Spider-Man has long been one of Marvel's most popular and famous heroes. His ability to mix his quick humor with action, and the endearing qualities of the mild-mannered Peter Parker have made Spidey a mainstay of the Marvel universe. Spawning two solo film series, with a third incarnation being part of the MCU, many popular TV shows and video games, Spider-Man is truly one of the greatest comic book superheroes of all time.
Of course, with great power comes great responsibility, and also great disasters. Spider-Man has been around for a long time and has seen more than his fair share of team-ups and company-wide events. With meeting so many other characters so many times, Spidey has ended up in some sticky situations. Here are 15 of the most disastrous times Spider-Man has teamed up with other Marvel characters.
15 THE SYMBIOTE
One of Spider-Man’s most classic villains is Venom, an alien symbiote that bonds with hosts for survival. The first host that the Venom symbiote had on Earth was Peter Parker. After encountering the alien during the events of 1984’s Secret Wars, Peter was unknowingly bonded with the symbiote. This created the iconic black-suit Spider-Man, and gave him slightly upgraded powers, such as a near-infinite supply of webbing. The symbiote turned out to be a bad influence on Peter as it was secretly using his body to fight crime at night, leaving Peter exhausted in the morning with no knowledge as to why.
By unknowingly teaming up with this alien symbiote, Peter accidentally created Venom. After learning that his new suit was actually the symbiote, Peter forced it off of himself and it grew to hate him in its obsession. This hatred led to the symbiote bonding with Eddie Brock, who also hated Peter. Together, they grew into one of Spider-Man’s strongest and most vile foes... more on him later!
Last year’s big event, Civil War II, was centered around the Inhuman Ulysses and his ability to have visions of the future. While Captain Marvel wanted to use this power to prevent crimes before they happened, Iron Man disagreed, even before an attempt to stop Thanos using Ulysses’ precognition ended up killing his best friend Rhodey and injuring She-Hulk. This disagreement led to the second Superhero Civil War.
Ulysses was even able to show others these visions, which resulted in disaster when he encountered the second Spider-Man, Miles Morales, and had a vision of him holding Steve Rogers’ dead body. Ulysses was unable to control his abilities and showed this to everyone who was involved in the battle at the Triskelion. While this vision never came true during the war, it is still possible that will occur during this year’s Secret Empire event. Nonetheless, teaming Spider-Man up with Ulysses only resulted in extreme guilt for Miles and added much more confusion to the world’s heroes, who were already a mess.
Venom’s offspring, another symbiote, went on to be even more villainous. Bonding with serial killer Cletus Kasady while he was in prison with Eddie Brock, the new symbiote came to be known as Carnage and he spread destruction and evil wherever he went. Carnage was too powerful for Spider-Man to handle alone, and he was forced to form an alliance with Venom in The Amazing Spider-Man #361 so they could take down the crazed villain.
After a hard-fought battle, Carnage was eventually defeated, leaving Spider-Man and Venom to have no reason to remain friends. At this point they both turned on each other. In the last few pages of The Amazing Spider-Man #363, Venom attempted to kill the web-slinger once and for all, but Spidey has his own betrayal planned as Reed Richards showed up and used his technology to separate the symbiote from Eddie. While their alliance was a success and Carnage was stopped, this team up proved once and for all that Eddie Brock/Venom and Peter Parker could never truly be allies.
12 THE AVENGERS
It’s hard to believe that at one point, Spider-Man was not only not even a member of The Avengers, he was not even accepted by the other heroes. The Avengers weren't sure if they could trust Spider-Man, and in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #3, they had a meeting to decide if he should be asked to join the super team. After asking Daredevil for advice, The Avengers decided that Spider-Man was to be their newest member.
After Thor found him in New York and told him he was going to be tested to be an Avenger, Spidey was stunned and when he reported their headquarters he attacked the other heroes. Of course, this was not done out of malice but rather Spider-Man’s weird attempt to prove he was a good enough fighter. This resulted in an all-out brawl between The Avengers and Spider-Man. In the end, Spider-Man passed the real test and was invited to the team, but it sure was one weird audition!
Despite being immensely popular, extremely powerful, and a key player in many major Marvel events, Spider-Man has always been considered a street-level hero. This has led to some interesting encounters with the other street-level heroes in New York City. Arguably the next most famous of these is Daredevil, who has had many team-ups with Spider-Man over the years. Back in The Amazing Spider-Man #287, the two heroes had a major misunderstanding that ended with them coming to blows.
