Whenever you ask someone for their list of top dumbest moments in all of Marvel, most of those would probably be from Spider-Man comics. Not to say that other Marvel superheroes haven't had their share of stupid moments but it's just that [Spider-Man](tag:2683717) is one of the most iconic superheroes of all time and I guess the writers wanted to keep trying new spins on his character to keep him relevant over the years. Some of them worked... a lot of them failed miserably. There are too many to count but here are my picks for the top 10 dumbest Spider-Man moments in comics.
10. Norman Osborn gets magical powers
The Gathering of Five is the story about how Norman Osborn is trying to put together a magical whatchamacallit that has been broken into five pieces. If the pieces are ever put together by five other people, then they each get one of five gifts including knowledge, power, immortality, madness or death… Seems like a bit of a gamble if you ask me. First off, the plot is kind of ridiculous because it sounds like a game of dungeons and dragons I played last week. Second, this five part storyline is so freaking boring and is filled with nothing but what feels like filler.
While Osborn already has one of the pieces, he spends the entire five issues searching for the other parts of the whatchamacallit. When Osborn tries to get Madame Web to join the Gathering, Madame Web says that she doesn’t own one of the pieces and gets Spider-Man to basically retrieve one for her without even a question. Hell, part five of this story is just Spider-Man stopping Override from robbing a bank and fails to do so. And then, how does this five-part epic story end… Not with the Gathering that has been built up for five issues, that’s going to be concluded in a “final chapter” issue. A boring five-part storyline that doesn’t even conclude it’s story is more than enough reason to earn it’s spot my dumbest Spider-Man moments list
9. Killer radioactive semen
You know, I have been a die hard fan of Spider-Man for about 17 years. I’ve known other fans of Spider-Man for about four years now… and never have any of us ever wondered: “Hmmm, I wonder if Spider-Man’s sperm is radioactive?”. Well thankfully, writer Kaare Andrews decided to answer this question in what is possibly one of the most unintentionally hilarious moments for the web-head. In the four part comic issue “Spider-Man: Reign”, Mary Jane was suffering from terminal cancer 30 years into the future and Peter only found out in the end that it was his radioactive semen shooting into her that caused her illness.
It’s obvious Andrews was trying to create a more darker storyline for the web-swinger and it’s no coincidence that this series came out around the time of Dark Knight. I also understand what he was trying to do with this story and it’s not as bad as some of the stories on this list. However, it is still pretty generic and kind of a bore… but you cannot deny that Spider-Man having killer radioactive semen is pretty hilarious.
8. Cyborg Parents
The mystery of the whereabouts and origins of Peter’s parents was always something Spidey fans pondered about for years. In 1964, we learned that Peter’s parents were actually secret agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and that was pretty much it. Marvel never did anything else really exciting with these characters. They’ve tried to incorporate them into different stories over the years that vary from boring to just kinda OK. The final steak in the coffin was in Amazing Spider-Man 336-338 when Chameleon got an idea from Norman Osborn to create cyborg versions of his parents to try and get him to reveal himself as Spider-Man.
After a little while, the cyborgs finally figure out Spider-Man’s secret identity and try to report back to the Chameleon. Spider-Man follows and begins a showdown between his cyborg father while his cyborg mother cries and whimpers on the sidelines about not wanting to be evil. In the end, Chameleon never figures out Spider-Man’s identity and it leaves readers wondering what the hell just happened. It also shows just how far Norman Osborn is willing to go to ruin Peter Parker’s life, even in the most convoluted way possible.
7. The Clone Saga
Yeah, we all saw this one coming. The only reason this one is not higher on the list is because this is not only on everyone’s worst Spider-Man moments list but also on everyone’s worst Marvel Comics moments list. It’s that bad. The series revolves around Dr. Miles Warren (a.k.a The Jackal), who cloned Spider-Man back in the 70’s before this storyline even surfaced. After Spider-Man defeated his clone, it was revealed that the Spider-Man we have been following for about 20 years was actually the clone that Dr. Warren created. That’s right, they decided to make this story ridiculously convoluted by stating that the Scarlet Spider was somehow the real Peter Parker.
