Spider-Man is now a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe! Okay, granted, that’s not exactly breaking news, but it’s still fantastic news and means that we’ll finally get to see the Webbed Wonder interacting on-screen with characters other than those from his classic cast of supporting characters (J. Jonah Jameson, Mary Jane Watson and Gwen Stacy, among others) and his personal gallery of rogues (like Doctor Octopus, the Green Goblin and Electro).
Tom Holland will portray the character in the MCU and his first appearance will be a relatively minor one in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, but he will get his first solo movie in this franchise in 2017 and will undoubtedly get more thereafter (given that he is set to become an important character and a key member of the live action Avengers).
This new Spider-Man needs to be differentiated from the versions portrayed by Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, and there are countless diverse and interesting stories from the character’s comic book history that could ensure that happens.
This article will look at a number of arcs that could be adapted to the big screen that would make sure that was the case, while also ensuring the fans were kept interested. Here are ten amazing Spider-Man stories we need to see in a movie:
10. I’m With Stupid
Two of Spider-Man’s most important relationships that haven’t yet been explored on-screen are those with Black Cat and the Human Torch. Black Cat has been an ally of Spider-Man, a foe of Spider-Man and a lover of Spider-Man, while Human Torch is an ally and one of his best friends.
Black Cat did appear in 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but never got as far as interacting with Spider-Man, while the Human Torch is part of Fox’s Fantastic Four franchise (which could be set to change soon). If the Fantastic Four go over to Marvel Studios, this five-issue 2005 story – also known simply as Spider-Man/Human Torch – could happen. It happens in the aftermath of Gwen Stacy’s death (so that would have to happen on-screen again first), but the episode shows Peter that he does still have friends, family and people that he can rely on even after horrible things like that happen.
9. The Death of Jean DeWolff
This classic four-part Spider-Man story arc is from 1985 and 1986, and sees an ally of Spider-Man’s, NYPD police captain Jean DeWolff, being murdered in her sleep. DeWolff is actually the first victim (dying very early in the story) in a larger murder case – a murder spree conducted by the villainous former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent known as Sin-Eater.
This story would be a good way to connect Spider-Man to the existing Marvel Cinematic Universe – i.e. one in which former S.H.I.E.L.D. agents exists – and could also serve as a means of having Spider-Man befriend and become an ally of Daredevil. Daredevil is involved as both his alter-ego Matt Murdock and as the costumed hero from Hell’s Kitchen, and when he steps in to stop Spider-Man from beating Sin-Eater to death, the two heroes fight. But it triggers a friendship and occasional partnership between them in future stories (which could happen in future live action offerings now).
8. Back In Black
2007’s Spider-Man: Back in Black is a five-part story that sees Spider-Man single-mindedly hunting down the person who shot his Aunt May in the aftermath of the Civil War event, donning the black suit that is modelled after the Venom Symbiote in order to emphasize the ruthlessness and completely humourless aggression he demonstrates in doing so.
The story is somewhat unique in that the hero is so angry that he often goes about his vengeful business without his mask on, which clearly conveys his angry expressions in ways you hardly ever see Peter Parker’s face being able to do on-panel. Spider-Man figures out that the gunman was hired by Kingpin to kill him, not his Aunt May, and he confronts the crime boss in a memorable prison scene. Any opportunity to bring Tom Holland and Vincent D’Onofrio together in a movie would be very cool.
Spider-Man: Reign is a 2006 and 2007 arc made up of four issues that would make a very unique movie, as it takes place in Spider-Man’s future. It skips forward thirty years to when the ageing Peter Parker is in his late sixties or early seventies in a New York City that is relatively safe from criminal and super-villain threats, thanks to the ruthless policing of “The Reign” (a government-utilized force).
He works as a florist (and is fired near the start of the arc), but suffers from haunting images of the deceased Mary Jane Watson. After being inspired into returning as Spider-Man, the mayor of New York sends out six of his imprisoned former villains to bring him down (as well as Venom – his assistant). A battle ensues, as Peter also comes to terms with the fact that the radiation in his body actually caused Mary Jane’s death.
6. Agent Venom
While this isn’t a story arc as such (it’s a concept that began in Spider-Man comic books until the character of Agent Venom was given his own ongoing series), the concept would certainly be cool to see in a Spider-Man movie – and it would definitely differentiate the MCU Spider-Man and Venom from those that appeared in Sony’s Spider-Man movies.
