Spider-Man’s 5 Best Team-ups

Ever since Spiderman swung through the pages of Amazing Fantasy #15, he’s never stopped amazing us. But, we can’t give all the credit to Peter Parker – there were plenty of heroes who helped him along the way. So here are five of the best team-ups Spider-Man got into over his half a century of splurting web in the funny books.

Spider-Man/Superman

Marvel and DC’s rivalry has become one of nerdom’s most enduring cornerstones that the industry would be rendered unrecognizable if it didn’t exist. However, there were times that the stars aligned and these two purveyors of capes and tights decided to profit together. One of the results of these ever so rare unions is 1976’s Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man, written by Gerry Conway and illustrated by the dream team of Ross Andru, Neal Adams, and John Romita, Sr. The story is exactly as it sounds: it’s the Last Son Of Krypton fighting Webhead, because who needs drama when you get to see two men in tights beating the snot out of each other?

Spider-Man/X-Men

Back before Len Wein (god speed, sir) and Dave Cockrum put their spin on the Children of the Atom, the X-Men franchise was at the bottom of the popularity pile, which means readers just aren’t picking them up. So, to boost sales for the property, what better way than to pair Marvel’s mutants with their #1 franchise? Hence, Marvel Team-up #4 was published in 1972. In the issue, penned again by none other than the legendary Gerry Conway with the incomparable Gil Kane on art duties, Spidey and the original X-Men go up against Morbius the Living Vampire (and even Frankenstein’s monster!). The team-up proved to be quite a charm, as X-Men comics’ sales went up after this was published.

Spider-Man/Iron Man

Long before Robert Downey, Jr. decided to conscript child soldiers for his war against Captain America, Spidey and Iron Man have been on adventures together in the funny books. It all started in 1973, when Marvel Team-up #9 was published, which had Tony Stark and Peter Parker going on a romp to the future. Now, what makes this issue interesting aside from its historical significance is the way the two characters’ relationship was established, where Iron Man and Spidey have more of a partnership than an apprenticeship.

Spider-Man/Human Torch

The Fantastic Four and Spider-Man are two Marvel properties that have had close ties to each other ever since they came out of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s minds. Even further, it’s the Spider-Man and Human Torch’s dynamic that shines here, given that the two characters are roughly the same age. This relationship just became more of a classic when Marvel Team-up #1 was released in 1972. It’s a Christmas story where the two heroes duke it out with the Sandman, who was just on his way to deliver some presents to his mom. Yeah, superheroes can be jerks too.

Spider-Man/Deadpool

All the other entries here are iconic, but none are as perfect as when Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man teams up with the Merc with a Mouth. So much so, that a whole series dedicated to this holiest of pairings was published in 2016 on the pages of Spider-Man/Deadpool #1. It’s about them doing what superheroes do, but it’s the banter which makes it so appealing. Come on, we’re talking about two of mainstream comics’ greatest quippers here.

 

Spider Man’s 5 Greatest Enemies

There’s a reason that the cliché, “a hero is only as good as its villain” will never lose its meaning: it’s simply true. Now, when it comes to villains, there’s no denying that Spider-Man has some of the most colorful and richest adversaries in all of the mainstream comics. Here are five that are just a cut above the rest.

Venom

If there’s one villain that truly sits right at the opposite end of Spider-Man, it’s none other than Venom. Apart from being one of those rare characters that were able to outgrow its 90s roots and remain more or less relevant to this day, the Venom character is also a property that’s pretty impressive when you consider that it’s one of the youngest additions to the Spider-Man franchise. Created by Randy Schueller, David Micheline, Mike Zeck and Todd McFarlane in 1988 and first appearing in Amazing Spider-Man #299, the black symbiote from space has proven time and again that it’s one Spidey villain that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Kraven the Hunter

Not a lot of comic book characters are lucky enough to become iconic based on one story arc alone, and Kraven just happens to be one of those. A classic Stan Lee and Steve Ditko creation that first appeared in 1964 within the pages of Amazing Spider-Man #15, it wasn’t until the 1987 storyline Kraven’s Last Hunt by J.M DeMatteis and Mike Zeck that the property propelled itself into one of ol’ Webhead’s greatest nemeses. Not bad for a guy wearing leopard print tights and whose only actual superpower is being a great huntsman.

