Spider-Man's our first 'Character of the Month' and we want to celebrate by revisiting some of his coolest brawls. Since making his debut in 1962, the spectacular Spider-Man has been in dozens upon dozens of terrific battles. From his countless fights with the foes in his diverse rogues gallery to squaring off with other good guys, the friendly neighborhood hero has found himself in so many epic melees over the years. There's a ridiculous amount to choose from, but we're going to highlight what we think are some of his most iconic and memorable victories. Seeing as there's so many great fights with him, we obviously won't have all of your favorites on display, so don't forget to chime in with your selection of "Spider-Man's Best Battles."
Spider-Man vs. Green Goblin (THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #122)
Let's kick things off with a classic: the fight between Peter Parker and Norman Osborn. Incredibly old spoiler: Gwen Stacy died and it's all because of a scenario that was created by the first Green Goblin, Norman Osborn. Losing someone you love is a terrible, terrible tragedy and Gwen's death obviously hit Spider-Man harder than the Hulk ever could with his big, green fists. After Gwen died, Parker had one thing on his mind: revenge. He sought out the Goblin and wanted to make him suffer. What follows is a savage display of the wallcrawler's might as he lays into Osborn. One punch after another, Spider-Man obliterates the villain with his impressive strength as he screams at him about losing the girl he loved. But we all know Spidey's a good man -- some may say the "ultimate" hero -- and he's thankfully able to stop himself before he crosses the line and does something he'd never forgive himself for. However, Osborn seals his own fate as he tries to impale the hero in the back with his glider. Spider sense allows Peter to dodge the glider and it speeds right into the fiend's chest. Spider-Man's first volume is full of action, but this is without question one of the most impactful fights from the series.
Spider-Man vs. Kingpin (THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #542)
Back in the day, Wilson Fisk was able to give Spidey a rough time. Those days are over. Despite Fisk's might, there's still a noticeable gap between these two in terms of physicals. Sure, Kingpin's a bigger dude and, when it comes to street level characters, he's a tough customer, but his strength and speed is noticeably lower than the web-slinger's. And, as durable as Fisk may be, Spider-Man has the strength required to put a hurting on him. Back in Black finally brought that front and center, and it did so in a shockingly badass way. You see, Aunt May was shot, and Spider-Man wants to send a message: his family is off limits and anyone who thinks otherwise is going to pay. Not only did Spider-Man pummel Fisk, but he did so brutally and without even an ounce of mercy. This was in front of a crowd, so you can bet it was totally belittling for the Crime Lord. Spider-Man said he didn't view Fisk as a man, but instead as a target. To top it off, it concludes with Spider-Man slapping the villain over and over and then striking some major fear into him. All in all, it was a terribly humiliating experience for the big man and a staggeringly formidable one for Peter. If you ever want to see what Spider-Man is capable of when he takes off the kid gloves and stops the fun banter, you need to read this fight.
Spider-Man vs. Firelord (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #269-270)
Firelord: "You dare?"
Spider-Man: "What have I got to lose?"
And with that said, a very frustrated and determined Peter Parker leaps at the cosmic foe. As the captions say, he "explodes" into action. Look, there's no way getting around it: this is a controversial win. After all, the webhead knocked a Herald of Galactus out cold with just his fists. Really, it's something people still have heated debates about to this day. But we're highlighting it because it is one of Spider-Man's standout victories and another example of how he'll never let overwhelming odds take a toll on his drive. Peter's in it to win it and this is yet another ridiculously difficult challenge that he's able to topple because he doesn't know how to quit. Plus, as a Spidey fan, there's no denying this is an absolutely awesome display of his speed and reflexes. Poor Firelord couldn't even lay a finger on Parker when he began to truly lash out. Herald of Galactus, meet the fists of the Spider-Man.
Spider-Man vs. Venom (THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #300)
Fighting Venom is no walk in the park for Spider-Man (well, Eddie Brock Venom, that is. Gargan is a completely different story) and the two have had some great and memorable battles. However, the first big encounter between these two immediately jumps to mind. It made one thing clear: Venom is a guy Spider-Man shouldn't be able to defeat with just his fists. Okay, that technically has happened, but if they're both written well, then Parker needs to use his brain and not just his sheer strength to take down the symbiotic threat. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #300 did a fine job making this crystal clear. Even after utilizing a sonic gun, Brock was able to get the better of the hero and kept him incapacitated. But Brock's arrogance lead to his downfall -- literally. Using his intellect, the sensational Spider-Man was able to discover another weakness of Venom's and he took full advantage of it. It's not a very flattering defeat for Venom, but it was most certainly a powerful way for the fiend to make a big debut in Spider-Man's life.