This twist was met with many angered fans who hated the idea that their beloved character was nothing more than an impostor. So, Marvel decided to stretch a short storyline into a two year long story so that they could sloppily retcon the twist. They soon revealed that the Scarlet Spider was the actual clone and Peter Parker was the real Peter Parker all along. Throw in some other stupid story elements including the clumsy resurrection of Aunt May and you have, what most Spidey fans call, a complete waste of two years.
6. The sudden death of Ultimate Spider-Man
The reason I put this on the list is because it was done so beautifully. Yeah, even though it was pretty much a pointless detour of a storyline, it was still done incredibly well. Spider-Man died what he was all along, a hero to those who couldn’t protect themselves. It was also against some of Spider-Man greatest enemies, including his archenemy Green Goblin. Even though Spider-Man was critically wounded, he still came out on top to save his friends and family but still lost his life in the process. To get the full emotional feel of this story, watch this Youtube video.
Now, if I liked this moment so much then why the hell did I put it in the dumbest Spider-Man moments list? Well… because the aftermath of this was so generic. Now, I’m not talking about the sequel Death of Spider-Man Fallout comic where everyone mourns Spider-Man because that was also very good. I’m talking about Miles Morales, the kid who took over the helm of Spider-Man after Peter Parker. This gained a lot of controversy because, of course, he was a black kid who was taking over the role of Spider-Man. This garnered some interesting reactions where of course the closed-minded people just said it was awful because he was just simply black and then there were others who really liked Miles Morales because he was interesting.
If you are any of these people then I don’t understand either of you. The reason I do not like the character of Miles Morales is because his story is just another retread of Peter Parker’s origin. Kid gets the powers of Spider-Man, doesn’t want to do anything heroic with it but after the death of a loved one he decides that with great power comes great responsibility. I’m not saying that they’re completely 100% the same but they are very similar. Spider-Man is probably the most iconic Marvel superhero to the public, so when you kill off your original OG so well, I expect you give our new Spider-Man a more interesting backstory. And I can’t be the only who thought this because Marvel retconed Peter Parker’s death soon later.
5. The Ghost of Spider-Man Present
This seemed like it could have been an interesting idea for a dark storyline but it mostly just came across as dumb. The story revolves around the fact that Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus have switched bodies and then Peter Parker dies while in Doctor Octopus’ body. To make matters worse, nobody knows that Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus have switched bodies. Sounds pretty dark right? Well, let’s ruin it by having Peter Parker come back as a ghost to haunt Doc Ock and make him try to be a better hero than Peter Parker. Yep, the whole Superior Spider-Man series is about Doc Ock wanting to be a better Spider-Man than Peter Parker.
When you take Peter Parker out of a Spider-Man story, we immediately lose interest. At least when Ultimate Spider-Man was killed off, there was a lot of emotion and regret with it. Here, it’s basically just a joke where Peter simply acts as a *sigh* “guardian angel” for Doctor Octopus’ redemption story. Many believed that the series got better as it went along and even I have to admit that it kinda did but no one can forget the silliness that it began with.
4. My Uncle... Doctor Octopus
Before Green Goblin became slated as Spider-Man’s archenemy after the death of Gwen Stacey, there was a lot of confusion as to who was Spider-Man’s archenemy. At one point, it was almost slated that Venom was Spider-Man’s archenemy because of the constant rivalry between the two, the similarities of the their powers and the fact that Venom was almost obsessed with eating and tearing Spider-Man apart. However, for the longest time, Doctor Octopus was slated as Spider-Man’s archenemy because he was the first villain to not only defeat Spider-Man but do it so simply. So for a while, there was a real rivalry between these two that wouldn’t be so bad… until Doctor Octopus almost married Peter’s Aunt May.
Yep, for some reason Aunt May decides that she wants to marry a known criminal mastermind who just happens to have four mechanical tentacle arms on his body. Not only is this story pretty dumb and lame but it also undermines the relationship between Aunt May and Uncle Ben. These two were together for decades and they were in love, almost inseparable. There was a comic that revealed that before Uncle Ben died, he had a fight with Aunt May that ended in harsh words and hurt feelings. Uncle Ben decides to go for a walk to cool off and ends up getting shot in the process. Aunt May was in shambles that not only her husband was shot dead but that her last words to him were a harsh fight that she can never take back.
This comic just goes against all of the heartbreak and turmoil that Aunt May went through and that’s why it earns it’s spot on my list.
