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  1. #1
    Spectacular Member Diggy's Avatar
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    Apr 2014

    Default Where should I start?

    Hey, I've always been interested in Spidey from his shows, movies, and games, but I'm more of a DC guy so I never actually read much of his comics before (aside from the first 10 issues of ASM.) Can someone recommend me a few of the most essential stories/graphic novels/trades for Spidey so I can find somewhere to start? Thanks.
    Formerly known as YMCMB

  2. #2


    I wrote about this elsewhere, but I did lists of good Spider-Man comics for someone interested in the series

    The first list is the required reading. The rest is stuff you should get to eventually because it's so damn good.

    Part One: The Essentials
    These are the stories that consistently appear on "Best Of" lists, and that are referenced most often.
    The Lee/ Ditko run is collected fairly often, although the most notable stories are probably Amazing Fantasy #15, Amazing Spider-Man #1, 3, 6, Annual #1, 20, and 31-33. The last three issues are the Master Planner saga.
    The Lee/ Romita run is also worth reading in its entirety, although the highlights are Amazing Spider-Man #39-40, 42, 50-52 and 88-90.
    Amazing Spider-Man #121-122 represented the end of the Silver Age.
    Roger Stern's run on Amazing Spider-Man is probably the best since Stan Lee. Highlights include the Hobgoblin Saga (Amazing Spider-Man #238-239, 244-245, 249-251), Nothing Can Stop the Juggernaut (Amazing Spider-Man #229-230) and the Kid Who Collects Spider-Man (Amazing Spider-Man #248).
    The first appearances of Venom (Amazing Spider-Man #300, 315-317) are also quite iconic.
    And the first 13 issues of Ultimate Spider-Man probably changed Marvel comics. That's a good and accessible reimagining of the series.

    Three excellent accessible self-contained Spider-Man stories are Spider-Man: Blue, The Death of Jean Dewolff and Kraven's Last Hunt.

    Part Two: The Classics
    You could probably make the argument that Amazing Fantasy #15 and the first 150 issues of Amazing Spider-Man (along with the first five annuals) are more important to understanding the series than anything that came since. Even the worst Lee/ Ditko villain is apt to reappear.

    Part Three: Later Peter Parker
    I made another list of notable Spider-Man comics after Conway's departure that are worth hunting down, but didn't make the first cut (sometimes these are great Spider-Man stories but not among all the all-time great, sometimes it depends on an understanding of the series from other titles.)
    The Return of the Burglar saga (Amazing Spider-Man #193-200) had some big developments for the series.
    Roger Stern's entire run of Amazing Spider-Man (#226-227, 229-236, 238-251) is worthwhile reading.
    The Owl/ Octopus war from from Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider-Man #72-79 has one of the great battles with Doctor Octopus, and one of Spidey's great romances.
    The Alien Costume saga from Amazing Spider-Man #252-259
    Amazing Spider-Man #267 and Web of Spider-Man #13 were two great single issue stories by Peter David. Spectacular Spider-Man #134-136 brought back the Sin-Eater.
    JM Dematteis and Sal Buscema's run on Spectacular Spider-Man #178-200 had great psychological depth, and the transformation of one of Peter's greatest friends into one of his greatest enemies.
    There were a few notable stories from Michelinie's run, including Spider-Man's marriage (Amazing Spider-Man #290-292, Annual #1), The Return of the Sinister Six (Amazing Spider-Man #334-339) and the first appearance of Carnage (Amazing Spider-Man #361-363.)
    I think Mark Millar's 12 issue run of Marvel Knights Spider-Man is a masterpiece, although it builds heavily on what came before.
    Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski's first nine issues with John Romita Jr (Amazing Spider-Man Volume 2 #30-38) shook up the series. Amazing Spider-Man Volume 2 #50 featured a big moment between Peter Parker and Mary Jane, after being separated for several years. Amazing Spider-Man #506-508 ties up the Ezekiel saga. The Happy Birthday arc from Amazing Spider-Man Volume 2 #57-58, 500, 502 features glimpses of Spider-Man’s future referenced in recent comics.
    Ultimate Spider-Man is a satisfying run in its entirety, but if you're looking for the later highlights, Ultimate Spider-Man #29-32 is the best version of the Spidey gets framed story. Ultimate Spider-Man #33-39 introduces this version of Venom. 97-105 feature a new version of the Clone Saga. 156-160 brings it all to to an end.

    And there are some good single issues. Tangled Web #20 reveals a lot about J Jonah Jameson. Amazing Spider-Man #271 revealed the fate of Crusher Hogan, the wrestler from Amazing Fantasy #15. Spider-Man VS. Wolverine is one of the great tragedies, as well as the most notable team-up between Marvel’s two most popular characters, as Peter Parker getting involved in affairs way out of his league. Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider-Man #127 may just be the definitive Lizard story. “To Have And To Hold” from Sensational Spider-Man Annual #1 is a great standalone story from the Spider-Man era, although your brain may explode trying to figure out how all of that got reversed.

    And there's an addition problem with the Spider-Man comics that the stories have been reprinted in so many forms that it's difficult to know what the best fit would be. If you have a tablet, my recommendation is to get a monthly subscription to Marvel's Digital Comics program and read the notable Spider-Man stories available there.

  3. #3
    Spectacular Member Diggy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014


    Great thanks a lot Mister Mets! I'll check these out and see what I can get.

  4. #4


    I came up with the list about an year ago and it doesn't include the recent comics.

    Amazing Spider-Man #1 is rather accessible.

    Slott's solo run kicked off with Amazing Spider-Man #648, available in The Big Time Ultimate Collection Volume 1. That's definitely worth checking out.

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