For those unfamiliar with the extended family of “Spider-Verse” characters who’ve exploded onto the comic book scene in recent years, the latest trailer for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse may have been a little overwhelming. Featuring spider-based heroes from across the multiverse, the movie is set to feature Miles Morales, Peter Parker, Gwen Stacy and dozens of other popular variations on the Spider-Man character. This concept was initially explored in 2014’s “Spider-Verse” story to great success, so much so that many of its characters have taken on a life of their own since its release, with a follow up named “Spider-Geddon” currently unfolding in the comics, too.
With the movie appearing to blend its truly jaw-dropping animation style with a light, breezy tone and entertaining concept, Into the Spiderverse may end up being one of the best superhero movies of the year, despite taking place completely independently from the MCU or Sony’s extended Spider-Man universe. Expect to see many of the film’s oddball characters become fan-favorites over the months following its release, catapulting them into the public spotlight and boosting audience interest in alternate universe characters. With that in mind, CBR is here to prepare by taking a closer look at some of the more powerful versions of Spider-Man to grace the comics thus far -- some of which are set to appear in Into the Spiderverse, some most likely aren’t. So without further delay, here are the 20 most powerful alternate versions of Spider-Man.
20 SPIDER-MAN 1602
One of the characters featured heavily in the Marvel 1602 series penned by Neil Gaiman, Peter Parquagh spent the majority of the book’s run without any powers at all, serving as the apprentice and assistant of Sir Nicholas Fury.
After being bitten by a mysterious spider however, Peter eventually gained his own set of powers near the end of the story, becoming a masked crimefighter known simply as the Spider. His powers appear to be similar to those of Earth-616’s Spider-Man, despite being noticeably weaker. Sadly, the fledgling superhero’s career would be cut short following a fatal run-in with Morlun, who ended Peter and absorbed his essence during his crusade against the multiverse’s spider totems.
One of the more out-there versions of Spider-Man to gain popularity in recent years, Hobart “Hobie” Brown debuted in Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 #10, hailing from Earth-138. In this universe, the United States is controlled by the nefarious Ozzy Osborn, who uses the Thunderbolt Department n -- an authoritarian superpowered police force -- to consolidate his power through brute force.
Fighting back against the violent regime, Hobie manages to rally a group known as the Spider Army against Osborn, using the power of punk rock to put a stop to the corrupt authority, even going as far as beating him into submission with a guitar.
Definitely amongst the most unique interpretations of Spider-Man to appear in the Marvel multiverse, Webslinger appears in Avataars: Covenant of the Shield, an alternate version of the Marvel universe heavily inspired by sword and sorcery tales.
Fascinated by spiders as a young child, Webslinger was eventually granted his spider-powers by the mystical Widow of the Web under one condition -- he wasn’t to use his newfound abilities for his own personal gain. After defying the Widow by using his powers to save his uncle however, Webslinger is transformed into a monstrous creature resembling a humanoid spider, leaving him cursed to protect a population of people who hate and fear him.
First appearing in What If? Spider-Man Vs. Wolverine #1, the Peter Parker of Earth-8351 quickly gave up on the whole “friendly neighborhood Spider-Man” thing, instead opting to use much more lethal tactics in his war on crime. Becoming an assassin working frequently with Wolverine, this version of Spider-Man appears to be much colder than most Peter Parkers -- a fact made even more apparent by his outfit choice, with his costume featuring a menacing pair of deep black eyes.
This version of Peter is eventually approached by Superior Spider-Man to help take down Morlun and his family in the “Spider-Verse” story, but soon meets his end at the hands of the Inheritors in the ensuing battle.
16 SPIDER-MAN NOIR
Since his debut in 2009’s Spider-Man Noir #1, the Earth-90214 version of Peter Parker has quickly become one of the most popular incarnations of the character. Born in the Great Depression era, Peter Parker received his powers during an attempt to expose the evil Goblin, coming across an ancient artifact connected to a powerful spider god in one of his warehouses.
With almost identical abilities to the Spider-Man we know and love, Spider-Man Noir is admittedly weaker than his Earth-616 counterpart, but more than makes up for it with his clandestine approach to crimefighting, using stealth and fear tactics to get the job done.
15 SIX-ARMED SPIDEY
During one of the most famously silly periods of Spider-Man’s comic book history, Peter Parker gained an additional four arms after ingesting a chemical that he hoped would neutralize his superpowers. Luckily for Peter, the condition is later reversed with the help of Curt Connors and the DNA of Morbius. In Earth-92100 however, Peter isn’t quite so lucky.
