Best Marvel Comics, Powers, Villains, Relationships

The amazing Spider-Man is one of Marvel Comics’ most popular and successful characters. Peter Parker’s incredible abilities helped him become one of Marvel’s greatest heroes, but more importantly, he became one of comics’ most relatable characters through his many trials and tribulations as the main character. Unlike other heroes who seemed unstoppable in their superhero and civilian identities, Peter Parker dealt with money problems and suffered relatable losses that endeared him to fans across generations.

Spider-Man’s popularity only grew as the character moved outside of the source material over the years. The wall-crawler appeared in an iconic animated series that kicked off Spider-Man’s legacy on television before he made the jump to the big screen for the first time in 2002. Spider-Man’s ongoing successes and tragic losses continue to draw fans into the iconic comic storylines that drive the character’s ongoing cinematic achievements.

Spider-Man Marvel Comic Timeline

Spider-Man with the Fantastic Four from the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #1

In this section:

Peter Parker‘s comic adventures usually focus on his role as a friendly neighborhood hero, but he’s also fought wars on alien planets and helped save the world as a member of the Avengers. Spider-Man comics have been running consistently since the character’s first appearance in 1962’s Amazing Fantasy #15. Peter Parker has grown up over the years in Marvel’s sliding timescale as well, meaning fans have seen and experienced many different aspects of his life, from high school to marriage.

Peter Parker’s First Comic Appearance

Spider-Man on the cover of Amazing Fantasy

Amazing Fantasy #15 featured Peter Parker’s first comic appearance as Spider-Man. It was the final issue of Amazing Fantasy, which originally focused on unconnected crime and supernatural stories. The origin of Spider-Man marked the end of the series, but the beginning for Marvel’s brand-new costumed character. Amazing Fantasy #15 introduced readers to Peter Parker and his loving caretakers, Aunt May and Uncle Ben. The elderly couple raised young Peter after the death of his parents, and they helped develop his love of science and inventive mind.

During his sophomore year of high school, Peter Parker was a wallflower frequently bullied for his love of science and inability to connect with his peers. He attended a scientific demonstration at Marvel’s fictional Empire State University in New York City exploring nuclear isotopes and radiation. During the experiment, a spider descended from the ceiling on a strand of web, accidentally falling in between a beam of irradiated energy. The radiation transformed the spider, which fell onto Peter Parker and bit him in his death throes.

The bite changed Peter Parker and gave him the proportionate skills and abilities of the irradiated spider. Amazing Fantasy #15 explored Peter Parker’s discovery of his new strengths, and his decision to use his gifts to earn money and help his family. He first attempted to win money in a local wrestling match, where he humiliated his opponent, “Crusher” Hogan. He used his newfound fame to launch a short-lived television career as Spider-Man after designing his colorful costume. Unfortunately, everything changed after his first successful performance.

Spider-Man’s inflated ego from his performance and rising anger over the inability to claim his check led to a fateful decision. When a thief ran past him after stealing from the TV producer, Spider-Man moved aside and allowed him to escape. He headed home, only to discover his house surrounded by police cars with flashing sirens. Peter Parker learned that a burglar broke into his house and shot his Uncle Ben, killing him. Peter suited up as Spider-Man and tracked down the mysterious assailant, but his world fell apart when he discovered the man who killed his Uncle Ben was the same thief who ran past him earlier.

Peter Parker made the lasting decision to use his powers as Spider-Man to help others. His uncle’s words rang in his ears on his long trek home to his grieving Aunt May. “With great power, there must also come, great responsibility.”This iconic Spider-Man quote would define Peter Parker’s career as a superhero and propel the web-slinger to popularity.

Who Created Spider-Man?

Hands pointing at Spider-Man in classic Steve Ditko comic art.

Spider-Man was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in 1962. Following Lee’s earlier co-creation of the Fantastic Four, he decided to try out another idea with Spider-Man. Stan Lee chose to make Spider-Man’s secret identity a teenager with problems to appeal to younger readers.

After Jack Kirby tried his hand with the character, Steve Ditko designed Spider-Man’s iconic costume and co-plotted some of the hero’s earliest adventures. Ditko’s unique vision led to the creation of Spider-Man’s mechanical web-shooters as well as the spider-signal contained on his belt buckle. Spider-Man’s suit is one of the most iconic costumes in comics, which further enticed new readers to the character after his debut.

When Did Spider-Man Come Out?

Amazing Fantasy #15 first hit stands in August of 1962, where it became an instant hit with fans. The success of Peter Parker’s heroic debut led to the character’s starring role in his own series. The Amazing Spider-Man #1 launched in March of 1963, and it went on to become one of Marvel’s best-selling titles.

Who Owns Spider-Man?

Marvel Comics owns the comic rightsto Spider-Man and has for the entirety of the character’s existence. After the company declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the ’90s, the film rights to Spider-Man were sold off with a number of other popular characters. Sony Pictures currently holds Spider-Man’s film rights and all characters created under his banner. Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios currently have a deal that allows Spider-Man to appear in films set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

How Old Is Spider-Man?

