Investigating: Has Peter Parker Gained More Muscle in Spider-Man 2? A Kotaku Report


Spider-Man 2, the highly anticipated sequel to Insomniac Games’ blockbuster 2018 action-adventure game, is out today, October 20. And though there’s plenty to be said about the impossibly fast fast-travel, the fantastic opening scene, and the story thus far, there’s one thing that I can’t get off my mind: Peter Parker’s muscles.

When I played through Spider-Man 2’s opening scene, which frequently has Peter and Miles Morales fighting side-by-side, I noticed that the former seemed more beefed up than in the original game. And I’m not alone: The replies in my post on X (formerly Twitter) wondering if Peter got on that protein grind are full of people remarking on his physique.

The term “caked up” is being thrown around, and not just when he’s in that skin-tight suit. Even when he’s not wearing the Spider-Man costume, Peter boasts a neck so thick he looks like a WWE wrestler. There’s certainly at least the illusion of a buffed-up Peter, but is this just the result of the sequel being a PS5-only release, and therefore able to make the most of the current-gen consoles graphical rendering power?

Or perhaps Insomniac, knowing that there are more tag-team fights in the sequel, decided to make Peter a bit thicker so you could better delineate between him and Miles mid-battle. Maybe Peter, despite struggling to keep a job, clean his recently deceased Aunt’s house, and otherwise live a well-balanced life, decided to up his creatine intake and start meal-prepping some ground turkey and rice.

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But speculation without proof is irresponsible, especially for a journalist. So I tried to prove that Peter Parker is more muscular in Spider-Man 2 than he is in the original game. I’m an amateur weight-lifter myself, and I can recognize when a lat spread looks decidedly more spread-y than previous versions. But that’s not enough—I asked other journalists who are experts in the field (“a real twink to twunk moment IMO,” said io9’s James Whitbrook, who noticed Peter’s neck and chest definition the most). I texted an ex who once chided me for not mixing creatine into my diet. I pored over a video comparing the visuals from the first and second games, lingering far too long on his gluteal fold. That last one helped me see the differences in Peter’s base costume (color changes, adjustments to patterns, etc.) as well as the slight changes to his body, which could be the result of him aging, spending more time as Spider-Man rather than Peter, or a new workout regimen.

Screenshot: Nick930 / Insomniac / Sony / Kotaku

Here’s what I noticed. His neck is definitely thicker, which could be the result of an increase in weighted shrugs (both dumbbell and Kirk) and/or weighted neck extensions. His lat spread, or latissimus dorsi (which covers the width of your middle and lower back), is definitely larger and more defined, likely the result of lat pull downs and/or pull-ups.

Peter Parker’s cupcake in Spider-Man 1 and his actual cake in Spider-Man 2.
Screenshot: Nick930 / Insomniac / Sony / Kotaku

Most importantly, his butt and hamstrings are more defined and juicy, which could be thanks to Romanian deadlifts, sumo squats, and/or glute bridges. The fact that he’s a superhero likely contributes to him having a far easier time gaining and toning muscle than your average person—though you will definitely see some results if you start mixing the aforementioned workouts into your daily routine. You’re welcome.

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I reached out to Insomniac Games for comment regarding Peter’s physique, but did not receive a response in time for publication. Despite this, I can say with some confidence that Spider-Man 2’s Peter Parker is a bit more of a beefcake than he was in the previous game. Case closed. I’ll await my Pulitzer.



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