Throughout his extensive run as one of the most popular comic book characters, Spider-Man has accomplished quite a lot. Over the years, he has faced countless numbers of threats of all sorts. However, some foes have definitely proven to be more challenging than others.
At times, it is even surprising that Spider-Man would be able to survive whatever encounter was just at hand. To look into some of his more surprising victories, here is our list of 10 beatdowns that Spider-Man should have never survived.
10 Spider-Man: Disassembled
In one of the character’s lesser-known storylines, Peter Parker comes face to face with The Queen and all-new supervillain with the ability to control spiders. While it makes sense that she would set her sights on Peter, very little else in the story actually makes sense. After The Queen manages to steal a kiss from Peter, he soon begins to transform into a literal spider.
The transformation process was clearly very painful for Peter. In fact, it eventually killed him. However, in one of the weirder moments of the story, Peter is suddenly resurrected from the corpse of his former self. While Spider-Man: Disassembled is far from the greatest Spider-Man story ever told, it still features one of the most brutal injuries the character has ever managed to survive.
9 Superior Spider-Man
For a long time, Doctor Octopus was actually running around in Peter Parker’s body, calling himself the Superior Spider-Man. In order to accomplish this feat though, Otto moved Peter’s conscience into Doc Ock’s own dying body. After a desperate battle to switch back, Peter actually died as Doctor Octopus, leaving Otto to assume the mantle of Spider-Man.
Thankfully though, Peter’s conscience would remain tucked away in his own mind. While Doc Ock initially believed that he had erased all traces of Peter, Peter kept hidden in his own mind until he saw an opportunity to reemerge. Though Otto eventually helps Peter restore his mind to his own body, this is still one situation in which Peter miraculously survived.
8 Coming Home
When J. Michael Straczynski began his long run on Spider-Man, he began by introducing the villain, Morlun. As one of the most powerful villains Spider-Man has ever faced off against, Morlun nearly killed Spider-Man during their first encounter.
In fact, the beating that Peter suffered was so severe that his human instincts shut down, and his instincts as a spider took over, ultimately saving his life. Eventually, Spider-Man was able to think of a way to defeat the villain. However, that doesn’t change the fact that this is one of the worst beatdowns Peter has ever taken.
7 Ultimate Comics: Death of Spider-Man
Part of the reason Miles Morales came about is that the Ultimate Universe’s Peter Parker met an unfortunate end. After being shot by the punisher and abandoned by Captain America, Peter Parker came face to face with the Sinister Six on the front lawn of Aunt May’s house. After one of the most epic Spider-Man fights to date, he is eventually able to take every one of them down. Unfortunately, Peter himself would not survive the fight either.
While he was dead, Peter would eventually reappear several years later. To this day, the “how” of his return is still a mystery. The comics themselves propose several theories as to the hero's miraculous return, but nothing was officially confirmed to be the source of his resurrection. Because of this, the death of Ultimate Spider-Man lands safely as one of the most brutal beatings the hero has survived.
6 The Other: Evolve Or Die
If the first beating Morlun delivered wasn’t enough, he would eventually come back for another round, nearly killing Spider-Man once again. During The Other: Evolve Or Die storyline, Morlun would actually rip the hero’s eye from its socket and then proceed to eat it right in front of him.
At this point, Spider-Man’s injuries were so great, that he actually evolved into “The Other.” While in this stage, all of his injuries were healed and Peter Parker emerged as himself once again. While it definitely had its weirder moments, surviving more than one encounter with Morlun is an impressive feat in and of itself.
5 Civil War
During Marvel’s original Civil War event, Spider-Man famously exposed his secret identity to the world. However, he quickly came to regret this decision, as he and his family then became the targets of many major supervillains. After changing his mind and switching sides, Spider-Man is ambushed and nearly beaten to death.
In actuality, he would have died if the Punisher hadn’t found him in time. Frank Castle then takes Spider-Man to Captain America’s secret base and asks him to help Spider-Man. Thankfully, Peter got the aid he needed in time to save his life. Regardless, this single moment remains one of the biggest beatings Peter has managed to recover from.
For those unfamiliar, Spider-Man: Reign focuses on a much older, darker version of Spider-Man who is forced to come out of retirement after things devolve to their lowest point in New York. In the climax of the story, this version of Peter Parker actually faces off against a new version of the Sinister Six, all of whom are just as powerful as they were when Peter was young.
Considering his age as well as their numbers, this is one encounter that Spider-Man simply shouldn’t have survived. However, thanks to the inspiring, hopeful nature of the character, he is able to bounce back and defeat everyone in the end.
3 Kraven’s Last Hunt
Kraven’s Last Hunt sees the Spider-Man villain enact one of his deadliest assaults on the character yet. Not only does Kraven actually manage to shoot Spider-Man, but he then proceeds to bury him alive. From there, Kraven assumes the role of Spider-Man himself.
Eventually, after days without food and water, Spider-Man is eventually able to free himself from Kraven’s trap. For how malnourished he was, on top of the beating he had sustained, it is really hard to see how Spider-Man could have possibly survived this encounter.
2 Marvel Knights
The Marvel Knights: Spider-Man run also took the character in a slightly darker direction than normal. At one point in the series, the Wall-Crawler faces off against Electro and Vulture. For as often as he’s beaten the two before, this is one battle he was lucky to have survived.
After Electro manages to land a lucky blast of electricity, Spider-Man passes out from the blow. The force of the hit also knocks Peter off of the skyscraper that the three were fighting on, meaning that Spider-Man free-fell all the way down to the street below. After landing on a taxi, Peter is eventually taken to the hospital, where he undergoes surgery to save his life. Considering how the shock alone could have been enough to finish him off for good, Spider-Man is certainly lucky to have survived this fight.
1 Amazing Spider-Man #33
In one of the character’s most famous moments, Spider-Man finds himself trapped under the rubble of a collapsed building. However, in order to save Aunt May’s life, Spider-Man must find a way to lift the insane amount of weight before she runs out of time. With water slowly pooling around him and thousands of pounds on top of him, Spider-Man is able to muster all of his strength to lift the weight and free himself.
Despite the character’s enhanced strength, this was still a very impressive feat. Using all of his strength, Spider-Man was able to lift a weight that the Hulk himself would have struggled with at one point. Furthermore, since he was literally pinned down by the building, it is easy to see how this is one situation that he probably shouldn’t have survived.