Spider-Man is Marvel’s most popular character, and it’s only natural that he would be one of the biggest superheroes to have many incarnations across the Multiverse. Not only are there separate comic book arcs that involve these different versions of Spider-Man, but there was even an event that brought them all together under one roof and in one reality. With so many different versions of the wall-crawler, it’s easy to get lost and wonder which one is superior above all the rest.
Well, through some careful examination of the characters, their relevance on the comic book industry, and how they fit into the Marvel Universe, we’ve prepared a comprehensive list of the best versions of the Spider-Man to date. Keep in mind that this isn’t an objective list based on numerical data, it’s more based on what we feel is more appropriate given the circumstances of each character. It’s a much more subjective list in that regard, so don’t take what we say as law. With that out of the way, let’s move on with the 15 most powerful versions of Spider-Man ranked. Starting with the least and going up the line, we’ll see which wall-crawler reigns supreme. Are you ready?
15. BRUCE BANNER
In an alternate reality, Peter Parker was the first person who was hit with the massive gamma radiation and turned into the Hulk. Doctor Bruce Banner, feeling personally responsible, began examining the spider that contained the radiation to try and find a cure. Unfortunately, the arachnid managed to bite and turn him into another Hulk. He demolished and rampaged throughout the world, but hope wasn’t lost.
After a long time of gene therapy and experimentation, Bruce Banner was able to retain his normal size, but he held a lot of different spider powers to became that Earth’s version of Spider-Man. He was one of the most notable operatives of S.H.I.E.L.D. and was later targeted by Morlun during the “Spider-Verse” event, where he teamed up with other versions of the webhead.
14. MAX BORNE
The legacy of Spider-Man would go down in history as one of the most important developments in the superhero world. For centuries, other people would take on the mantle and carry on the torch. One of those was Max Borne from the year 2211. Having many more technological advancements at hand, Borne crafted a mechanized spider suit that had four metal arms on top of his futuristic armor.
Taking the role of a TimeSpinner, he watched the universe and protected the integrity of the timestream. Later on, he had to fight various foes, including his own daughter, who became that year’s Hobgoblin. However, things took a turn for the worst when the Chameleon was disguising himself as Uncle Ben and shot Borne, leaving him for dead.
13. BLOOD SPIDER
Taskmaster is the king of watching a moveset and copying it. He became so good at this ability that he was able to teach others how to fight exactly like the greatest Marvel heroes. This resulted in him teaching Michael Bingham how to properly recreate the movement and tactical style of Spider-Man. He was a prime candidate, not only having the fighting knowhow to take on the wall-crawler, but the abilities to match him as well.
When fighting Spider-Man, the new Blood Spider showed himself to be an incredibly durable opponent. Being able to punch through walls without breaking a sweat and dodging all of Peter’s attacks was just the tip of the iceberg. The only notable difference was the fact that his web shooters were tied to his back rather than being solely in his wrists.
12. SIR PETER PARKER (SPIDER PRINCE)
Sir Peter Parker was the son of the noble Parker family. When his father and uncle were killed in the heat of battle, his life was changed forever. He was being cared for by Norman Osborn, and because of that, he had a very different life. Mary Jane was a maidservant who was very poorly treated.
The royals in the land were trying to find a suitor for Princess Gwendolyn, and Peter decided to step up to the plate. Designing his own suit of armor, he made a powerful appearance to the entire land. However, Norman is furious and sets out to kill this new Spider Prince. Unfortunately, the battle ended with the death of Gwendolyn, but Parker won the day and was knighted to serve the land. Yet, he would forever feel the absence of his true love.
11. ASSASSIN SPIDER-MAN
Spider-Man has always been one of the more naive members of the Marvel Universe, but in one reality, he went down a darker road. Instead of taking the solo act, Parker instead spent a lot of time being trained by the Wolverine. Naturally, he was taught to take a life when it was necessary and be unrelenting when fighting those who were trying to kill him.
Because of this background, the resulting Assassin Spider-Man became one of the deadliest heroes in that reality. Equipped with a gun and a red and black suit, there were few people who could stand in his way. His Spider-Sense combined with his superior battle training turned him into a lethal machine that the real Peter Parker could only hope to become.
10. THE SPIDER (1602)
The Colonial times were full of many differences to today’s age. The same can be said for Peter Parquagh, who was inducted by Sir Nicholas Fury to engage in all sorts of useful activities. Along the way, Peter would come in contact with a spider that bit him and gave him all sorts of unnatural abilities.
Taking the name of “The Spider,” Peter became the hero of the early 17th century, bringing aid to all types of people from every walk of life. Despite the many great things he did, though, it wouldn’t all last. During a theater performance, Parquagh would get wind of the villain named Morlun. After a powerful battle with the interdimensional villain, not only was Parquagh severely outmatched, but he lost his life in the process.
9. THE GOBLIN
Peter Parker’s character arc has been fairly standard for many different realities. He learns the true responsibilities of being a superhero and has to balance that life with his academics. Things take a drastic turn once his two lives blend together and Gwen Stacy is murdered by the Green Goblin. He grieves and changes his whole way of thinking.
In a different reality, the death of Gwen Stacy altered him a bit more. Taken over by the anger and grief, not only did he kill the Green Goblin but every other member of his rogues’ gallery. He ditched the Spider-Man name and took up the identity of the Goblin as a permanent reminder that he couldn’t save the woman he loved. However, he became a hero in his last moments, as he sacrificed himself to save a Gwen Stacy from another reality.
