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Mangled Web: The 20 Deadliest Spider-Men of All Time

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Mangled Web: The 20 Deadliest Spider-Men of All Time

The Marvel Universe is filled with a plethora of do-gooding superheroes, and few are more morally upright than the Webbed Crusader, Spider-Man! After being bitten by a spider that had been scientifically altered, Peter Parker is imbued with fantastic powers. While Parker’s newfound strength and speed could be intimidating, his Uncle Ben luckily gave him an essential lesson early on in his super-powered career: with great power comes great responsibility. With this strong moral compass, Parker has become one of the most selfless heroes, often putting the wellbeing of others above his own, and constantly striving to fulfill his responsibilities as your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

However, the Marvel multiverse is filled with Earths that are similar to the main one we know as Earth-616, but with crucial differences. In some realities, Parker’s circumstances and experiences conspire to make him a frighteningly deadly force, rather than the Web-Head with which we are familiar! What if Uncle Ben hadn’t taught him that responsibility must be used to moderate power? What if he lost his cool when Gwen Stacey had her neck snapped during that fateful encounter with the Green Goblin? What if one of the side effects of the bite of the spider was a hunger for human flesh? When the circumstances change, one of the most praised and heroic of all Marvel superheroes can become one of the most frightening and effective villains to be found in the wide world of caped comics! These are the deadliest Spider-Men, and they are ready to swing out of the comics panel and into your nightmares!

20. SPIDER-MAN NOIR

Making his first appearance in Spider-Man Noir #1 (2009), the Peter Parker of Earth-90214 has a similar origin to his counterpart on Earth-616, although the spider bite that gave him superpowers came from a supernatural arachnid rather than one that had been altered by science. However, Spider-Man Noir’s story is set in 1930s New York City, during the Great Depression.

While Spider-Man Noir did elect to use his newfound spider powers to become a vigilante, just like the Amazing Spider-Man, he distinguishes himself by including sidearms in his regular crimefighting arsenal and has been shown to be willing to leave critically injured criminals in his wake.

19. PATTON PARNEL

Some of the Spider-Men in the Marvel multiverse are more horrifying than even J. Jonah Jameson could imagine. In Edge of Spider-Verse #4 (2014), a version of Spider-Man named Patton Parnel is introduced; a monstrous menace that would mortify even the most hardened readers of the Daily Bugle!

After displaying latent psychopathic tendencies in childhood, Parnel is bitten by an irradiated female spider during a school trip. The abilities the bite bestow upon the already dangerous Parnel are outright horrifying — especially the ability to lay hundreds of eggs within a human host by biting them, an unfortunate fate that befalls the girl next door.

18. VENOM

During the original Secret Wars (1984), Spider-Man and several other Marvel heroes and villains are transported to a distant planet by the Beyonder, who then supplies them with alien weaponry and pits them against each other in a series of battles. During his time on the alien planet, Parker finds what he believes to be a black, advanced version of his costume, but later discovers is a sentient alien creature.

In Amazing Spider-Man #300 (1988), the symbiote suit bonds with Eddie Brock and becomes the villain known as Venom! The vicious Venom has a temperament that matches his scary appearance, and often leaves victims wherever he goes.

17. ZOMBIE SPIDER-MAN

In Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness (2007), the Parker of Earth-2149 is swinging around New York City when he becomes entangled in some kind of altercation between the Avengers and Ash Williams. At the behest of Colonel America, Spidey webs Ash up to remove him from the scene.

Soon after, Ash explains to Parker that he had been fighting against the undead, and they return to help the Avengers battle the contagious ghoul themselves. Unfortunately, they are too late, and an infected Colonel bites Parker, transforming him into a version of the wall-crawler with an insatiable hunger for human flesh!

16. SPIDER

In Exiles #12 (2002), the dimension-hopping super team meets the Parker of Earth-15. Known as Spider, this version of Parker already had psychopathic tendencies when he bonded with a spider symbiote. Possessing powers similar to symbiote spawn Carnage, Spider attempted to conquer not one universe but several.

A sick sense of humor and an affinity for causing pain characterize this irredeemable villain, and it is later revealed that the crimes of Spider had earned him a total of 67 consecutive life sentences, but Spider wasn’t the only deadly version of Spider-Man encountered by the Exiles team during their inter-dimensional adventures.

15. DEMON SPIDER-MAN

In Exiles #8 (2002), the heroes travel to Earth-32801 and encounter a version of New York City that has been ruled over by a creature known as Spider-Demon for over a decade! This crime-lord/demon king faces off against Morph, one of the members of the Exiles team, and is ultimately defeated.

