After a few years off of the big screen, Spider-Man makes his return July 3rd with an all-new cast. This new Spider-Man stays closer to the comics in certain ways. Peter invents his own web shooters. More importantly, his first love is Gwen Stacy. Still, it’s a difficult thing to make a Spider-Man movie. You have half a century of stories and continuity to draw upon. So, in honor of that storied history, here are our favorite Spider-Man comic book moments.
Cool Costume, Bro: Peter Parker gets a cool new black costume…then it turns him into a jerk and creates Venom.
Spider-Island: Genetically engineered bedbugs give everyone in New York spider powers.
The Death of Peter Parker: Because it’s not the actual main continuity of the comics, Spider-Man’s death has to be an honorable mention. The death of Peter Parker in Ultimate Spider-Man is as audacious as comics can get. The fact that Miles Morales is a worthy successor shows how gifted Brian Michael Bendis is as a writer.
5. The Rhino Reluctantly Returns
In The Gauntlet arc’s most poignant story, we catch up with The Rhino, Aleksei Sytsevich. In the last decade, he turned himself in, and even removed his super-powered costume. After serving a short prison sentence due to good behavior, he was released. Throughout, he refused invitations from criminals. After, he found love with a waitress named Oksana, and the two married and moved upstate. They lived happily ever after. Until the New Rhino tried to kill Aleksei. Aleksei, still on the straight and narrow, enlisted Spider-Man’s help against the New Rhino. No matter, New Rhino still killed Oksana. With nothing to live for, Aleksei again donned the Rhino costume to avenge her and kill the New Rhino. It’s as heart-breaking as comics can get.
4. Brand New Day
Think about Spider-Man for a second. Chances are you think of him as he was in the movies, or in the cartoons. He’s a young bachelor with a secret identity, unlucky in love, and never with a job. By the mid-2000s, Peter Parker was married to Mary Jane, and everyone knew that he was Spider-Man. There was no secret. In this controversial storyline, the Spider-Man creative team reset the Spider-Man universe, making him a bachelor again through a literal deal with the devil.
3. The Clone Saga Ends
After more than a year of stories, the Clone Saga, widely known as the greatest debacle in Spider-Man history, finally ended in 1996 after a series of increasingly baffling and silly twists. In this, Peter Parker discovers that he has a clone, that he is a clone, and that he’s not a clone. Confused yet? Later, it turns out a long dead Norman Osborn was behind it all. Ouch.
2. Amazing Fantasy #15
Everything that’s true to Peter Parker’s character was right here at the beginning. In 22 pages, Stan Lee introduced us to the world’s greatest super-hero. We got the spider bite, the webs, Uncle Ben’s shooting, and “With great power comes great responsibility.”
1. The Night Gwen Stacy Died
Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin, finds out that Peter Parker is Spider-Man, so he decides to take Parker’s girlfriend, Gwen Stacy, to the top of the George Washington Bridge. When Spider-Man arrives, the Goblin throws her off the bridge. Pete shoots a web and catches her. When he holds her, he realizes she’s dead. The force of being caught by the web had given her whiplash and snapped her neck. Never has the “Great power/great responsibility theme” been hit home more.
What's your favorite Spider-Man moment?