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Old 01-16-2008, 03:45 PM   #1
Blader5489
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Default Your Top 10 Spider-Man Stories

With all the controversy and arguing over OMD and BND, I thought it would be nice to step back and take a breath--and by that, I mean reminisce about our 10 favorite Spidey stories! Just a warning: this thread may, and probably will, contain spoilers for various past Spider-Man stories. Read at your own discretion!

With that in said, I'll start things off. Feel free to join in with your own picks!

10) The Death of Jean DeWolff


Ranging from Spectacular Spider-Man #107-110, the "Death of Jean DeWolff" arc is one of the best murder mysteries in comics. A very gripping and mature tale in which a popular member of Spidey's supporting cast (guess who) is killed off in a very nontraditional manner. The story focuses around a vengeful Spider-Man, the justice-seeking Daredevil, and the zealous psychopathic Sin-Eater. The plot takes several twists and turns to try and uncover the killer's identity while the Sin-Eater continues his killing spree. One of the most haunting moments is when the Sin-Eater fires his shotgun at Spidey, who instinctively jumps out of the way...allowing the shell to hit and kill an innocent bystander. As the Sin-Eater's victims continue to pile up, so does Spider-Man's guilt, leading to dramatic finale when he nearly beats the man--just an ordinary criminal--to death, only to be stopped by Daredevil before he lands the fatal punch.

Normally I don't care for hero cameos in Spider-Man books, mostly because they come off as marketing ploys--inserting random heroes just for the hell of it. But this is one cameo that actually makes sense. Peter David gives Daredevil a very smart role, the Rachel Dawes to Spider-Man's Bruce Wayne (for those of you have seen Batman Begins). At no point does DD steal the spotlight, he only adds to the story. And just as Spider-Man lost a friend to the Sin-Eater, the Daredevil has just as much reason to feel guilty as he too lost a friend to the killer because of his inability to act.

All in all, this is one of the best Spider-Man stories ever written. Peter David takes a smart plot and significant cast of characters, and writes them to a more than satisfying conclusion. PAD would later return to this arc with the "Return of the Sin-Eater" arc, which is a worthy follow up and explores Peter's feelings over what he did to the Sin-Eater. But as good as that story is, it's this one--the Death of Jean DeWolff--that truly stands on its own.

9) Spider-Man: The Final Adventure


This four-part miniseries is something that, I'm willing to bet, most people haven't read, much less heard of--and probably for good reason. This story was being rendered obsolete as it was being written, due to Marvel having no set direction in writing the Clone Saga. Anyway, Spider-Man: The Final Adventure continues off from a story in the Clone Saga where Peter came to the realization that he needed to settle down with his new family, giving the Spider-Man duties to his clone Ben Reilly (who was then thought to be the original Peter Parker). So while Ben becomes the new Spider-Man, Peter and a very pregnant MJ move to Portland and start a new life. There, Peter gets a job with the research company GAIRD, which years ago had held a scientific exhibit that inadvertently produced a radioactive spider...

Peter joins GAIRD because he wants to get a better understanding of his physiology and become better prepared for when his child is born, in the case that little May suddenly grows eight limbs one day. While studying his own DNA, one of Peter's colleagues is secretly testing on a serial killer named River Verys. Verys is suffering from a flesh eating disease, which GAIRD has so far failed at curing. Out of curiosity, Peter decides to see if a sample of his blood could be the missing ingredient to the cure; it is, but Peter chooses not to talk about it as he wouldn't know how to explain how he created it. While Peter goes home to MJ, his very desperate colleague stumbles across Peter's sample and injects it into Verys, expecting it to work. Rather than cure Verys' dead skin, it mutates him into the monstrous Tendril, who kills the scientist and then goes on a rampage throughout Portland. Peter's sense of guilt and responsibility forces him into putting on the spandex one more time--much to MJ's chagrin--in order to defeat a monster he inadvertently created.

It's hard to sum up why I like this story so much, but it's mostly because this is the perfect end to the Peter Parker character. I won't give away the ending (though it doesn't matter, as we all know Peter returns to NYC and resumes being Spider-Man when Ben Reilly dies), but the last few pages in issue #4 form the perfect conclusion to the life of Peter Parker. It's a shame Marvel reversed its position on the clone situation and really killed this story before it was even finished, as this miniseries was the best note for Peter and MJ to go out on. But for those of you pissed off about OMD and BND, I strongly advise reading this story (you can get it off Donald Thomas' site) for a great and proper conclusion to the Peter/MJ relationship and the Peter Parker character himself.


To be continued...this was exhausting, heh. Feel free to post your favorite stories.

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Old 01-16-2008, 03:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: Your Top 10 Spider-Man Stories

Hey Blader....! Good Choice for a topic we can all like, (or debate spidey in a more exciting way.)

