Everyone knows that Spider-Man is a Marvel superhero. This character appeared over 50 years ago. He has lived in 2 universes and attracted millions of fans with Peter Parker’s eventful life and adventures.
If you’re new to these comic books and don’t know where to start reading Spider-Man, this post will guide you through the best life points of this famous wall-crawler. The recommended books are arranged in chronological order starting from the first versions written by Stan Lee, the character’s creator. This is the best place to get caught up on this superhero.
List of the 15 Best Spiderman Comics
The Amazing Spider-Man #1 by Stan Lee
Spider-Man was created by writer-editor Stan Lee and writer-artist Steve Ditko. This fictional superhero first appeared in the final issue of the comic book Amazing Fantasy (1962), which was afterward canceled. The book is almost 60 years old, but it is still in demand. It was extremely popular with readers so that even the publisher was shocked to find out that it became Marvel’s best-selling comic book. The 15-year-old student Peter Parker bitten by a radioactive spider turns into a cultural icon. After the boy acquires spider-like capabilities and superpower, he uses them first to gain money, but then he starts fighting crime.
- A classic story as the first all-Spider-Man comic book
- A fun reading
- A little outdated
- Lacks sensibility and sophistication people want in comics today
Amazing Spider-Man (1963 series) #31 by Marvel
This series (read it to #33) is often called one of the finest works about Spidey. The comic book under the title If This Be My Destiny describes the events when Peter Parker starts college and has to fight his self-doubt. His Aunt May has a life-threatening illness, and there is chaos in his personal life, but Spider-Man is strong enough to tackle the new villain Master Planner. The Master Planner is actually Doctor Octopus who steals a rare isotope that can be a means to save the life of Peter’s aunt.
- A captivating read
- The old-time illustrations evoke nostalgia
- Expensive and hard to find
Amazing Spider-Man v1 #121. Comic by Marvel
This comic book (read it to #122) portrays the worst enemy of Spidey, the Green Goblin. Because of amnesia, Norman Osborn forgets that he is a supervillain. However, financial pressure and his parental grief at his son Harry who is addicted to drugs trigger a breakdown that results in remembering his Goblin identity.
The Green Goblin targets Peter’s loved ones for misery and kidnaps his girlfriend Gwen Stacy. He throws Gwen off the bridge. Spidey shoots a web and catches her, but the girl dies when she breaks her neck by whiplash from a sudden stop. Peter blames himself that Gwen’s death is his fault.
Due to a brilliant plot, this comic book became the 6th greatest issue among The 100 Greatest Marvels of All Time series according to a fan poll conducted by Marvel Comics.
- The comic book is hard to put down
- Teaches loyalty and bravery
- Comes with a high price tag because it is sold as a collectible
- The end is not happy, and some Spider-Man’s fans find it unfair
Amazing Spider-Man #300 1st App Venom 1st print by David Michelinie
This issue features the first full appearance of Venom, and this is the last comic book where Spidey appears in his black costume. Venom is a sentient alien symbiote in a liquid-like form, who survives while bonding with a human host. In their dual form, a host receives immense powers. Journalist Eddie Brock is bonded to the alien suit and threatens Peter’s friend Mary Jane.
- This is a big-sized 25th-anniversary issue with a full-page column by Stan Lee
- Unique drawings
- Requires special knowledge of the storyline
- Not cheap
Web of Spider-Man Issue 31 The Coffin
This is the first issue of the Kraven’s Last Hunt storyline. Kraven is a big-game hunter who wants to prove he is the greatest hunter in the world and seeks Spider-Man to defeat him. However, he lives by a code of honor and plays his game fairly.
In this book, Kraven captures his prey, seemingly shoots Spidey dead with a tranquilizer dart, and buries him not knowing that a comatose hero is still alive. In 2 weeks, Peter revives from the tranquilizer effects and digs out of the grave to confront Kraven again.
- Keeps readers on their toes
- The antihero plays by the rules
- Surprising plot twists
- Kraven commits suicide not being killed in a fair fight
Spider-Man Unlimited #1: Carnage Rising (Maximum Carnage) by Tom DeFalco
Spider-Man Unlimited is the title of 3 comic book series. This is the 1st series with the action set in the main Marvel Universe.
Carnage returns to bring mayhem and murders to New York. This creature belongs to a race of extraterrestrial parasites (symbiotes), which tend to bond with a host and give them a superpower. Carnage originates from Venom, being more powerful than his parent due to his darker nature. Over these years, he has had multiple hosts, including Norman Osborn and serial killer Cletus Kasady. This time, the villain adopts like-minded allies and becomes Maximum Carnage.
