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Spider-Man: 10 Characters Who Were Better Under The Mask Than Peter (And 10 Who Were Worse)

Spider-Man is one of the most iconic heroes in comic book history. As with other successful characters, through the years, writers have created many alternate versions of the Webhead in order to offer fresh perspectives. For some fans, Peter Parker will always be the best. But other fans have found some of his successors to be even better. With fans buzzing about Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, the complex history of the countless webslingers throughout the Marvel multiverse is on the minds of many fans. The first major comic book event to explore the various Webheads came in 2014, when Spider-Verse took fans by storm. Fans met many alternate versions of the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, who were all being targeted by the Inheritors.

The introduction of these characters changed the Marvel landscape, as several of them received their own series and became fixtures of Spider-Man’s corner of the Marvel Universe. Secret Wars brought many of the heroes back together and some of them teamed up again as the Web Warriors. In 2018, Marvel gave fans a sequel to Spider-Verse in the form of "Spider-Geddon", which has given fans many other versions of the Webhead. Altogether, there are countless Spider-Men swinging around these days. Some of them are alternate versions of Peter that differ significantly from the original. Others have nothing in common with Peter, beyond their Spider-Powers. Regardless, there are plenty of Webslingers to choose from, so we’ve decided to list ten Spider-Men who are better Webslingers than Peter and ten who are worse.

20 BETTER: MILES MORALES

Miles Morales Spider-Man

Of all the alternate Spider-Men running around the multiverse, Miles Morales may be the most notable of them all. Miles originally made a name for himself in the Ultimate Universe. There, he was only the second man to serve as the Webhead. Eventually, Miles made his way to the Earth-616, the main Marvel Earth.

Compared to Peter Parker, Miles is arguably better than his predecessor because he has two unique powers (the usage of a venom strike/blast and the ability to camouflage himself.) Additionally, Miles’ cultural significance speaks for itself; he has been a crucial figure in the efforts to increase diversity in Marvel’s classic superheroes.

19 WORSE: SPIDER-PUNK

Spider Punk

We like punk music as much, if not more than, the next guy. But Spider-Punk is an on the nose personification of the stereotypes about the genre. This characterization is unfortunate because his story offers a fascinating twist on Spider-Man’s rivalry with the Green Goblin.

This Webslinger is Earth-138’s Hobie Brown, who leads an uprising against Osborn. Hobie literally used amplified punk music to disable Osborn’s forces and publicly defeat the villain. Brown went on to serve in the Spider-Army and on the Web Warriors. Still, he’s just a little too obnoxious, so we have to rank him below Parker

18 BETTER: SPIDER-HAM

10 weirdest marvel comic characters

Hear us out on this one. At first glance, Spider-Ham may seem like nothing but a joke. Yes, he was created as a parody who wasn’t meant to be taken seriously. But Peter Porker has become one of the most beloved members of the Spider-Verse and, as a member of the Web Warriors, he deserves credit for defeating the Inheritors.

What’s not to like about a Spider-Man who comes from a world where most of the Webhead’s supporting, quite literally, a pig? It’s past time that Spider-Ham gets the spotlight he deserves and we can’t wait to see John Mulaney bring Peter Porker to life in Into The Spider-Verse.

17 WORSE: SPIDER-MONKEY

How could we possibly include Spider-Ham and Spider-Monkey on opposite sides of the list? It’s simple -- this webslinger isn’t nearly as beloved as Peter Porker. The Spider-Man of Earth-8101 debuted in 2008’s Amazing Spider-Man Family #1. Porker has been around longer so, though this webslinger could still become a successful character, he hasn’t managed to do so.

Porker is a light and friendly alternate version of the Webhead. On the other hand, Spider-Monkey is self-centered and crosses moral lines that the typical Peter Parker never would. While Spider-Monkey helped in the war against the Inheritors, he falls short of the real Spider-Man. Spider-Monkey was taken out by the Inheritors and, given his lack of success, he might not make his way back to the Marvel Universe.

16 BETTER: SPIDER-MAN NOIR

Unlike Miles Morales, Spider-Man Noir doesn’t have distinct powers that set him apart. Instead, Noir’s appeal largely comes from the time period he comes from (the era of the Great Depression) and the fascinating ways he maximizes the criminal underworld in order to take it down. Noir crafts an impressive network full of various criminals and informants and this knowledge aids him in his quest to take down the Goblin, or Norman Osborn.

Plus, Noir isn’t just a traditional web-slinger. He’s also a highly-skilled marksman who’s willing to get his hands dirty. Noir also gets bonus points for a cool costume, which includes a stylish pair of aviator glasses.