I will spend some time on this...and come up with mine, here at some point when i get time. Busy during the week, with work and stuff...and this kinda thread takes work.

I am very in agreement with the SIn-Eater Arc. Loved that one very much. Have read it many times!!

Edit: And you're right, I'm not familiar with your second chocie there, tho i've collected from the beginning, and stuck with spidey thru ups and downs, I stopped only during the clone saga thing. (and currently, as you know.) Enjoyed both write-ups tho!!


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Old 01-16-2008, 04:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Your Top 10 Spider-Man Stories

This topic has been done to death but its always fun anyway.

In no particular order:

Kraven's Last Hunt
Death of the Green Goblin
The Night Gwen Stacy Died
The Death of Harry Osborn
The Child Within
Shreiking
Revelations (end of Clone Saga)
Death of Jean DeWolf
Origin of the Hobgoblin
Funeral Arrangements

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Old 01-16-2008, 04:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: Your Top 10 Spider-Man Stories

10. Revenge of the Green Goblin (Spider-Man: Revenge of the Green Goblin #1-3, Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #25, Peter Parker: Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #25
9. The Osborn Legacy(Spectacular Spider-Man #189)
8. Point of View(Web of Spider-Man #13)
7. Spider-Man: Blue(Spider-Man: Blue #1-6)
6. Vulturians(Web of Spider-Man #1-3)
5. Kraven's Last Hunt (Web of Spider-Man #31-32, Amazing Spider-Man #293-294, Spectacular Spider-Man #131-132)
4. The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man (Amazing Spider-Man #248)
3. The Death of Harry Osborn (Spectacular Spider-Man #200)
2. The Octopus and The Owl (Spectacular Spider-Man #73-76)
1. Funeral Arrangements (Spectacular Spider-Man #186-188)

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Old 01-16-2008, 05:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: Your Top 10 Spider-Man Stories

I've probably filled out one of these before, but it's enjoyable to reminisce as Blader mentioned.

10. To Have and To Hold (Sensational Spider-Man Annual #1)
9. Venom (ASM #300)
8. Spider-Man: The Lost Years
7. Green Goblin Unmasked (ASM #39-40)
6. The Death of Harry Osborn (SSM #200)
5. The Master Planner Arc (ASM #31-33)
4. Spider-Man: Blue
3. Nothing Can Stop the Juggernaut (ASM #229-230)
2. Kraven's Last Hunt
1. The Death of Gwen Stacy/Green Goblin (ASM #121-122)

All of these help to define Spider-Man for me. Still, I realize that there are a lot of great Spidey stories I have yet to read that I always have told myself I'll get around to. The Child Within, The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man, to name a few...

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Old 01-16-2008, 05:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: Your Top 10 Spider-Man Stories

I want to say things like Kraven's LAst Hunt and all....but those are very typical answers....so i am gonna take some time and go over my (enormous) collection of various titles, spidey related over the years...and figure some less "typical" answers here...

But, one that wasn't one issue, or a set run,...was the Hobgoblin stories where they were slowly building up the mystery of who his identity was, even if it wasn't the main "Story that issue, leading to the Ned Leeds issue where he was unmasked and killed...quite exicting stuff at the time and I just REALLY like HOBGOBLIN....A LOT.

(I still like my old Mattel Action Figure of Hobby w/ Glider too...quite cool! )

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Old 01-16-2008, 05:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: Your Top 10 Spider-Man Stories

Quote:
Kraven: 3. Nothing Can Stop the Juggernaut (ASM #229-230)
Ah yes, I like Jugs, those were great issues.

And, it reminds me...another two parter I liked was Spidey vs. Firelord.
Another favorite of mine.

(i want to find and post covers..how do i do that Blader???)

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Old 01-16-2008, 06:29 PM   #8
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Default Re: Your Top 10 Spider-Man Stories

Quote:
Originally Posted by farmernudie View Post
(i want to find and post covers..how do i do that Blader???)
I just upload them on imageshack, then copy the url here and paste between [IMG][/IMG]

And the Juggernaut story is one of my faves too...in fact, it's the next one on my list.

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Old 01-16-2008, 06:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: Your Top 10 Spider-Man Stories

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blader5489 View Post
I just upload them on imageshack, then copy the url here and paste between [IMG][/IMG]

And the Juggernaut story is one of my faves too...in fact, it's the next one on my list.
Good, cause things could've gotten a bit ugly in here if you forgot to add that Spider-man story!

Heh seriously the Juggernaut story is easily my favorite Spider-man supervillain fight ever. I've always felt that it was the perfect depiction of David and Goliath in a comic book. I don't think I'll ever get tired of reading that story.