Peter Parker became Spider-Man when he was only fifteen years old, but the character has aged over the years into adulthood. Spider-Man is currently in his mid-twenties in the comics and has experienced memorable life moments like marriage. That said, multiple versions of the character have appeared at different ages over the years and Marvel’s sliding timescale occasionally leads to some inconsistencies in the character’s age.

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What Happened To Spider-Man In The Comics?

spider-man end of the spider-verse silk

As one of Marvel’s longest-running and most popular characters, Spider-Man has grown up as a superhero. Peter Parker played a role in some of the biggest Marvel events while also dealing with some of his own unforgettable storylines.

Peter Parker’s life with his Aunt May was plagued with money and health problems over the years. He got hisfirst job taking pictures of Spider-Man for the Daily Bugle in order to help with some of the bills following the death of his Uncle Ben. Over the years, he made a living in photography but also explored his love for science first as ahigh school science teacher and then as aresearch scientist at Horizon Labs. He even ran his own company as the CEO of Parker Industries, though true to the “Parker Luck,” he lost everything and returned to his more humble beginnings.

Spider-Man’s costumed career featured encounters with a number of other animal-themed and scientifically-transformed villains, some of which impacted his civilian life as well. He fought the deadly members of theSinister Sixand made lasting rivalries with villains like the Green Goblin andThe Jackal, who both played a part in the “Clone Saga” that dominated the character’s life in the ’90s. Peter Parker even suffered through the death of his Aunt May during this period, though that was yet another scheme perpetrated by his greatest enemies. However, the villain who left the biggest impact on Spider-Man’s life in the comics wasMarvel’s Faustian devil, Mephisto.

After Spider-Man spent time with the New Avengers, he formed a new relationship with Tony Stark/Iron Man as his mentor. Iron Man created an advanced new costume for Spider-Man, further earning Peter Parker’s loyalty ahead of the Civil War event. Spider-Man sided with Iron Man during the reveal of the divisive Superhuman Registration Act. He unmasked on live television in support of the SHRA, shocking the world while also painting a target on the backs of his loved ones.

Kingpin ordered a hit on Spider-Man, but it was Aunt May who took the shot instead. Spider-Man exhausted all of his options trying to save Aunt May’s life, which made him the perfect target for Mephisto.A deal was struck that erased Peter Parker’s marriage to Mary Jane Watson, completely changing his own timeline during the “One More Day” event. Peter Parker started a new life as Spider-Man that saw him explore new relationships and connections, though his actions would come back to haunt him during “The Kindred Saga.”

His life as the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man was further changed when he learned the true origins of his abilities. He discovered he was atotemic hero, one of many across the multiverse with a unique connection to the Web of Life and Destiny. Shortly after discovering his new origin, a deadly villain known as Morlun started hunting down Spider-Man. Morlun almost killed Spider-Man in one of their first encounters, but a severely injured Peter Parker struck back and killed Morlun with his final breath. Spider-Man died, though the powerful being known as The Other brought Peter Parker back to life. He gained enhanced abilities and a stronger connection to the totemic source of his abilities.

Spider-Man’s connection to the Web of Life and Destiny united the hero with other totemic heroes across the multiverse but also made them a target to powerful beings known as the Inheritors. Peter Parker, Miles Morales, and Otto Octavius all led versions of the Spider-Army against the Inheritors in events like Spider-Verse and Spider-Geddon. He’s also faced the totemic being known as Shathra in events like The End of the Spider-Verse, which further altered the structure of the Web of Life and Destiny.

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Spider-Man’s Powers and Abilities

Spider-Man crawling up a building in the comics

Power Name



Enhanced Strength

He is capable of consistently lifting over 25 tons

Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962)

Enhanced Speed

He can move fast enough to dodge bullets

Enhanced Agility

He can bend and twist his body like a spider

Adhesive Skin

He can stick to surfaces using any portion of his skin


An additional sense that can alert him to danger

Scientific Inventiveness

Peter Parker has the brilliant mind of an inventor

Spider-Man’s greatest abilities are his enhanced strength, speed, and agility which allow him to stand up to the deadliest supervillains while also avoiding danger. His spider-sense is one of Spider-Man’s greatest secret weapons and allows him to stay one step ahead of his enemies. He can stick to walls using his fingertips and feet, but he can also focus that ability on other parts of his skin. Spider-Man can keep his mask stuck to his skin or carry others close to him without using his arms.

Peter Parker’s brilliant mind also fueled his inventions as Spider-Man. He designed and fabricated his iconic webbing and web-shooters. He also created his recognizable spider-signal and later built suits of advanced armor using resources from Horizon Labs and Parker Industries.

Who Made Spider-Man?

