Despite being Marvel’s most well-known hero, Spider-Man is far from its strongest. He’s able to use his speed and his cunning to outmaneuver many of his opponents, but there are plenty of heroes who are stronger than him, have better equipment, or even are aided by mystical powers. Spider-Man has won some impressive battles over the years, but it’s just a fact that there are some opponents he is not equipped to handle.
Even leaving aside all the villains who could wipe the floor with Spider-Man, he doesn’t stand a much better chance against some of his fellow heroes either. So even though Spidey has abilities far beyond an ordinary human, and has the spirit to never give up, we have to acknowledge when he’s out of his depth as well. From the heroes who could crush him with one punch, to the surprising upsets Spidey has suffered, we’re looking at 15 Superheroes Who Have OWNED Spider-Man.
Spider-Man and Deadpool have had a friendly rivalry for a long time now. It’s pretty similar to Wade’s friendship with Wolverine where they fight a lot, but they are better known for being buddies than seriously trying to kill each other anymore. However, there was one instance where Deadpool not only reverted back to trying to kill Spidey, but actually succeeded. To be fair though, Deadpool killed just about everyone on this occasion.
In Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe, we see a version of Wade who becomes so self aware of his status as a comic book character that he decides the lives of everyone in the world are worthless. Wade begins his killing spree by killing all of the Fantastic Four, and shows no signs of stopping afterwards. Finally, Spidey steps in to confront his friend and they begin to tussle as usual. Peter is more interested in trying to get through to Wade than kill him, but Deadpool shows how ruthless he has become by putting a gun to Spider-Man’s head and blowing his head apart.
Though Logan and Peter have crossed paths plenty of times, Spider-Man vs Wolverine is one of their most iconic encounters in comics. Despite both heroes having such different approaches to dealing with their enemies, they bothgot involved in trying to help a woman named Charlie who was being pursued by the KGB. Charlie herself was a killer, but both heroes thought they knew how to handle her. The clash of their methods eventually became physical, though, and they had a big brawl in a graveyard.
Physically, Logan got the better of the encounter because despite Spidey being willing to bash Logan around, Peter wasn’t willing to take a life. So Logan wound up on top of Spider-Man ready to stick his claws through his head. Peter seemingly was willing to die rather become a killer himself. Logan backed off though, and the fight looked like it was over until Charlie grabbed ahold of Peter. Spider-Man thought it was Wolverine coming back for more so he swung at her without holding back and only realized afterwards that he had killed Charlie. So it was a physical defeat for Peter, as well as a moral one.
13. SPIDER-MAN (MILES MORALES)
Spider-Man is used to dealing with alternate versions of himself thanks to his history of having clones in his life, but he was still caught off guard when he met Miles Morales for the first time. Spider-Men # 2 had the two heroes come together and have their long-awaited introduction, but it didn’t immediately go peacefully. In fact, the victor of their little scuffle might surprise you (or at least it would if this entry didn’t already start with his name).
Peter was immediately suspicious of his younger counterpart and wanted answers, but Miles’ fanboying over meeting his hero got on Peter’s nerves. They began fighting, but Miles surprised Peter with some new moves, like a venom sting that left Pete easily incapacitated. The fight finally tumbled off a rooftop and Pete saved them with a web net, then unmasked Miles. But Miles was so upset over being exposed that he electrified the webbing, knocking Peter out and almost sending them falling to their deaths.
12. THE HULK
The Amazing Spider-Man # 14 is most noteworthy for being the first appearance of classic Marvel villain the Green Goblin. That little fact might overshadow whatever else happens in this issue, but just to add a little more intrigue to this comic, the Incredible Hulk is also a part of the story. You really can’t ask for more to be packed into a single issue than that.
Though Spidey has beaten the Hulk before, this early encounter in their careers was not so fortunate for Peter. Spidey’s encounter with Green Goblin spilled into a cave where the Hulk was living, and the Hulk attacked Peter. Peter attempted to reason with the Hulk to no avail. Then Peter tried to use his speed to stay away from the Hulk, but Hulk had much more stamina and just had to wait for Peter to get tired. When Peter eventually did, and tried to punch the Hulk, well… that went about as well you’d think. Left with no other option, Spider-Man seriously just hides until the Hulk isn’t nearby and then runs away.
11. THE PUNISHER
Several characters have taken on the entirety of the Marvel universe at this point, but the Punisher was the originator at it. In Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe Frank becomes caught up in the issue of superheroes having a habit of hurting and killing innocent bystanders in their big fights against villains. Frank is personally affected by this when he loses someone thanks to the battles of heroes, and he later encounters others who have endured similar experiences. The thing all these victims have in common is that they want revenge.