15 WORSE: THE SPIDER-MAN (AARON AIKMAN)

Aikman Spider-Man

Aaron Aikman may have added “the” before his superhero moniker but this distinction doesn’t help his case as an improvement over Peter Parker. Aikman didn’t get his powers due to an accident -- he was part of an experiment that spliced his DNA with that of a genetically-altered spider. Aikman also augmented his abilities with a cybernetic suit of armor.

Of the many Spider-Men introduced during the Spider-Verse events, Aikman received a decent share of the spotlight but he still only lasted one issue before Morlun took him out. Aikman could return someday but other characters have simply executed the “robotic Spider-Man” idea more effectively.

14 BETTER: SPIDER-UK

Spider-UK, or Billy Braddock, isn’t too dissimilar to the typical version of the Webslinger. He has the same powers but he differs significantly from his predecessor in at least one obvious field. Billy is a member of the Captain Britain Corps and his costume proudly the incorporates the British flag into its design.

Billy finds himself pulled into the center of the “Spider-Verse” storyline and he ultimately becomes a leader of the Web Warriors. With this team, Spider-UK helps other Spider-Men (temporarily) defeat the Inheritors. Unfortunately, the "Spider-Geddon" event hasn’t been as kind to Billy; he was quickly taken out by Verna. Hopefully, we’ll see Billy again someday.

13 WORSE: SP//DR

Peni Parker is one of the better examples of those robotic Spider-Men we mentioned. Her father was a pilot of the SP//dr suit and Peni was the only person capable of carrying on his legacy. Before her initial venture into the Spider-Verse, Peni took down Mysterio and teamed with Daredevil.

Later, she developed a rivalry with Addy Brock, who piloted the VEN#m suit. All in all, Peni is a compelling version of Spider-Man but she hasn’t done much to stand out from her peers. Maybe she’ll get more chances in the future but, for now, she falls short of Peter Parker.

12 BETTER: GHOST SPIDER

What would happen to Spider-Man if everything went his way and he didn’t lose Uncle Ben? The Earth-11638 explored this alternate timeline and the results ultimately weren’t pretty. With Ben’s assistance, Peter learned how to use his powers and he found success, both as a superhero and as a scientist. Thanks to Ben, the Amazing Spider, as he called himself, became hungry for power so he lured other Spider-Men to his world and drained them of their abilities.

Eventually, the Amazing Spider merged with the Spirit of Vengeance to become the Ghost Spider. Having the powers of these two heroes gives this Spider-Man a leg up on the competition.

11 WORSE: SPIDER-WOLF

Spider-Wolf is one of the most unremarkable Spider-Men in the multiverse. This iteration of the Webslinger comes from Earth-13989 and he’s a Werewolf. He has all of Peter Parker’s powers and, in theory, he’s stronger than his predecessor due to his physiology. But fans never got the chance to see just how powerful Spider-Wolf is.

The character debuted Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 #11 and it was his only appearance. Spider-Wolf hasn’t been since since he was unceremoniously taken out by Karn and he probably won’t come back anytime soon. Other animalistic Spider-Men have found some success but Spider-Wolf certainly has not.

10 BETTER: SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN

Dan Slott’s creation of the Superior Spider-Man raised eyebrows and ruffled some feathers. Many fans were displeased with the decision to essentially replace Peter Parker with Otto Octavius, or Doctor Octopus. It’d be one thing if this story took place on an alternate Earth but Otto became Marvel’s primary version of Spider-Man.

The Superior Spider-Man had all of Parker’s powers but none of his winning personality. However, with Otto’s brilliant brain, this Webslinger was able to make a difference in ways that Parker never could. For instance, he made a public example out of the villainous Massacre in order to deter others from committing crime.

9 WORSE: KAINE

Scarlet Spider Kaine

“The Clone Saga” is one of the most infamous Spider-Stories of all time. Regardless of how you feel about it, there’s no denying that, for a while, it drastically changed the Webhead’s corner of the Marvel Universe. It’s also had a lasting effect; the storyline introduced various new Webslingers, and one of the most enduring additions has been Kaine Parker.

Kaine was the Jackal’s first semi-successful attempt to clone Peter Parker. While Ben Reilly has enjoyed more success, Kaine has managed to stick around, too (he’s been one of the leading figures in the "Spider-Geddon" event.) Still, despite a few unique powers of his own, Peter outranks him on any day of the week.

8 BETTER: SPIDER-WOMAN

Spider-Woman

Spider-Woman has quite a distinct power set that has been revised over the years. Beyond the traditional powers of Spider-Man, Jessica Drew can fire venom blasts, or bursts of electrical energy from her hands. Drew is also resistant to all forms of radiation.

That being said, the most fascinating aspect of Spider-Woman is her history on both sides of the rivalry between S.H.I.E.L.D. and HYDRA. At various points, Drew has gone back and forth between the two organizations. Now, she seems to be one of the good guys but this unpredictability makes her one of the most compelling characters in the Spider-Verse.

