The Spider-Verse is vast and varied, a massive web filled to bursting with alternate-reality Spiders of all kinds. You've got talking animal Spider-Men, you've got steampunk Spider-Men, you've got evil Spider-Men; seriously, the multiverse has just about every kind of Spider-Man you could possibly imagine. Now, some of these alternate-reality Spiders have begun to make the jump to the screen, both of the silver and small variety. With Ultimate Spider-Man putting characters like Miles Morales and Spider-Gwen in the spotlight, and Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse promising to bring a variety of Spider-characters to the big screen, fans are practically chomping at the bit for more alternate reality Spidey goodness.
With the inevitable success of Into The Spider-Verse, it's only a matter of time until Hollywood comes knocking for an opportunity to bring these crazy Spider-people to TV. But with a universe chock full of Spider-Men, which Wall-Crawlers deserve the TV treatment? In the world of comic books, there are a number of heroes that receive new stories and timelines, all each weirder than the last. It is up to Hollywood to decide which ones they decide to bring to the big screen. With Spider-Man the ideas can seemingly be endless, giving fans constant content. They won't complain, after all, why would they if they keep getting content of their friendly neighborhood Spider-Man? CBR combed through the obscene amount of Web-Heads populating the Great Web to bring you a definitive list of 10 incarnations of Spider-Man that deserve their own TV series (and 10 that definitely don't!)
20 DESERVES: THE WEB-SLINGER
Hollywood is experiencing something of a Western renaissance, as movie after movie is pumped out following gritty, six-gun-toting cowboys as they embark upon adventures in the Wild West. But while your standard Western is all well and good, you know what would drastically improve a Western? Adding Spider-Man to it.
Which brings us to The Web-Slinger, the fastest thwipper in the West. Just as quick to spout one-liners as he is to slap leather, this Wild West Spidey is practically begging for the TV treatment. Take the tried-and-true story of Spider-Man, give it a fresh coat of Deadwood paint, sprinkle drama and Western takes on Spidey villains liberally, and voila! You've got a TV show so good it would leave you yelling "Tarnation!"
19 DOESN'T DESERVE: SIX-ARMED SPIDER-MAN
For such a silly idea, Six-Armed Spider-Man sure has managed to stick around. Like the name suggests, this is just Spider-Man with a couple extra ligaments. Sure, the visual of Spider-Man with extra arms popping out of his costume was striking, but it was far from the craziest thing to ever happen to the Web-Slinger. But the idea persists, and even spawned an alternate universe in which the arms stuck around.
In this alternate reality, Spidey defeats Morbius before a cure for his mutation can be found. Subsequently, the six-armed Spider-Man embraces his extra arms, becoming a proponent for the physically deformed and a worldwide sensation. It's a silly story for a silly mutation, and while Six-Armed Spider-Man may have his fans, we think this ridiculous alternate reality Spidey should stay far, far away from any starring role.
18 DESERVES: SPIDER-MAN INDIA
File this one under "Weird idea on paper saved by great execution." When Spider-Man India was announced, fans were left scratching their heads, wondering what transplanting the Web-Head to India would really add to Spidey's story. Turns out, this unique spin on the character brings a lot to the Spider-Man mythos, and is practically begging for the TV treatment.
Pavitr Prabhakar, the alternate-reality Spider-Man of India, is a uniquely-Indian take on Spider-Man, adding Indian mysticism and mythos to the story. Thus, Spider-Man India doesn't solely contend with pick-pockets and thugs; no, this is a Spidey that regularly trades blows with demonic gods of death over long-lost mystical artifacts. A TV show in which mystically-imbued Spider-Man battles demons of Indian myth? Sign us up!
17 DOESN'T DESERVE: SPIDER-MAN 1602
Historical television is so hot right now. You can barely flip channels without bumping into the latest prestige drama about vikings or knights or baronesses or what-have-you. Yes, viewers are hungry for shows that turn back the clock to yesteryear, but we doubt even the most hardcore history buffs would tune into a Spider-Man 1602 show.
Young Peter Parquagh, the Spider-Man of the 17th century, is conscripted into service of Queen Elizabeth by Sir Nicholas Fury, eventually sending the lad on an adventure to the Americas. While the story has promise, audiences would be hard-pressed to take a Spider-Man clad in a frilly collar and high socks remotely seriously. Compound this with a strange story involving mutants and a time-traveling Captain America, and you've got a Spider-Man just too silly for TV.
