The 10 Spider-Man Stories You Need to Read

The 10 Spider-Man Stories You Need to Read

Out of all of Marvel’s characters, there’s one that has constantly stood the test of time as one of the greatest comic book heroes of all time. For over 50 years, Spider-Man has been bringing joy to readers with his unique powers, terrible jokes, and incredible stories. Choosing only ten was a hard task, but here are the Spider-Man stories that you need to read.

 

#10 Venom (Ultimate Spider-Man #33)

Venom was a great villain back when he was first introduced in Amazing Spider-Man #299 in the 80s. In the 90s however, Venom became more of a boring, one-dimensional villain that was constantly trying to do more and more “edgy” things.

The villain got a much-needed reboot in Brian Michael Bendis’ Ultimate Spider-Man series. Weaving the creation of Venom into Peter’s parents gave subtle hints that their deaths may or may not have been an accident. Venom himself was also written better. Bendis decided to focus more on the similarities between Venom and Spider-Man, instead of the differences, which made Venom feel like a deeper character and a darker mirror image to Spidey.

 

 

 

#9 The Green Goblin Unmasked (Amazing Spider-Man #39-40)

One of Peter Parker’s worst fears came true in Amazing Spider-Man #39. The Green Goblin had figured out his secret identity not by some overly complicated and unnecessary plan, but by disabling his Spider-sense following him home.

After the Goblin captures Peter and brings him back to his lair to kill him, he reveals himself to be Norman Osborne.

This and the following issue changed the dynamic between not only Spider-Man and the Green Goblin, but also for all superheroes and super villains. Before then, no one had explored heroes and villains knowing each other’s identities.

 

 

 

#8 If This Be My Destiny (Amazing Spider-Man #31-33)

The first of Spider-Man’s story arcs is also one of his most classic tales.

Peter while starting college, and worrying about a sick Aunt May in the hospital, also must track down a nuclear arms dealer.

Eventually Peter finds out that May is dying and it might be because of him. This makes him go on a rampage in order to find a cure, leading to the Master Planner’s underwater base. This leads to one of the most iconic Spider-Man images, him buried under tons of metal with the cure to Aunt May’s sickness just out of reach as water slowly enters in the room.

If This Be My Destiny is also noteworthy as it has the first appearances of his soon to be best friend Harry Osborne, and first love Gwen Stacy.

 

#7 The Death of Jean DeWolff (Spectacular Spider-Man #107-110)Spectacular-1-109-_The-Death-of-Jean-DeWolff-Part-Three_-He-Who-is-Without-Sin_

Superhero vigilantes are usually shown in a bright way. In a world of black and white, they’re always shown to be in the right.

The Death of Jean DeWolff took this ideal that readers had about Spider-Man and turned it on its head.

A new villain known as Sin Eater has murdered one of Spidey’s friends on the NYPD and Spidey goes on a rampage to find the killer. Eventually Daredevil teams up with him to help in his investigation.

The Death of Dewolff is only the beginning of this four-part murder mystery story arch. It shows that even a bright and comical hero such as Spider-Man can sometimes be incapable of handling his emotions when pushed too far.

The story also deepens the friendship between Spider-Man and Daredevil by having them reveal their secret identities to each other.

 

 

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#6 Spider-Man Blue (Spider-Man Blue #1-6)

Jeph Loeb did a series of Marvel titles named after colours that depicted early moments in their superhero “careers.”

Spider-Man Blue takes place on Valentine’s Day and has Peter Parker reminiscing on his relationship with Gwen Stacy. While recording his memories of their history together, he recounts how they met and how he slowly fell in love with her.

The story is incredibly emotional and still shows that even after all this time that Peter still cares for his first love.

 

 

 

 

#5 Spider-Man No More (The Amazing Spider-Man #50)stl-spiderman-fbc

Comics often romanticize the idea of being a super hero. Having super powers, saving citizens and being adored by the public are just a few of the tropes that most heroes have.

Stan Lee instead twisted the idea and made Peter Parker’s social life suffer while he was off being Spider-Man. Things also got worse as J. Jonah Jameson’s smear campaign against him really effected the public’s opinion of the wall crawler.

Eventually Peter Parker had enough of saving people who didn’t respect him and for letting his grades, and family suffer, so he gave up being Spider-Man. Eventually Peter comes to his senses and picks up the iconic red, blue, and black suit again.

Though not the last time Peter would try and give up being a superhero, this was the only time that it’s been done so well.

 

#4 The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man (The Amazing Spider-Man #248)

ASM-248The Amazing Spider-Man #248 tells the story of Tim Harrison, a young boy who the Daily Bugle has dubbed “The Ultimate Fan of Spider-Man.” He has clipping from every single Spider-Man story, including all of the retractions.

One night, Spider-Man arrives in his room and the two of them talk about his history as Spider-Man.

The boy eventually asks if Spider-Man could reveal his secret identity to him, and much to the shock of readers he does. He also tells Tim the story of how he became Spider-Man.

