meera Jain.

What Is Pavitr Prabhakar's Role in 'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse'?

Gwen Stacy and Miles Morales come across Pavitr Prabhakar, as they reach Mumbhattan on Earth-50101, tailing the primary antagonist of the film, The Spot (voiced by Jason Schwartzman), who's eager to get his hands on a collider located in Mumbhattan. He is a member of Miguel O'Hara's (voiced by Oscar Isaac) Spider Society, an elite society of Spider-People and the protectors of the Spider-Verse. A Spidey clearly in love with his job, he quickly notices the brewing chemistry between Gwen and Miles and points it out without holding back his observation. The interesting setting of Mumbhattan, combined with the refreshing take extended through Pavitr Prabhakar, definitely makes Spider-Man India an exciting addition to the Spider-Verse.

As per his own introduction to Miles and Gwen in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, it has been only six months since he has been carrying out his responsibilities as Spider-Man, making it clear that the aforementioned events are of recent nature and he's yet to settle into the superhero lifestyle, as clearly evidenced by his enthusiasm. Possibly the most stylish of the Spider-People present across the Spider-Verse (of course, after Spider-Punk, voiced by Daniel Kaluuya), thanks to his amazingly wavy hair, Pavitr Prabhakar's look in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse comprises a traditional Indian dhoti and a metal armband that he puts to use during the action sequences as something similar to a yo-yo.

As established earlier by his introductory teaser, Pavitra Prabhakar stands to add a lot more flavor and diversity to the Spider-Verse while also sharing a few more lessons on the correct terminology for Indian food items. With his chirpy demeanor and easy-going nature, fans would definitely love to see more of this desi Spider-Man in future Spider-Verse movies. Maybe, given the right treatment, he will be able to manage a bigger role in the future. Going by his stint in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Pavitr Prabhakar from Mumbhattan definitely seems capable of it.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is now streaming on Netflix in the U.S.

Watch on Netflix

‘Across the Spider-Verse': Who Is Spider-Man India, Pavitr Prabhakar? (2024)
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