While only a glimpse of Spider-Demon is offered, it stands to reason that his decade-long reign would have established him as one of the deadliest Spider-Men. If one is going to serve as the criminal overlord of NYC, one occasionally has to get one’s fists dirty, after all — just ask Wilson Fisk!

14. SPIDER-MAN: LAST STAND

In a vision of a possible future, a version of Peter Parker made the decision to avenge Mattie Franklin and Kaine by taking out Kraven the Hunter. This Parker continued down that dark path, alienating his friends and being ejected from the Avengers as he grew more and more powerful, and immoral.

With nothing left to lose, the Parker of Earth-312500 continued using increasingly drastic methods to accomplish his goals. This version of Parker even saw fit to literally pierce the heart of his arch-nemesis, Doctor Octopus, using Otto’s own mechanical arm! It is a scary thing indeed to imagine a Spider-Man with no moral compass.

13. ASSASSIN SPIDER-MAN

Some of the most deadly incarnations of Spider-Man crawl out of the What If? comics, which offer stories of familiar characters altered by unpredictable “what if” scenarios, as the name gently implies. In What If? Spider-Man vs. Wolverine, the Parker of Earth-8351 is featured, and his moral code is considerably removed from the one upheld by the Spidey in the 616.

Working alongside Wolverine for a decades-long career as an assassin, this version of Parker doesn’t hesitate to do what’s necessary in order to complete his job, possibly thanks to spending so much time with Logan. He isn’t above using fatal force to accomplish his goals, earning him a place among the most dangerous Spider-Men.

12. SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN

The Superior Spider Man

Desperate and on the verge of succumbing to terminal cancer, Doc Ock uses an invention to swap his brain with Parker’s and takes over Spider-Man’s body in Amazing Spider-Man #700 (2012). Spidey’s story then continues in the pages of The Superior Spider-Man #1 (2012), featuring the adventures of Ock in Parker’s stolen body!

As a side effect of the brain-swapping process, Ock finds himself more inclined toward heroic goals while in the body of his arch-nemesis. Nevertheless, when confronted in battle by the Scorpion in Superior Spider-Man #11, Ock uses his newfound strength to literally punch the jaw off the unfortunate and unsuspecting antagonist!

11. SPIDER-MAN NO MORE

In The Spectacular Spider-Man #303 – 305, a time-traveling Parker accidentally convinces the younger version of himself that continuing to be Spidey isn’t worth the personal cost. He instead resolves to be Spider-Man no more, creating an alternate future.

In the timeline where Parker steps away from the role of Spider-Man, Norman Osborn seizes control of the planet while Parker enjoys the luxurious lifestyle of a wealthy industrialist. But of course, all that is required for evil to succeed is for good to do stand idly by, and in this timeline, many of the webhead’s closest friends — including the Fantastic 4 and Iron Man — are no longer among the living, making this Parker one of the deadlier iterations of Spider-Man in the Marvel multiverse.

10. POISON SPIDER-MAN

The Poisons are an alien species that are able to bond with individuals that are serving as hosts to a symbiote, and in Venomverse #1, one is able to join with a version of Spider-Man who never renounced Venom, creating Poison Spider-Man.

Once a Poison has come into contact with a symbiote and its host, the trio becomes permanently bonded, and the Poison takes control of the body. While the influence of the host may be seen on the resulting entity and Poison Spider-Man is unable to execute a parallel version of Mary Jane Watson, every member of the Poison Hive is extremely dangerous.

9. CANNIBAL SPIDER-MAN

After being infected by Survivor 118 in the pages of Marvel Universe vs. Punisher #1, the Parker of Earth-11080 has his DNA altered and develops a craving for human flesh! Unable to resist, and to the horror of those who know him, Parker devours his longtime antagonist, Rhino.

Unfortunately, by the time the Fantastic 4 has determined the cause of Parker’s inexplicable change of temperament, the infection has spread across the planet! This incarnation of Spider-Man isn’t just dangerous for those around him, he’s dangerous to those around the entire globe.

8. NORMAN OSBORN: SPIDER-MAN

In some versions of the Spider-Man story, characters besides Parker end up being the ones who end up being bestowed with arachnid powers! In Edge of Spider-Geddon #4 (2018), Parker’s frequent adversary Norman Osborn is on the receiving end of the fateful spider’s bite, ultimately taking up the mantle and responsibility of Spider-Man.