In-universe, Spider-Man was made by a research companycalled the Galannan Alternative Research for Immunization Development, which became known as GARID. Dr. Eric Schwinner was one of the lead scientists at GARID, whose experiment at ESU unknowingly transformed Peter Parker into Spider-Man. His research was then used by GARID years later in other experiments that created villains like Tendril and Dryrot, as seen in Fabian Nicieza and Darick Robertson’s Spider-Man: The Final Adventure.

Marvel’s Ultimate universe reimagined Spider-Man’s origin slightly for a modern age. During a field trip at Oscorp, a genetically-modified spider escaped and bit Peter Parker. Norman Osborn was one of the lead scientists on the project, and it was Osborn’s research that transformed Peter Parker into Spider-Man in the Ultimate Universe. Oscorp was also responsible for turning Miles Morales into Spider-Man as well, though it was Dr. Conrad Marcus who modified the spider that bit Morales on Earth-1610.

How Strong Is Spider-Man?

Spider-Man holding up wet rubble in Marvel Comics

Peter Parker/Spider-Man has the proportionate strength of a spider, which allows him to lift well over 25 tons. Spider-Man is one of Marvel’s strongest superheroes with a Class 25+ level of strength, which means he can consistently lift over 25 tons at his base power levels. Due to the proportionate strength he gained from the spider, Spider-Man can also increase his upper limits by further training his body, though that could potentially limit his enhanced agility as well.

Spider-Man can further bolster his own strength levels with his own mental fortitude. This was first displayed when he increased his strength to push off heavy debris by calling on the memories and lessons he learned from his loved ones like Uncle Ben in Amazing Spider-Man #33 (February 1966) by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.

How Tall Is Spider-Man In The Comics?

While the MCU version of Peter Parker stands at around 5’7” due to Tom Holland’s own height, he’s usually drawn taller in his ongoing storyline. Spider-Man is approximately 5’10” in the comics, which puts him well under more statuesque heroes like Captain America and the Hulk.

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Spider-Man Movie Appearances

Split image featuring all three live-action versions of Spider-Man



Release Date/Aired

Paul Soles



Danny Seagren

Spidey Super Stories


Nicolas Hammond

The Amazing Spider-Man


Shinji Tōdō



Ted Schwartz



Dan Gilvezan

Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends


Christopher Daniel Barnes



Rino Romano

Spider-Man Unlimited


Tobey Maguire

Spider-Man/Spider-Man 2/Spider-Man 3


Neil Patrick Harris

Spider-Man: The New Animated Series


Josh Keaton

The Spectacular Spider-Man


Andrew Garfield

The Amazing Spider-Man/The Amazing Spider-Man 2


Drake Bell

Ultimate Spider-Man


Tom Holland

Captain America: Civil War/Spider-Man: Homecoming/Avengers: Infinity War/Avengers: Endgame/Spider-Man: Far From Home/Spider-Man: No Way Home


Robbie Daymond

Marvel’s Spider-Man


Shameik Moore (Miles Morales)

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse/Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse


Chris Pine (Peter Parker)

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse


Nicolas Cage (Spider-Man Noir)

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse


John Mulaney (Spider-Pig)

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse


Kimiko Glenn (Peni Parker/Sp//dr)

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse


Hailee Steinfeld (Spider-Woman)

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse/Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse


Jake Johnson (Peter B. Parker)

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse/Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse


Benjamin Valic

Spidey and His Amazing Friends


How Many Spider-Man Movies Are There?

There are eight live-action Spider-Man movies andtwo animated feature films. Sam Raimi directed2002’s Spider-Man starring Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson, James Franco as Harry Osborn, and Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn/Green Goblin. Raimi and the cast returned for 2004’s Spider-Man 2 alongside Alfred Molina as Dr. Otto Octavius/Doctor Octopus. Raimifinished off his trilogy in 2007’s Spider-Man 3with the returning main cast alongside Topher Grace’s Eddie Brock/Venom, Thomas Haden Church’s Flint Marko/Sandman, and Bryce Dallas Howard’s Gwen Stacy.

Sony Pictures launched a new cinematic take on the web-slinging hero in with Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012, starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, and Rhys Ifans as The Lizard. Garfield and Stone returned as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in 2014, which also featured Dane DeHaan as Harry Osborn/Green Goblin and Jamie Foxx as Max Dillon/Electro. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 set up a third film that would have introduced the Sinister Six, but it was canceled after the sequel’s low box office.

Set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Tom Holland appeared as a new version of Peter Parker/Spider-Man alongside the Avengers in2016’s Captain America: Civil War. Holland joined Zendaya as MJ Watson, Jacob Batolon as Ned Leeds, and Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes/Vulture in Jon Watts’ Spider-Man: Homecoming in 2017. The primary cast returned for 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home alongside Jake Gyllenhaal as Quentin Beck/Mysterio. He also starred as Spider-Man in

Jon Watts then united the various Spider-Man movie franchises together in 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home. Tom Holland and his main cast kicked off a multiversal event with Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange. Villains from past franchises like Dafoe’s Green Goblin, Molina’s Doctor Octopus, Ifans’ Lizard, and Foxx’s Electro crossed over into the MCU. Holland’s Spider-Man teamed up with Garfield and Maguire’s takes on Spider-Man, bringing together every live-action variant of the web-slinging hero to take down their greatest foes.

