Spider-man has a long and prolific history in Marvel Comics. He is one of the company’s most beloved heroes and possibly the face of the company. He receives frequent guest star opportunities in other books, has joined various teams such as the Avengers and the Fantastic four, and has one of the most celebrated rogue galleries in superhero comics.
Part of the reason for Spider-Man’s celebrated status in the comic book world is how easy it is to identify with. However, it is also largely thanks to the countless celebrated stories that he has been a part of, many of which have very memorable twists and turns that people remember to this day.
10 The death of Gwen Stacy and then the green goblin himself
“The Night Gwen Stacy Died” was one of the first major turning points in Spider-Man history. His longtime girlfriend, Gwen Stacy, was killed by the Green Goblin, and Spider-Man’s attempts to save her did not go according to plan. This was a huge shock to readers and one of the most infamous moments in the history of superhero comics.
To add to this, Green Goblin died in the same number. Spidey had cornered Norman, and the Green Goblin used his remote-controlled Goblin Glider to try to stab Spidey from behind. However, Spider-Man got out of the way and the Glider stabbed Norman instead.
9 The return of Norman Osborn as the green goblin
This pivotal moment in Spider-Man’s history was later partially undone. In addition to the revelations that Norman Osborn and Gwen Stacy may have had a number of romantic relationships and even a possible child together, Norman Osborn returned and resumed his crusade against Spider-Man.
Osborn would don the Green Goblin costume again, but would also lead the Thunderbolts and even lead his own Dark team. Avengers and replace SHIELD with an organization called HAMMER as a director.
8 Peter Parker’s parents were actually international FBI super spy agents
Amazing Spider-Man Annual # 5 Stan Lee and Larry Lieber put his own spin on the story of Peter Parker and his family. It revealed that Richard and Mary Parker were actually spies working for the Red Skull. However, as Peter delved deeper, he discovered that they were actually FBI and SHIELD agents spying on the Red Skull, doing these kinds of things for a living.
There has been more talk of Richard and Mary Parker in the years since, and the legend of their exploits has expanded enormously.
7 The black suit was alive the whole time and becomes his own supervillain / antihero
Another significant and shocking twist came after Peter Parker got his black suit after the Secret wars event. Spider-Man wore black for years before discovering, with the help of Mister Fantastic, that the costume had been alive all this time and may have been playing with Peter’s mind and body.
After discovering the ways this costume was corrupting him, Spider-Man forcibly removed the costume for good. That disguise, actually an alien symbiote known as the Klyntar, would latch onto Eddie Brock and become Poison.
6 The revelation that Peter Parker was a clone all this time
The much maligned Clone Saga attempted to achieve a massive twist centering on Peter Parker, the Jackal, and a clone named Ben Reilly. The story started in Amazing Spider-Man # 149 by Gerry Conway and Ross Andru when the Jackal made a Spider-Man clone to fight the original. However, the clone returned years later in The Spectacular Spider-Man # 216 by Tom DeFalco, Todd DeZago and Sal Buscema when this clone visited Aunt May again.
It was soon revealed over the course of the Clone Saga that the person readers thought was Spider-Man all this time was the clone and the person they thought was Ben Reilly was the original Peter Parker. In other words, the Spider-Man that readers had met in the intervening years was actually a clone. Readers didn’t like it very much, and this reconfiguration was undone at the end of the story with the apparent death of Ben Reilly.
5 Spider-Man reveals his secret identity to everyone
After joining the New Avengers and starting working for Tony Stark, Tony Stark lobbied Spider-Man to be a test case for the Superhero Registration Act. After reflecting on it and being promised the protection of Iron Man and the United States government, Spider-Man took off his mask on live television and told the world his real name.
In the ensuing Superhuman Civil War over the SHRA, Spider-Man started out on Iron Man’s side in the conflict, but eventually defected to Captain America.
4 Peter and Mary Jane make a deal with Mephisto to undo that identity he reveals and save Aunt May.
Unfortunately for Peter, the Kingpin took this opportunity to shoot Spider-Man, but the assassin missed and hit Aunt May. May was taken to the hospital, but the odds were not good for May Parker.
Mephisto appeared and made an offer to Peter and Mary Jane. It would save Aunt May if Peter and Mary Jane agreed to let Mephisto erase their marriage and romantic relationship from history, as their love was so pure that erasing it would spit in the face of God. Peter and MJ accepted that offer, with the latter adding the stipulation that Mephisto erased the knowledge of Spider-Man’s secret identity from the world.
3 The reveal of Peter Parker’s sister Teresa Parker
In the Spider-Man: Family Business Tale of James Robinson, Mark Waid and Gabrielle Dell’Otto, it is revealed that Richard and Mary had another daughter: Teresa Parker. She took over her parents’ spy business, although it was ultimately revealed that her memories were implanted by the Kingpin and Mentallo.
However, it was later revealed that Teresa was actually Peter’s sister, and the Kingpin’s meddling was something of a coincidence or double ruse.
two The death of Spider-Man (from the definitive universe) and the rise of Miles Morales
The death of the Ultimate Spider-Man (Peter Parker of Earth-1610) shocked the world and even made headlines. In an extreme series of events, the Ultimate Spider-Man was shot by the Punisher and then underwent a brutal fight against the Sinister Six before being caught in an explosion caused by the Green Goblin. Peter Parker died from his injuries. However, his mantle would soon be taken over by Miles Morales, the new Ultimate Spider-Man.
The last Peter Parker would return later thanks to the OZ formula created by Norman Osborn. He would let Miles take over the Spider-Man mantle and live a quiet life with Mary Jane, but he became Spider-Man again after the events of Secret Wars (2015), where Miles Morales was somehow transferred over to the main Marvel Universe (Earth-616)
1 Doctor Octopus takes over Peter Parker’s body and becomes the superior Spider-Man.
One of the craziest plans ever executed by a supervillain involved Doctor Octopus assembling the Sinister Six. Otto was dying, and he decided, in order to stay alive and continue his scientific work, the best way forward was to transfer his mind to the body of his most hated enemy, Spider-Man.
Otto was successful, and for a time the Amazing Spider-Man became Superior Spider-Man. Like Spider-Man, Otto employed a more authoritarian and brutal approach to justice, which alienated Spider-Man from the Avengers. Eventually, Peter would regain his body and Otto’s mind would be transferred to a hybrid clone body of Otto Octavius and Peter Parker, retaining Spider-Man’s powers in this new body.
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