For over 60 years, fans have been reading the adventures of Peter Parker as the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, who was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Over the years many creative teams have left their mark on Spider-Man, and we've seen storylines that will go down in comic history as the best of the best.
Unfortunately, sometimes other great stories get a bit overshadowed by iconic storylines like "Kraven's Last Hunt" or "The Night Gwen Stacy Died," but still add as much if not more to the overall Spider-Man mythology. Today we are going to shine a light on a few underrated Spider-Man stories that fans might want to give another look.
10 SPIDER-MAN VS. WOLVERINE
We've seen encounters between superheroes go bad before, but rarely does it get as dark as 1987's Spider-Man vs. Wolverine by Jim Owsley and Mark Bright. While Spider-Man and Wolverine had met before, they were by no means the friendly teammates seen later after a few years working together with the New Avengers.
When the pair met in Berlin, they were both on the trail of an assassin who was killing former KGB agents, and the resulting events would see two people dead, and Spider-Man dropping further into the darkness that would overtake him in coming storylines. Spider-Man vs Wolverine is an impactful part of Spidey's mythology that is sometimes tragically forgotten.
9 THE DEATH OF JEAN DEWOLFF
Peter David, in the beginnings of his comic career, worked with artist Rich Buckler on Spectacular Spider-Man, which was turning away from the upbeat and light-hearted stories. David introduced a psychopathic villain known as the Sin-Eater in an incredibly ugly way by violently killing off Jean DeWolff, who was Spider-Man's closest ally in the police department for years.
The storyline featured some incredible moments for Spider-Man that really humanized the character, and was well-regarded in its time as one of Spider-Man's best stories. But over the years it has become overshadowed by other critical deaths in Spider-Man's life, and even other storylines like the birth of Eddie Brock as Venom, whose hatred of Spider-Man began in this storyline.
8 "MAYBE NEXT YEAR"
Every so often a single standalone issue comes along that tugs at the heartstrings and gets to the core of what makes Spider-Man one of the most popular comic book characters. When writer Paul Jenkins took over the first volume of Peter Parker: Spider-Man, he refocused the stories around Peter Parker and managed to deliver a few amazing single issues that need to be revisited.
In Peter Parker: Spider-Man #33's "Maybe Next Year," Spider-Man is celebrating the anniversary of his Uncle Ben's death by keeping their tradition alive and going to a Mets game. Over the course of the flashbacks, we learn that Uncle Ben had more than one powerful lesson to teach young Peter, which makes his loss all the more real.
7 Spider-Man: FEVER
It's very likely some fans may have missed out on Brendan McCarthy's fantastic Spider-Man: Fever, which served as a trippy love letter to Steve Ditko, co-creator of both Spider-Man and Dr. Strange. The mini-series took readers on a psychedelic trip through the mystical realms with Doctor Strange as he attempts to save Spider-Man.
Any fan of Ditko's will immediately feel transported back to that time when he was blowing readers minds with his work on Doctor Strange, and everything about Fever respectfully draws on Ditko's unique art style, from the surrealist mystical dimension's to Spider-Man's creepy and unsettling movements that Ditko drew made so iconic in the early days of Amazing Spider-Man.
6 BOOK OF EZEKIEL
There's no denying that J. Michael Straczynski's run on Amazing Spider-Man has taken a bit of flak over the years, considering storylines like "Sins Past" tried to redefine characters in less than flattering ways. But his run also tried to begin a new life for Peter Parker, changing his job, his relationship with his Aunt May, and even his origin story.
When JMS and John Romita Jr. introduced the character Ezekiel Sims, they also brought in the notion that Spider-Man's powers are the result of his connection to the totemic powers of the Spider, which wasn't readily accepted by fans. At least, until Spider-Verse further played on the ideas created by JMS in his run, leading to years of storylines and even an Oscar-nominated movie.
5 MARVEL KNIGHTS: Spider-Man #1-12
The initial Marvel Knights line of comics can be credited with helping bring Marvel back from the brink during the comic boom and bust of the 90s. this line expanded after it's initial success and included a new Spider-Man title from Mark Millar and Terry Dodson, which would later become the second volume of Sensational Spider-Man after the Marvel Knights line was retired.
The initial storyline was collected over three trades and featured a number of new villainous developments, including former Scorpion Mac Gargan becoming the new Venom and the Green Goblin assembling the Sinister Twelve. The storyline also features Spidey working closely again with the Black Cat and kicked off a number of storylines, yet sometimes fails to get the love it deserves.
4 BRAND NEW DAY
In one of the most divisive moves Marvel Comics ever made with their characters, Peter Parker's marriage to Mary Jane and the reveal of his secret identity to the world were undone by a series of mystical events, forever altering Spider-Man's history and kicking off a new chapter in the life of Spider-Man. Fans were understandably upset, and the following "Brand New Day" suffered.
Except "Brand New Day" was actually pretty good, introduced a number of new characters and villains to further enforce Spidey's new life and direction. The move also brought a few great creative teams under the same Amazing Spider-Man banner, including long-time scribe Dan Slott, and began crafting some of the best Spidey stories fans had seen in years.
3 SPIDER-MAN/HUMAN TORCH
Spider-Man has few true friends in the superhero community, but Johnny Storm/Human Torch is easily his best one. While their friendship started out rocky, they were both influential in each other's lives and soon became trusted confidantes and brothers in comedy.
Dan Slott and Ty Templeton took readers back through a number of key moments in the pair's friendship in Spider-Man/Human Torch, which told a number of untold stories featuring Peter and Johnny that not only showcased what makes them such great friends, but also the impact that has had on the city of New York, the Fantastic Four, and the history of the Marvel Universe.
2 Future Foundation
It was Spider-Man's relationship with Human Torch that led to another big change in Spider-Man's career when he joined the rest of the Fantastic Four following the apparent death of Johnny Storm. Rebranded as the Future Foundation, Spider-Man worked with the FF for a short period of time until Johnny returned, making it seem a little gimmicky to fans.
However, Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting used Peter's time with the FF to show how Spider-Man is regarded among other heroes like the Fantastic Four and give readers a chance to further explore the scientific prowess of Spider-Man when contrasted with Reed Richards and the other bright minds of the Future Foundation.
Dan Slott was responsible for a number of spectacular runs during his decade-long tenure as writer of Amazing Spider-Man, but it was one of his more recent storylines that seemed to fall flat with a few fans, despite raising Peter Parker to a higher status level than he had ever seen. Following the critically-acclaimed Superior Spider-Man run, Peter Parker was back and bigger than ever.
"Worldwide" saw Spider-Man try to extend his reach globally, both through the hugely successful Parker Industries and his work as Spider-Man, effectively making Peter the new Tony Stark. The storyline showcased the extreme good someone like Peter Parker can do with unlimited resources, but "Worldwide" also showcased the realities of the "Parker Luck" in true Spidey fashion.