Celebrate the Wall-Crawler’s 60th anniversary with these fan-favorite stories, decade-defining runs, and pivotal moments in Spider-Man history!
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In August of 1962, the world met Peter Parker, “Midtown High’s only professional wallflower.” Across eleven pages in this groundbreaking issue from co-creators Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, an introverted kid from Queens grew into the Amazing Spider-Man—a teenaged hero who’s code of conduct was shaped by loss from his first time in costume.
The classic adventures of Spider-Man from the early days up until the 90’s! Meet all of Spidey's deadly enemies, from the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus to Venom and Carnage, plus see Peter Parker fall in love, face tragedy and triumph, and learn that with great power comes great responsibility.
Read through issue #33! This arc is considered some of Steve Ditko’s finest work on the character—a story that pitted Peter against his own self-doubt. After a multi-armed melee with Doctor Octopus ends in defeat, Spider-Man was pinned beneath tons of industrial rubble. Across a series of simple yet impactful pages, Spider-Man summoned every ounce of his strength to keep trying despite crushing odds.
Ditko and Lee’s imaginative partnership also introduced Spider-Man’s rogues’ gallery, a dozen or so Super Villains that have consistently menaced the Web-Slinger for six decades. Doctor Octopus, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio, Sandman, and the Vulture aligned to squash Spider-Man!
Marvel legends Gerry Conway and Gil Kane are behind this now-famous storyline, a turning point for Spider-Man that reinforced the real consequences of a Super Hero’s struggle. In a fateful flash, the Green Goblin, AKA Norman Osborn, threw Peter Parker’s first love off the George Washington Bridge…and even Spider-Man’s quick reflexes couldn’t save her.
In 1985, Spider-Man returned from the Beyonder’s Battleworld with a hitchhiker. Unbeknownst to readers, this souped-up black suit was a bonded extraterrestrial symbiote! While Spidey’s black suit had the nifty trick of appearing as civilian wear, it didn’t take long for the Wall-Crawler to realize that it was hard to remove. Spider-Man was astounded (and horrified) at his new costume’s limitless potential.
While it’s true that much of Spider-Man’s journey has been laden with hardship, we felt it important to include one of the most joyous moments in Spider-canon: the wedding between Peter Parker and longtime love, Mary Jane Watson! Assembled before family and friends, Peter and MJ exchanged their vows in a Super Hero wedding that, surprisingly, wasn’t upstaged by some superhuman or cosmic disaster.
It wasn’t until THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #258 that the Fantastic Four discovered the black suit’s alien origins, along with its sensitivity to sound. Sonically blasting it off Spider-Man, Reed Richards contained the specimen…but a symbiote always finds its host. In issue #300, the inheritor of the symbiote was disgraced journalist Eddie Brock, a one-track-minded antihero. Venom was unleashed, and the rest is history.
A wild chapter in Spider-history by J. M. DeMatteis and Mike Zeck! Original Sinister Six member Kraven the Hunter turned his obsessive hatred of Spider-Man on its head—by becoming that which he loathed. In a six-part epic that reads like a Gothic horror, Spider-Man took the brunt of Kraven’s rage when he was buried alive, his identity and suit stolen for two whole weeks.
Try the whole event as a Reading Guide! We’ve all heard that misery loves company, right? Well, that also holds true for super-powered killers. After springing from the Ravencroft Institute, symbiote host Cletus Kasady wrangled up a crew of like-minded murderers to unleash their own brand of mayhem on the streets of Manhattan. This event also gave us one of the first Spider-Man/Venom team-ups!
The debut of Brooklyn-based Web-Slinger, Miles Morales! Following the death of the Ultimate Universe’s Peter Parker, Miles assumed the mantle after gaining spider-powers of his own. In addition to sticking to walls and having the proportional strength of an arachnid, Miles had invisibility skills too. His complete origin can be found in ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN (2011) #1, the first issue in a fan-favorite series.
The body of Peter Parker. The mind of Doctor Octopus. This is precisely the scenario in the “Superior Spider-Man” saga, the storyline that swapped Spider-Man’s psyche into Doc Ock’s dying form. The seeds to “Superior” were planted in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1999) #600, but it was in issues #698-700 where the weird science project became complete. From there, Spider-Man: Doc Ock did whatever a spider could, and then some.
Every Spider-man, woman, teen, child, mech armor and pig spun their collective stories in the crossover that drew in Spider-Heroes from Marvel’s Multiverse. When the unstoppable Morlun and his family of Inheritors began targeting all Spider-beings, Peter Parker joined with an army of Web-Slingers to dissemble their ranks. Notably, SPIDER-VERSE gave us Spider-Gwen, first introduced in EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE (2014) #2.
Creator Dan Slott signed off with an emotional tale in the conclusion to his record-breaking run. Norman Osborn scoured the globe for a cure to the genetic tampering that once prevented him from becoming the Green Goblin—and at last he finds it! Green Goblin + the Carnage symbiote = the Red Goblin. Spider-Man would bear new scars following this battle, culminating in the loss of one of his closest friends.
The return of Doctor Octopus brought an all-new Sinister Six! But what Doc Ock didn’t know was that the Vulture had a sextet of his own: the Savage Six! Brace yourself for all-out war between Spider-Man’s two greatest villains and a deadly dozen out for blood. Writer Nick Spencer and the legendary artist Mark Bagley teamed up for this epic story that is guaranteed to shock.
Amazing creators united for a new Spider-Man era. Ben Reilly—the web-slinging clone of Peter Parker—is back! He's been through hell, but now with the support of the Beyond Corporation, Ben is thwipping once again and being the best Spider-Man he can be. But where is Peter Parker? And what will this upheaval mean for Mary Jane, the Black Cat, Aunt May, and all of New York City?