Greetings from the Odinson,
Top 5 Most Underrated Moments in Spider-Man’s History
Spider-Man is an iconic hero that has accomplished some truly spectacular and amazing achievements over the decades. Spidey is many a child’s gateway into the colorful worlds of super heroes. I know he was mine.
Whether it is triumphing over a superior foe like Doctor Octopus or standing his ground against the unstoppable Juggernaut, for nearly sixty years Spider-Man has astonished readers and fans with heroic exploits and character-defining moments.
Many of those moments most readers and fans are well aware of. They have been adapted into episodes of his various animated series and even in the films. These are the moments that most fans refer to when they discuss Spidey’s illustrious history. However, there are even more fantastic moments from Spider-Man’s saga that helped shape him and entrench him in the annals of Marvel History and Pop Culture.
Let’s journey through the decades together and look back at some of Spider-Man’s most talked about exploits while at the same time shedding some light on those less talked about, and sometimes just as essential, moments.
NOTE: Before we begin, I feel we can all agree that Amazing Fantasy #15 with Peter Parker’s origin tale and the death of his beloved Uncle Ben is THE defining moment in Spider-Man’s history. I mean, nothing tops “With great power there must also come great responsibility.” Right?
Let us continue.
A Defining Moment: “The Final Chapter!” The villain, Otto Octavius, is getting away. Aunt May is ill and in danger of passing away and the key to her salvation is just out of reach. Spider-Man, exhausted and hurt, lies trapped underneath a pile of broken machinery and twisted steel. With his Aunt’s life hanging in the balance, Spidey somehow gathers the strength to shift tons of crushing weight aside so he can get to her in time. This scene has been adapted to various degrees in both Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming.
An Underrated Moment: “How Green was My Goblin?” and “Spidey Saves the Day!” In this 2-part thriller, Spider-Man’s arch foe, the Green Goblin, discovers his secret identity and Spidey discovers the Goblin’s. Turns out, his enemy is actually Norman Odsborn, the father of Peter Parker’s college roommate and best friend, Harry. This dynamic has played out over the course of five decades and counting and defines their relationship. It was even the plot of the first Spider-Man movie.
A Defining Moment: The Death of Gwen Stacy. Next to the murder of Uncle Ben, this is a moment that has had more of an impact on the life of Spider-Man and his alter ego, Peter Parker, than any other. This was the day the hero failed to save the woman he loved. It was the moment Spider-Man grew up. It was the moment Spider-Man fans grew up. It was a moment that changed Comic Books forever.
An Underrated Moment: The Death of Captain Stacy. 32 issues earlier, Spider-Man failed to save the father of the woman he loves. With the Police Captain’s dying breath, he ambiguously reveals that he may or may not know Spider-Man’s true identity and asks him to take care of his daughter. This is a moment that makes the moment above even more poignant and devastating.
A Defining Moment: The Wedding. It was seemingly an inevitable conclusion to the previous 25 years of Marvel History up to this point. Plus, the dramatic nearly three year build up – from Mary Jane Revealing that she knows Peter is Spider-Man (Amazing Spider-Man #257) to the death of Ned Leeds (Spider-Man vs. Wolverine and ASM #289) to Peter’s proposal (Amazing Spider-Man #290) – this moment is one of the biggest and most satisfying payoffs in Comics History.
An Underrated Moment: “I Want to Be an Avenger!” The Odinson is going to call an audible here and insert one of his person favorite Spidey moments. In this tale, Spidey wants to join the ranks of Marvel’s premiere team of heroes. At the end of the day, it isn’t the Avengers that save the day, it isn’t even the SPIDER in Spider-Man that saves the day. It is the MAN in Spider-Man that saves the day as it is Peter Parker’s intelligence, with an assist from Monica Rambeau (the Odinson’s All-Time favorite Marvel Captain Marvel), that saves the day. This is the moment when Spider-Man proves to the world what we the fans have always known, Spider-Man belongs shoulder-to-shoulder alongside Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
A Defining Moment: The Clone Saga. Love it or hate it, and the Odinson strongly falls on the side of the latter, but there is no denying that this was a watershed moment for the Wall-Crawler and it will forever by a defining chapter in Spider-Man History.
An Underrated Moment: Acts of Vengeance. Yes, this was not some big character-defining moment. Yes, Spidey cheated because he had the power of Captain Universe on his side. But, let’s just say it out loud together one time – Spider-Man punches the Incredible Hulk into orbit! It is easily one of the most visually stunning moments in Spidey’s history and rendered with superb expertise by artist Todd McFarlane. That cover is forever burned into my memory.
A Defining Moment: One More Day. Another one of those love it or hated ordeals. What cannot be denied is the impact it had on the Spider-Man mythos.
An Underrated Moment: Civil War. Tony Stark persuading Peter Parker to reveal to the world that he is in fact Spider-Man is another one of those I know exactly where I was when this happened moments. Not only did this event spark some truly upsetting consequences – Back in Black and One More Day – but it also gave us quite simply one of the funniest moments in Spidey History when we see J. Jonah Jameson’s reaction to the revelation.
This is by no means a complete list of Spider-Man’s most defining and underrated moments in history. It is just a look back at this spectacular hero’s amazing past. The Odinson wanted to celebrate Spidey’s crowning achievements as well as shed some light on some lesser known and/or talked about moments that helped shape Spider-Man into the legendary icon he is today.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
NOTE: Be sure to check out my new book – Autumn Dawn: A Glen Haven Tale. Available in Paperback and on Kindle.