Considering Spider-Man is often defined as one of Marvel’s “street-level” superheroes, it’s surprisingly frequent that he gets himself caught up in universe-ending, cosmic-level events that stretch far beyond the bank robberies and small-time criminals he’s used to tackling in New York. While he’s undoubtedly become one of Marvel’s heavy hitters in the decades following his initial introduction, like his fellow crime-fighting companions he’s also no stranger to a good old fashioned beatdown.
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This is particularly evident in the marketing material for the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming, in which Spidey appears to be having a pretty rough time going head-to-head with Michael Keaton’s Vulture; a villain who’s spent years collecting and experimenting with weaponry scavenged from the debris of Avengers battles. In keeping with that idea, let’s take a look at some of the fights that left Peter Parker with bruises to his ego as well as his body; here are 15 Times Spider-Man Was DESTROYED In Seconds.
With super-strength and a seething rage to match, Titania is a recurring villain who primarily butts heads with the likes of She-Hulk, which should give you some idea of her power level. Needless to say, she makes a formidable opponent to Spider-Man in Web of Spider-Man #59, in which Doctor Doom hires her to take out the web-slinger.
Catching Spidey off guard, Titania proceeds give him the beating of a lifetime, throwing him from a thirty-story building into the sidewalk below, before punching him into a flagpole and launching a slab of freshly torn road at him, which sends him flying into the windscreen of a car, all before delivering one final flurry of punches into poor Pete’s face. Ouch.
14. DOCTOR OCTOPUS
While Doc Ock has gotten the upper hand on Spider-Man several times over the course of their storied history, it’s not Otto’s mechanical arms that give him the swiftest, most satisfying victory over his longtime enemy, it’s his greatest asset of all – his brain.
At the end of Dan Slott’s run of The Amazing Spider-Man, it’s revealed that a dying Doctor Octopus has managed to switch brains with the in-his-prime Spider-Man. But how? As it turns out, Otto managed to dampen the Webhead’s spider-sense, allowing a specially-crafted Octobot to zap him and switch their minds Freaky Friday style; and in that instant, Doctor Octopus finally defeats his greatest enemy, leaving him to die in the knowledge that the conniving villain would be assuming the role of not only Spider-Man going forward, but Peter Parker too. Scary stuff.
13. THE TRAPSTAR
The Trapster is one of those D-list comic book villains who’ve become something of a joke to fans over the years due to their corny costumes, lame powers and general silliness. The Trapster, also known as Paste Pot Pete, is the epitome of this breed of villain, using nothing but a glue gun to take out his enemies. At least the character is self-aware though, as he plans to defeat Spider-Man to escape his status as a joke – and he actually does it.
In what has to be one of Spider-Man’s most humiliating defeats to date, The Trapster uses his glue gun to send Spidey crashing through a glass ceiling, before dousing him in the rapidly hardening substance which in turn causes him to sink to the bottom of a nearby body of water. This affords The Trapster enough time to escape, allowing him to continue his criminal activities and leaving Spider-Man looking pretty dumb.
It’s no secret that Magneto is one of the most powerful villains in the entire Marvel Universe, with his magnetic manipulation allowing him to perform a versatile range of terrifying feats; something he demonstrates to an unsuspecting Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #327.
Hoping to dispatch Spidey as quickly as possible, Magneto manipulates the metallic salts in his body to trap him against the bottom of a loading crane’s magnet before tossing the crane into the distance – with Spider-Man still attached. As the magnet plummets towards the ground and shatters, Spider-Man is luckily kept alive once again by his cosmic powers, and it’s a good job too, otherwise the Marvel Universe might be a very different, Spidey-less place.
In Marvel’s What If… comics, alternate universes and hypothetical scenarios can be explored without affecting the continuity of the mainstream Marvel Universe, and it’s in What If… Vol 2 #17 that Kraven the Hunter finally captures and kills Spider-Man, his long sought-after prey.