In this universe, Morbius is devoured by sharks before a cure can be found, leaving Spider-Man to fight crime with four extra arms. There is a silver lining here, with Peter’s additional appendages granting him increased strength and agility, but even his increased power isn’t enough to stop Daemos and the Inheritors, with Six-Armed Spidey later giving his life to allow Spider-Man 2099 and Lady Spider to escape.
Often appearing on lists of the strangest characters in all of comics, and for good reason, Peter Porker was actually born an anthropomorphic spider, but mutated into a pig with spider-based powers after being bitten by a radioactive May Porker. Taking on the mantle of the Spectacular Spider-Ham, Peter Porker spends his days fighting animal-themed versions of classic Marvel villains, including Ducktor Doom and the Swinester Six.
Despite his status as a cartoon character however, Spider-Ham has been at the forefront of Marvel’s Spider-Verse crossovers, even appearing to have a somewhat large role in the upcoming Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Created by the mad scientist Miles Warren (aka Jackal) during the much-maligned “Clone Saga”, Spidercide’s reign of terror may have been very brief, but there’s no denying that he’s amongst the most overpowered versions of Spider-Man ever to exist.
Donning a sinister-looking version of the Spider-Man costume, Spidercide earns his name alongside Jackal, taking out several thousand innocents, including almost 3000 citizens of Springville, Pennsylvania. With all the powers of Peter Parker, Spidercide also has the incredibly powerful ability to manipulate his body at a molecular level, allowing him to stretch his limbs, turn himself into different materials and liquids, and negate any and all damage thrown his way.
Another character whose rapid rise in popularity led to her stealing the spotlight from other versions of Spider-Man, it’s hard to believe that Spider-Gwen was only introduced back in 2015 given how well-known her character has become.
Hailing from Earth-65, in which Gwen Stacy was bitten by a radioactive spider rather than Peter Parker, Gwen has all the powers you’d expect of Spider-Man, but happens to be a somewhat adept detective, too. While she may be a resident of Earth-65, Spider-Gwen’s universe-hopping wristwatch gives her the ability to travel across the multiverse, allowing her to spend a great deal of time on Earth-616, much to the joy of Spider-Gwen fans.
11 SPIDER-MAN (PS4)
With the tremendous success of Insomniac’s brilliant Spider-Man game still fresh in the minds of Spider-fans everywhere, it’s hardly surprising that this interpretation of Peter Parker would eventually make his way to the comics, with the character set to appear in the huge upcoming “Spider-Geddon” event alongside Spider-Men from all across the Multiverse.
A relatively experienced version of Spider-Man -- having donned the costume for around eight years by the time the events of the game roll round -- Spidey appears to be about on par with his Earth-616 counterpart, although there’s still no excuse for the insane amount of damage he seems to take from regular thugs.
Another standout member of the extended “Spider-Verse” family, William Braddock, operating under the name Spider-UK, is an interesting mixture of the Captain Britain and Spider-Man characters, fighting as both a member of the Captain Britain Corps and the Spider-Army.
With all the powers typical of Spider-Man, as well as the ability to hop between dimensions at will, Spider-UK is a born leader, becoming one of the most important and effective members of the Spider-Army, cementing him as one of the most formidable Spider-Men in the entire multiverse. He’s currently keeping watch over Earth-3145 after the defeat of the Inheritors, and is set to return as a major character in “Spider-Geddon”.
9 SPIDER-GIRL (MAY “MAYDAY” PARKER)
A fan-favorite take on the Spider-Man character, May “Mayday” Parker is the daughter of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson in the MC2 universe, gradually acquiring spider-powers thanks to her father’s unique genetics, secretly becoming Spider-Girl. Despite being weaker than Peter in the strength department, May’s speed and agility far exceeds Spider-Man’s, with her potent spider-sense even granting her a certain degree of precognition.
Becoming a reserve member of the Avengers as well as developing friendships with several other superhero teams, Spider-Girl’s popularity with fans led to her getting her own series, which ran for over a hundred issues, and has re-emerged as part of the larger Marvel multiverse in recent years.
8 SCARLET SPIDER
One of the only good things to come out of the “Clone Saga”, Ben Reilly may not be the most original character, but he certainly dons one of the coolest takes on the Spider-Man costume of all-time. Created by Jackal with the intention of destroying Peter Parker’s life, Ben is one of several clones of Peter Parker. Although the pair initially duke it out however, it seems there’s more of Peter Parker in Ben than Jackal had anticipated, and the two later make peace.
Attempting to start fresh and leave the complicated world of heroes and villains behind completely, the call to heroism proves to be too much for Ben to handle, becoming the first, and best, incarnation of the Scarlet Spider.
