Everyone and their dog is talking about Spider-Man, and while I’m saving all my best posts for the release of No Way Home, but I wanted to give you a quick guide to get you started!
And what better way to start, than to give you the four best places to start Spider-Man comics?
Amazing Spider-Man 1963 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
In 1962, in the pages of a comic book slated for cancellation, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko gave birth to one of the most enduring icons in American popular culture: the Amazing Spider-Man! Turning the concept of a super hero on its head, they imbued the young, guilt-ridden Peter Parker with the fantastic powers of an arachnid and the fantastic pressures of an everyday teenager. The combination was pure magic. Now, you can leap into Spider-Man’s web-slinging world from the very beginning, including the tragic origin that started it all; the first appearances of the Daily Bugle and J. Jonah Jameson; and the debut of classic villains including the Green Goblin, Dr. Octopus, the Sandman, the Vulture and Electro!
The absolute original, first-ever appearance run for Spider-Man! This is, quite frankly, the best place to start with Spider-Man, as this is literally his entire origin story and the introductions to his villains, his world, and everything in between!
Spider-Man Blue by Jeph Loeb
“It’s about remembering someone so important to me I was going to spend the rest of my life with her.” What Peter Parker didn’t know was that meant Gwen Stacy would only get to spend the rest of her life with him. This is the story of how they fell in love. Or more appropriately, how they almost didn’t fall in love. Welcome to Spider-Man’s life. Bad before good. It’s kind of amazing. So to get the girl of his dreams, he’ll have to run the gauntlet of the Green Goblin, the Rhino, two Vultures and a mysterious man in the shadows controlling it all. Join the Eisner Award-winning team of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale (Superman for All Seasons, Batman: The Long Halloween, DAREDEVIL: YELLOW, HULK: GRAY) in the story about Peter Parker’s first love, Gwen Stacy. Highlighted by the introduction of Mary Jane Watson, it is a critical moment in Spider-Man’s life when everything was just coming together – only to fall apart.
This is a self-contained story and focuses on Peter’s love of Gwen Stacy. If you’re looking for something quick, that stands completely on its own, without needing years of back story information, this is the one for you.
The Amazing Spider-Man by J. Michael Straczynski
J. Michael Straczynski is a man who has made his mark in many ways whether in the world of science fiction and television with the hit Babylon 5 or in the comic book industry with such books as Rising Stars and Midnight Nation. Now his unique vision comes to the world of Marvel and the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man! Joining Straczynski is a man of equal legend — John Romita Jr. Regarded by many as the definitive Spider-Man artist of the last decade, Romita’s unique pace and superb storytelling perfectly complement Straczynski’s vision.
A slightly polarising run on Spider-Man, but still a very good starting point for new fans! Be warned though – this one is darker than your average Spider-Man run.
Ultimate Spider-Man by Brian Michael Bendis
In a retelling of the Spider-Man saga that has been updated for the twenty-first century, teenager Peter Parker is bitten by an experimental spider from the laboratory of Osborn Industries, and develops super powers as a result.
The Ultimate line of Marvel Comics is definitely one ripe for criticism, but one of the most successful parts of the line is Brian Michael Bendis’ Ultimate Spider-Man run. This one retells Peter’s origin in a modern era, so if you don’t want to go all the way back to Stan Lee, but want a deep dive into Peter’s early years as Spider-Man, then this will be perfect for you.
And that’s my top 4 best starting points for Spider-Man comics! Which one are you going for first? Tell me down in the comments!