7 WORSE: SPIDER-DOPPELGANGER

Debuting in Infinity War #1 is quite an honor. Though Magus created many other doppelgangers, the one based on Spider-Man found a little more success than his brethren. The creature has all of Peter Parker’s powers as well as the ability to produce razor sharp webbing. Oh, and it also has six arms.

Spider-Doppelganger made an encore appearance in "Maximum Carnage," where it was adopted by Carnage and Shriek. The “family” eventually broke apart after Carnage was captured by the Mercury Team. While this scary version of Spider-Man has primarily functioned as a villain, he did help the heroes in "Spider-Verse". Still, it pales in comparison to Peter Parker and other Spider-Men.

6 BETTER: SPIDER-MAN 2099

Spider-Man 2099

Spider-Man 2099, or Miguel O’Hara, is one of the most famous alternate Spider-Men Marvel has ever produced. He was a leading figure in the 2099 universe, which was popular in the '90s. Miguel has most of his namesake’s powers and his senses of sight and hearing are superhuman, too. In addition to sharp talons and teeth, Miguel also has venom glands. These weapons are effective upgrades over Peter Parker.

Furthermore, Miguel is also a genius. While Peter is incredibly smart, too, Miguel may be even more brilliant. Spider-Man 2099 is also notable because O’Hara was the first Latino character to serve as the Webslinger. O’Hara helped add diversity to the Marvel Universe years before Miles Morales debuted.

5 WORSE: MAC GARGAN

Mac Gargan

For many years, Mac Gargan was one of Spider-Man’s most famous enemies. As a member of the Sinister Six, Gargan wreaked havoc in Peter Parker’s life and made a name for himself as one of the Webhead’s most formidable villains.

Naturally, when Norman Osborn rose to power after "Secret Invasion", he tabbed Gargan to serve as his webslinger on the Dark Avengers. Gargan, who had bonded with the Venom symbiote, was more evil than ever. There may not be a shred of decency in Gargan, which is why he unleashed such a reign of terror during his time with the suit. Spider-Man is supposed to be a hero, and, to say the least, Gargan is the antithesis of that.

4 BETTER: SPIDER-GWEN

Peter Parker’s tragic loss of Gwen Stacy is one of the most famous Spider-Man stories of all time. But, as a result, Marvel fans were deprived of the chance to see Gwen Stacy blossom as a character. While she has come back on a few occasions, fans often ask themselves what could have been.

Marvel gave Spider-fans one of these possibilities when it introduced Spider-Gwen, who was bitten by the spider that gave Peter Parker his powers. Gwen has the same abilities as Peter but this alternate world offered several intriguing variations on the classic Spider-Man story. For that reason alone, Spider-Gwen deserves some recognition.

3 WORSE: PATTON PARNEL

It’s hard to call Patton Parnel an alternate Spider-Man but he meets the criteria. He was bitten by an unusual spider and, subsequently, Patton got superpowers. Sound familiar? Well, Patton’s story diverges significantly from Peter Parker’s, and this dark iteration of the Webslinger is primarily an attempt to answer the question, “what would happen if a bad guy had Peter’s abilities?

Patton experimented on animals and, once he received powers, his mistreatment of live creatures worsened significantly. Unlike Peter, Patton’s abilities caused him to transform into a monstrous creature that reflected his inner demons. Thankfully, Morlun quickly dispatched Patton in Edge of Spider-Verse #4. Good riddance.

2 BETTER: ULTIMATE SPIDER-WOMAN

It may be odd to include Spider-Woman twice but her counterpart in the Ultimate Universe is a legitimate hero in her own right. There, Jessica Reilly Drew was a clone of Peter Parker. Jessica, who was initially created to serve as an agent of the C.I.A., defeated Doctor Octopus, the mastermind behind the scenes, and branched out on her own.

From then on, Drew quickly climbed the ladder, as she served with the Ultimates, S.H.I.E.L.D., and the Web Warriors, among other notable groups. With Peter’s abilities and an impressive resume, Jessica is one of the best Webslingers around.

1 WORSE: OLD MAN SPIDER

It takes bravery to carry on the legacy of a fallen hero. As a result, Ezekiel Sims deserves credit for following Peter Parker’s footsteps as Spider-Man. Sims and other members of the Spider-Army have waged war against the Inheritors. While others have made a significant impact, Sims has fallen short of his contemporaries.

Sims didn’t make it out of the Spider-Verse storyline; he was taken out by Daemos and his most significant contribution came in his parting words. It’s hard to see him coming back when the Spider-Verse is so crowded. Old Man Spider was a fun way to capitalize on the success of "Old Man Logan" but the idea had limited shelf life.

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