This sends Frank on a killing spree throughout Marvel, and eventually Spider-Man enters his crosshairs. Spidey is in the midst of one of his signature fights against his nemesis Venom in a sewer. The Punisher shows up and decides to put a permanent end to this rivalry. So nobody else could ever be harmed by this longstanding grudge, the Punisher leaves Venom and Spider-Man both for dead, shooting Spidey between the eyes.
Daredevil is one of the heroes in this topic who would normally be fair game for Spider-Man. There’s nothing so exceptional about Daredevil that he’d be too much for Spidey to handle, and during this fight Daredevil himself even reflects how normally Spider-Man would wipe the floor with him. This fight in Spectacular Spider-Man #110 was just a case of Spidey getting caught at the wrong time.
Spider-Man’s emotions were already volatile due to him wearing the symbiote suit, but he was even more distraught due to a criminal known as the Sin-Eater making a victim out of one of Peter’s friends. Daredevil was trying to stop Peter from killing Sin-Eater, and finally resorted to fighting with him to stop him. Spider-Man was so angry that his attacks were wild and left him vulnerable. Daredevil saw each blow coming and dodged them all to pick his shot. He was so much weaker than Spidey that it took a lot of damage, but Daredevil took advantage of his emotional friend to lay in the damage and incapacitate him.
9. THE THING
When you hear the Thing went up against Spider-Man and one of them had a version of Thor’s hammer to boost their power, you’d think Spidey would be the one to get the weapon to give him a fighting chance. No such luck for the wall crawler. During Fear Itself: Spider-Man # 3, the Thing was the beneficiary of a dangerous new hammer. It corrupted the hero, not only changing his look, but also changing his attitude.
The Thing ambushed Spider-Man at a hospital where innocent civilians were in harm’s way. Spider-Man’s job was doubly hard, trying to keep the onlookers safe during the fight, which meant he took a few hits in the name of saving others. But even when Peter was able to land blows of his own, he could barely damage a walking rock that had the powers of Thor. Yet as the Thing calls down lightning with the hammer, Spidey uses his webbing to create an electrical current between a busted ceiling light and the hammer, resulting in an electrical explosion. Both characters get knocked down, but the Thing departs with a laugh, while Spidey collapses battered to the floor.
8. THOR (ERIC MASTERSON)
As if it were not bad enough for Spidey to deal with the Thing with Thor’s hammer, Peter eventually got acquainted with the genuine Mjolnir… although it wasn’t quite the genuine Thor. In Thor #448, the Thor we all know is out of the picture, and Eric Masterson is filling in until they can find the original again. Spider-Man becomes involved in the scenario as well, but in true comic book fashion, mistakes this new Thor for a villain.
At first Spidey is able to use his speed to good use, and he has Eric annoyed and perplexed as to how to end it. But Eric isn’t actually trying to kill Spider-Man since he knows they aren’t each other’s enemy. Enough becomes enough, though, and Eric slams down Mjolnir to create an electric blast that incapacitates Spidey. The beating is enough to leave Peter seeing stars, but perhaps worse is the tongue lashing he gets from Eric, who chides him for making them get into some cliché brawl straight out of a comic book.
7. THE AVENGERS
Nobody said everyone who has beaten Spider-Man has to have beaten Peter Parker. Even though Pete is the most iconic person to wear the mask, others have done so over the years, including Doctor Octopus. In fact, Doc Ock had Pete’s entire body at his disposal once he performed a mind swap on their bodies to become what he called the “Superior Spider-Man.”
Doc Ock wanted to be more effective than his predecessor ever was, so he resorted to much more brutal methods, including severely injuring or killing his opponents. Since Spidey was a member of the Avengers at the time, the team called him in to ask what was up with him. Doc Ock wasn’t interested in talking, but the Avengers weren’t just going to let him walk away without resolving the issue. A fight ensued, but with Spidey facing the likes of Captain America, Wolverine, Black Widow, and Spider Woman among others, he was quickly overwhelmed and beaten unconscious.
6. PROFESSOR X
Not every victory has to be accomplished through physical dominance, as we’ll see again shortly. Why shed blood when you can resolve a conflict using only your mind? That certainly works for Professor X, one of the strongest members of the X-Men despite never having to lay a finger on anyone. He was able to stop Spider-Man the same way in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars # 3.
People often recall this issue for how Spider-Man made fools of some of the X-Men’s strongest members, including Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Colossus, and Cyclops. Spider-Man had been eavesdropping on their discussion about the Avengers, and meeting with Magneto, and he decided his teammates had to hear this. But as he escaped all of the physical attacks of the X-Men, Professor X proved to be their most valuable member. Xavier used his mind to wipe Spidey’s memories right as he was about to tell his buddies what he had heard. So the X-Men lost the fight, but Xavier won the day using only his mind, making Spidey look like the fool in the end.