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Old 01-16-2008, 07:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: Your Top 10 Spider-Man Stories

Quote:
Originally Posted by Demogoblin View Post
This topic has been done to death but its always fun anyway.

In no particular order:

Kraven's Last Hunt
Death of the Green Goblin
The Night Gwen Stacy Died
The Death of Harry Osborn
The Child Within
Shreiking
Revelations (end of Clone Saga)
Death of Jean DeWolf
Origin of the Hobgoblin
Funeral Arrangements
I would KILL for that trade.

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Old 01-16-2008, 09:08 PM   #11
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Default Re: Your Top 10 Spider-Man Stories

10) I Remember Gwen - From ASM #365...by Lee and Romita Sr. The story of Peter and Gwen told from MJ's perspective. Beautiful.

9) Nothing Can Stop The Juggernaut - From ASM #229, #230. Spidey stops the unstoppable foe.

8) Burn Spider, Burn/The Hero And The Holocaust - From ASM #269, #270. Cornered by a far more powerful being, Peter opens up the biggest can of whup ass of his entire career. Classic.

7) Secret Wars - From the Secret Wars mini series, #1 through #12. Many cool Spider-Man moments from this story; Spidey trashes the X-Men, clobbers Titania, clocks Bulldozer with one punch, and of course; acquires the symbiote suit. Great stuff.

6) The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man - ASM #248. Great example of Peter's caring personality. A true classic.

5) Shadows Of Evils Past - From ASM #238, #239...The beginning of one of the greatest mysteries Spider-Man has ever faced, and the first major addition to his rogues gallery in YEARS. Excellent story.

4) Death Of Captain Stacy - From ASM #88, #89, #90. The first major death in the Spidey mythology since Uncle Ben. Another of Peter's father figures taken from him in a heroic ending. Tragically beautiful.

3) If This Be My Destiny - From ASM #31, #32, #33...The Master Planner arc. There's a dozen reasons why i like this storyline. But the main reason is the classic scene by Ditko with Peter struggling to lift tons of machinery off his back...refusing to give up. This to me is one of the best examples of Peter's strength of will. Highly reccomended.

2) The Night Gwen Stacy Died - From ASM #121, #122...the first real controversial story in Spider-Man's history. The death of his first true love, and his most hated enemy. Spider-Man was forever changed by this storyline.

1) Spider-Man - From Amazing Fantasy #15...The beginning of it all. "with great power there must also come..great responibility!". 'nuff said.

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Old 01-16-2008, 10:32 PM   #12
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Default Re: Your Top 10 Spider-Man Stories

Let's continue!

8) Nothing Can Stop The Juggernaut!


Now this story is just fun. As ragingdemon put it, this is a true David and Goliath story, featuring some of the best action in a Spidey comic (or any comic, period) while highlighting Spider-Man's greatest character trait: his sheer willpower. The plot is a throwaway story, in which Black Tom Cassidy sends the Juggernaut to retrieve Madam Webb...or kill her, or something. It really doesn't matter, because as soon as Spidey notices Juggy rampaging through the city, it just erupts into full-blown action. Spanning ASM #229-230, this two-parter is a true test of Spidey's endurance as he throws everything but the kitchen sink at the Juggernaut in a vain attempt to stop him...but he just doesn't give up. Even after Juggy survives a head on collision with a gas truck, Spidey keeps getting up and he keeps on fighting. The story is a true testament to his character, but more importantly, it's just damned entertaining. The art is the real winner here, kudos to JRJR for drawing a fantastic, action-packed story.

7) Perchance to Dream


Now here's another choice that most people might not know, Webspinners: Tales of Spider-Man #12, entitled "Perchance to Dream." This issue is the conclusion to a story in which the Chameleon, now swimming in insanity, confronts Peter one "last" time before committing suicide and jumping off a bridge. That bit doesn't really matter as it was later retconned (with no explanation), but also because the Chameleon has very little to do with the story. This issue is essentially one of those introspective guilt trip stories, which has been done to death in the Spider-Man books. But as guilt trip stories go, this one is the best.

After wondering if he could have done something to prevent the Chameleon's suicide, an exhausted Peter makes his way home, collapses into his bed, and quickly fall asleep. His dream soon turns into a nightmare, as Peter finds himself bound by webbing and approached by a group of shadowy figures, who force Peter to relive all of the people he has let down. Captain Stacy, Harry Osborn, Kraven, Norman, baby May, Ben Reilly, Gwen Stacy, and of course Uncle Ben...Peter is forced to watch them all and relive how powerless he was to keep them from dying. Peter feels that the only way to keep the guilt from crushing him is by living through Spider-Man. The darkened individuals become the Green Goblin, Doc Ock, Vulture, and Sandman, and Peter joyfully begins to fight them. Peter soon realizes that this is too easy, and that living life like this is too easy. The villains disappear as Gwen approaches Peter, telling him he can't stay here and needs to live his life, no matter how complicated and burdensome it may become. Gwen leads Peter out of the dream and back to reality.