- Holds readers’ attention
- Fascinating old-time illustrations
- A lot of battle scenes
Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 2, No. 1 by Howard Mackie
Spider-Man is gone. Nobody knows where he is, and this results in a recent rise in street crimes. The Human Torch is looking for Spidey, flying in the sky with a flaming message for him. Meanwhile, Peter is applying for a new job at TriCorp. He thinks his superhero days are gone, and he has to care about his family.
Suddenly, people are informed about Scorpion’s attacks across the city. This creature attacks the building where Peter is interviewed. After some fighting, Peter Parker gets Scorpion’s arm and electrocutes him. Another (new) Spider-Man helps Peter and rescues some people during the fighting. Peter doesn’t recognize the person under the mask.
- Captivating with no pause for breathing
- >The plot is intriguing
- There are mixed feelings about the introduction of a new character
Amazing Spider-Man #529 Civil War Comic by J. Michael Straczynski
The Marvel Civil War is a huge event that has a great impact on Spider-Man. First, Peter Parker is not sure if superheroes need registration and public support. He remains unmasked and has no public identity. Now, he joins Iron Man in support of superhero registration. At a live conference, he unmasks himself and gains the “Iron Spider” armor made by Iron Man. The public reaction is diverse and uncovers multiple negative supporters.
Spider-Man discovers that there is a prison for unregistered heroes created by Iron Man and that this man is still tracking him through the armor he has gifted.
- The author introduced a new mythology
- Non-stop action
- The Civil War comic books are treated by some fans as some of the worst storylines
Amazing Spider-Man V2 #546 Bnd Comic by Dan Slott
Brand New Day is the name of this book where Spidey gets himself a reboot. Peter emerges from the Civil War and discovers the changes in the world. His aunt is killed, but Peter makes a deal with Mephisto, who re-arranges the history. So, Aunt May as well as Harry Osborn is alive.
True fans of this comic book adore this story because in this series Peter gets his mechanical web-shooters, which he had originally.
- The story is optimistic
- A good start for new readers
- Peter’s marriage to Mary Jane Watson was erased from their memories (as part of the deal with Mephisto)
Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 1 by Brian Michael Bendis
Marvel had an idea to create a new world with modern versions of Marvel stories and characters like Spider-Man. The new Ultimate Universe got the name Earth-1610. The creators wanted to reinterpret this superhero for a new generation. Peter Parker gets contemporary clothes and hairstyle, but he is the same nerdy science whiz as in the previous version.
So, Spidey has a clean start for the 21st century. The comic book chronicles Peter’s first days when a radioactive spider bit him.
- A great starting point for new readers
- As captivating as the previous version
- Fresh dialogues
- Some fans were skeptical about the idea of creating a new universe with Marvel’s attempts to reobtain a younger fan base
Marvel Knights Spider-Man (v. 1) by Mark Millar
Peter’s secret identity is discovered by a mysterious villain, who uses this information to destroy the people he loves. His aunt is kidnapped by the Scorpion, who works for Norman Osborn. He blackmails Spider-Man, making him break Norman out of jail for Aunt May’s safety. During the breakout, the wall-crawler is attacked by the new Sinister 12.
In this comic book, readers meet a company of guest stars. While seeking his aunt, Spider-Man visits X-Men and the Avengers. Many of the Marvel heroes come to help Peter fight the Sinister 12. Peter in his turn chases the Green Goblin who has kidnapped Mary Jane Watson. Peter defeats him and rescues both his aunt and his wife.
- The story ends well
- Fast-paced and thrilling
- All women in the book are heroic and not useless
- Very emotional
- Shows a lot of battles
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 1 by Brian Michael Bendis
After Peter Parker’s death in the Ultimate Universe, Marvel created another character to uphold Spider-Man’s legacy. This is a new biracial teen and wall-crawler called Miles Morales, who has an African-American father.
This 13-year-old intelligent nerd is bitten by a genetically different spider and gets superhuman powers slightly different from those that Peter had. He has a chameleon ability to camouflage himself to match the surroundings and become invisible. He can also paralyze anyone with a touch due to a “venom strike.”