Doctor Octopus

There’s a reason that Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man II is considered one of the greatest superhero movies ever created, and its thanks in huge part to Doctor Octopus. A brainchild of the short-lived Lee and Ditko partnership, Doc Ock’s trademark design and tragic origin story makes it one of the most empathetic characters in mainstream superhero comics. Plus, the property has come a long way ever since first appearing in 1964’s Amazing Spider-Man #3, even taking on the Spider-Mantle (zing!) in 2012’s Superior Spider-Man series.

Green Goblin

The Green Goblin is undoubtedly the perpetual thorn on Spider-Man’s side, and is arguably the our hero’s greatest enemy. Ever since menacing Spidey in Amazing Spider-Man #14 (published in 1964), the green-skinned maniac has been featured in some of the wallcrawler’s most important stories. For one, this is the villain responsible for killing Gwen Stacy, one of Peter Parker’s most famous love interests. If you go even deeper, you’ll find out that the Green Goblin even had sex with that same woman. ‘Nuff said.

J. Jonah Jameson

Who says you need superpowers to become a great villain? Whereas all the other characters on this list can destroy Spider-Man, only J. Jonah Jameson has enough juice in the Marvel universe to destroy him for everybody. That’s the power of bad publicity for you, folks. Additionally, this Stan Lee and Steve Ditko creation predates each and every other villain here by having been present ever since 1963’s Amazing Spider-Man #1. And there’s no sign whatsoever indicating that he’s about to throw in the towel just yet.

Five Graphic Novels that Deserve their own Film or TV Show

In a time which is dominated by one superhero film after another, it’s hard to believe that there actually still plenty of great graphic novels which haven’t been adapted for big screen or TV.  In no order of importance, here we are with five graphic novels that deserve their own film or TV series adaptation.

1. Batman: The Long Halloween

What it’s about: This 12-issue long maxi-series written by Jeph Loeb and drawn by none other than Tim Sale sees the Dark Knight Detective going back to his roots by solving murders that fall upon significant holidays in each month of the year.

Why it should be a movie: From iconic villains like the Joker to C-list foils like Calendar Man, this yarn has no shortage when it comes to the Caped Crusader’s Rogues gallery. More importantly, though, haven’t we had enough of Batman beating the crap out of bad guys? I for one think it’s time we bring him back to his pulp roots, solving crimes instead of punching them in the face.

2. Daredevil: End of Days

What it’s about: Serving as a sort of closing arc to Brian Michael Bendis’ memorable run on the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, Daredevil: End of Days presents readers with the end of Matt Murdock’s career as the horned vigilante. Equal parts thriller and drama, this is perhaps one of the most heartfelt superhero comics to have come out in the last decade.

Why it should be a movie: If nothing else, the way Daredevil: End of Days’ plot is told makes it potentially one of the most unique superhero movies out there. No, I won’t tell you all about it; go get your own copy and marvel (pun unintended) at it. I cannot recommend this miniseries more.

3. Pride of Baghdad

What it’s about: Brian K. Vaughn and Niko Henrichon provide us with one of the most realistic depictions of the effects of war in this graphic novel by Vertigo Comics. Oh, and did I mention it has a family of lions as its main characters? Well, there you go.

Why it should be a movie: Up to this day, mainstream animated features have been more or less focused on family-friendly content. That could all change with Pride of Baghdad, though, where I can just imagine a CGI – or better yet, a traditionally animated style that emulates Henrichon’s style – movie that could make even the stoniest members of the audience weep.

4. Plastic

What it’s about: Ever heard of Bonnie and Clyde? Now, imagine if Bonnie was an inflatable sex doll and Clyde was a mentally unstable murderer. Alright, so what if a certain mob boss’ son decides to steal this latex Bonnie? Image Comics’ Plastic is what happens.

Why it should be a movie: Sure, the whole lovers-on-the-run trope has been overplayed at this point, but I’ll be damned if I said I didn’t want something like Plastic to be turned into a movie. Blood, explosions, hilarity: this comic has it all.

5. Black Kiss I

What it’s about: Howard Chaykin’sinfmous graphic novel about sex, drugs, and violence centers around what happens when a smack-addicted Jazz man, crooked cops, a transsexual escort and just a dash of heresy cross paths with one another. That’s all I’ll say about that.

Why it should be a movie: With its outrageous plot and even more outrageous characters, Black Kiss is the kind of comic that just begs for a big screen treatment. To even become closer to the spirit of the comic, this could even be done in black and white a la Sin City.