After learning each other’s secret identities, Daredevil contacted Peter to meet him at the Verrazano Bridge and he missed his opportunity to stop a gang hit that injured civilians. This rubbed Spider-Man the wrong way and instead of working with Daredevil to fight New York City’s criminals, he went after Daredevil himself. Their disagreement about the law led to a brawl in the middle of the city and a police sniper nearly killed Spider-Man, who was only saved by Daredevil’s quick reflexes.
While X-Men was Marvel’s golden child to emerge from their 1990’s animated series, Spider-Man has also stood the test of time. While not as popular or acclaimed, it is still looked back upon fondly by those who watched it as children, and there are many episodes that have remained in people’s memories long after the show went off the air.
One such episode, Enter The Punisher, pits everyone’s favorite wall-crawler against the classic Marvel vigilante. Both characters want to take down the evil vampire Morbius, who escapes Spider-Man, leaving The Punisher to blame him for failing to catch the villain. The Punisher then decides to take care of Spidey himself, rather than come together to catch Morbius. The pair end up fighting until The Punisher escapes, only to return later in the episode to terrorize Spider-Man again. In the following episode, Spider-Man is mutated into an acid-spewing mutated spider and once again faces off against The Punisher. Had The Punisher simply let Spider-Man take down Morbius alone or even offered to help, the whole mutated Man-Spider issue could have been less disastrous; however, the battling ideologies of the two heroes led to this disaster.
9 SPIDEY, THOR, DAREDEVIL VS. THE FF
In Fantastic Four #73, Spidey one again finds himself facing off against other good guys, while the true villains are nowhere to be seen. After Dr. Doom takes control of Daredevil’s body, the Fantastic Four set out to stop him. Unfortunately, they are unaware that Daredevil has freed himself from the villain and they attack him. Spider-Man later runs into Daredevil and decides to help him in his fight against the Fantastic Four, but not before recruiting Thor to fight as well.
Spider-Man, Daredevil, and Thor go on to have a hardcore fight with Mr. Fantastic, Thing, and The Human Torch before Sue Storm shows up to tell the rest of her team that Dr. Doom is no longer controlling Daredevil and the fighting stops right there. Despite the friendly ending, Spider-Man on a team with Daredevil and Thor sure can do some damage together.
8 LUKE CAGE
Spider-Man seems to have a knack for ending up in fights with other heroes over large misunderstandings. Luke Cage shows up in The Amazing Spider-Man #123, but once again the heroes definitely do not get along. While the two could do some real damage to the villains of New York together, instead they spend the issue brawling through the city streets. Of course, it was J Jonah Jameson who set up the fight out of his hatred for Spider-Man, but what could have been an unstoppable duo never came to fruition since they spent nearly the entire issue battling it out.
In the wake of Norman Osborn’s death, Spidey could have used some help to clear his name, but instead he spends the next issue furthering his own problems by fighting Luke Cage. While Peter’s friend Harry Osborn festers in his hatred for Spider-Man over his father’s death, and his nemesis JJJ nearly gets Spider-Man framed for the murder, he only fights Luke and does nothing to prove his innocence.
7 THE AVENGERS (AGAIN)
Kang The Conqueror has long been one of The Avengers’ main villains, and quite an annoying one at that. Always using time travel to destroy The Avengers in unexpected ways, Kang has proven to be a formidable foe for Marvel’s primary super team. After being defeated by the Fantastic Four and learning he is a future descendant of Dr. Doom, Kang meets The Avengers and it becomes his mission to take them down.
Kang’s second attempt to destroy the heroes brings Spider-Man into the picture. While not yet a member of The Avengers, this was one of Spidey’s earliest team-ups with the group. Kang creates a clone of Spidey and uses it to trick The Avengers into trusting him. This quickly turns into disaster when the clone turns on the team. While technically not the real Spider-Man, this meeting between the clone and The Avengers was an embarrassment to the team and probably didn’t really help Spider-Man’s case when he was later tested to be an Avenger.
6 THE CAST OF SNL
In the fall of 1978, NBC’s smash hit Saturday Night Live was entering its fourth season. A cultural phenomenon and one of the most popular shows on television, Marvel decided to cut a deal with NBC and team up their most popular character at the time with the Not Ready For Primetime Players. In Marvel Team-Up #74, Stan Lee was the host of the sketch comedy show and Peter Parker had scored tickets to the taping. After Silver Samurai invaded backstage and fought with the cast, Peter’s spider sense went off and he came swinging to the rescue.
