Even before the conception of Into the Spider-Verse or its upcoming sequel, Spider-Man has been Marvel’s golden boy since the ’60s, and he has been on hundreds of adventures in his long and decorated career. While most fans might be more familiar with him through the movies, cartoons, and TV shows, his truly dedicated fanbase has been with him since he first swung into the panels of comic books way back when.
But new generations of fans have come and gone since then, so it’s left many wondering just where to jump into the wall-crawler’s iconic comics. Fortunately, Marvel has more than one way to swing into some of the greatest adventures of everyone’s friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
Amazing Spider-Man #1 By Stan Lee
If there’s one origin story most Marvel fans should probably be familiar with, it’s Spider-Man’s. In a case of simple-yet-effective as Stan Lee pulled a geeky high school kid to greatness with one radioactive spider bite. The first appearance of the character is where almost all further incarnations draw their inspiration, and it serves as the quintessential Spidey springboard.
Fundamentals are important no matter what field they come from, and the fateful day when Peter Parker became Spider-Man and received his amazing powers is no exception. First appearing between the pages of Amazing Fantasy, what started out as a last hurrah launched an empire of even more incredible heroes.
Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1 Back To Basics By Nick Spencer
Jumping from the original era to one of the more current runs, the aptly named Back To Basics features Spider-Man doing what he does best, swinging through New York City and beating up bad guys as superheroes are want to do. Set in a world where everyone knows his secret identity, Peter Parker has to tango with more than just the dastardly deeds of the Rhino, Mysterio, and Kraven the Hunter.
If fans are familiar with the MCU incarnation of the character, they’ll have an easy grasp of this brand of Spider-Man. Especially since he goes toe-to-toe with an alien invasion, a friend who’s secretly a villain, and the neverending struggles of juggling a love life with being a superhero.
Spider-Man: Torment By Todd McFarlane
Though technically not an established entry point in the strictest sense, fans who are at least familiar with Spider-Man should unquestionably pick up Todd McFarlane’s run of the character. Known for his iconic Spawn franchise, McFarlane brings his hard-hitting style to the character with the Torment story arc which absolutely drips with classic comic goodness.
Although the art style is saturated with ’90s visuals, the plot is classic Spidey at some of his best. Taking on a murderous Lizard under the control of Calypso, Spider-Man is put through the wringer in terms of story and physical feats. It’s absolutely ideal for those readers looking for something with plenty of action.
Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 1 By Brian Bendis and Bill Jemas
The first issue of the Ultimate universe was one of the first attempts to bring Spider-Man into the modern era. Starting from scratch, the series completely re-imagines the classic Spider-Man narrative in a more contemporary setting. The series ran from 2000 to 2009 and can be considered something of a modern classic.
It feels familiar, yet maintains a visual and narrative style completely all its own. With new takes on characters like Peter Parker, Norman Osborn, Mary Jane, and more, it’s one trip into the Spiderverse that any Spider-Man fan shouldn’t be without. Come for Spider-Man, but stay for the roided-up variant of the Green Goblin.
Civil War By Mark Millar
Although it’s not a starting point for people without some base Marvel knowledge, Civil War is one of the most iconic storylines in the entire established universe. Fans familiar with the conflict between Captain America and Tony Stark presented in the MCU might have somewhat of an easier time getting into it, but Spider-Man fans will definitely want to pay attention.
Although Mark Milar’s storyline focuses primarily on Captain America and Iron Man, Spidey has a big role to play as well. Being caught in the middle between two of the planet’s greatest heroes certainly puts a person in a tough spot, but Spider-Man is still the plucky fan-favorite everyone knows and loves, even if the storyline is a bit more heavy and mature than some of his other outings.
The Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1. By Dan Slott
Provided fans have at least some experience with the previous story, Dan Slott’s Spider-Man runs are definitely something to behold. Fans who have seen the MCU’s incarnation of Peter Parker will definitely catch a few similarities between those and that of a post-Civil-War Spider-Man with a new lease on life.
Aptly titled “Brand New Day,” Spider-Man takes a headlong dive into his classic routine, though with a few twists and turns here and there. He’s a more seasoned superhero to be sure, but that doesn’t mean life gets any easier. That’s especially true when he tries to juggle work drama, a social life, and fighting supervillains.
The Superior Spider-Man #1 By Dan Slott
Consider The Superior Spider-Man to be the sequel to Dan Slott’s previously mentioned Amazing Spider-Man, as it continues the events set forth in the previous volume. However, there’s a new twist in the plot that will have many new fans clutching their pearls as Doc Ock uses his new technology to put his mind in Peter Parker’s body.
This new Parker persona isn’t exactly the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man most are probably used to, but it’s the complexities of Otto Octavious that make the story so compelling. Throw in a new Sinister Six and it’s a cocktail of comic book greatness that fans won’t be able to put down.
Spider-Man 2099 Vol 1. By Peter David
Peter Parker might have been the first Spider-Man, but he wasn’t the only hero to pick up the moniker of the famous web-slinger. Enter Miguel O’Hara and Marvel’s futuristic take on one of their most famous heroes in Spider-Man 2099. In this series, the nerdy Peter Parker is replaced by a brilliant geneticist who mixes his genes with that of a spider to become a more powerful iteration of Spider-Man.
Simply put, the run is fun, exciting, and over-the-top in its visuals and delivery. The world might have changed, but the superhero business has not. Even in the future, Spidey still has to contend with the likes of the Vulture, Electro, and Venom on a regular basis.
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1 By Brian Bendis
Fans of the Spiderverse won’t want to miss this collection, as the series pulls Miles Morales into the spotlight as a new chapter in the mythos unfolds. Set in a universe where Peter Parker is dead and buried, it’s up to Miles to take up the mantle as the city’s new Spider-Man.
This is a series that allows characters to get to know Miles Morales on a personal level. It’s much more than just a standard superhero outing, it’s a character study that defines both Spider-Man and his alter ego. In short, it’s a breath of fresh air for a well-established character.
Spidey Vol.1: First Day By Nick Bradshaw
If readers are looking for the true blue classic Spider-Man feel, they can’t go wrong with Spidey by Nick Bradshaw. This reimagining of Spider-Man’s early days is what most people expect from the character, a fun and mildly comedic romp swinging through New York City taking down classic villains like Doc Ock, Sandman, Vulture, and even Doctor Doom.
It has all the monikers of a classic, somewhat cartoony incarnation of the character with a few modern twists and tropes. If fans want Spider-Man in his purest form with a few modern conveniences, this is certainly an ideal starting point for any comic book fan.
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