Updated: Jan 1, 2021
As iconic and standout as The Amazing Spider-Man title is, with all of its big moments, first appearances, and shocking stories, there are fantastic Spider-Man moments outside of that title. It will always be THE title when talking about the character of Spider-Man and, to some, Marvel in general (like me.) However, I have a handful of issues that I think everyone should read that aren't ASM but are amazing and standout Spidey stories.
Honorable Mention: The Spectacular Spider-Man #176
Ok, when I said amazing and standout, I probably wasn't referring to this issue or the next but it has to be talked about! this is the first appearance of a character/villain named Corona! I don't have a whole lot to delve into about this book and its importance but it certainly deserved at least mentioning. With how crazy 2020 has been for, really, the entire world, this book's relevance has absolutely skyrocketed but has fortunately stayed very affordable and is still in dollar bins across the country. If you're willing to take 10-15 minutes to look for what has become a piece of history and art imitating life by accident. Of course, coronaviruses have existed long before 2020 and this book is not specifically about COVID-19, but it got some buzz and rightfully so over this past year. I managed to snag my own copy for 75 cents from my local comic shop so don't hesitate to take a look and add this fun issue to your collection.
5. Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #6 (2018)
Now, this issue is one that I was really excited for when it first came out! I really enjoyed most of this entire run (besides the sister thing) and I thought this issue would have been a much bigger deal. The amount of hate history JJJ has when it comes to Spider-Man is boundless (Spider-Slayers, anyone?) with the relationship of Pete and Jonah being much, much different! So, for Peter Parker to reveal his identity 55 years after the first appearance of ol' Flat Top - that's a huge deal and deserves to be highlighted! Now, I can't say that the relationship change has been what I'd expected and Jonah has become arguably a bigger thorn in Spidey's side than ever. This issue absolutely deserves to be on this list, though. It's one of those issues that may never pick up any steam as far as resell value but one that every Spidey fan has to have in their collection because it really does capture a big moment in the history of Spider-Man and his relationship with JJJ. With all of the rumors about the past Spider-Men possibly returning in the MCU for Spider-Man 3, I'd love to see Tobey's Peter and JK Simmons' Jameson bring to life a similar situation.
4. Web of Spider-Man #18
Now, this issue is a funny one. Honestly, Web of Spider-Man #1 is typically the highest-valued issue in this series and also kicked off the THIRD ongoing Spider-Man title at the time of release. I chose issue #18 because it's considered the first cameo appearance of Eddie Brock (hands only) but that was actually a retcon. According to the Key Collector Comics app (which is great when looking through long boxes and back issues) the original host of Venom was to be a woman who lost her family in an accident, indirectly caused by Spider-Man. Well, Eddie Brock had a little more hands on and direct trouble with Peter/Spider-Man and we got to see the first appearance of Venom just about a year and a half later in the ever-iconic Amazing Spider-Man #300! Who knew that it would take us through so many amazing symbiote stories and lead us to amazing events like Absolute Carnage! Not to mention the newest big baddie Knull and the current crossover event, King In Black! Where was Donny Cates when this book was published!?
3. Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #310
I don't know about you but I absolutely love Zdarsky's Spider-Man writing and that's why this man gets to be on this list twice with such a recent modern title. Not only is the writing impeccable on this, it's his farewell to Spider-Man and the last issue in this run. This issue begins and ends in one sitting and is such a great issue that captures how much Spider-Man means to the people of New York (and the readers subsequently.) To be honest, the two issues of this run that I've included on this list are phenomenal reads. I'd also recommend Peter Parker: Spider-Man from the early 2000's when Paul Jenkins was the writer! Absolutely fantastic series with great stories that are still in dollar bins everywhere! My second blog was even about Peter Parker: Spider-Man #33, which I wanted to include on this list, but instead I figured I'd just give it a mention and let you know that if you CLICK HERE you can go and read my review of that issue.
2. Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #1
While I will always be a Peter Parker fan over Miles Morales, I absolutely had to include an issue of Miles in this and what better way than the first issue of his first solo series!? Mentioning that I like Peter more doesn't mean that I think that it has to be an either/or situation when it comes to these two great Spider-Men! Miles has quickly become the most popular second generation character that I can think of off of the top of my head. Bendis did with Miles what all other clones and offshoots of Peter Parker failed to do and that's make him just as relatable as Pete but his own character entirely! He feels fresh and different in so many ways including his extra powers! He's successfully crossed boundaries and appealed to a whole new audience that Pete may never have. On top of that, he's got great stories, a hit movie, and an insanely successful video game, with so much more on the way! This is probably the most expensive issue on this list to get aftermarket but I managed to find it dirt cheap at my LCS when the spike was happening. Also, the current run of Miles Morales: Spider-Man has been extremely fun and is finally building Miles' own original rogue gallery and experiences!
#1!!! Ultimate Spider-Man #1
Now, this issue is one that I just had to include as the top pick for this list. I am a huge fan of this series and remember getting the FCBD reprint from the first ever FCBD back in 2002 and it felt so cool to get to read Spider-Man's new and modern origin. Ultimate Spider-Man changed so much about what we knew about this age old character that was already so mainstream! This was also the same year that the first Spider-Man movie released starring Tobey Maguire so you can imagine how much I was in heaven as an 11-year old Spider-Man fan! This title went on to make big changes to stories and looks of well-known villains such as Green Goblin, Kraven, Venom, Carnage, and many more! Bendis really pulled it off spectacularly putting his own modern twist on this character and I'm a big fan of the entire series! I still have my coverless copy from FCBD 2002, as well as a NM copy, a first print, and the KB Toys reprint. The Venom story that this title ended up leading into was great as well! I enjoyed the back story of Pete and Eddie's parents and a lot more with this series but let's just keep our minds and appreciate on this gem!
Thank you so much for giving this a read and enjoying Spider-Man as much as I do! If you want more content from myself and my family you can follow us on TikTok, Instagram, and even check us out on YouTube!