Columns > Published on May 10th, 2016

30 Reasons Spider-Man Is the World's Greatest Hero

all images courtesy Marvel

When we talk about the greatest comic book heroes, we usually talk about that one A-hole billionaire industrialist who turned into a vigilante, or that other, B-hole billionaire industrialist who turned into a vigilante with a robo suit.

There's the guy with the red cape, the lady made out of clay. 

All of them pale in comparison to the one, true, hero, the best part of Captain America: Civil War and of comics, in general.

I'm talking about the Amazing, Spectacular, Superior, Sensational, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man!

He's the world's greatest hero. Here's why.

Because Spider-Man Was The Perfect Embodiment Of Steve Ditko's Art And Stan Lee's Bombast (Amazing Spider-Man #33)

Because He Stopped The Unstoppable Juggernaut
(Amazing Spider-Man #230)

Even if the best he can do is pull on Juggy's leg like a toddler, there's no quit in Spider-Man. It took two issues, but Spider-Man played immovable object to Juggernaut's unstoppable object.

He's A Broke-Ass Fool Who Shamelessly Accepts This Offer To Join The Avengers
(Avengers Vol. 5 #2)

He Let His Nerd Flag Fly In Front Of She-Hulk
(Avenging Spider-Man #7)

And Then There's This Overjoyed Reaction To Being Published In A Scientific Journal (Double Nerd Flag) (Amazing Spider-Man #663)

One Spider-Man Panel Perfectly Sums Up Every Time I've Made An Angry Social Media Post
(Amazing Spider-Man #589)

Oh, How About During 'Civil War'  When Spidey Single-Handedly Tore Iron Man's Team A New One? (Marvel Civil War)

There's The Time Spidey Made-A-Wish
(Amazing Spider-Man #248)

Few stories in web-head history are as small and personal as the time Spidey visits a child with the most thorough Spidey scrapbook of all time. Spider-Man even takes his mask off, letting the kid in on the joke that J. Jonah Jameson has been paying Peter Parker for all the Spidey photos all those years. 

It's pretty rare to see this kind of story in a superhero comic, for this kind of thing to take up an entire issue. Rare and wonderful.

And There's The Time Spidey Messed Up Another Make-A-Wish
(Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man Annual #1)

We only get to know Leah for a few, short, wordless pages before she curls up in an alley, under a pile of Daily Bugle's covered in Spider-Man pictures, and falls asleep. She dreams of Spider-Man...

There's The Time Spider-Man Dark-Knight-ed Before 'Dark Knight'

We all saw Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight and it's ending where Batman shoulders the burden of Harvey Dent's disgrace, preserving his legacy for Gotham.

But did you know Spider-Man did it first?

In Amazing Spider-Man #118, Spidey goes up against the Disruptor, a run-of-the-mill baddie who has it in for a local politician, Richard Raleigh, who just so happens to be tough on organized crime.

Well, turns out, the Disruptor and Richard Raleigh are ONE AND THE SAME!

The Raleigh/Disruptor die in a building collapse, and in order to preserve Raleigh's legacy and work against organized crime, Spider-Man burns all evidence that Raleigh was the Disruptor!

Mr. Nolan, you got some 'splainin to do!

There's The Way Spidey Announced His Return From The Dead By Mocking Green Goblin's Choice of Accessories (Superior Spider-Man #31)

And The Moment When It Was Confirmed For The Whole World That Spidey Was Back For Real (Amazing Spider-Man #1 2014)

Here's The Thing: When A Bunch Of Crap Falls Down, Spidey Runs In With No Real Plan
(Peter Parker: Spider-Man #98, Amazing Spider-Man #694)

This happens a lot.

When The Human Torch Dies, Spider-Man Is On Deck
(Amazing Spider-Man #657)

He Earned, And Survived, An "Attaboy" From Thor
(Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man)

Spider-Man Actually Wrote Down A List Of Fat Jokes For The Kingpin
(Ultimate Spider-Man #12)

And There Was The Time Spidey PUSHED THE BUTTON On The Ultimate Nullifier, A Device That Is Supposed To Wipe Out All Existence, ON A DARE!
(Marvel Adventures Avengers #26)

Spidey Made Captain America His Superhero Dad
(Amazing Spider-Man V2 #50)

They bond over their similarities.

Even though accidents will happen...

Spidey manages to make up for them
(Avengers Vs. New Ultimates #4)

And he draws out perhaps the best Captain America speech EVER:
(Marvel Civil War)

Spider-Man Will Always Be A Dork Who Doesn't Fit In

Sometimes it's funny.
(New Avengers #61)

And sometimes it's just sad.
(Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #153)

But it means he can relate:
(Spider-Man And The X-Men)

He Isn't Afraid To Go Toe-To-Toe With Gods
(Avengers vs. X-Men 9, Avengers: Infinity War)

That's Gods. Multiple.
(Avengers And The Infinity Gauntlet)

He Can Play The Heavy When He Has To
(The Amazing Spider-Man: Back In Black)

And Yet, He's Made Me Laugh More Than Any Other Comic Book Character, Ever
(Spider-Man And The X-Men)

And Spider-Man Stories Are Ever Breaking My Heart (Like This One, From Ultimate Spider-Man's Funeral) (Ultimate Fallout #1)

Because Spider-Man Loses More Than He Wins
(Spectacular Spider-Man #200)

And He's Always Out Of His Depth
(A+X #16)

But He Never—
(Ultimate Spider-Man: Ultimatum)


(Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 2 #35)


Well, y'know. Not Permanently.

...there's something else too. Something that this column's been building to...something about Spider-Man that's REALLY amazing. 

Oh, yeah. I remember.

Spider-Man Butt = ON POINT!

Move over Beyoncé.

Step aside, Minaj.

And Sir-Mix-A-Lot? Keep doing what you're doing. But maybe add in a line for your ol' pal Spider-Man.

Wanna Get Started With Spidey?

There's The Unbelievably-Underrated 'Untold Tales Of Spider-Man' series by Kurt Busiek

The Hilarious 'Spider-Man And The X-Men' By Former 'Daily Show'  Head Writer Elliott Kalan

And Then There's Any Time Dan Slott Has Touched The Character, Ever

Got any favorite Spidey moments? Share 'em in the comments section below.

About the author

Peter Derk lives, writes, and works in Colorado. Buy him a drink and he'll talk books all day.  Buy him two and he'll be happy to tell you about the horrors of being responsible for a public restroom.

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