2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verseintroduced animated Spider-Man variants from alternate realities. Shameik Moore voiced Miles Morales as he became his universe’s new Spider-Man. Alternate Spider-People like Gwen Stacy/Spider-Woman (Hailee Steinfeld), Spider-Pig (John Mulaney), Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage), Peni Parker/Sp//dr (Kimiko Glenn) and Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson) all helped Miles Morales find his footing as a new hero. The cast is returning alongside new alternate Spider-characters like Oscar Isaac’s Spider-Man 2099 in 2023’s Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Versewhich will lead into 2024’s Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse.

Who Played Spider-Man?

Split image of different animated versions of Spider-Man

While Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland all played Spider-Man in live-action movies, quite a few actors have played the wall-crawler across a variety of mediums. Paul Soles voiced Peter Parker in the iconic 1967 animated Spider-Man series. Ted Schwartz voiced the hero in 1981’s Spider-Man animated series, while Dan Gilvezan voiced the character in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. Christopher Daniel Barnes took over the role in the Spider-Man animated series that first aired in 1994.

Rino Romano voiced the character in 1999’s Spider-Man Unlimited while Neil Patrick Harris played Peter Parker in MTV’s Spider-Man: The New Animated Series. The Spectacular Spider-Man featured Josh Keaton as Peter Parker, and Drake Bell took over for 2012’s Ultimate Spider-Man animated series. 2017’s Marvel’s Spider-Man animated series switched up the roles again, as Robbie Daymond started voicing Peter Parker. A new version of Spidey and His Amazing Friends aired in 2021 and featured Benjamin Valic as the voice of Peter Parker/Spider-Man. A new series called Spider-Man: Freshman Year will air on Disney+ in 2024, though no actor has yet been cast in the role.

The first live-action Spider-Man appeared on TV inThe Electric Company‘s “Spidey Super Stories,” played by Danny Seagren. Nicholas Hammond played the next live-action Peter Parker in the Spider-ManTV movie and series. Shinji Tōdōplayed Takuya Yamashiro in the Japanese Supaidāman TV series that started airing in 1978. He was followed by Tobey Maguire in Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. Andrew Garfield later took over the role of Peter Parker in Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man series. Tom Holland then debuted as the MCU’s Spider-Man in the third Captain America film before starring in the latest cinematic trilogy. Holland is currently rumored to reprise the role of Spider-Man for another trilogy set in the MCU.

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Spider-Man’s Variants

The various alternate Spider-Men from across the multiverse

Variant Name



Miles Morales/Spider-Man

The second Ultimate Spider-Man who moved to the mainstream 616 reality after the Secret Wars event

Ultimate Fallout #4 (August 2011)

Miguel O’Hara/Spider-Man 2099

A brilliant geneticist who spliced his DNA with a spider to become the Spider-Man of the future

Amazing Spider-Man #365 (June 1992)

Ben Reilly/Chasm

Peter Parker’s clone who took over as Spider-Man before he turned into the deadly villain Chasm

Amazing Spider-Man #149 (July 1975)

Kaine Parker/Scarlet Spider

A failed clone of Peter Parker who became the villain Kaine before finding redemption as Scarlet Spider

Web of Spider-Man #119 (October 1994)

Otto Octavius/Superior Spider-Man

Doctor Octopus swapped minds with Peter Parker to become the Superior Spider-Man

Amazing Spider-Man #697 (November 2012)

Gwen Stacy/Ghost-Spider (Earth-65)

Gwen Stacy was bitten by the radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker

Edge of Spider-Verse #2 (September 2014)

Japanese Spider-Man (Earth-51778)

Motorcycle racer Takuya Yamashiro gained spider powers from an alien

Spider-Man, Season 1, Episode 1, “The Time of Revenge Has Come! Beat Down Iron Cross Group!!” (May 17, 1978)

Newspaper Spider-Man (Earth-77013)

An out-of-continuity Spider-Man from a syndicated newspaper strip

Spider-Man Newspaper Strips (1977)

Peter Parker was the first character to use the name Spider-Man, though other heroes have followed in his footsteps over the years. Miles Morales first took on the role after Peter Parker’s death in Marvel’s Ultimate Universe. He gained similar spider powers from a different genetically-enhanced spider, Miles could also turn invisible and generate powerful bio-electric shocks he called “Venom blasts.” Peter Parker’s legend inspired Miguel O’Hara to become Spider-Man in the year 2099 after he gained spider powers in a gene-splicing experiment.