It’s a fairly unceremonious death for Spidey, happening in the first few panels of the story, and sees Kraven trap him in a net before unloading a hail of bullets into his chest. It seems odd that Spider-Man could be so easily defeated by Kraven given his past successful efforts at subduing the hunter, but given that this isn’t canon, it’s relatively easy to look past. Nevertheless, despite its status as an alternate universe story, it doesn’t change the fact that Spider-Man was bested by Kraven in mere seconds here.
10. BLACK CAT AND ELECTRO
After Peter Parker returns to his own body following Doctor Octopus’ hijacking of his identity, Spider-Man finds he’s made a whole host of new enemies stemming from Doc Ock’s time as the web-slinging hero. Among these newfound conflicts is one with Black Cat, who suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Doctor Octopus and is now looking for revenge.
Recruiting Electro, Black Cat watches as Peter is fried by his electrical blasts, before taking a few swipes at Spidey herself, eventually unmasking the hero on live television as J. Jonah Jameson narrates the unfolding events. Fellow spider-based hero Silk manages to rescue Peter before anyone can ascertain his identity however, and Peter is able to slink back into the shadows, his identity intact.
Hobgoblin is easily one of the most ruthless and powerful members of Spider-Man’s rogues gallery, regardless of which man is beneath the hood. He’s arguably even more powerful than Spider-Man’s arch-nemesis, Green Goblin, and poses a major threat to Spidey every time he shows back up in his life. Perhaps the most deranged incarnation of the character to date however, is Phil Urich, whose sonic scream and affinity for beheading his enemies is more than a little disturbing.
Spider-Man falls victim to Urich’s powers in Amazing Spider-Man #649, where Hobgoblin’s sonic laugh alone is enough to bring Spider-Man to his knees, leaving him completely at the mercy of his would-be killer. It’s revealed next issue however that moments before his decapitation, Peter was in fact saved by Lady Gaga. And no, I’m not kidding; Horizon Labs scientist Bella Fishbach blasts her iPod through the PA system to drown out Hobgoblin’s sonic laugh and save Spidey.
Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe was another non-canon story released in 1995, and follows a vengeful Frank Castle as he hunts and kills every hero and villain he can find for their roles in the death of his wife and child.
After already dispatching several heroes, Punisher tracks down Spider-Man and Venom as they fight in the depths of a sewer, and after incapacitating them, kills Venom before setting his sights on Spider-Man. Spidey questions Punisher, confused as to why he’s being targeted, and Punisher simply responds with a single bullet to the head. While it’s odd that Spider-Man wasn’t able to disarm Castle given his spider-sense and reflexes, it’s not often you see Spider-Man look so outright terrified – and it makes for a pretty chilling handful of panels.
7. JESTER AND JACK O’LANTERN
Funnily enough, while Punisher was Spider-Man’s killer in the last entry, he’s actually Spidey’s savior here. During the events of Civil War, Spider-Man is attempting to escape Team Stark through the sewers when he’s caught off guard by an explosive device floating in the water. Disoriented, Spider-Man looks up to realize he’s cornered by Jester and Jack O’Lantern – two more of Marvel’s D-list villains.
Assaulting Spider-Man with his trick yo-yo (it’s as ridiculous as it sounds), Jester beats Spidey into delirium before Jack O’Lantern grabs him by the throat, hoping to finish him off. Fortunately, both villains are promptly shot in the head by Punisher, who picks up a beaten and bloodied Spider-Man and carries him to safety. You see? Punisher’s not such a bad guy after all.
When Spider-Man stumbles across a bloody crime scene that appears to be a hit job, he’s annoyed to discover that Deadpool is involved, but not in the way he initially thought. Deadpool is the target of Hit-Monkey, a Japanese macaque who also happens to be an assassin of assassins (only in a Deadpool comic, right?).
Although Spider-Man doesn’t initially believe Deadpool’s ridiculous claim, they’re soon interrupted by the man (or monkey) himself, who quickly sprays a barrage of bullets their way, hitting Spidey in the shoulder and sending him crashing through a table below, incapacitating him. Strangely enough, Hit-Monkey seems apologetic about his mistake in hitting Spider-Man, though it’s unlikely that this does much to lessen the embarrassment of being taken out by a monkey with a gun.