Spider-Man vs. The Kravinoff Family (THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #637)
Grim Hunt was not only a thoroughly impressive follow-up to Kraven's Last Hunt, but it also unleashed a truly frightening Spider-Man. He was tired of the Kravinoff family's grand plan (a plan which hurt -- and even "killed" -- people he carers about) and he was ready to bring it to a close. Not holding back at all, Spider-Man was able to attack characters with jaw-dropping levels of speed. He battered Vladimir, made Ana scream for her mother, and even pulled off part of Sasha's face. The members of Sergei Kravinoff's family pride themselves on being fearless hunters, but Parker was able to turn them into the prey and they were most certainly afraid. After everyone was dispatched with ease, Spider-Man had a satisfying encounter with the recently-resurrected Sergei. Neither character was downplayed and the conclusion feels fitting for both individuals. Just like over in Back in Black, this is a prime example of what happens when Spider-Man stops messing around and taps into his true potential.
Spider-Man vs. The Sinister Six (THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #1)
Spider-Man's initial clashes with his ongoing villains were a total blast. In the end, though, they all failed to earn a lasting and true victory over the nimble hero. This gave Doctor Octopus an epiphany: why continue to lose by your lonesome when you can join forces and overwhelm your enemy? After creating the Sinister Six, Ock's plan was to make Spider-man endure a gauntlet of villains. This way, each enemy will weaken him and eventually, the wallcrawler will be defeated. To make sure Spidey was motivated to fight each of them and fall for every trap, Doc Ock kidnapped Betty Brant and Aunt May, and then made sure each villain had a note telling Spider-Man where he needs to go next. Each evildoer would face-off with Parker in a location that benefits them the most. For example, Vulture made Spider-Man lose his web shooters and face him up in the air. Ock's scheme isn't the worst plan around, but it still fails miserably. Spider-Man's able to use his superhuman physicals and gifted brain to beat each of them or at least snag the note and move on to the next challenge. Honestly, the only exception is with Sandman -- that victory is basically dumb luck and terrible planning on Ock's part. Anyway, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #1 delivers a ton of fun as Spider-Man moves from one villain to the next and it most definitely deserves a spot on this list.
Spider-Man vs. The X-Men (SECRET WARS #3)
Hero vs. hero situations are often based on a huge misunderstanding, and SECRET WARS #3 is no exception. Spider-Man hears the X-Men say they're going to join forces with Magneto, and the webhead states he's going to tattle on them! The X-Men don't want to put the agile character down; just stop him and reason with him. But given the location, Spider-Man's able to put his agility, webbing and speed to excellent use. He dances around all of their attacks and, just like Wolverine eventually says, he makes them look like fools. He effortlessly swats away Logan, webs up Nightcrawler, Colossus and Rogue, and avoids Cyclops' optic blast. Now, given a more open location, there's a fair chance this scenario wouldn't end well for Parker, but in a building that benefits his swift nature, he's able to really embarrass Professor X's team for a little bit before he manages to escape.
Spider-Man vs. Juggernaut (THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #229-230)
What happens when an unstoppable titan meets someone with indomitable willpower?
The Sensational Spider-Man's encounter with Juggernaut is a fantastic example why Spidey's such a admirable character. The powerhouse has his sights on getting to Madame Web and Spider-Man tries anything and everything to prevent that from happening. He attempts using his own strength, creates a wall of webbing, aims to trap the X-Men villain underground, and even tries electrocuting him. Sadly, nothing works and Cain Marko is able to get his hands on Web. Spider-Man failed and Web is now injured. Even though he realizes Juggernaut is in a weight class well above his own, he refuses to let Marko get away with this and is beyond determined to avenge the telepath. Parker winds up using some heavy items in a construction zone, but even those objects don't faze Juggernaut... not even a little bit. In the end, Spider-Man once again uses his clever mind to conquer a seemingly undefeatable threat. How does he topple this brute, you ask? Well, he's able to lure the big fellow right into a large patch of wet cement. Nothing can stop the Juggernaut, eh? Well, it sure looks like Spider-Man can. It wasn't easy, but this just one of the many terrific examples of Spider-Man refusing to throw in the towel, even when victory seems to be impossible.
What's your favorite Spider-Man battle, Comic Viners? Let us know by speaking your mind below. Be sure to keep checking the homepage throughout May for even more Spidey articles!