Classically, Venom is Eddie Brock and a villain, but in the case of Agent Venom, he is Eugene “Flash” Thompson. Thompson is a fellow student of Peter Parker’s who idolizes Spider-Man and follows his heroic example by joining the army. He proves himself to be a great soldier, but loses his legs. This makes him a prime candidate for the army’s Agent Venom programme. Using a diluted version of the Venom Symbiote on him (in 2011, incidentally), Thompson’s legs grow back and he becomes a version of Venom who fights alongside Spider-Man before joining the Avengers. Awesome.
5. The Commuter Cometh
The Commuter Cometh is actually a single-issue of a Spider-Man comic book (The Amazing Spider-Man #267) from 1985 that is essentially a classic fish-out-of-water story. It sees the web-slinging hero heading to the suburbs in search of a criminal – a thief called Ron – and comedy ensues.
While it isn’t a rich enough story to take up a whole movie, it could at least be included in one to make it somewhat different to anything seen in a Spider-Man film before. The hero is in scenes that include being offered a child’s big wheel bicycle as transportation and being forced to take the bus. It’s genuinely funny and really is what Spider-Man has been all about – witty comments and sarcasm – since his inception in 1962.
4. Death Of Spider-Man
The Death of Spider-Man arc was a 2011 story in the Ultimate universe (part of the Ultimate Spider-Man volume), but don’t let that make you think that rules it out of getting the movie treatment, as plenty of Ultimate influences have been evident in the MCU to date. It would differentiate this Spider-Man from previous ones, as the character would obviously die, which would make for a completely different tone to anything seen before.
In the arc, Spider-Man is trained by the Ultimates and dies saving his Aunt May from the Green Goblin. He dies content, however, as he feels that he has finally made up for failing to save his Uncle Ben. An event like this would open the door for a new Spider-Man to enter the fray in the MCU. (Miles Morales, anyone?)
3. Kraven’s Last Hunt
One of the most iconic Spider-Man villains that we are yet to see on film is Kraven the Hunter, and therefore, it would be very cool to see an on-screen depiction of the brilliant 1987 storyline Kraven’s Last Hunt. Like the aforementioned Death of Spider-Man, this story as a movie would see the titular hero in serious danger – something that is generally lacking from superhero movies.
The story sees Spider-Man villain Kraven hunting down Spider-Man, ultimately shooting him dead and burying him. He then takes over the role of Spider-Man, donning a black Spider-Man suit and vowing to prove himself a better hero then the Webbed Wonder. Kraven does very well (although he is far more Batman-esque with his brand of vigilante justice), but Spider-Man is revived by the effects of the tranquilizer he was shot with and digs his way out of his grave for a final confrontation with his killer (which doesn’t quite go as you might expect).
2. One More Day
One thing that can definitely be said of the Spider-Man movies to date is that they are all very grounded in the world of science (this would change with an adaptation of 2007’s Spider-Man: One More Day). It’s not exactly one of the most popular Spider-Man stories (that’s an understatement), but it would certainly be different and could easily be improved upon for the big screen.
It’s very much based in the world of the supernatural – but with the likes of Doctor Strange coming to the MCU, that is now possible for Spider-Man stories. After the death of Aunt May, Spider-Man encounters the demon Mephisto and sacrifices his marriage to Mary Jane Watson in exchange for him bringing his Aunt May back. It would definitely be an emotional movie and would be worth the risk, but fan reception could end up making the risk backfire if people aren’t open to the idea.
1. Maximum Carnage
Arguably the most iconic Spider-Man villain that we’re yet to see on film is Carnage. The character’s introduction would have to come after Venom’s, given his origin, but it would be well worth the wait. An adaptation of Maximum Carnage – a fourteen-part story from 1993 – would be the wildest and most violent Spider-Man movie to date.
Carnage is Kletus Kasady, a serial killer who found himself in jail in the same cell as Eddie Brock (Venom). After the Venom Symbiote enabled Brock to escape, its offspring bonded to Kasady, turning him into Carnage, an even stronger version of a symbiote-based character. Maximum Carnage saw him being incarcerated again in The Vault – a super-villain prison – where he recruits some fellow psychopathic villains and attempts to take over New York City. Spider-Man has to team-up with Venom and several other characters in order to stop the takeover. It would make for an awesome blockbuster movie.