3. Norman Osborn and Gwen Stacey's Fling
Hey everyone. Remember that iconic comic book about the death of Gwen Stacey that pretty much ended the silver age of comics, named Green Goblin as Spider-Man’s archnemesis and helped define Spider-Man for a new generation of comic readers? Well, then you’ll obviously love Sins Past where Norman Osborn humped evil twins into Gwen Stacey in order for them to grow to kill Spider-Man. Yep, this happened and somehow people did not love this amazing story. Like I said, the comic series revolves around Norman Osborn who impregnates Gwen Stacey and she gives birth to twins. Norman then, obviously, kills Gwen and decides to raise the kids himself.
However, because of Norman’s “goblin” blood, the kids aged more rapidly than normal and resulted in them becoming full grown adults by the time they were 10 years of age. Norman then has them attack Spider-Man, just to up the dumb crazyness of this comic series. Not only did this series pretty much destroy the character of Spider-Man but it also cheapens probably, the most iconic Spider-Man moment just to give readers some shock value. This isn’t the only time Marvel has intentionally and horribly destroyed one of Spider-Man’s relationships, we’ll get to the other one in a second.
2. Peter Parker mutates into a giant pregnant spider... And gives birth to himself
Out of all the weirdest and most confusing Spider-Man stories that have been conceived, this is probably the one that left readers speechless in how ridiculous it was. We’re introduced to a new villain simply named “The Queen” who wants to detonate a bomb to level New York City… for some reason. She also seems to have this weird power that causes her kisses to make people mutate into giant bugs… It’s best you don’t ask any questions at this point because it gets much weirder. This causes Spider-Man to turn into a giant eight-foot mutated spider who joins the Queen in her underground lair, help with her with her confusing plan and eventually make whoopie. However, a scientist reveals that Spider-Man has mutated into a giant pregnant spider.
Oh and that’s not all either. The giant mutated spider eventually dies unexpectedly and then gives birth to a brand new Peter Parker… man, this story just gets more odd the more I write about it. This also gave birth to Spider-Man’s organic web-shooters and while that is a decent idea to make canon in Spider-Man, they could have tried a little harder to introduce them in a more dignified way.
1. One more day... to come up with a better story
This is it people! probably the worst and most despised Spider-Man story to date. This usually tops most worst Spider-Man moments lists and it is no surprise why. The story takes place after the Civil War where Spider-Man is dealing with revealing his identity to the world and the fact that Aunt May has been shot and is at death’s door. Spider-Man says that he would do anything if it meant saving his Aunt May from death and that’s when Mephisto (the devil) enters the scene. Mephisto says that he will save the life of his Aunt but he must give up something as well, his marriage to Mary Jane Watson. Spider-Man then agrees to this strange deal and the Marvel Universe is given a hard reset. They reset people’s memory of Spider-Man’s identity and Peter and Mary Jane’s relationship.
Now, where do I begin with this. First off, the Spider-Man comics were heavily building on Peter and Mary Jane’s relationship and when they decided to finally tie the knot, it was a huge comic event. But writer, Joe Quesada, decided that he hated the fact that Spider-Man was married so he wanted to retcon it. This was just a despised idea that other writer, J. Michael Straczynski, wanted his name taken off the project. Second, Civil War gave comic fans the iconic moment where Spider-Man decides to reveal his identity to the world and making every comic reader drop their jaw. But they decide to retcon that as well making it almost totally pointless. Third, Spider-Man is supposed to be the paragon of responsibility and yet, he goes to the freaking devil to make a deal. That doesn’t really fit with his character and the fact that the devil would make such a odd deal also doesn’t fit with his character. If this were to give us a Spider-Man Ghost Rider, then maybe I could forgive this comic series.
There is no doubt people, that is definitely the worst storyline that Spider-Man has ever starred in. Unfortunately, Spider-Man has starred in most of Marvel’s worst stories to many a fan's disappointment. However, Spider-Man has still survived all of the unnecessary deaths, clone wars and hard resets and still comes out on top as one of [Marvel](tag:932254)’s (and comic's in general) greatest and most iconic superhero. Don’t let these awful moments turn you off of reading some Spider-Man comic books because with every awful Spider-Man story, there are about ten other great ones.