As Spider-Man swings away, it is shown that Tim is in a centre for terminally ill patients and the article from the Daily Bugle reveals that his last wish is to meet Spider-Man before he succumbs to leukaemia in a few days.
The Boy Who Collects Spider-Man is a fantastic and heartbreaking story. It shows that even with all of his powers and all of the people he’s saved, he can’t do a single thing to save someone who believes so much in him.

 

Spidey-Kravens-Last-Hunt-300x461#3 Kraven’s Last Hunt

(Web of Spider-Man #31-32, The Amazing Spider-Man #293-294, Spectacular Spider-Man #131-132)

One of the darkest Spider-Man stories ever is Kraven’s Last Hunt. Tired of constantly being bested by Spider-Man, Kraven the Hunter tries one final time to defeat the “ultimate prey.” Instead of coming up with a typically elaborate and unnecessary plan, he simply shoots Spider-Man with a tranquilizer, and buries him alive.

Spider-Man awakens two weeks later and finds out that Kraven has been dressing up as him and brutally fighting criminals. He then goes to confront Kraven in his home to which he doesn’t fight back as he’s already won. He’s proven that he is the better Spider-Man and that he had defeated him.

Kraven then lets loose the C-list villain Vermin for Spider-Man to chase after. What follows next is one of the most shocking and unexpected scenes in all of comics.

Kraven’s Last Hunt is an incredibly dark tale that explores the idea of what a villain would do once they’ve defeated their biggest enemy.

 

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#2 Amazing Fantasy #15

Yes, the original story that started the long legacy of Spider-Man is still one of the best.

Originally forgotten after his story in Amazing Fantasy #15, sales figures soon rose for it and fan outcry led Stan Lee’s editor to make him give Spider-Man his own title.

In only a few pages at the end of the book, Lee told one of the most iconic, heart filled, and tragic backstories about a nerdy teenager that would become of the greatest superheroes of all time.

 

 

 

#1 The Night Gwen Stacy Died (The Amazing Spider-Man #121-122)AmazingSpider-Man122
This two issue Spider-Man story was the turning point in comics. It started the end of the Silver Age, and was the catalyst for other comics to get darker towards the Bronze Age.

Norman Osborne forgot Spider-Man’s identity following the events of The Green Goblin Unmasked, but soon regained his memory and kidnapped Gwen Stacy.

When Spider-Man arrived to the meeting point on the top of Brooklyn Bridge, The Green Goblin threw her off of it. In order to save her in time, Spider-Man shot a web out that caught her before she hit the water, but the force was so great that he accidentally snapped her neck.

Spider-Man then tracks the Goblin down again and savagely beats him in complete rage, but can’t kill him. The Goblin then triggers his glider to impale Spider-Man, but he dodges it at the last moment, having it kill The Goblin instead.

Gwen Stacy’s death was absolutely shocking to readers at the time it came out. Until then, no huge characters in comics really died. It showed that absolutely no one was safe in comics. It also forever impacted Peter Parker’s life as it made him more aware of his actions as Spider-Man and what repercussions it could cause towards his loved ones.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Movie) Review

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Movie) Review

I love Spider-Man. Like so many kids, the character was my introduction to superheroes and Stan Lee may as well have designed him as the gateway Marvel hero. He’s a dorky kid who’s secretly a superhero and whose daily life is filled with failure, flubs, and tragedy even though he approaches it with the same noble intentions as his crime fighting. Spider-Man is the original neurotic superhero, and in an age of Marvel blockbusters, it should be the easiest character to get right. Yet, we somehow live in a world where Captain America 2 feels like a classic while The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is as dull and mediocre of a superhero movie as you’re likely to see on the big screen. It makes no sense. Captain America should be nearly impossible to get right on screen while Spider-Man should be a bunt. However, we also live in an age where the folks who run Marvel Comics are also directly responsible for Marvel Studios film production while the folks behind the Amazing Spider-Man movies seem to have never read a comic in their lives and are making their movies purely because printing Spider-Man on a movie is an easy way to make a billion dollars. Sigh… How did this ever happen?

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We catch up with our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man doing what he does best, swinging around the city and beating up bad guys. In this particular case, the bad guy he’s beating up is a Russian mobster played by Paul Giamatti (if you’re wondering why, don’t because he essentially shows up for a cameo). From there we see that Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is still in love with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) and he still lives with his loving Aunt May (Sally Field), and he’s still trying to figure out what happened to his dead parents. All of these plotlines are sort of followed, and sort of not by the screenplay cranked out by four different writers who may or may not have even been in the same room while they were stitching this mess together. Most of the screen-time is dedicated to halfheartedly setting up two villains. The first is Jamie Foxx’s Electro, who starts as a nerdy and psychotic Spider-Man fan. It’s a clever idea for a villain’s origin story, and it doesn’t really matter that it ditches comics continuity given that Electro was always most memorable for his glam rock costume anyways. Regardless, all of that is dropped once he gets his superpowers and essentially turns into an electric version of Dr. Manhattan for some reason. Then Harry Osborne shows up, whom we learn was an incredibly important friend in Peter’s life even though he wasn’t even mentioned in the first movie. Of course, based on his haircut and the comics, TV series, and previous Spider-Man movies we know he’s going to turn into a certain goblin of a certain color. It doesn’t really matter though. The plot is just a hodgepodge of loosely connected scenes tossed together to set up the big moments for the trailer.