- A new character as a breath of fresh air for the storyline
- Amazing graphics
- Not childish and appeals to all ages
- Some old readers and fans are annoyed with this replacement, which evokes mixed reactions
Superior Spider-Man Vol. 1: My Own Worst Enemy by Dan Slott
Peter Parker’s story ends dramatically in The Amazing Spider-Man #700. In this comic book, a new Spider-Man arrives, and he is stronger and smarter than the Spidey everyone knew.
In his fight against the Hobgoblin, Spider-Man is pinched by an Octobot of Doctor Octopus, and there is a consciousness swap between him and Otto. Octavius revives all of Peter’s memories and experiences his trials in flesh. In the form of subconsciousness, Peter survives in Otto’s body. Having lost its resources and allies and trying to get rid of this link with Peter, Octavius allows him to reclaim his body in exchange for defeating Osborn and saving Otto’s love, Anna Maria Marconi.
- Excellent art combined with a fascinating story
- The character development of Otto
- True fans don’t like the idea of mixing Peter’s good name with Otto’s lack of respect for everyone and arrogance
Amazing Spider-Man #1 – Marvel Comics by Dan Slott
Peter Parker gets a second chance in life and returns home. Spider-Man has gone, and there is a slightly different Peter. His old enemies the Black Cat and Electro are back longing for revenge. Also, he has a new girlfriend, Anna Maria, with whom Otto started dating as Peter Parker. She plays an important role in Parker Industries as well.
Peter finds out that he is not the only person bitten by the spider 13 years ago. Also, the spider granted his powers to another girl named Silk (Cindy Moon). Spider-Man tracks and rescues the girl from a bunker where she has spent a decade with the aim not to draw attention to her powers.
- Well written and drawn
- Grabs reader’s attention
- Readers think the story came out of nowhere
- The Black Cat and Electro are not convincing, and their motivations for revenge are nonexistent
Amazing Spider-Man: Worldwide Vol. 1 by Giuseppe Camuncoli
Parker Industries has become a global corporation. Run by Otto Octavius for several months, the company expanded into a large conglomerate because Otto hacked the share market and manipulated its numbers in his favor.
Now, Peter is a billionaire CEO with Spider-Man being his bodyguard. As success breeds enemies, there emerges a mysterious biotech company that can be a front for Jackal’s operations who claims he has found a way to resurrect people by cloning technology.
- Peter finds his long-lost sister Teresa
- The art is great
- Awesome dialogues
- Not recommended for new readers, as it contains facts from Peter’s previous life
After people read a book that catches their imagination, they get interested in facts related to the characters depicted in it and in stories that stand behind them. Discover some new facts about these comic books and share yours.
- The death of Gwen Stacy shocked the comic book community in the U.S. since it was unthinkable to kill an important character with a large fan base. This story marked a transition from the Silver Age of comic books to the darker Bronze Age. This event was called “The Gwen Stacy Syndrome,” the term that is now used to represent grim fates of superheroes’ girlfriends and wives.
- Kraven is a son of an aristocrat and a Soviet immigrant who fled to the U.S. in 1917 after collapse of the reign of Tsar Nicholas ΙΙ. His real name is Sergei Kravinoff.
- A lot of critics and fans expressed displeasure at the fact that Peter Parker was replaced by Miles Morales. Most leading U.S. newspapers and magazines viewed this decision as an act of political correctness exhibited by Marvel Comics to attract more readers. However, Stan Lee as a creator of the original character approved this creation, which was a positive role model for children of color.
- There are many variations of Spider-Man in a multiverse that exists in the Marvel Universe. Thus, a funny animal parody in a pig form is named Spider-Ham (Peter Porker). Also, Marvel Noir has a 1930-year version of the protagonist. In Marvel Mangaverse, there is an Indian version of Spidey named Pavitr Prabhakar.
- Spider-Man has become one of the most recognizable fictional characters around the world with hundreds of millions of comics sold since 1962. This image is used to sell toys, candy, games, soap, cereal, and other products. In addition, it is the most profitable superhero: global retail sales of licensed products related to this character reached $1.3 billion in 2014. This exceeds the combined revenue of Superman, Batman, and The Avengers.
This selection contains books with the most breathtaking stories that allow readers to grasp the full idea of who Spider-Man is and what his major feats are. Some adventures are short and fit on a leaflet in several pages, while other deeds are quite long and include multiple story arcs for the whole omnibus. Anyway, these picks are a good spot to familiarize yourself with the superhero and admire his strength, courage, and justice. If this happens, will you dare to read all 700+ Spider-Man comic books?