We're all familiar with the amazingly quippy web-head, right? Ever since I was a little kid, I loved the famous wall-crawler. My dad was also a huge fan of Spidey and would collect his comic books, which he then passed on to me. I always love reading Spider-Man story arcs and connecting with Peter Parker and other characters. There are so many stories I can’t choose which is my favorite. That said, it's always the darker story arcs that drew me in and added emotional stakes to his story. Therefore, I compiled a list of the darkest events Spidey has ever experienced:
3. 'The Green Goblin's Last Stand' (1973)
The Amazing Spider-Man #122 is one of my favorite Spider-Man comics. One of the things that makes this story so special is because it was written in the early ‘70s. Although most of the stories released around this time were cheesy and predictable, this story takes Spider-Man to a different level.
Following the death of Gwen Stacy, Spider-Man sets out for revenge on the Green Goblin to end his madness once and for all. This story begins with so much going on at once. Spider-Man is holding Gwen’s lifeless body, Spider-Man is full of rage, and the Goblin is gloating about her death.
My favorite part of this comic is that Spider-Man almost turns to the dark side (luckily Spider-Man is no Jedi). He’s so full of rage and his intent on killing the Goblin just feels so real, yet justified in a way. You feel like rooting for Spider-Man, but at the same time, you don’t want rage to take him over because we love him and what he stands for. This comic is a must read and you’ll find some things from this comic factored into Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man.
2. 'Spider-Man: Back In Black' (2007)
This is a story that pushes Spider-Man to his limits. It’s more of a Peter Parker story than a Spider-Man story, but it makes sense for this storyline. Following the events of Civil War, everything that could go wrong is bearing down on Peter. Captain America is dead, Peter is a fugitive because of the registration act, and the story begins with Aunt May getting shot. After Peter gets her to the closest hospital, he will stop at nothing to find out who did it and why.
This story does an excellent job of capturing Peter’s path to darkness. Just like "The Green Goblin’s Last Stand," this story pushes Peter to his limit. In this story arc, he commits quite a few felonies to figure who ordered the assassination. The story has lots of amazing visuals and explores the black suit to emphasize his emotion.
The main reason I love this story is because of what drives Peter. This story focuses on the reason he is Spider-Man and I believe that this story was executed well. It was interesting to read about Spider-Man being driven towards committing the one thing he would never do: murder.
1. 'Kraven's Last Hunt' (1987)
Sitting at No. 1, this one is my personal favorite Spidey arc to date. The title itself gives the main plot away, but this story contains great character development and action over the course of six issues. The story is about Kraven as he realizes that he will die soon, but can't get over the embarrassment Spider-Man has caused him. To reclaim his honor and dignity, Kraven goes on one last hunt to track and defeat Spider-Man.
This story does justice by pulling you in as a reader and allowing you to be a part of the story and relate to characters such as Kraven. Not only does it contain the usual superhero-comic-book-elements, this story also takes a dark path by giving us attempted rape, murder, and even suicide.
Without giving too much away, I really enjoyed how the story began. It starts with Kraven and Spider-Man going through a similar time of dismay and discomfort, however both characters end up totally opposite. There’s also a part in the comic where Peter finally realizes that there is no Spider-Man. There’s only Peter Parker; he doesn’t change when he dons the Spidey suit. I thought that was really interesting and didn’t think about it that way until I read this story.
If you’re a fan of Spidey and the comics, then I highly recommend taking the time to read these story arcs, especially “Kraven’s Last Hunt." If you can’t find the physical comic, you can always find them online. I don’t own all of these that I mentioned, but they’re totally worth the read.
Check out some of Spier-Man's biggest saves in the video below until you can get your hands on the comics mentioned above:
Did I miss one of your personal favorites? Let me know in the comments below!