In celebration of the release of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ and Spideys upcoming 50th Anniversary I decided to compile a list of five Spider-Man stories I think you should all check out if you haven’t already.
5. Revenge Of The Sinister Six
One of my all time favorite Spidey story-arcs is ‘Revenge Of The Sinister Six’. The story saw the group reunited once more in a bid to take over the world with alien weaponry. The line-up consisted of Doctor Octopus, Electro, Gog, Hobgoblin, Mysterio, Vulture. Sandman’s foster family was hit with a bomb and Sandman (believing Octopus had attacked his foster family as punishment for betraying him) joined the other members of the Sinister Six in a plan to take revenge upon Doctor Octopus.
Written and drawn by Erik Larsen, this story had it all. I mean, you had Spidey getting his ass kicked by the best of the best of his villains and even calling upon some of the coolest characters of the 90′s to back him up. We had the Hulk (in his Professor identity), the Fantastic Four, Sleepwalker, Deathlok, Nova, Solo, Cyborg X, and Ghost Rider all teaming up with Spider-Man to take on the Sinister Six. This was the six in their prime. They pulled out all the stops on this one. I mean they even fucking had Gog on their squad. Gog aka a gigantic reptilian humanoid from The Savage Land. I’ve actually gone back and re-read this story many times because it holds up. And I still love seeing the ending where a broken glass Sandman nearly shreds Doc Ock to death. If you can find a trade of it. Get it. If you can find the issues. Get them. You won’t be disappointed.
4. The Death Of Spider-Man
Ultimate Spider-Man #156-160, Ultimate Comics Avengers vs New Ultimates #1-6, Ultimate Fallout #1-6
This is one powerful story right here. Bendis really delivered a blow with the story-arc that really hits you once you’re done with it. Unlike some of the other stories I am going to to avoid talking too much about this one because it really is a story to be read from start to end. And if Peter Parker’s final words in issue #160 don’t hit you…I don’t know what will. This story not only does its death right but also does right by its death unlike many comic book “death stories”. Bendis is at top of his game here and Bagley’s artwork is phenomenal to go with it. You can most likely still find this available in trade or possibly even singular issues at your local shop.
Amazing Spider-Man #300, 315-317
Spider-Man had never fought a villain like Venom before. Regarded by some as Spideys best villain since The Green Goblin he had all of his same powers, was stronger and didn’t set off his spider sense. While some of Tom DeFalco’s dialogue is a bit weak in the issues you ignore it looking at Todd MacFarlane’s fantastic art work. If you’ve ever been a fan of Eddie Brock…this story is a must read.
2. Kraven’s Last Hunt
Amazing Spider-Man #293-294, Spectacular Spider-Man #131-132, Web Of Spider-Man #32-33
Kraven The Hunter was a villain that many people took as a joke until this story arc hit. This is one of the best read’s you can find. Kraven has hunted every other prey on earth but there is one that has eluded him. He decides to hunt down Spider-Man and buries him alive and then begins posing as him. J. M. DeMatteis and artist Mike Zeck craft an ultimate tale of revenge here with a very memorable ending.
1. The Night Gwen Stacy Died
Amazing Spider-Man #121-122
This right here is one of the most important Spider-Man stories ever written. If you sat and wondered why they were establishing the Gwen and Peter relationship in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ you definitely need to read this. he death of Gwen Stacy shocked the American comic book community. Previously, it had been unthinkable to kill off such an important character and this event was so revolutionary and important that it is one of the markers of the end of the Silver Age of comics. This two issue story-arc also included the death of Norman Osborn aka The Green Goblin and makes this already epic story even better.
For years people debated on how exactly she died. The original comic features a “snap” sound effect next to Gwen Stacy’s head in the panel in which Spider-Man’s webbing catches her, however some later reprints remove the effect. Many people believe that the whiplash from Peter grabbing her with his webbing caused it. Had he not webbed her though she would have fallen to her death regardless. In the end there was no way he could have saved her. Gwen is one of the few comic characters to die and stay dead. This arc gets my number one spot due I consider it to be quite possibly the most important Spider-Man story for everyone to read.
The Clone Saga, Spider-Island, The Death Of Jean DeWolff, Spider-Man: Reign, Shed, Return Of The Goblin