16 DESERVES: SPIDER-GWEN
Few modern characters have managed to make the impact of Spider-Gwen. Bolstered by an amazing costume and interesting backstory, this alternate-reality Spider managed to thwip her way into the hearts of fans around the world. While the newly-christened "Ghost Spider" has managed to net herself several TV cameos and co-starring gigs, this Wall-Crawler is far past due for a TV series of her very own.
Hailing from a topsy-turvy universe in which Peter Parker was taken out and Gwen Stacey received that fateful spider bite, Spider-Gwen certainly isn't your Daddy's Spider-Man. Splitting her time between high school drama, playing in a band, and saving the city, Spider-Gwen manages to stay plenty busy. We're picturing HBO's Girls mixed with web-slinging crime fighting, and we're wondering why a Spider-Gwen TV show hasn't already been made.
15 DOESN'T DESERVE: SPIDER-MAN: REIGN
Grim-and-gritty is in! Yes, simply take a property not traditionally known for being dark, add a heaping helping of sex and violence, and watch the money roll in. Sure, it worked for Riverdale, but could it work for Spider-Man? We're going with a resounding "Absolutely not."
In the alternate-reality Spider-Man: Reign, an older, embittered Spidey deals with losing his beloved Mary Jane to his radioactive, er, "fluids" (yes, really), battles darker, bloodthirstier versions of his classic villains, and generally watches as his life is destroyed. Giving Spider-Man the Dark Knight treatment sends like a recipe for disaster, so we would advise Marvel hold off adapting this oddball story.
14 DESERVES: JAPANESE SPIDER-MAN
Okay, this one's a bit of a cheat, as Japanese Spider-Man already had his own TV show. In fact, this giant-robot driving, rubber-suited-monster fighting Spidey was spawned from TV, debuting in Toei's Spider-Man in 1978. But this thoroughly ridiculous Spider-Man is long overdue for a return to the small screen.
In Toei's thoroughly Japanese take on the character, Spider-Man was a hotshot motorcycle racer named Takuya Yamashiro who gained his powers from a crashed UFO. With the aid of his giant robot, the Marveler, Spider-Man fights the vile Doctor Monster and his army of, you guessed it, monsters. Pretty much Spider-Man in name only, this Spidey was so strange, so thoroughly out-there, that he's begging to be revisited, and we're dying to see Japanese Spider-Man return to TV.
13 DOESN'T DESERVE: SPIDER-MONKEY
Sometimes, the universe just ain't fair. You might have everything going for ya, and it might seem like things are going your way, and then along comes someone a little better than you, leaving you in the dust. Such is the case with poor Spider-Monkey, who's had the bad luck of being totally eclipsed by Spider-Ham.
When Spider-Ham debuted back in the '80s, the character was the immediate target of mockery. But when Spider-Monkey came along in 2008's Marvel Apes, readers seemed a little more receptive to a ridiculous animal version of Spider-Man. But then Spider-Ham came back, stole reader's hearts, and fans forgot all about poor old Spider-Monkey. TV only has room for one silly animal version of Spider-Man, and Spider-Monkey is just a little too bananas to work on the small screen.
12 DESERVES: SP//DR
Japanese Spider-Man wasn't the only Wall-Crawler to combine web-slinging and giant robots. In fact, the confusingly-named SP//dr managed to take the Spider-Robot idea and take it a totally new, totally weird direction that seems like a perfect fit for TV.
Taking liberal inspiration from the classic anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, SP//dr is a massive mech powered by a radioactive spider CPU and piloted by Peni Parker, the young daughter of the scientist responsible for the creation of the mech. Combing Spider-Man's "with great power comes great responsibility" ethos with giant robot fights sounds ridiculous, but fans would kill for an anime adaption of this strange alternate-reality Spider.
11 DOESN'T DESERVE: MANGAVERSE SPIDER-MAN
On the opposite end of the "liberally inspired by anime" stick is the Mangaverse. This ill-fated attempt to cash in on growing interest in manga and anime in the mid-200s spawned some of Marvel's most ridiculous alternate-reality characters, including this grab bag of anime stereotypes, Mangaverse Spider-Man.