Like I said, as far as writing goes, there's not much to differentiate this issue from other guilt trip stories. But what really causes this issue to stand out is the art. J.G. Jones, in the only Spider-Man story he has ever drawn, creates this great effect by actually implementing panels from older issues into this one. For example, when Peter watches Captain Stacy's death, Jones doesn't just redraw the death his own way, but actually inserts panels from ASM #90. Another example: when Peter lands a punch on the Green Goblin, the scene is juxtaposed with a panel from an old Lee/Ditko issue of Spidey and GG fighting. I know reusing old comic panels may sound like a lazy technique, but it works to great effect here and makes an otherwise trite story really come to life.

6) Marvel Knights Spider-Man #1-12


The first 12 issues of Marvel Knights Spider-Man, all written by Mark Millar, are really one overarching story split into three arcs: "Down Among the Dead Men," "Venomous," and "The Last Stand." So even though it's 12 issues, it still counts as one story.

The general plot of Millar's run is pretty basic: somebody knows Peter is Spider-Man and has kidnapped Aunt May, so it's up to Spidey and Black Cat to hunt down the mastermind and rescue May before it's too late. Is it a run-of-the-mill story? Yeah, but Millar's sharp writing and characterization give a typical plot some real gravitas. The action is intense and furious, with a very cinematic feel to it (especially the Green Goblin and Electro fights in "Down Among the Dead Men"), which matches the gritty and realistic feel of the writing. Millar excels at characterization here, especially in his writing of Black Cat and Norman Osborn. There's a very compelling dynamic between Peter, MJ, and Black Cat in "The Last Stand" in what is probably the most tolerable love triangle I've read in a Spidey story. And as I said, Millar absolutely nails Norman's character; that combination of relaxed mannerisms and maniacal scheming attest to just how insane Norman is. The "Venomous" arc is nothing to write home about, but it's sandwiched between two great arcs, so its mediocrity can be forgiven.

The art is also wonderful. Terry Dodson draws some of the best fight sequences I've seen in a Spidey comic, showing just how powerful and destructive even small-time villains (like Electro and the Vulture) can be. Some of the villains get redesigned costumes, some of which are decent, but others (like the GG and Vulture) look excellent. And the women...Dodson draws the best looking MJ and Black Cat I've ever seen.

Bottom line, Mark Millar and Terry Dodson's run on Marvel Knights Spider-Man is a truly great story, in spite of it's average middle act. It takes everything one could like about Spider-Man--the action, the villains, the supporting cast--and gives it a modern face lift. It's not overly dark and depressing like One More Day or Spider-Man: Reign, but it's a very mature take on a classic Spidey plot, and the end result is astounding.


To be concluded...tomorrow!

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Old 01-17-2008, 08:53 AM   #13
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Default Re: Your Top 10 Spider-Man Stories

My top 10 Spider-Man stories, in no particular order;


(First comic I ever purchased years ago, this is what started my obsession with Spider-Man, and comics in general)




(I think this is Carnage's best story)



(I stopped reading current 616 awhile ago, however, after hearing this was awesome, I read it and was pleased)



(Excellent, all around arc. Great Electro story)



(Classic story)



(Tragic arc)



(What list wouldn't have this?)


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Old 01-17-2008, 08:53 AM   #14
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Onwards



(The Master Planner arc is a masterpiece)




(Yet, another tragic moment in spider-mans career)



(Brutal arc, I love it)


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Old 01-17-2008, 10:11 AM   #15
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Default Re: Your Top 10 Spider-Man Stories

Good topic let's see:

10.Acts of Vengence Crossover (just a fun story)
9.Doc Ock Year One (not totally a bug story, but really good character tale)
8.Return of the Sinister Six (got to love these stories, my favorite of them)
7.Spider-Man/Human Torch, "I'm with Stupid" (nice to see pete with friends)
6.Kraven's Last Hunt (brilliant)
5.Night of the Goblins (got things back on track, good writing and I love norman as the evil mastermind)
4.Sensational Spider-Man Annual #1 (read this and then cry at what OMD has done)
3.The Last Stand (great story and characterization)
2.Reign (some didn't like it, seemed like the perfect ending to Pete for me)
1.The Boy who collects Spider-Man (the story that got me into Spider-Man)

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Old 01-17-2008, 10:20 AM   #16
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Maybe I'll actually get this done today.

