Spider-Man has a long and prolific history in Marvel Comics. He is one of the company’s most beloved heroes and, arguably, the face of the company. He receives frequent opportunities to guest star in other books, has joined various teams such as the Avengers and the Fantastic Four, and he has one of the most celebrated rogues’ galleries in superhero comics.
A part of the reason for Spider-Man’s celebrated status in the comic book world is how relatable he is. However, it’s also largely thanks to the countless celebrated stories he’s been 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 that Gwen Stacy Died” was one of the first major turning points in Spider-Man’s history. His longtime girlfriend, Gwen Stacy, was murdered by the Green Goblin, and Spider-Man’s attempts to save her did not work according to plan. This was a huge shock to the readership and one of the most infamous moments in superhero comics history.
To add to this, Green Goblin died in the same issue. Spidey had Norman cornered, and the Green Goblin used his remote-control Goblin Glider to try and stab Spidey from behind. However, Spider-Man dodged out of the way, and the Glider stabbed Norman instead.
9 The Return Of Norman Osborn As The Green Goblin
This pivotal moment of Spider-Man history was later undone partially. In addition to revelations that Norman Osborn and Gwen Stacy may have had a series of romantic liaisons and even a potential child together, Norman Osborn returned and resumed his crusade against Spider-Man.
Osborn would don the Green Goblin costume again, but he would also go on to lead the Thunderbolts and even lead his own team of Dark Avengers and replace S.H.I.E.L.D. with an organization called H.A.M.M.E.R. as the director.
8 Peter Parker’s Parents Were Actually International Superspy FBI Agents
Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5 by Stan Lee and Larry Lieber provided its own twist into the history of Peter Parker and his family. It revealed that Richard and Mary Parker were actually spies that worked for the Red Skull. However, as Peter dug deeper, he figured out that they were actually FBI and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents that were spying on the Red Skull, and that they did this kind of thing for a living.
More has been made of Richard and Mary Parker in the years since then, and the legend of their exploits has greatly expanded.
7 The Black Costume Was Alive All Along And Becomes Its Own Supervillain/Antihero
Another significant and shocking twist came after Peter Parker obtained his black costume 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 this whole 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 from himself forever. That costume, in reality an alien symbiote known as a Klyntar, would attach itself to Eddie Brock and become Venom.
6 The Revelation That Peter Parker Was A Clone This Whole Time
The much-maligned Clone Saga attempted to pull off a massive twist of its own centering around Peter Parker, the Jackal, and a clone by the name of Ben Reilly. The story began in Amazing Spider-Man #149 by Gerry Conway and Ross Andru when the Jackal made a clone of Spider-Man 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 returned to visit Aunt May.
It was soon revealed over the course of the Clone Saga that the person the readers thought was Spider-Man all this time was the clone and the one who thought he was Ben Reilly was the original Peter Parker. In other words, the Spider-Man that readers had known in the interim years was actually a clone. Readers didn’t like that much, and this retconning was undone at the end of the story with the apparent death of Ben Reilly.
5 Spider-Man Revealing His Secret Identity To The Whole World
After joining up with the New Avengers and beginning to work for Tony Stark, Spider-Man became pressed by Tony Stark to be a test case for the Super Hero Registration Act. After mulling it over 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 off on Iron Man’s side in the conflict, but he eventually defected to Captain America.
4 Peter And Mary Jane Making A Deal With Mephisto To Undo That Identity Reveal And Save Aunt May
Unfortunately for Peter, the Kingpin took this opportunity to take a shot at Spider-Man, but the assassin missed and hit Aunt May instead. May was taken to the hospital, but the odds weren’t looking good for May Parker.
Mephisto appeared and made an offer to Peter and Mary Jane. He would save Aunt May if Peter and Mary Jane agreed to have Mephisto wipe their marriage and romantic involvement from history–as their love was so pure that erasing it would spit in the face of God. Peter and MJ took that offer, with the latter adding the stipulation that Mephisto wiped 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 by James Robinson, Mark Waid, and Gabrielle Dell’Otto, it is revealed that Richard and Mary had another child: Teresa Parker. She took up the spy business of her parents, though it was revealed by the end that her memories were implanted by Kingpin and Mentallo.
However, it was later revealed that Teresa was actually Peter’s sister, and the Kingpin’s meddling was some kind of coincidence or double-ruse.
2 The Death Of (The Ultimate Universe’s) Spider-Man And The Rise Of Miles Morales
The death of the Ultimate Spider-Man (Peter Parker of Earth-1610) shocked the world and even made the news. In an extreme series of events, the Ultimate Spider-Man was shot by Punisher 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 on by Miles Morales, the new Ultimate Spider-Man.
The Ultimate Peter Parker would later return thanks to the OZ Formula created by Norman Osborn. He would let Miles take over the mantle of Spider-Man and live a quiet life with Mary Jane, but he became Spider-Man again after the events of Secret Wars (2015), wherein Miles Morales was somehow transferred over the Mainstream Marvel Universe (Earth-616)
1 Doctor Octopus Taking Over Peter Parker’s Body And Becoming The Superior Spider-Man
One of the most insane plans ever enacted by a supervillain involved Doctor Octopus reuniting the Sinister Six. Otto was dying, and he decided, to keep himself alive and continue his scientific work, the best way forward was to transfer his mind into the body of his most hated enemy, Spider-Man.
Otto succeeded, and, for a time, the Amazing Spider-Man became the Superior Spider-Man. As Spider-Man, Otto employed more of an authoritarian and brutal approach to justice, which alienated Spider-Man from the Avengers. Eventually, Peter would take his body back, 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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