A young ninja trained in the ways of martial arts by his sensei, Uncle Ben, the Spider-Man of the Mangaverse finds himself locked in a war with a shadowy cabal of rival ninjas, aptly named the Shadow Clan. Despite the silly story, Mangaverse Spidey has earned his fans, thanks to his stellar costume. But a good costume does not a good TV show make, and thus we think Mangaverse Spider-Man should stay far, far away from the small screen.
10 DESERVES: SPIDER-PUNK
If you think about it, Spider-Man has always kind of fit the punk ethos. He rebels by helping others, even at the cost of public hate, and he dresses in a costume that some would consider surprising. Hell, the man rocked webs in his armpits for years! But while Spidey may have only been punk-adjacent, one Web-Head really went all in on the punk stylings of Spider-Man: Spider-Punk.
Hailing from an alternate reality in which the people of New York are subjugated by music-hating squares, Spider-Man (Spider-Punk is actually only a despised nickname) fights the man through loud, sloppy music and anarchy. Sure, the OG Spider-Man is great, but slap a denim vest of the Wall-Crawler, give him a guitar, and inject a dash of The Young Ones style weirdo punk humor, and you've got one potentially awesome TV show.
9 DOESN'T DESERVE: SPIDER-MA'AM
Ladies and gentlemen, we present you with the most ridiculous Spider-person in the multiverse. Yes, in a multiverse containing worlds of endless possibilities, there exists an alternate reality in which Aunt May receives that fateful spider bite, causing the doddering senior citizen to take up the mantle of Spider-Ma'am.
We'll give you a moment to stop chuckling over that name. Yes, Earth-3123 is home to the spectacular Spider-Ma'am, a silver-haired crime-fighter who splits her time between battling the likes of Leap Frog and whipping up her famous wheatcakes. While a series chronicling a septuagenarian superhero could be fun, we think Spider-Ma'am is just a little too ridiculous to get the TV treatment.
8 DESERVES: SPIDER-GIRL
An aged, retired superhero takes a youth under his wing and uses his encyclopedic knowledge of crime-fighting to train the burgeoning hero to carry on his mantle. Where have we heard this pitch before? Oh yeah, Batman Beyond! But the Caped Crusader wasn't the only hero to hang up the tights and pass his pseudonym onto the next generation; in fact, Spider-Man did the very same thing, and it would make for great TV.
Hailing from Marvel's oft-forgotten Marvel Universe 2, May "Mayday" Parker takes up the mantle of Spider-Girl after her father Peter loses a leg in a battle against the Green Goblin and retires from super heroics. With the guidance of her parents, Mayday set out to carry on the Spider legacy, becoming a new breed of web-slinging hero. A TV show in which Peter acts as a mentor for his daughter's burgeoning crime-fighting career sounds like it would make for great TV.
7 DOESN'T DESERVE: SPIDER-MAN 2211
Spider-Man has established himself as one of the preeminent heroes of the Marvel Universe. Spidey's good deeds and never-say-die attitude have inspired a generation, ensuring the Spider-Man legacy will continue for years and years. But that's not to say that every hero to take the Spider-Man name is going to have quite the level of charisma as the OG. Which brings us to Spider-Man 2211.
One of many heroes to take on the Spider-Man mantle, Max Borne, the Spider-Man of 2211 hails from a future in which Hobgoblin 2211 wreaks havoc with insidious "retcon bombs," capable of wiping people from the timeline. Sure, this futuristic Spidey possesses four mechanical arms and a bevy of gadgets, but with his remarkably goofy costume and his generally boring personality, Spider-Man 2211 is just a little too "blah" for the TV treatment.
6 DESERVES: SPIDER-MAN NOIR
Don't let the constant barrage of quips fool you; Spider-Man is a hero with some serious baggage. But Peter Parker found a way to deal with his pain (well, if you call dressing up in spandex and punching people in the face dealing with it), emerging as a generally well-adjusted individual. But Spider-Man Noir opted to deal with his issues differently: by arming himself with twin pistols, suiting up in all black, and stalking the rain-slicked streets of New York for vengeance.
Taking major cues from the hard-boiled noir stories of yesteryear, Spider-Man Noir is a grim, gritty vigilante dedicated to taking down the scum of 1930's New York City. Put this brooding, a no-nonsense vigilante in a prestige HBO period drama mixing bootlegging mafia drama with gun-toting superheroics, and you've got a TV show we'd kill to see.