5) The Amazing Spider-Man Vol.2 #30-39


This might be a controversial choice given recent events, but (for me) something like OMD doesn't change how damn good JMS' first arc on Amazing was. In his first issue, JMS hits the ground running with a smartly written, true-to-form Spidey, who pounds the crap out of a building in order to vent his frustration. It's a funny scene with a funny conclusion, and that's something else that JMS brought back to ASM: the humor. JMS had a real handle on the Peter Parker persona, including that witty sarcasm that periodically goes missing in Amazing--and unlike most Spidey writers, JMS' quips were actually pretty funny. In addition to his great Spidey characterization, JMS also wrote an excellent Aunt May. Gone was the old woman constantly on death's door; JMS' Aunt May was a strong, capable, and genuinely funny character, which is something I had never seen May as before JMS.

These first ten issues of JMS' run on Amazing form one flowing story that, as I said, hits the ground running and reinvigorates Spider-Man after the mediocre relaunches from two years prior. In a nice evolution of the character, JMS sends Peter back to school, ditching the old photographer aspect and making Peter into a science teacher at Midtown High, which I thought was a logical progression for the character. At the same time JMS introduced two new characters: Ezekiel and Morlun. Exhibiting the same powers as Peter, Ezekiel claimed that both he and Peter derived their powers from a spider totem, which was attracting the villainous Morlun to "feed" on their life force. The mystical angle is new to the Spider-Man mythos, and generally unwanted by fans, but JMS is careful not to shove it down readers' throats; it doesn't retcon Peter's scientific origin, it just adds a different perspective to it. As Morlun easily bats Spider-Man around the city, Ezekiel questions himself, thinking of how Peter has used his powers to help others while Ezekiel thus far has spent his life and abilities only enriching himself, which in of itself is a great analysis of Peter's character.

And that's just the first half of the arc; the second half begins when a battle ravaged Peter limps home and falls into bed, only for Aunt May to walk in on him sleeping...still in his Spidey costume! This leads (after much internal conflict on May's part) to a beautifully written conversation between aunt and nephew, where they discuss Peter's alter-ego and what it means for their lives. This story is only briefly interrupted by the "Black Issue," which gives an appropriate response to the events of 9/11, explored from Marvel's resident New York hero. I can only imagine what an undertaking a 9/11 story is, and it's a testament to JMS' writing ability that he was able to pull it off.

But as great as the writing and characterization was, the art by John Romita Jr. was also fantastic and served as a nice supplement to JMS' storytelling. JRJR clearly has a talent for drawing action scenes; his art in "Nothing Can Stop the Juggernaut!" was excellent but is even better here. The Spidey/Morlun fight is perhaps the best looking Spider-Man fight I have ever seen, exhibiting a level of sheer destruction that, in my opinion, is unmatched. The battle is a two-issue affair, where Spidey fights Morlun, gets his ass kicked all over the city, but returns to keep fighting despite his inability to even scratch his foe. In a great display of attention to detail, JRJR depicts the gradual degeneration of Spidey's war torn costume; by the end of the fight, the torso half of the suit is gone and the mask (half of which has been ripped off) is hanging on to Peter's face by a thread. It's the little things like this that really go the extra mile in depicting how physically daunting Spider-Man's fights can, and it's a much appreciated effort by JRJR.

There are a lot of good things I can say about JMS' entire run (like his portrayal of MJ and the marriage, or his story for ASM #500), but these first 10 issues are easily the best, pushing the mythology forward with new plots and character progression while still staying true to the essence of the character. Between JMS' writing and JRJR's art, we get a smartly written and wonderfully drawn story arc; this is Spider-Man for the 21st century.

4) Kraven's Last Hunt


I think everyone can agree that is a truly excellent story. J.M DeMatteis is often considered one of the best Spider-Man writers ever, and this arc is a clear demonstration of why he has earned that reputation. To take a lame villain like Kraven the Hunter and infuse with some genuine pathos is a clear display of the man's talent. DeMatteis has a very introspective writing style, and it's this story's greatest strength, giving us an insight into Kraven's unraveling mind and establishing a real character out of what was once a joke of a villain. Death is the theme of this story, between Peter facing his own mortality, MJ being frantic for her husband's life, and Kraven's obsession of finally dying with honor. One of the most compelling scenes of the story is where Peter finds himself buried alive and digs himself out, driven by his desire to live and be with his wife; it's a moment captured beautifully in the cover above.

There's just so much to like about this story that it's hard to put it into words; it's just really that obvious of how great Kraven's Last Hunt is. DeMatteis's mature storytelling and Mike Zeck's gritty penciling work great together, creating a truly sophisticated tale. The highlight of this arc is the characterization--DeMatteis's depiction of a traumatized Peter and insane Kraven are the focal points of this story, which elevate this story to the top. You would be hard pressed to find a more compelling story about a Spider-Man villain than Kraven's Last Hunt.