8. SPIDER-MAN NOIR
The lights from the streets bounced against the cold patter of the rain on the pavement. Meanwhile, a strange spider-guy sat in my office, giving me the lowdown on some strange criminals in the area.
That’s likely what the detectives sounded like when encountering Spider-Man Noir. Being a much different take on the Spider-Man character, this version wears an all-black suit with wide goggles and sometimes a fedora. Having a much more no-nonsense attitude than his Earth-616 counterpart, Spider-Man Noir vowed to protect his city and get rid of all the gang lords in the area, whatever it took. He might’ve looked really cool, but we never said that he’d be an easy hero to get along with. After all, he was the word “noir” in his name.
7. SPECTACULAR SPIDER-HAM
Deep within the Multiverse exists a special Earth known as the Larval Universe. It’s there that every one of your favorite characters has been turned into animals. Captain America is now the valiant Captain Americat. The Punisher is the aquatic Punfisher. Daredevil is the now the wide-eyed Deerdevil.
One of the highlights of this reality is Peter Porker, otherwise known as the Spectacular Spider-Ham. Being a spider who was affected by pig experimentation, his life was forever changed. Fighting all kinds of powerful foes like Electro and the Green Gobbler, there’s no limit to the villains that Spider-Ham would face, and he can battle with the best of them on any day of the week.
We’ve all heard the tragic story of how Gwen Stacy was killed by the Green Goblin and Peter Parker had to deal with it, but what if the roles were reversed. On one Earth, it was Gwen who was bitten by the spider and gained powers and Peter who ended up dying at the hands of Norman Osborn. From that point on, she decided to become the hero of New York complete with a white and purple costume.
Known to the comic world as Spider-Gwen, this was Stacy’s real shot at becoming more than just the girl who died and changed the age of the industry. She had to make equally tough decisions as Peter, but the real kicker was when she and our Peter Parker met up in “Spider-Verse”. Having a heartfelt confession about their grief, they hugged it out, leaving us all in tears.
5. SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN
Many bad guys tried really hard to take down the Spider-Man, but none of them succeeded until Dr. Otto Octavius, aka Doctor Octopus, put his master plan into motion. Being struck with a lethal illness, Octavius knew that he had one shot at winning the war against the wall-crawler. By switching his mind with Spider-Man’s, he caused the death of Peter Parker and took over the body of Spider-Man and went around parading as wall-crawler.
Determined to become a more impressive superhero than Parker ever was, Octavius took the identity of the Superior Spider-Man. Equipping himself with four mechanical tentacles, Octavius made a quick name for himself in the Marvel Universe. However, when it came time for Peter to return, Octavius willingly gave up control over Parker’s body.
4. BEN REILLY
When it comes to concise comic books, “The Clone Saga” is not among them. Still, it gave us one of the best versions of Spider-Man known to the Marvel Universe: Ben Reilly. Being created by the Jackal in an attempt to clone Peter Parker, Ben Reilly is a carbon copy to the point that it’s creepy. There was even a time where Reilly believed himself to be the real Peter Parker.
After spending some time away, Reilly returned to New York to take on the identity of the Scarlet Spider. He even became the protector of New York when Peter was dealing with a pregnant Mary Jane Watson. While he has a lot of the same abilities as Spider-Man, Ben Reilly went on a journey filled with self-discovery and cooperation with who he actually was.
3. SPIDER-MAN 2099
Decades into the future, the Marvel Universe is devoid of many of the heroes that protected it in the modern day. In its wake came a man by the name of Miguel O’Hara. He managed to gain spider powers similar to the long gone Peter Parker and decided to use them for good by fighting the crime of the future.
Taking the name of Spider-Man 2099, O’Hara had a slick costume with all kinds of abilities. He went on to accomplish so many things in the Marvel Universe and even tried to bring back many of the superheroes who were known in the distant “Age of Heroes.” He was the first major variation on the Spider-Man character to get his own comic book and is one of the few heroes to not be a classic Caucasian man.
2. MILES MORALES
Spider-Man kicked off the Ultimate Universe in a big way, but his days were numbered. After being killed in a battle with the Green Goblin, New York was without a hero to protect them. That’s where a boy by the name of Miles Morales comes into play. After gaining the same spider powers of Peter Parker but choosing not to use them, he felt guilty over Parker’s death. He then chose to use his abilities for good and became a black and red Spider-Man known as the Ultimate Spider-Man.
Miles Morales has since had a huge impact on the Marvel Universe. He was featured in numerous crossover events and has been given several solo stories. He is currently set to star in his own animated movie and will have big role to play in the upcoming Marvel Spider-Man on the PS4.
1. ORIGINAL SPIDER-MAN
With all of the variations, deviations, and alternate versions, it’s still hard to beat the one that started it all. In an era where superheroes were classic boy scouts wearing capes, Peter Parker was something vastly unlike anything we’d ever seen before. He had a slim costume that hit all of the right notes and was counter to what the comic industry was promoting at the time.
The age-old tale of the young boy learning to use his new powers to help others rather than help himself is still relevant today. Peter Parker, as a character, has always been developing and learning. We are with him every step of the way, graciously wondering what he’s going to to do next. All of these other characters are impressive, but Peter Parker is and always will be the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
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