How Strong Is Spider-Man?


  • Spider-Man’s physical strength is one of the highest no matter the iteration of the character.
  • From his base strength to his webs, Spider-Man has performed amazing feats in many various media outlets.
  • No matter the version of Spider-Man, his strength has saved his life and the lives of others, whether in space or in the future year of 2099.

When it comes to powerful superheroes, Spider-Man may be one of the most overlooked. Although he’s not on the same level as, say, Thor and the Incredible Hulk, the web-slinger is, nevertheless, a powerhouse in his own right in terms of physical strength. However, that’s due to more than the radioactive spider that bit Peter Parker. Sure, that fateful accident gave him the proportional strength of a spider. But Spider-Man’s years of fighting enemies and facing obstacles that surpassed his strength also made the wall-crawler stronger.

Spider-Man’s strength has always played a major role in his stories, which also defined how powerful he could be should he ever choose not to pull his punches. Against an above-average human, like the Kingpin, in the 2007 storyline “Back in Black,” by J. Michael Straczynski and Ron Garney, Spider-Man could easily defeat Kingpin or enemies as strong as him without breaking a sweat. But while Peter Parker’s power levels against everyday criminals are easy to gauge, there remains the question of where his assorted comic book, film and even video game incarnations rank in terms of sheer strength.

How Strong Is Spider-Man in the Comics?

Spider-man lifst The Daily Bugle building

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Spider-Man has demonstrated, time and again, that he can lift an impressive amount of weight, throw it, and then fight some of Marvel’s most powerful characters. According to his profile and The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, Peter Parker can lift (press) 10 tons. However, Spider-Man’s upper limits have been shown to surpass that on more than one occasion. Perhaps his most famous feat of strength came early in his career in The Amazing Spider-Man #33. In that memorable 1963 story by Stan Lee and John Romita Sr., Spider-Man is trapped beneath the rubble of a building, yet lifts the debris while trapped beneath the rubble to enable him to escape and save a dying Aunt May. While this is, perhaps, his most iconic feat of strength, it’s far from his greatest.

The hero’s stopping power also showcased his impressive strength in The Amazing Spider-Man #628, by Mark Waid and Tom Peyer, where the web-slinger catches an armored car in mid-air. (Those trucks weigh as much as 55,000 pounds.) However, in the world of lifting, Spider-Man’s most impressive feat came in Spider-Man #98, by Howard Mackie and John Romita Jr., where he held up a crumbling Daily Bugle long enough to save Mary Jane. To adequately explain the true significance, the Daily Bugle Building is 46 stories tall. A typical five-story building typically weighs more than 2,000 tons, which means Spider-Man held roughly 100,000 tons to protect a loved one. Therefore, at his base level, Spider-Man may be able to press 10 tons, but when pushed, he can surpass that by tens of thousands of tons.

How Strong Is Spider-Man’s Web?

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Peter Parker’s physical strength is easy to gauge; his signature webs are a different story. Early in his career, Pater had to learn to construct his own web-shooters and webbing. Both were technological marvels to be created in the room of a 16-year-old, particularly considering his webbing was similar to a nylon polymer. The webs could also be adjusted to varying degrees and lasted anywhere from one to two hours before dissolving. Nevertheless, while everything about Spidey’s webbing was deemed compact, his feats using it were anything but. That said, the movies rarely explored that. Perhaps the closest example comes in 2015’s The Amazing Spider-Man, where webbing created by Oscorp could pull a passenger plane, which weighs close to 100,000 tons. Thankfully, however, the comics paint a clearer picture.

According to the 2005 book The Physics of Superheroes by James Kakalios, PhD., real spider silk has the potential to safely hold more than 6,000 tons, with an incredibly thin strand. With that in mind, Spider-Man’s most iconic webbing feats are made all the more impressive. For example, after carrying the weight of the Daily Bugle in Spider-Man #98, he webbed up the building to hold it in place. The synthetic webbing was also used to subdue the demigod Hercules in Civil War II: Gods of War #3, by Dan Abnett and Emilio Laiso. In that 2016 comic, Spidey wrapped his webs around Hercules and then tossed him. Considering Hercules can go toe-to-toe with Thor that speaks volumes about the webbing’s tensile strength.

How Strong Is the MCU Spider-Man?

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe has established itself as the definitive canon regarding the movie continuity of Marvel Heroes. As a result, it’s relatively easy to use these characters as a foundation when power scaling or gauging who could be stronger. But, unlike Captain America or Thor, Spider-Man’s story of strength is a growing scale. Nevertheless, even Peter Parker’s early years as a hero saw him accomplish impressive acts of strength. For example, while still in his homemade suit, in Captain America: Civil War, Peter stopped a moving truck before it collided with another vehicle. Considering cars weigh upwards of 2,000 pounds, sopping one at a speed of over 30 miles per hour is nothing short of impressive. Spider-Man: Homecoming furthered this with feats that have yet to be topped, even in Spider-Man’s subsequent MCU films.