When a battle with his son Harry goes poorly, it culminates in the destruction of a Cosmic Cube, causing the destruction of the entire reality. While this impressive destruction is an argument in and of itself, it is revealed during the fight that Norman was responsible for the loss of this reality’s Parker!

7. PESTILENCE

pestilence-spider-man

In Cable & Deadpool #15-18, Wade travels to an alternate universe where Apocalypse was not defeated and instead took over the world. While in this apocalyptic age, Deadpool encounters an alternative version of Parker who has joined forces with Apocalypse to serve as one of his horsemen, Pestilence.

This version of Spider-Man possessed arachnid-inspired superpowers, but his skill set is somewhat different from the more familiar Peter Parker. Pestilence has venomous fangs, six arms, and regularly engages in cannibalism. While Pestilence joined forces with Archangel and Famine, Deadpool and the heroes that accompany him were able to fend off the trio of Horsemen, regardless of how many arms they had between them.

6. AVENGER OF THE UNDEAD

Hailing from Earth-666, the Avengers of the Undead is a team that was brought together to protect the undead people of their reality. Along with a more spidery version of the Web-Head who possessed multiple legs and eyes, as well as prominent mandibles, the team also includes Frankencastle and Werewolf Cap, the team first appeared in Secret Avengers #22 (2012).

Unfortunately for this incarnation of Spider-Man, he is captured and taken to Loomworld during the Spider-Verse event, and despite being one of the more intimidating versions of the Webbed Crusader, he does not survive the encounter with Morlun and his brood!

5. THE SPIDER

In a story set in the Ultimate universe, an alternate version of Spider-Man appears, known only as the Spider. During Ultimate Comics: Avengers vs. New Ultimates, it is revealed that this version of Parker was cloned by Gregor Stark in North Korea!

Ultimately, the Spider leads a revolution of super-soliders in North Korea, and these forces turn against the Ultimates and the Avengers. The Spider does not survive, as he is crushed by a chunk of concrete dropped by Hawkeye, but nevertheless, starting a war certainly justifies his inclusion on this list!

4. HOBGOBLIN PETER

This iteration of Peter begins with an origin similar to the Spider-Man we know and love, but it diverges after Gwen Stacey does not survive her encounter with Green Goblin. Thrown into a blind rage by the unfortunate fate of his departed lover, Parker strikes, taking out Green Goblin and turning down a darker path.

During the events of Spider-Verse Team-Up #2, however, this version of Parker gets a chance to correct the mistake that consumed his life: when an alternate version of Gwen is thrown into moral peril, Parker intervenes, sacrificing himself so that Gwen is able to survive.

3. WOLF SPIDER

In the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon episode Return to the Spider-Verse: Part 1, an alternate version of Parker who calls himself Wolf Spider is introduced. After consuming the life forces of others, Wolf Spider’s sanity is compromised, and he embarks on an interdimensional journey to rule over every universe!

This version of Parker has familiar powers but an unusually pallid complexion, as well as red eyes and an intimidating mask. As if his willingness to consume the essences of others weren’t terrible enough, Wolf Spider is also a tactically clever adversary, creating a fake “master” to throw his opponents off the trail of his true plan.

2. GHOST-SPIDER

PS4 Spider-Man Spirit SPider GHost Rider

Not every Spider-Man has the same origin story, and the version of Parker from Earth-11638 never had to deal with losing his Uncle Ben, who lives to train Parker to become a hero. This Parker is also the head of Parker Industries and is a successful industrialist.

However, not everything in this universe is a perfect as it may seem, as the Parker of Earth-616 discovers after being teleported to this universe. It is revealed that Ghost-Spider has been summoning alternative versions of Parker to his dimension and draining them of their life essence in order to increase his power!

1. SPIDER-MAN/SYMBIOTE CLONES

Spider-Man-clone-header

In What If? Age of Apocalypse, a version of the Earth is presented where Magneto and Xavier fall to Legion, resulting in Apocalypse succeeding in his terrible mission.  This dimension hosts a full spectrum of horrors, among which is one of the deadliest incarnations of Spider-Man to be found in any universe!

On Earth-93074, an army of clones of Spider-Man wearing the Symbiote suit serve as a battalion of soldiers for Apocalypse. While one Spider-Man is a formidable opponent, a team is seriously dangerous — let alone an army — earning them a place among the most dangerous incarnations of the Webbed Crusader across the Marvel multiverse.

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