Ben Reilly was a clone of Peter Parkercreated by The Jackal. He spent years on the road after his first ill-fated encounter with Spider-Man, but he returned to New York with the new costumed identity of Scarlet Spider. Reilly eventually took over as Spider-Man before his death during the “Clone Saga.” Kaine was the first failed clone created by The Jackal. He spent years tracking Ben Reilly down to keep him from interfering in Spider-Man’s life. While Kaine debuted as a villain, he eventually earned his place in the family as Kaine Parker. He started his path to redemption when he took on his brother’s costumed identity as Scarlet Spider.

The Jackal eventually brought Ben Reilly back, though the process drove him insane and he briefly took over his creator’s costumed identity. Reilly returned to his Scarlet Spider moniker before he became Beyond Corporation’s Spider-Man. Unfortunately, Beyond Corporation stole his memories and transformed him into the villainous Chasm.

Superior Spider-Man unmasked and surrounded by Spider-Bots

Doctor Octopus is one of Spider-Man’s most iconic villains, but he faced his own demise after years of superpowered battles broke his body. He created technology that allowed him to swap minds with Spider-Man, giving him control of Peter Parker’s body while his greatest enemy died in his former shell. Parker’s memories influenced Doctor Octopus, however, and he set out to become an even better hero as the Superior Spider-Man. Peter Parker eventually regained his body, though Doctor Octopus gained a powerful new cloned body as the Superior Octopus. After a multiversal battle with a variant of Norman Osborn who became Spider-Man, Mephisto restored Otto Octavius to his original body.

On Earth-65, Gwen Stacy gained spider powers after the irradiated spider bit her instead of Peter Parker. This change led Peter Parker to try and develop his own superpowers, but he became that reality’s Lizard instead. Gwen used her powers to become the costumed hero known as Spider-Woman. After she met other multiversal totemic heroes during Spider-Verse, she renamed herself Ghost-Spider despite her ongoing nickname of “Spider-Gwen.”

The Japanese Spider-Man TV series introduced a unique version of the hero who has also appeared in events like Spider-Verse and Spider-Geddon. When Motorcycle racer Takuya Yamashiro witnessed a UFO crash, he encountered an alien named Garia who injected Yamashiro with alien DNA to give him spider abilities. As Spider-Man, he became an Emissary of Hell and fought against the evil alien Iron Cross Army. Yamashiro also used the alien ship Marveller which could also transform into the giant robot Leopardon.

Another unique Spider-Man variant appeared in a syndicated newspaper strip that ran from 1977 to 2019. The strip was originally created by Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr., though creators like Roy Thomas, Fred Kida, Larry Lieber, and Alex Saviuk later took over the strip. While the Spider-Man newspaper strip featured most of the main characters that appeared in the Earth-616 reality, the stories were original and unconnected to continuity. Master Weaver removed Earth-77013 from the Web of Life and Destiny so it would remain safe and untouched in its own pocket dimension.

Who Is The Strongest Spider-Man?

Spider-Hulk from the Immortal Hulk: Great Power one-shot

While most versions of Peter Parker all share the same proportionate strength of a spider, a few Spider-Man variants outclass the mainstream version and his multiversal counterparts. Spider-Hulk is one of the strongest versions of Spider-Man from the 616 universe, whose strength was increased temporarily by gamma radiation.

On Earth-13, Peter Parker retained the Uni-Power of the Enigma Force that briefly allowed him to become Marvel’s Captain Universe. He wielded incredible power as the Cosmic Spider-Man, though he was restricted to his own universe in order to use his extra abilities.

Who Is The Best Spider-Man?

In multiversal events like Spider-Verse and Spider-Geddon, most multiversal characters are quick to agree that thebest Spider-Man is Peter Parker from Earth-616. While he may not always be the strongest or most experienced, Parker has the determination and the drive to do what needs to be done to save the day.

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Spider-Man’s Relationships

Split image of different Spider-Man characters kissing thier respective others

In this section:

Every version of Spider-Man in the mainstream 616 reality has found love on more than one occasion over the years. Unfortunately, each version has also experienced the loss of those loves, making Spider-Man one of Marvel’s most tragic characters when it comes to romance.

Peter Parker’s Romances

Spider-Man kissing Mary Jane

Fans have been following Peter Parker since his days in high school as he’s navigated the many loves of his life. Some of Peter Parker’s girlfriends grew into his closest allies, while others disappeared over the years. He first dated Betty Brant while working at the Daily Bugle, though she decided he was too young for romance after speaking with Aunt May. He then met and dated Mary Jane Watson, but they decided to remain friends initially. Peter Parker then met the arguable love of his life in college, Gwen Stacy. The two fell deeply in love, though her life was cruelly taken by Green Goblin.

Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson found their way back to each other after Gwen’s death, but the timing wasn’t quite right. MJ left to pursue her career, and Spider-Man met and fell in love with Felicia Hardy in her costumed identity as the Black Cat. The pair dated and worked together as costumed crimefighters, though Black Cat never felt for Peter Parker what she did for Spider-Man. The pair separated, and Peter Parker and Mary Jane reunited. They were soon married and spent years together until Mephisto erased their wedded bliss.