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Old 01-17-2008, 10:34 AM   #17
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Default Re: Your Top 10 Spider-Man Stories

Here is my top 10 Spider-Man stories.

10. The Kid who collects Spider-Man
9. Nothing can stop the Juggernaut
8. Secret Wars
7. ASM Issue #300
6. Kravens Last Hunt
5. Spider-Man: Blue
4. If This be my Destiny (Issue #'s 31, 32, and 33
3. The Death of Captain Stacy
2. The night Gwen Stacy died
1. Amazing Fantasy Issue #15

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The Amazing Spider-man (2012) will be literally AMAZING!


A lean, silent figure slowly fades into the gathering darkness, aware at last that in this world, With Great Power There Must Also come Great Responsiblity - Amazing Fantasy #15

Happy 50th Anniversary, Spidey! 1962-2012
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Old 01-17-2008, 10:54 PM   #18
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Default Re: Your Top 10 Spider-Man Stories

Finally, the end of my list! Here are my top 3 favorite Spider-Man stories!

3) The Death of Gwen Stacy


Does this one really need explaining? This is not only a classic Spider-Man story, it's arguably one of the most important and revolutionary stories in comic book history, effectively ending the Silver Age of comics. For decades, one of the traditional comic book plots was how the superhero always saved the damsel in distress, always got the girl. That all changed with ASM #121-122, where the hero didn't get the girl; the damsel succumbed to her distress.

I won't bother summarizing the plot because either you know it or you don't--and if you don't, then you owe it to yourself to read this story. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, "The Death of Gwen Stacy" is a Shakespearean tragedy in comic form and demands the attention of anyone who considers themselves a comic book reader. Thanks to Gerry Conway's writing and Gil Kane's art (plus two unforgettable covers by John Romita Sr.), this story can be considered nothing less than a masterpiece.

2) Ultimate Spider-Man #8-13 ("Learning Curve")


No, you're not seeing things--an Ultimate Spider-Man story arc is my #2 pick. I know it may seem odd to see Ultimate Spider-Man on a list like this (especially at #2), and some may consider it even sacreligious to rate this story above "The Death of Gwen Stacy." But hear me out.

I like everything about this story, "Learning Curve". I like the plot, which revolves around Peter's discovery that the guy who killed Uncle Ben is connected to Wilson Fisk, the untouchable Kingpin of crime. Pete decides that now that he has powers, he doesn't have to sit on the sidelines anymore and can actually do something about the problem. I like the characterization--as Peter begins to get a handle on his new powers and what they could mean for him, he starts to act brash, which (in typical Spidey fashion) becomes a humbling experience by story's end. I also enjoy the role of best friend that MJ plays here; she is a great complement to Peter's character, rather than the party girl of the Lee/Romita era. I like the action, which culminates in a huge fight between Spidey and Electro, the Enforcers, and ultimately the Kingpin himself (all wonderfully drawn by Mark Bagley, my favorite Spidey artist). And I love the humor. The list of fat jokes that Peter launches at the Kingpin in issue #12 is one of the funniest things I've read in a Spider-Man comic.

But the best of this arc is easily its conclusion, issue #13, "Confessions." Dialogue between characters has always been Bendis' greatest strength as a writer, and it's at its best in "Confessions." The issue is the big talk between Peter and MJ, where he decides to reveal his secret and tell MJ about his alter-ego. And the conversation feels so real, especially on MJ's part, whose reaction to Peter's secret feels natural. I won't spoil how the conversation goes or how it comes to an end, but it's a wonderfully well-written conclusion to a very entertaining story--and in my opinion, succeeds in taking a pivotal element of the Spider-Man mythology and executing it better than the 616 comics did. "Learning Curve" is an amazing read and the truest embodiment of who Spider-Man is...well, except for...

1) Spider-Man No More!


This is it, the quintessential Spider-Man story: "Spider-Man No More!", told in Amazing Spider-Man #50. This issue is a true classic and the best representation of a comic book legend. It encompasses and makes use of everything there is to like about Spidey: the action, the drama, the supporting cast, the quips. And what's really nice about this issue is how accessible it is for readers; it tells and shows you everything you need to know about Spider-Man, recapping the origin for those completely unfamiliar with the character.

At its heart, ASM #50 is a very human story, focusing on Peter's understandable feelings of how being Spider-Man has gotten in the way of everything important in his life: his aunt, his friends, his girl, his grades. And both Peter and the reader come to the realization that he's just a kid; why should he have to keep doing this? And so, in a very memorable scene drawn by John Romita Sr., Peter just dumps his Spidey costume in an alley garbage can and decides to live a life of his own from now on. But by story's end, it's Peter's sense of responsibility and commitment that supersede his own wants in life--and with that decision, Pete reclaims his costume and swings back into action. It's worth noting that the only bad guys in this issue are typical thugs (plus the Kingpin's first appearance in a Spidey book), which only serves to highlight the fact that this isn't your stand hero vs. villain fare; it's a Peter Parker/Spider-Man story through and through.