In Homecoming, Peter, although losing his strength, held in place the two halves of a 3,000-ton Staten Island ferry. He also paid home to the moment from The Amazing Spider-Man #33, only in this case, he lifted the rubble of a warehouse to stop The Vulture. Then, Spider-Man: No Way Home solidified the young hero’s growth when he beat the Green Goblin into submission. Comparatively, Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man may have been even stronger than Tom Holland’s, as only the Green Goblin surpassed him. However, Holland’s Peter, angered that Osborn killed Aunt May, defeated him without issue.

How Strong Is Tobey Maguire Spider-Man?

Peter Parker/Spider-Man stops a train in an absolutely iconic scene from Sam Raimi's film Spider-Man 2.

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From the moment he was bitten, Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man had already achieved his peak levels of strength, which showed in each entry. For example, in 2002’s Spider-Man, Peter could do everything from carrying a 41,000-pound Roosevelt Island tram to punching through the roof of a car. However, Spider-Man 2 depicted Peter carrying a massive metal wall to save Mary Jane after taking a beating and stopping a moving strain, which weighs more than 85,000 pounds. When not wearing the Symbiote in Spider-Man 3, Peter Parker could pull full-grown men from under sand with one arm and stab metal poles into concrete, which would take incredible force.

Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man demonstrated, in every appearance, that he possessed the most raw power. While other film versions portrayed the hero as growing into his strength, Maguire’s hero was more about finding his limits. For example, Peter learned following multiple fights with The Green Goblin that the villain was his match and may even be stronger. As a result, Spider-Man had to outsmart his foe. That continued to be a trend with other powerful enemies, like Venom, who was so strong that outsmarting him was the only available strategy. That said, each movie in the Sam Raimi trilogy featured an act of strength that helped to solidify Maguire’s place as, perhaps, the strongest live-action Spider-Man.

How Strong Is Insomniac Spider-Man?

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While the strength levels of the live-action incarnations of Spider-Man are easier to explore, a recent video game version may be more difficult to gauge because punches can vary. Nevertheless, Marvel’s Spider-Man, from Insomniac Games, includes moments that separate its wall-crawler from the pack and show how he’s used his strength to his full potential. Marvel’s Spider-Man was developed as a way to allow gamers to play as the definitive version of the character, not someone new to the life of a superhero. That said, Peter Parker still encounters situations that test him.

For example, like the iterations that came before him, Insomniac’s Spider-Man can stop a moving car in its tracks and subdue enemies within the vehicle. Also, during a chase with Mr. Negative, the web-slinger is forced to keep a crane from collapsing. That begins with the player having him pull back on the machine with his webs. Although that ultimately fails, in the game, Spidey holds the 100-ton crane in its place for a few moments. He also lifts piles of debris and holds up tons of rubble during the siege of Fisk Tower. That said, this version’s most impressive act comes in the final battle against Doctor Octopus, where Peter, in a fit of rage, tears off one of Octavius’ mechanical arms. While no weight is given, the arm is incredibly thick and, at a 90-degree incline, takes great force to wrench from the housing on the villain’s back. There may be fewer feats of strength in Marvel’s Spider-Man. But the moments that Peter Parker is depicted using his power show that he’s well aware of his upper limits of power.

How Strong Is Cosmic Spider-Man?

Cosmic Spider-Man using the Enigma Force as Captain Universe

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With the power of The Enigma Force, Spider-Man gained the power of Captain Universe. While that made the friendly neighborhood superhero a powerhouse in many ways, it also boosted many of the feats Spider-Man could perform into something far more impressive. For example, in The Amazing Spider-Man #328, by David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane, Peter Parker used these powers to punch the Incredible Hulk into orbit.

In the previous issue, Spider-Man also lifted a fully loaded cruise ship and then carried it to shore. Typically, those ships can weigh 228,021 gross tons, and this was barely a challenge for Spider-Man. While Peter Parker doesn’t accomplish many major feats as Cosmic Spider-Man, it’s clear there was no ceiling to his power and that he could have become a major cosmic force had he kept it.

How Strong Is Spider-Man 2099?

Miguel O'Hara swinging through Nueva York in Spider-Man 2099

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Spider-Man 2099 is Miguel O’Hara, a man from the future with an origin similar to Peter Parker. However, the spider DNA that gave him his abilities didn’t alter his strength much, as his profile shows that he, too, can lift close to 10 tons. That said, O’Hara has never been known to perform incredible acts of strength, as stealth is his preferred strategy.

Nevertheless, he has proved his power more than once. For example, in his 1992 solo series by Peter David and Rick Leonardi, he lifted cars and even kicked a criminal through a brick wall, which would take 3000 PSI (pounds per square inch) to accomplish. In the end, every iteration of Spider-Man has displayed impressive degrees of strength. However, it’s clear that their limits vary, and the primary factor that determines how much they can lift is their drive to do what’s right. That pushes every Spider-Man to accomplish the impossible.

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