Peter Parker dated a few other women over the years like forensics specialist Carlie Cooper and even superheroes Captain Marvel and Mockingbird. However, his relationship with Mary Jane reignited after a few years apart and they seemed like they were on the right track again. Zeb Wells and John Romita Jr.’s current ongoing run once again shook up their relationship, driving Spider-Man back into the arms of Black Cat.

Ben Reilly’s Romances

Ben Reilly as Spider-Man swinging away with Janine Godbe-Elizabeth Tyne

Peter Parker’s clone Ben Reilly had quite a few love interests over the years as well. During his time on the road, he met a woman named Janine Godbe. However, she was originally Elizabeth Tyne and was on the run for killing her abusive father. After a few encounters with the law, Janine decided to turn herself in to the authorities to end the constant running and give Reilly a chance to find a new life. He returned to New York as Scarlet Spider, and his overwhelming memories reignited a very brief romance with Betty Brant.

He took a new job at a coffee shop called the Daily Grind after he took over as Spider-Man in the ’90s. He met love interests like fashion student Desiree Winthrop at the Daily Grind, though their romance was brief as well. Ben Reilly fell in love with a photography student named Jessica Carradine, who even discovered his secret identity as Spider-Man. Unfortunately, he learned that she was the daughter of the burglar who killed Ben Parker, which drove them apart.

Ben Reilly’s death and resurrection brought another important woman to his life as the universal personification of Death took an interest in him. She helped him redeem his dark soul and a final resurrection restored his mind. Reilly accepted an offer from Beyond Corporation to become their Spider-Man after they offered to free Janine Godbe from prison. They reunited and she stayed with him as he lost his memories and transformed into the villainous Chasm. She then made her own demonic deal to become the villainous Hallows’ Eve so she could fight by Ben Reilly’s side.

Miles Morales’s Romances

Starling kissing Miles Morales from Spider-Man

Ultimate Spider-Man Miles Morales is still fairly young, but he’s had a couple of romantic connections over the years. He developed a close friendship with Earth-65’s Gwen Stacy when they fought together as multiversal Web-Warriors. They briefly dated, though the stress of living on two worlds began to wear on them. They encountered further pressure when they traveled to an alternate reality where they grew up, married, and had two super-powered children.

After they separated and decided to remain friends, Miles Morales started working with the Vulture’s granddaughter, Tiana Toomes. She used her grandfather’s technology to become the high-flying Starling and soon entered into a romantic relationship with Miles Morales that is still in its beginning stages.

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Closest Allies & Teams

Spider-Man and the Human Torch side-by-side in Marvel Comics

Both Peter Parker and Spider-Man have made a few close allies over the years who continue to have their back when the going gets tough. Mary Jane and Black Cat have both been there for Peter Parker in his darkest days. He developed a close friendship with Flash Thompson over the years as well, who eventually found his own superhero path as Agent Venom and Agent Anti-Venom. Spider-Man first encountered Hobie Brown as the villainous Prowler, though the two quickly became close allies. Brown fought alongside Spider-Man as a member of the Outlaws, and he worked for Parker Industries as a superpower agent.

Spider-Man also developed a close friendship with Daredevil, and the street-level heroes were some of the first to reveal their secret identities to each other. That said, Spider-Man’s closest friend in the comics is without a doubt Johnny Storm, the Human Torch of the Fantastic Four. The duo share the same unique humor and unwavering loyalty has made them lifelong friends. Human Torch asked Spider-Man to take his spot on the team after his apparent death, and the pair meet to exchange Christmas presents at the Statue of Liberty every year.

While Spider-Man was a loner for most of his career, he did join a few different teams over the years. After his failed audition with the Fantastic Four in one of his first adventures, he later joined a substitute version known as the New Fantastic Four. After the original team seemingly died, Spider-Man joined Hulk, Wolverine, and Ghost Rider on the short-lived roster. He also joined the first roster of the New Avengers after the team fought together during The Raft breakout. This kicked off a few different eras with the Avengers over the years. He also took Johnny Storm’s place on the Fantastic Four after his death, though the team rebranded itself as the Future Foundation and gave Spider-Man an impressive new costume.


