Spider-Man: Homecoming is out, and the world is rejoicing over how amazing the movie is! With its great cast, and its brilliantly chosen lead, Homecoming is sure to become one of the biggest and most popular hits of 2017's blockbuster season. Therefore, as you step out of the cinema, blinking in the sunlight with your Spider-senses still tingling, you’d be forgiven for not wanting to leave the wondrous world of our favorite wall-crawler behind. So, if you still want to hang on to that good feeling that Homecoming left you with, here for your convenience are nine sensational Spider-Man #comicbooks for you to check out.
1. The Amazing Spider-Man - Duel To The Death With The Vulture (Issue #2, 1963)
If you’re a die-hard fan or merely a thorough traditionalist at heart, then you should definitely read this issue where #SpiderMan and the Vulture came face to face for the first time. Admittedly, the dialogue won’t be for everyone — it was written over half a century ago after all — and this story may seem quaint by today’s standards. Without it though, we wouldn't be able to enjoy this ever-entertaining, long-lasting rivalry between these two characters, and many others like it. Plus, Steve Ditko’s dynamic artwork is still as inspiring and eye-popping today as it was all those years ago.
2. The Amazing Spider-Man – If This Be My Destiny...! (Issue #31-33, 1966)
We love Spider-Man for his quips and colorful action, but we admire him most because of his heart, and his desire to simply do the right thing. If This Be My Destiny...! really tests our hero as he’s forced to combat the mysterious Master Planner, in order to retrieve a serum that can save Aunt May’s life. As many fans will know, this arc features a now iconic scene where the selflessness and compassion of Spider-Man is bared for all to see. Spider-Man: Homecoming replicates this particular moment during its run-time, and it’s all the more powerful for it. A marvelous story in every sense of the word.
3. Spidey (Every Issue Is Great! 2015-Present)
The newest comic on this list, Spidey is an updated re-telling of Peter Parker’s early days in the costume as he learns the ropes (or should that be web lines?) about being a hero. Smartly written, and dazzlingly drawn, Spidey is an irresistibly fun read for all ages — and at the end of the day, isn’t that just what a Spider-Man comic should be?
4. Peter Parker: Spider-Man - Snow Day (Issue #37, 2002)
Still want to see some more of Adrian Toomes? Well here’s your chance! This is a standalone, snowy scuffle between Spider-Man and the Vulture that pretty much encapsulates their relationship as Spidey hilariously scuppers Toomes’s plans, without initially intending to do so.
5. Spider-Man: Blue #1-6 (2002-2003)
Spider-Man: Blue is, without a doubt, one of the most beloved entries on this list. Framed by Peter recounting his memories into a tape recorder, Spider-Man: Blue is a slick and ultimately bittersweet retelling of his blooming relationship with Gwen Stacy and his burgeoning social life.
Along with a dash of contemporary wit and Tim Sales’s eye-catching, edgy rendering of Spider-Man and co., it’s a wonderfully retro and affectionate look at Spidey himself, his tumultuous love life and #Marvel's history. Plus it even features two Vultures for good measure!
6. The Amazing Spider-Man – Mr Parker Goes To Washington & Civil War (Issue #529 – 538, 2006-2007)
Far along in the mainstream timeline, these two arcs may be hard for casual Spidey fans to jump into without any context. However, I’d still recommend you give them a chance, since Spider-Man: Homecoming and the #MCU at large take a great many of cues from these two stories.
Prior to Issue #529, circumstances have forced Peter, Aunt May and Mary Jane to move into Avengers Tower, and as such, the bromance between Spider-Man and Iron Man flourishes ever stronger. We see it develop over Peter’s rocky initiation into the Avengers, as well as his transformation through The Other, but Issue #529 is where it’s taken to the next level, when Tony gifts Peter the infamous, hi-tech Iron Spider costume.
Aside from some brilliant comedy moments where Peter gets to grips with his new gear, we also see his close partnership with Stark tested during the #superhero Civil War, and even some spider-heroics over the Washington moment. Director John Watts clearly paid attention to his comics!
7. The Amazing Spider-Man –“Unscheduled Stop” (Issue # 578-579, 2009)
The Shocker may not be as instantly recognizable as Green Goblin or Venom, but he’s still a popular Spider-Man villain who fans have been clamoring to see onscreen for some time. So in light of his small but very promising role in Spider-Man: Homecoming, I’d fully recommend this brilliant, recent tale from Spidey’s canon, which sees Peter struggling to save a subway full of trapped passengers.
Along with the Shocker’s help/hindrance, “Unscheduled Stop” also has some surprises in store for our hero, in the form of one character who’s since become a major part of Peter’s life in the comics.
8. The Amazing Spider-Man –“Big Time” (Issue #648-656, 2010-2011)
If you really got a kick out of seeing Spider-Man’s enhanced outfit in Spider-Man: Homecoming, then this is a story for you. As an established Avenger, things are looking up for Peter at this point, but his situation improves further when he gets a job at Horizon Labs, meaning that he can flex his scientific acumen and rectify his failing finances; cue lots of technological jargon and a series of cool Spider-Man costumes in this story, and those following on afterwards!
Again, it’s a little further on in Peter’s life (he’s in his mid/late twenties here) but that shouldn't put you off; writers Dan Slott and Neil Edwards do a good job at providing you with all the necessary information without bogging you down.
9. Ultimate Spider-Man (Pretty Much All Of It, 2000-2011)
No list of this kind would be complete without Ultimate Spider-Man. Mark Bagley’s artwork, along with Brian Michael Bendis’s modern, grounded sensibilities paved the way for the rest of the Ultimate Marvel line, and have inspired every adaptation of Spider-Man since it first arrived on our shelves nearly twenty years ago.
From Peter’s depiction to the inclusion of Ned (who has been heavily inspired by Miles Morales’s best friend Ganke) and Iron Man’s latest armor, Spider-Man: Homecoming is hugely indebted to Ultimate Spider-Man; heck, #TomHolland is the spitting image of his comic book counterpart!
It may have already begun to become dated (technology-wise anyway), but Ultimate Spider-Man is still one of the best ways to familiarize yourself with the world of Spider-Man, without getting too tangled in his extensive continuity. It is - simply put - essential reading.
Spider-Man: Homecoming not only integrates Spider-Man successfully into the #MCU, it also shows a deep respect and appreciation for its source material. We only have to look at how many entries on this list remind us of Homecoming to see this synergy in action. The movie has also revitalized our interest in the wall-crawler (as if it needed to be re-kindled) and what better way to pass the time until we see #Homecoming again than reading some more sensational Spider-Man stories?
Which Spider-Man stories would you recommend reading in the wake of Spider-Man: Homecoming? Head to the comments and let us know!