"Spider-Man No More!" is everything one can and should expect except from a Spider-Man story: action, humor, a great supporting cast, and a plot that rings true (and can only ring true) for a character like Peter Parker, all preceded by one of the most iconic covers in comic book history. This is a story with heart and soul, one that can be enjoyed by anyone, anywhere. Kudos to Stan Lee and John Romita Sr. for, as far I'm concerned, crafting the greatest Spider-Man story ever told.



Woo! The end.

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Old 01-18-2008, 09:49 AM   #19
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Default Re: Your Top 10 Spider-Man Stories

10. Funeral Arrangements
9. Death of Jean DeWolff
8. The Death of Harry Osborn
7. The Soul of Hunter
6. Shrieking
5. The Kid who collects Spider-Man
4. The night Gwen Stacy died
3. The Child Within
2. Clone Saga (Amazing #400)
1. Kraven's Last Hunt

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Old 01-18-2008, 11:38 AM   #20
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Default Re: Your Top 10 Spider-Man Stories

1. Death of Captain Stacy: Damned if you, damned if you don't. The death of Captain Stacy is a mirror image to what happened with Uncle Ben. With Ben's death, Peter failed to act against the bad guy, and lost a father figure because of that. This time, Peter DOES act against the villain [Doc Ock], and his action results in the death of another father figure. Greatness.

2. If this be my Destiny: Doc Ock strikes again, pushing Spidey to his absolute limits. And, in one of the most iconic images in comic book history, Spidey comes thru as the hero we know him to be. Bonus features of this story include Peter starting college life, and the introduction of both Gwen Stacy and Harry Osborn into Peter's life.

3. Death of Gwen Stacy: This one needs no explanation. Spidey's greatest 'defeat'.

4. The Octopus/Owl gang war: A city in peril from mass destruction. The brutal beating and shooting of Black Cat. A vengeful Doc Ock declaring a bloody revenge on Spidey and the Cat. Peter saying good bye to all his friends and loved ones in fear of Ock's deadly threat. One of the greatest Spidey vs Ock showdowns which spans halfway across New York. Fantastic stuff.

5. Death of Harry Osborn: A fantastic ending to the tragic story of Harry as the Green Goblin. Coming thru for his friends and loved ones in the end. Brilliant.

6. Kraven's Last Hunt: Spidey buried alive. Kraven's ultimate victory! A shocking conclusion. Love it.

7. Spider-Man Unmasked: Spidey is shown to be susceptible to viruses. Peter shows his courage by facing Doc Ock even though he is in no physical shape to beat him, all for the sake of saving his beloved Betty Brant. His Spidey alter ego haunting his dreams and chastising him over being so irresponsible.

8. Spider-Man Unlimited #3 - Doc Ock's backstory: The past of Otto Octavius finally revealed. So many parrallels between Otto and Peter. Isolated child, raised in middle class New York, loves science, tormented at school, unpopular with girls, loses a parent at a young age. Ock's background is fraught with sadness and tradgedy.

9. The Kid who collects Spider-Man: This also needs no explanation. Emotionally powerful.

10. The Return of the Sinister Six: Doc Ock returns, reforming the Six, replacing Kraven with the Hobgoblin, and blackmailing a reformed Sandman into joining. MJ is menaced by a mysterious stalker. Aunt May loses her fiancee, Nathan Lubensky. Action packed and drama filled. Excellent stuff!

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Old 01-18-2008, 03:01 PM   #21
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Default Re: Your Top 10 Spider-Man Stories

Spider-man: Lifeline-- featuring a fun, formidable, friendly neighborhood Spider-man in a story involving a tablet and crime families... like Brand New Day... only Spidey's still married!



Last edited by diespinne; 01-18-2008 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 01-18-2008, 03:08 PM   #22
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Default Re: Your Top 10 Spider-Man Stories

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainStacy View Post
10) I Remember Gwen - From ASM #365...by Lee and Romita Sr. The story of Peter and Gwen told from MJ's perspective. Beautiful.

9) Nothing Can Stop The Juggernaut - From ASM #229, #230. Spidey stops the unstoppable foe.

8) Burn Spider, Burn/The Hero And The Holocaust - From ASM #269, #270. Cornered by a far more powerful being, Peter opens up the biggest can of whup ass of his entire career. Classic.