Spider-Man's rogue gallery in the comics





Dmitri Smerdyakov is a master of disguise on a mission of revenge

Amazing Spider-Man #1 (December 1962)


Adrian Toomes is a scorned inventor who turned to crime and revenge

Amazing Spider-Man #2 (February 1963)


Quentin Beck was a special effects genius who turned to crime for fame

Amazing Spider-Man #2 (February 1963)

Doctor Octopus

An accident bonded Dr. Otto Octavius to four advanced robotic arms

Amazing Spider-Man #3 (April 1963)


Flint Marko was transformed into living sand by a scientific experiment

Amazing Spider-Man #4 (June 1963)

The Lizard

Dr. Curt Conners turned into a monster after trying to regrow his arm

Amazing Spider-Man #6 (August 1963)


Max Dillon became a human dynamo after he was struck by lightning

Amazing Spider-Man #9 (November 1963)

Green Goblin

Norman Osborn gained enhanced strength from the Goblin Formula

Amazing Spider-Man #14 (April 1964)

Kraven The Hunter

Sergei Kravinoff challenged himself with defeating Spider-Man

Amazing Spider-Man #15 (May 1964)


Mac Gargan was transformed into a powerful animal/human hybrid

Amazing Spider-Man #19 (September 1964)

The Jackal

Professor Miles Warren perfected cloning technology to get revenge

Amazing Spider-Man #31 (September 1965)


Cletus Kasady is a serial killer bonded with a deadly alien symbiote

Amazing Spider-Man #344 (December 1990)

Peter Parker faced a number of deadly threats during his early days as Spider-Man. Villains like Doctor Octopus, Vulture, Sandman, Mysterio, Electro, and Kraven the Hunter even formed together as the Sinister Six to take on the web-slinger. Dr. Curt Conners eventually became a very close friend of both Spider-Man and Peter Parker, though he often battled the wall-crawler as the reptilian monster known as The Lizard.

One of Spider-Man’s first ongoing villains was actually Peter Parker’s boss, Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson. He took action against what he perceived to be a “menace.” Jameson was one of Spider-Man’s earliest detractors, even when the superhero saved innocent civilians from his earliest villains like Vulture and Doctor Octopus. Jameson even funded scientists to help him stop Spider-Man, which resulted in the creation of the robotic Spider-Slayers and Mac Gargan’s transformation into the villainous Scorpion.

Doctor Octopus would eventually earn his status as one of Spider-Man’s arch-enemies, but that role originally went to Norman Osborn. Osborn created the Green Goblin’s costumed identity to take control of the criminal underworld. His plans were constantly thwarted by Spider-Man, creating their rivalry. Things got personal after they discovered each others’ secret identities, which ultimately led to Norman Osborn’s apparent death. The Green Goblin legacy claimed Peter Parker’s best friend Harry Osborn as well, who died in battle before learning his father had survived.

Professor Miles Warren created his Jackal costumed identity after the death of Gwen Stacy. He sought revenge on Spider-Man, and started working with Norman Osborn behind the scenes to torment Peter Parker during the “Clone Saga.” Eddie Brock’s transformation intoVenom made him one of Spider-Man’s strongest enemies, though he eventually reformed and became a hero. Unfortunately, his symbiote spawned a powerful offspring that bonded with serial killer Cletus Kasady. Kasadt became Carnage, and continues to endanger the Marvel universe and the multiverse with his ever-increasing threat.

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Where To Start Spider-Man Comics

Spider-Man reading comics while sipping a fast food drink

Spider-Man has starred in an ongoing comic series since 1962, which can make it difficult for some new readers who want to dive into the web-slinger’s adventures. Thankfully, there are a few great jumping-on points from creators who took Spider-Man in bold new directions over the years.

  • Back To The Start
    – The best place to start is at the beginning with
    Amazing Fantasy
    #15 and
    Amazing Spider-Man
    #1. Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s run is a great way to start for commited readers who want to learn as much about Spider-Man as possible, but Lee & Ditko’s run might be daunting for newer fans.

  • Gerry Conway’s Run
    – The first ongoing writer after Stan Lee was Gerry Conway, who carried
    Amazing Spider-Man
    from issues #111-149. He explored topical events and wrote Peter Parker through college as he matured into adulthood, dealt with tragic losses, and faced off against some of Spider-Man’s greatest enemies.

  • The Legend Reborn
    – Following the convoluted “Clone Saga,” Howard Mackie and John Byrne kicked off a new era in
    Amazing Spider-Man
    (Vol. 3) #1 that set the character on a path that leads into J. Michael Straczynski’s transformative run.

  • Brand New Day
    – While some fans weren’t happy with Spider-Man’s Mephisto-driven reboot, the “Brand New Day” relaunch is still an effective jumping-on point and serves as the start of Dan Slott’s epic run on the book. The relaunch introduced new villains, new love interests, and a bold new direction for Spider-Man.

  • Back To Basics
    – Nick Spencer and Ryan Ottley brought Spider-Man back to his roots after Slott’s epic run with the character. Peter Parker moved into a new apartment, got a new job, and faced off with some of his greatest villains. The run called back to a number of iconic moments from previous storylines while bringing closure to others.

  • Ultimate Spider-Man
    – Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley reimagined Peter Parker for the modern Ultimate universe. Spider-Man’s adventures took place in the present day and took the character in exciting new directions that eventually led to the debut of Miles Morales.

Important Events And Milestones

Split image of Spider-Man during the Secret Wars, Clone Saga, and the Spider-Verse events

  • Marvel’s Secret Wars

    Spider-Man took part in the Beyonder’s ultimate battle between good and evil on Battleworld. After his costume was destroyed, he found the alien symbiote that would become his iconic black suit which later bonded with Eddie Brock to become Venom.

