Wait, who the heck was that bodega lady in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse?

Spider-Man: About the Spider-Versethe highly anticipated sequel to the 2018 Oscar-winning animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, is finally here. The next chapter in Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy’s multidimensional adventure is packed with Spider-Man variants from the character’s rich and storied history, from Miguel O’Hara (aka Spider-Man 2099, voiced by Oscar Isaac) to Jessica Drew (Spider-Woman, voiced by Issa Rae) and more.

In one of the movie’s biggest curveballs, it jumps into a trend started by Spider-Man: no way home, by including cameos from several live-action Spider-Man characters – but one of them seems completely bizarre unless you’ve actually seen the movie it’s from.

[Ed. note: The rest of this post contains spoilers for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.]

Image: Sony Pictures

About the Spider-Verse has a cameo with a 2018 character venom and that of 2021 Venom: Let there be carnage, just not the one you might think. No, neither Eddie Brock nor Venom popped their heads in to say hello during the movie, but their favorite local bodega owner, Ms. Chen (played by Peggy Lu), did.

Who is Mrs. Chen?

(L-R) Venom (Tom Hardy) threatens a burglar in front of Ms. Chen (Peggy Lu) in Venom.

Image: Sony Pictures

During the scene where the Spot (Jason Schwartzman) discovers he can move between universes at will, he pokes his Looney Tunes-style head into a plethora of different Spider-Man settings. And one such institution is Ms. Chen’s bodega in all its live-action… glory?

For those who haven’t seen it either venom or Venom: Let there be carnage, here is the short and sweet explanation. Mrs. Chen is the owner of a convenience store in San Francisco’s Chinatown neighborhood. In venom, Eddie and Venom rescued her from a gunman who tried to extort her for protection money, after which she became a friend and ally of the duo. Mrs. Chen reappears inside Venom: Let there be carnage – this time the Venom symbiote temporarily used her as a host after feuding with Eddie Brock. Convinced by Eddie’s ex-fiancée Anne (Michelle Williams), Venom eventually left Ms. Chen’s body to return to Eddie and help him fight Carnage.

It doesn’t exactly fit the definition of “deep cut,” but for audiences who’ve never seen Sony’s line of Spider-Man-related offshoots like venom or Morbius, it will probably be beyond you. Will Eddie Brock and Venom actually appear at some point in Miles’ adventures? We’ll have to wait Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse to hit theaters March 29, 2024, to find out.