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The weird thing about these Amazing Spider-Man movies is how needlessly confused and convoluted they’ve turned out to be despite the fact that the hero at the center is the most simple in the Marvel Universe. Marc Webb and co. continue to do narrative backflips to set up some pointless conspiracy plot tying Peter’s dead parents into the origin of the radioactive spider, despite the fact that it adds absolutely nothing to the mythology. Now, there’s nothing wrong with changing and massaging source material for a film adaptation. In fact, that’s what should be done. However, when you change things around just for the sake of making changes without any thought or reason then it’s a problem. The new backstories for Spider-Man and Electro do nothing except slow down a movie that is already perilously too long at 2.5 hours. Then in their place, material that would actually add to the story is sacrificed. Sally Field’s Aunt May has nothing to do despite being at the core of Spider-Man’s character. The Harry Osborne plot is so rushed that there’s no sense of betrayal or tragedy. The fact that Dane Chronicle Dehaan was a perfect choice for the role means nothing when he’s given so little to do (seriously, Dehaan’s haircut gets a more of character arc than Harry). This is a big messy movie made by people who don’t understand the appeal of Spider-Man and probably wouldn’t even bother seeing a Spider-Man movie if their name wasn’t in the credits. At a time when superhero movies are peaking, to waste one of the most iconic characters in the comic book medium is a tragedy for geeks everywhere.

And yet, much like its predecessor The Amazing Spider-Man 2 isn’t a complete disaster, which is perversely even worse than if it were. To explain, were this flick a Batman & Robin level turd, at least it would bomb and the world would cry foul. But it’s not. Andrew Garfield remains a perfectly cast Spider-Man who is able to communicate the charm, neurosis, tragedy, and power of the character even when the screenplay doesn’t. His pairing with Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy is dream casting and their scenes together have spark. When they share a certain iconic moment in the Peter Parker/Gwen Stacy story in this film, it has an emotional power in the moment, but doesn’t really work overall given that the story around that scene is such an awkward mess. Likewise, the special effects team was given a damn near limitless budget and deliver some fantastic Spider-Man slinging sequences. So, the casual superhero movie audience gets the most basic things they want from the movie, and that’ll be enough to make it a hit, even though most viewers won’t realize how much better it would be if the movie surrounding Garfield, Stone and Spider-Man was worthy of those elements.

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What’s most deeply frustrating about these two failed Amazing Spider-Man movies is the fact that they replaced a franchise that was already working (well, except for Spider-Man 3, but let’s just pretend that’s not a thing). Sam Raimi’s take on the wall crawler may have been a little too goofy and old fashioned for some people, but at least he knew and loved the mythology. His bright, colorful, and canonical Spider-Man movies pulled the cinematic superhero genre out of an era of dark shadowy comic book movies that were merely copying what Tim Burton did with Batman. Raimi’s Spider-Man series paved the way for the Marvel movie era. In theory, the franchise should be peaking right now in the centre of the superhero blockbuster renaissance. Instead, thanks to hiring director Marc Webb based purely on his last name (he’s said repeatedly in interviews that he had no interest in the franchise and signed on purely for the money/opportunity), The Amazing Spider-Man movies feel like relics of the 90s. They’re dogged by all of the problems that are no longer an issue in most superhero movies: too many villains, pointless celebrity stunt casting, poor writing, and a complete ignorance about the legacy of the character they’re representing. It’s a real shame because with Garfield and Stone at the centre these movies have potential that they consistently fail to reach. Hopefully one day Marvel Studios and Sony can work out a deal to return the prodigal son to his rightful home and give the fans the Spider-Man movie they deserve. These $300 million Spidey teases are getting tiresome. It’s time for the real thing.

 

KingPin Overtakes The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Game

KingPin Overtakes The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Game

A new trailer for Beenox’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 shows off one of Marvel’s most notorious villains, the KingPin. The KingPin looks much older than many of his previous iterations but has always portrayed himself as a less flashy villain.

Alongside KingPin’s reveal was some footage of Web Head beating the brains out of Green Goblin. When you add Kraven the Hunter, Electro, and classy feline Black Cat, it seems our wall crawler will be quite busy this time around.

Though the game is based on The Amazing Spider-Man 2 movie, there will be extra villains and story that the film won’t cover. The same happened in the last movie, where the video-game added more story to not only make the game longer but to expand the movie universe through other media.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 video-game comes out in North America on April 29th. The game will be available for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, iOS and Android. So chances are you have one of these devices. Also be sure to check out the movie which comes out on May 2nd.