5 DOESN'T DESERVE: WEBSTER WEAVER, MAN-SPIDER
The multi-verse is a silly place. For every grim-and-gritty interpretation of a traditionally squeaky clean hero, you can find a dozen ridiculous versions of said hero. Case in point: Webster Weaver, the Man-Spider, quite possibly the most ridiculous alternate reality Spider-Man ever.
Buckle up, as this one is a doozy: Webster Weaver is an anthropomorphic spider who was bitten by a radioactive human, granting him the proportional strength and reflexes of a human, turning Webster Weaver into the 'Mazing Man-Spider. Hiding his newfound powers from his beloved Aunt Mayfly, Man-Spider fights villains such as King-Pig and Porkius the Living Ham-Pire. We just... can't. We cannot. This ridiculous story should be stored in a bunker, deep within the Earth's crust, as far from television airwaves as humanly possible.
4 DESERVES: SPIDER-HAM
Oh, Spider-Ham. What a long, strange trip it has been. Debuting all the way back in 1983, Spider-Ham took the tried-and-true story of Spider-Man and transported to a world of wacky talking animals. Despite decent sales, fans tore the book apart, lambasting Spider-Ham for its silly, downright dumb concept. Fast forward to 2018, and Spider-Ham is about to co-star in a theatrical film.
Yes, poor Peter Porker is a textbook definition of "started from the bottom now we here." But like all innovators, it was only a matter of time until Spider-Ham was appreciated. This web-slinging piggy mixes slapstick humor, silly animal buffoonery, and superheroics, and fans love it. Get Spider-Ham in an animated series of his own STAT!
3 DOESN'T DESERVE: RUINS SPIDER-MAN
If you were to ask DC Comics, taking a beloved superhero and making him needlessly dark and edgy is all the rage all these days. Box office receipts might say otherwise, but there exists the possibility that Marvel could decide to jump on the dark and edgy bandwagon and take one of the darkest, edgiest interpretations of Spider-Man and give it the TV treatment. But boy oh boy do we hope they won't.
The basic concept of Warren Ellis' 1995 miniseries Ruins is "everything that could go wrong, does," which extends to Spider-Man. In this universe, that fateful spider bite didn't grant Peter Parker spider powers; rather, it causes the poor lad to develop a disgusting rash all over his body, leading Parker to spiral into depression and eventual homelessness. TV seems to be all about dark, gritty drama these days, but this spin on Spidey is just a little too dark to work on TV.
2 DESERVES: SPIDER-MAN 2099
In the far-flung future of 2099, the world is a cyberpunk hellscape, as corporations such as Alchemax bleed the people dry, controlling every aspect of their lives. Thankfully, there exists a hero willing to stand up for the little guy, and he's carrying on the legacy of one of Earth's greatest heroes. His name is Spider-Man 2099, and he absolutely deserves his own TV series.
Miguel O'Hara was a humble scientist for Alchemax, before a sabotaged experiment causes Miguel to be imbued with spider DNA, turning the scientist to become imbued with spider powers. Taking on the mantle of Spider-Man 2099, O'Hara uses his newfound powers to fight back against the oppressive Alchemax. Seriously, if you can hear the words "Blade Runner with superheroes" and not just automatically throw your money at the screen, we've got nothing for you. Hollywood, get Spider-Man 2099 his own shockin' show, STAT!
1 DOESN'T DESERVE: UNCLE BEN SPIDER-MAN
We all know the story: Peter Parker is imbued with spider powers, opts to use his newfound powers for personal gain, inadvertently causes the passing of his beloved Uncle Ben, and vows to become a selfless hero of justice. But what if that script was flipped? What if there was a universe in which Uncle Ben received that bite, and it was Peter that perished? Well, turns out there is an alternate reality in which this happened, and while it's certainly interesting, it definitely doesn't deserve the TV treatment.
On Earth-3145, Uncle Ben accompanied his nephew Peter to that fateful science demonstration, causing Ben to be bitten instead of Peter. It's a fun spin on the classic tale, but viewers aren't exactly looking to watch a chubby old man swing around and fight crime, so Uncle Ben should stay far, far away from TV.