7) Secret Wars - From the Secret Wars mini series, #1 through #12. Many cool Spider-Man moments from this story; Spidey trashes the X-Men, clobbers Titania, clocks Bulldozer with one punch, and of course; acquires the symbiote suit. Great stuff.

6) The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man - ASM #248. Great example of Peter's caring personality. A true classic.

5) Shadows Of Evils Past - From ASM #238, #239...The beginning of one of the greatest mysteries Spider-Man has ever faced, and the first major addition to his rogues gallery in YEARS. Excellent story.

4) Death Of Captain Stacy - From ASM #88, #89, #90. The first major death in the Spidey mythology since Uncle Ben. Another of Peter's father figures taken from him in a heroic ending. Tragically beautiful.

3) If This Be My Destiny - From ASM #31, #32, #33...The Master Planner arc. There's a dozen reasons why i like this storyline. But the main reason is the classic scene by Ditko with Peter struggling to lift tons of machinery off his back...refusing to give up. This to me is one of the best examples of Peter's strength of will. Highly reccomended.

2) The Night Gwen Stacy Died - From ASM #121, #122...the first real controversial story in Spider-Man's history. The death of his first true love, and his most hated enemy. Spider-Man was forever changed by this storyline.

1) Spider-Man - From Amazing Fantasy #15...The beginning of it all. "with great power there must also come..great responibility!". 'nuff said.
Wow. Cap totally posted my list... with one exception. Rather than Secret Wars (although I LOVED them!), I'd have chosen the original clone story, between around Amazing 140 to 150. That was a real chest-pounder for me.

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Old 01-20-2008, 12:35 PM   #23
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Default Re: Your Top 10 Spider-Man Stories

I still have so many stories to read, but out of what I've read so far (Blue and Kraven's Last Hunt are the top two, but after those, I don't know what ordered I'd list them in):

Spider-Man: Blue
Kraven's Last Hunt
Death of Gwen Stacy
Ock/Owl Gang War
Death of Captain Stacy
The Master Planner
MK Spider-Man #1-12
The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man
First Hobgoblin (ASM #238/239)
Original Clone Saga

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Old 01-20-2008, 04:36 PM   #24
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Default Re: Your Top 10 Spider-Man Stories

10) Spider-Man: Redemption

Yep, a Ben Reilly story. I really liked Ben and had to get at least one in. This is Ben at his best, he's darker than Peter but still has that over riding sense of responsiblity that he would never turn his back on. It's also Kaine at his best fighting against himself to try and murder Ben but he can't because he has the same sense of responsiblity.

9) Untold Tales of Spider-Man 13: Without Warning

Untold Tales was a great little comic and this is a great little story. It's a story about Sally Avril, a character that get's one line in Amazing Fantasy 15. She and Jason, another character from that issue, decide to find out Spidey's secret identity but instead helps him out in a fight, Sally then decides to become Spidey's personal photography but is shocked to discover that Puny Parker has beating her to it. So she then decides to become his partner donning the guise of the Bluebird. The only way to make her see sense is too let her get beat up so Spidey allows it. She then decides to become his photogarpher but while chasing him one night her and Jason's car is hit by a truck. he lives but she dies. Leaving Spidey wondering whether he could do more. Doesn't sound much but trust me, read this little gem.

8) The Death of Jean DeWoffle

Was already talked about so I'll leave it and just mention this story also paved the way for Venom

7) Happy Birthday

I really dug this issue, it showed Spidey's incredible will to over come anything. Yeah it had a lot of magic and it plugged Doctor Strange but seeing some classic moments again was sweet. Plus the conversation between Peter and Uncle Ben was great at the end.

6) The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man

Already spoken about. Truly heart touching tale.It shows Spidey in a different light even if the guy who wrote the article turned out to be the Rose.

5) Spectacular Spider-Man 14

Keeping in the same style is this wonderful little gem. It's about a spastic called Joey who sits on the roof of his building watching for excitment. One night he has a run in with Morbius the Living Vampire who wants to end his pain. Spider-Man interjects and saves Joey. After defeating Morbius Spidey returns and talks to Joey, removes his mask, bows and swings away. Leaving Joey feeling pity for Spidey after seeing the sadness in his eyes.

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Old 01-21-2008, 08:28 PM   #25
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Default Re: Your Top 10 Spider-Man Stories

Honorable Mentions

In addition to my original list, here are a two stories that I think deserve to be recognized.


Now I know a lot of people here don't think to highly of Carnage, but I like this character. Mostly for the stories which are actually decent, like his origin arc. But I think "The Moral Past" stands out quite well. I think the story is well written, Carnage/Cletus is certainly written well and follows a good plot. This story actually gives Carnage some humanity. I recommend this to anyone.


Scorpion kidnapped Jonah, Luke Cage and Iron Fist star in this story alongside Spider-Man? What more could you want?

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