Spider-Man’s first encounter with his longtime foe Adrian Toomes (aka Vulture) didn’t turn out too well for the young webhead, but given this was his second ever encounter with a supervillain, this embarrassing defeat is somewhat understandable. Vulture is a genius-level engineer who manages to craft himself a suit that can fly using electromagnetism, and while this doesn’t sound like the most powerful ability that exists amongst Spidey’s villains, he still manages to give the web-slinger a run for his money.
Taking Spider-Man by surprise, Vulture uses his ability to fly to deliver a powerful kick to Spidey’s back, before throwing him over his shoulder and flying towards a nearby water tower, where he promptly proceeds to trap Spider-Man before flying off into the sunset. This leaves poor old Peter floundering around in the water looking just a little bit foolish.
In another one of Spider-Man’s early adventures he comes toe-to-toe with one of the most enduring members of his rogues gallery: Sandman, who in typical 1960s comic book fashion is attempting to rob a bank.
Being the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man that he is, Spidey naturally springs into action, attempting to apprehend the villain, who he soon discovers has the power to manipulate the organic sand present in his body. Immune to Spider-Man’s punches, Sandman responds with a series of his own, sending Spider-Man flailing over a glass roof, ripping his mask in the process. Forced to flee to conceal his identity, Sandman mocks Spider-Man as he runs away; the exact reverse of what we normally see in Spider-Man comics.
Initially a private investigator, Mac Gargan is hired by J. Jonah Jameson to discover the truth of how Peter Parker obtains such impressive photographs of Spider-Man, though it doesn’t take long for Jameson to convince Gargan to partake in an experiment that would give him the powers capable of taking down his adversary once and for all.
As tends to happen in these experiments however, Gargan is driven insane and is reborn as Scorpion; first turning on the scientist that created him before focusing his energy on Spider-Man. In their first battle, Scorpion’s superior strength and powerful suit allow him to best Spider-Man in hand-to-hand combat, before using Spidey’s own webbing against him, helplessly tangling his foe before pummeling him some more and throwing him through a wooden water tower.
One of the most imposing and dangerous foes in Spider-Man’s history, Morlun is often referred to as an “energy vampire,” a being able to drain the life force of his enemies through physical contact. Having managed to kill Spider-Man in the past (temporarily, at least), Spidey’s battles with Morlun are typically long, exhausting slugfests that serve as true tests of the hero’s stamina and willpower.
In 2014’s Spider-Verse event however, Morlun isn’t playing around. Along with his estranged family, Morlun seeks out the many different versions of Spider-Man throughout the multiverse, easily picking them off one by one before sucking the remaining life from their bloodied bodies. Take Spider Moon-Man of Earth-449 for instance, who discovers Morlun in a local park, only to have his neck immediately snapped by the villain. Morlun then mocks Peter as he feasts on his life force, commenting on the weakness of the multiverse’s Spider-Men.
1. THANOS AND TERRAXIA
One of Marvel’s ultimate big bads, Thanos is set to be the focal point of the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War, and for good reason. With a reputation of being supremely powerful, Thanos has killed many a superhero, despite the fact that the death is usually reversed by the end of the story.
Spider-Man is no exception here, as he joins a countless number of his fellow superheroes to take down the Mad Titan in Infinity Gauntlet #4. What Spider-Man doesn’t count on however, is Thanos’ partner in crime Terraxia, who fights Spider-Man after he fails to damage Thanos, tossing Spider-Man to the ground before bashing his brains in with a rock in a surprisingly bloody display. While Terraxia dealt the killing blow here, Thanos is still partially responsible for Spider-Man’s death in the issue, creating the situation that led to Spidey’s death with his powerful Infinity Gauntlet.
Did we miss any of your favorite Spider-Man beatdowns? Sound off in the comments below!
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