7 THE SPIDER (EXILES)
One of several characters in the Marvel multiverse operating under the “Spider” moniker, Earth-15’s version of Peter Parker appears as part of the universe-hopping Exiles comic, where he’s much more sadistic than most incarnations of the characters tend to be. Given 67 life sentences for his brutality, the Spider is bonded to a symbiote similar to Carnage, giving him the powers of both Spider-Man and Carnage.
Enjoying the pain he inflicts on others, Peter’s red hair, crimson symbiote suit and penchant for murder make him feel very much like a fusion of Peter Parker and Cletus Kasady, later becoming a large part of the superpowered Weapon X team nonetheless.
6 SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN
Standing out as one of the most divisive stunts Marvel has ever pulled, The Amazing Spider-Man #700 saw a dying Doctor Octavius swap bodies with Peter Parker, essentially taking out Peter and making Otto the new Spidey. Determined to prove he could be a better hero than Peter ever was, Superior Spider-Man saw Otto make good on this promise, becoming a much more brutal, albeit effective, version of the Webslinger, creating a whole host of useful tech to help him out.
Although Otto’s time as Spider-Man didn’t last as long some fans hoped it would however, the Superior Spider-Man lives on in the Spider-Verse, serving as one of the multiverse’s most important spider totems.
5 SPIDER-MAN 2099
Of all the characters created for 1992’s “Marvel 2099” comic book line, it seems that Miguel O’Hara, better known as Spider-Man 2099, was the only character to have any lasting impact on the Marvel multiverse. Debuting in 1998’s Spider-Man 2099 #1, Miguel is a genius working for the corrupt corporation Alchemax. He later turns on the company however, and uses their machines to alter his DNA, accidentally splicing his genetic code with a spider’s.
As well as super-strength, speed, agility, durability and stamina, Miguel gains the ability to shoot organic webs, a spider-sense, telescopic vision and the ability to cause paralysis through venomous bites.
4 MILES MORALES
While Marvel’s decision to write off Peter Parker in the Ultimate Universe initially felt a little gimmicky to some fans, the Spidey-shaped hole left in the universe was the perfect opportunity for the introduction of a new Spidey in the form of Miles Morales, who quickly became one of the most popular new Marvel characters in decades.
A high school student who’s bitten by a radioactive spider created by Norman Osborn, Miles acquires all the abilities of the original Spider-Man, whilst also being able to camouflage himself and create “venom strikes” that incapacitate his foes upon contact. Miles has become such a huge character since his introduction that he’s even been re-homed in Marvel’s mainstream continuity, following the events of “Secret Wars”.
3 GHOST SPIDER
First appearing in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #38, the less-than-savory Peter Parker of Earth-11638 would often spend his time luring Spider-Men from across the multiverse to his world, where he’d absorb their powers to boost his own. After attempting to do this to Earth-616’s Spidey however, the nefarious Peter is seemingly offed, although his soul is merely trapped in Hell.
Realizing the error of his ways, Peter becomes fused with the Spirit of Vengeance with the assistance of the Infernal Hulk, becoming Ghost Spider in the process. Boasting the powers of both Spider-Man and Ghost Rider, Ghost Spider is able to escape from Hell and return the original Spider-Man to his own Universe.
2 ZOMBIE SPIDER-MAN
After almost all of the heroes of Earth-2149 are infected with a zombie virus thanks to a zombified Sentry, Spider-Man is amongst the heroes affected, causing him to tear apart his loved ones and wreak havoc across the universe. Gaining some of the Power Cosmic after devouring Silver Surfer, Zombie Spider-Man’s power only continues to grow as the series goes on, with the zombies eventually moving their assault to Earth-91126.
Unlike his fellow zombified heroes however, Spider-Man still seems to retain a small shred of his humanity, eventually feeling remorse for his actions. Using a weaponized Sandman to rid the universe of zombies, Spider-Man may have helped destroy his own reality, but is also the man responsible for saving another.
1 COSMIC SPIDER-MAN
Believe it or not, there was actually a brief period of time in Spider-Man’s superhero career in which he could be considered one of the most powerful beings in the universe. This was the result of Peter’s bonding with a potent mystical force known as the Enigma Force that granted Peter immeasurable strength, energy manipulation, transmutation and molecular control, in addition to near-omniscience.
While Spidey didn’t keep hold of this power for very long however, the Peter Parker of Earth-13 continued to serve as Captain Universe, leading the Spider-Army to take refuge against Morlun and the Inheritors in his universe. Sadly, even this version of Spider-Man fell in battle with the Inheritors, having his life force unceremoniously drained by Solus.