  • The Death of Jean DeWolff

    One of the darkest Spider-Man stories ever introduced the villainous Sin-Eater, a brutal murderer who took down one of Spider-Man’s first close allies. “The Death of Jean DeWolff” changed Spider-Man’s life, and the tone of the comics, forever.

  • Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21

    Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson officially tied the knot after years of on-again, off-again dating in the monumental
    Amazing Spider-Man Annual
    #21 (September 1987).

  • Kraven’s Last Hunt
    – After a number of encounters with Kraven, the Hunter finally captured Spider-Man, drugged him, and buried him in a grave for two weeks. “Kraven’s Last Hunt” followed the dark trend of storytelling that would become so successful for the character.

  • Maximum Carnage
    – Carnage escaped and formed a dark family with other villains as they massacred Manhattan in the “Maximum Carnage” event. “Maximum Carnage” was the first of many Carnage-themed events in the Marvel universe and solidified the character’s menace.

  • Clone Saga –
    While the “Clone Saga” in the ’90s isn’t well-regarded by some fans, others remember it fondly. The “Clone Saga” was a long-running change to the status quo that’s still influencing modern
    storylines. Ben Reilly made his debut as Scarlet Spider after first appearing during Gerry Conway’s celebrated run.

  • The Other

    Spider-Man faced the incredibly powerful villain Morlun shortly after he learned of his totemic origins. Their fateful battle led to Spider-Man’s death until The Other brought him back to life with enhanced abilities. “The Other” factors into a number of ongoing storylines and gave Spider-Man a dark, new edge.

  • Civil War
    -Peter Parker’s life changed forever during the
    Civil War
    event. After he started a mentorship with Tony Stark, Spider-Man chose Iron Man’s side in the debate over Superhuman Registration Act. This led him to reveal his secret identity to the world, kicking off a dark chapter in Spider-Man’s life.

  • Big Time
    – While fans are used to seeing Peter Parker struggle with his finances and employment, he reached a new level of success during the “Big Time” era. After scoring a job with Horizon Labs, Spider-Man gained access to new technology and resources that ultimately made him a better superhero.

  • Spider-Island
    – A deadly virus infected the entire island of Manhattan, giving every citizen spider-powers like Peter Parker. The city erupted into chaos as The Jackal revealed his latest attempt to torment Spider-Man while also potentially turning the city into superpowered monsters in this huge Marvel event.

  • Spider-Men

    Hereos from alternate realities met for the first time in the
    crossover event. Peter Parker from the 616 universe found himself in the Ultimate universe, where he teamed up with Miles Morales/Spider-Man against Mysterio for the very first time.

  • Spider-Verse
    – Spider-Man’s totemic origins introduced a connection to other spider-heroes from across the multiverse in the
    event. Fans got to see their favorite versions of alternate reality Spider-Man variants team up to stop the Inheritors, which continued in the
    and the
    End of the Spider-Verse

  • Go Down Swinging
    – Dan Slott’s epic run with Spider-Man came to an end during the “Go Down Swinging” arc. Peter Parker faced his greatest enemy
    Norman Osborn in his new Red Goblin form
    as he swore vengeance against Peter Parker and his closest allies.

  • The Kindred Saga
    – Spider-Man faced one of his greatest threats as new villain Kindred made his debut to torment Spider-Man with the darkest memories and regrets from his past. The event reshaped Spider-Man’s status quo and reimagined a few of his more controversial stories into a more fitting plot of revenge by an old enemy.

  • Dark Web

    Spider-Man and the X-Men teamed up to face the combined cloned threat of Madelyne Pryor and Chasm in the
    Dark Web
    event. New villains like Hallows’ Eve made their debut while the ongoing battle between Peter Parker and Ben Reilly reached a dark new low.

Current Ongoing Series

Spider-Man in his Oscorp suit with an Egg Bomb

  • Amazing Spider-Man
    – The sixth volume of
    Amazing Spider-Man
    by Zeb Wells and John Romita, Jr. completely upended the wall-cralwer’s life. Isolated from his loved ones, Spider-Man found a new path with the reformed Norman Osborn while fans uncovered the mystery of Peter Parker’s ruination.

  • Spider-Man
    – The fourth volume of
    launched in 2023 and featured the return of superstar creators Dan Slott and Mark Bagley. The series launched during the
    End of Spider-Verse
    and features heavily in the event. The new series even featured the debut of a new and mysterious sidekick for Peter Parker known as Spider-Boy.

  • Miles Morales: Spider-Man
    – The adventures of the Ultimate Spider-Man continue in the 616 universe in the ongoing
    Miles Morales: Spider-Man
    by Cody Ziglar and Federico Vicentini. The series introduced a new villain for Miles Morales named Rabble while also setting up the character’s place in the
    upcoming Summer of Symbiotes event

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