5. SPIDER WOMAN
After the death of Peter Parker it was inevitable there would be a new Spider-Man, but not many people were expecting a kid to be the one showing off the powers. But after Miles Morales was bitten by a radioactive spider of his own, he felt the need to act following Peter’s death. So he put on a Halloween store Spider-Man costume and went out in the city to try out his new abilities. It wasn’t long before he got some unwanted attention though.
Spider Woman quickly confronted Miles when he was out in costume one night. He was so inexperienced though that he had no idea how to handle the situation. First he tried to run, but Spider Woman yanked his mask off with her webs. He tried to talk his way out of it, and then she webbed his arms to his body. Finally, he tried to hop away and said he would just call the cops. But in an embarrassing and totally amateur move, Miles tripped and hit his head, knocking himself out. Spider Woman was so taken aback that she actually felt bad for capturing Miles.
We are all pretty used to our versus matches happening in company crossovers, but there does not have to be two opposing brands for there to be dissension between heroes. Just look at how many teams are at Marvel, after all. The Thunderbolts, the Fantastic Four, the Heroes for Hire: any two of these groups could create a clash worth talking about. And it’s hard to get much bigger than the Avengers vs the X-Men.
Issue # 2 of Avengers vs X-Men featured Spider-Man’s battle where he took on Colossus. Even under ordinary circumstances, this fight would have been a mismatch. But this was also after Colossus was imbued with the awesome power of the Juggernaut’s, multiplying his own power immensely. So, the odds were even further stacked against Peter. We wish we could say Spidey’s speed was enough to neutralize the strength disadvantage, but Peter simply had no way to damage Colossus. So he basically got smacked around, choked, and crushed before Daredevil threw in the towel for his friend and said it was time for them to move on.
3. ULYSSES CAIN
Another example of Spider-Man getting taken out of a fight without anyone putting a hand on him came about during Civil War II. Fans already knew going in that this would be a big brawl between the divided teams of heroes, but readers never expected one of the biggest moments would be something that never even happened. This was thanks to Ulysses Cain, a major focal point of the story due to his ability to see what will happen in the future.
The battles between both sides of heroes had been raging for issues, but everyone came to a standstill when they suddenly saw Miles Morales kill Steve Rogers. But it wasn’t actually something from reality, but rather a vision from Ulysses about what the future supposedly held. Fearing it was true, Captain Marvel was determined to arrest Miles, and he was so freaked out that he almost let it happen. But his team members spoke up on his behalf and asked him what he wanted to do. Seeing the possibility of what he might do, Miles forfeited the fight and said he just wanted to go home.
It’s only natural that two of the biggest heroes of their respective companies would crossover at some point. But everyone knows how these things go by now. Fans want to see the heroes fight, but it’s hard to find any legitimate reason for that to happen, so a misunderstanding ensues. Then fans want to see a definitive winner, but obviously neither company wants their hero to come across as looking weak, so they put aside their differences to team up against a common enemy. This superhero fight checks all the boxes, but it’s still hard not to feel like Spider-Man got bested.
In Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man, Lois Lane and Mary Jane get abducted by Lex Luthor and Doctor Octopus, but Superman becomes convinced They trade blows, with Spidey is holding his own, but the red sun radiation was only temporary, so Spidey’s next punch almost breaks his own hand. Superman realizes he’d kill Peter if he hit him now, so Clark allows his opponent to forfeit the fight.
1. SQUIRREL GIRL
We already mentioned how there were multiple characters who took on the Marvel universe, but we were not just talking about Deadpool and the Punisher. It turns out Squirrel Girl did it too in the recent Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe. You’d think she’d be the last character to need this kind of story since she does incredible things like this quite frequently. This is the character who has beaten characters like Doctor Doom and Thanos, after all. But this time it was a clone causing the havoc.
After inadvertently getting duplicated, it looked like there would be two Squirrel Girls teaming up to be heroes. But then that clone turned bad and began targeting Marvel’s biggest names and stealing their abilities, even taking out all of the Avengers at the same time. Come Spidey’s time, Squirrel Girl quickly zapped him out of the air mid web swing, then crashed down on his back when he fell to the ground. Before Spidey became incapacitated, he humorously ponders how he knew he should have left instructions for avoiding mishaps with clones.
Who do you think owned Spidey the hardest? Let us know in the comments!
Spider-Man: Homecoming will be in theaters on July 7, 2017.