An all around bizarre and completely out of left field crossover, this story is not looked back upon so fondly. Considered a really wacky adventure for the wall-crawler, it is now an easy target for jokes about the silliness of comic books and the confusing explanation for Stan Lee as host didn’t help either (Apparently he writes fictional comics about the real heroes inside the Marvel universe). Not to mention that Silver Samurai ended up getting away at the end after a sword fight with John Belushi.
5 BLACK CAT
One of the most fun superhero games of all time, Spider-Man 2: The Game was a treat to fans everywhere. Based on the successful movie with some added villains and plotlines, swinging through the open-world New York City map and fighting crime was a delight to anyone who had the opportunity to play this title. This was a rare exception to video games based on movies, which usually turned out to be less than satisfactory.
Early on in the game, Spider-Man is approached by Black Cat, who he must then chase through the city. This happens a few more times throughout the game and every time Spidey tries to follow her and work with her, he ends up in trouble. Whether its thugs robbing a museum, an illegal arms deal gone wrong, or a fight with The Shocker, nothing good ever came out of Spider-Man’s odd partnership with Black Cat.
What do you get when you team-up Marvel’s two most popular characters for a one-shot story? The classic Spider-Man versus Wolverine of course! Possibly one of Marvel’s greatest team-ups and definitely a fan favorite, the excellent comic ended in tragedy for both heroes. After Spider-Man ends up involved in a KGB plot to kill one of Wolverine’s old friends, Charlie, the two heroes come to a disagreement.
Spider-Man eventually realizes he is in way over his head and should leave Wolverine to his business, but he can’t help it and interferes anyway. This blows Wolverine and Charlie’s cover and gives the KGB an easy opportunity to torture and kill Charlie. The frustration leads to a very brutal showdown between Spidey and Wolverine, which ends in Spider-Man’s accidental murder of an injured Charlie. In the end, things work out for Peter at the Daily Bugle and with Mary Jane, but he is left in a somber mood and Wolverine is left without his friend.
Even though she is not part of Marvel’s main universe, Spider-Gwen is an endearing character in her right. Hailing from an alternate universe where Gwen Stacy was bitten by the radioactive spider and becomes the Spider-Woman of her world, this version of Gwen has become massively popular over the last few years. in 2017, Miles Morales teamed up with Spider-Gwen when his dad went missing across universes.
The two spider-people met and fought the evil alternate version of Miles’ dad and ended up rescuing Miles’ real dad and clearing his name. When all was said and done, the two spiders developed feelings for each other and kissed. This was problematic since they come from different realities and have a slight age difference. To make matters even more disastrous for Miles, his father’s extended disappearance and his subsequent rescue mission resulted in his mom discovering his identity, which his father knew, and she left the house and is still yet to return.
2 IRON MAN
Iron Man and Spider-Man team up on the big screen in the most recent entry in the MCU, Spider-Man: Homecoming, but the two have previously teamed up many times in the comics. In a recent event, what could have been a very successful team up between them turned into a very public brawl over a petty disagreement. Peter’s tech company Parker Industries does not carry the longevity that Tony Stark’s does, but it has become a focal point of the Spider-Man comics. So, when Mary Jane ends up working for Stark and Iron Man admits to using his own technology to improve Miles’ web-shooters, Peter is not happy.
The two could have easily put their heads together and created the best technology for Miles, but instead they squabbled over who has the better tech and two of the world’s most brilliant minds punched each other rather than work together. The possible technological advancements that could have helped the heroes were forgotten as the pair fought each other in front of crowds of onlookers.
Spider-Man has always been known for his mouth. Never one to shy away from quips while fighting bad guys or even when meeting other heroes, Peter Parker's sense of humor is one of the reasons Spider-Man became such a popular character. Enter Deadpool. Known as The Merc With A Mouth, Deadpool brought tons of humor into the pages of his comics. More focused on cracking a quick joke and having fun than saving the world, Deadpool's unique comical tone is what has set him aside from every other character. Also, he's a huge fan of Spidey.
Naturally, the two teamed up for an entire series. Spider-Man/Deadpool was a huge hit. The two heroes’ senses of humor completed each other perfectly, and whether they were fighting an evil Santa Clause, dealing with Deadpool being hired to kill Peter Parker, saving the world from Deadpool’s ex-wife, or taking down Itsy Bitsy (half-spider/half-woman with the powers of both Spidey and Deadpool), the comic was always a joy to read. Of course, Deadpool caused quite a few tough situations for Spidey. The pair never had a straightforward adventure and always ended up in more trouble than intended due to Deadpool’s attitude.
Can you think of any other ill-fated Spidey team-ups? Let us know in the comments!