If you were to rank Spider-Man in terms of power alongside many superheroes in fiction, he would fall firmly in the middle. He’s slightly above average in most common superhuman categories like durability and strength, is very strong in terms of speed and reflexes but lacks any kind of energy manipulation that would make him truly powerful. However, all this only applies to the regular version of Spider-Man, the one that has been seen in movies, various cartoons and video games. But there’s an entire Marvel multiverse that I’ve combed through to find the fifteen most powerful versions of Spider-Man, outside of the regular old Peter Parker everyone knows and loves.
Most of these Spider-Men have all of the super powers that everyone associates to the wall-crawler. These include superhuman strength, speed, agility, stamina, durability, spider sense and webbing. Variations among these arachnids though are numerous as some are stronger, faster, can shoot organic webbing and have entirely new powers that most of the public has never associated to Spidey. With the right combination of super powers and experience, one Spider-Man will rise above the rest and reign supreme.
I’m going to play a little loose with the rules of this list as some of the entries are costume alterations of the regular Spidey, but if I think there’s enough of a difference in their power levels, I’ll count it as its separate entry. I’ve disqualified one entry that would decimate all the other Spider-Men though: Hostess Fruit Pie Spider-Man, a Peter Parker who uses Hostess Fruit Pies to stop crime. Surely nothing would be able to face that.
Seriously though, let’s get on with it and count down the top 15 most powerful versions of Spider-Man.
15. Spider-Man (Tom Holland)
He’s only existed for a few months in our real world time and he has a long way to go before he becomes the hero of comic book legend, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Spider-Man has already shown just how powerful he can be.
Fighting on the side of Iron Man in Captain America: Civil War, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is 15 years old but has already proven himself to be one of this universe’s most capable fighters. He seemingly has all the powers of the regular Spider-Man we all know and love but since he’s so young, he’s still inexperienced. He got clocked by Captain America but he still was able to take out Ant Man, Winter Soldier and Falcon, all of whom have more combat experience than him. His creativity in battle is quite good though, seeing how he took out Ant Man.
14. Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield)
The second Spider-Man film series to get scrapped, this series was not quite as well received as the Sam Raimi series, but some fans did prefer Andrew Garfield‘s portrayal of Spider-Man above Tobey Maguire‘s. And in some ways, he is more powerful than his fellow film Spideys.
The main category where Garfield’s Peter Parker beats the other two is in agility and speed. In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Electro electrifies a part of Times Square and in the blink of an eye, our hero manages to stop a car from hitting someone and webs away two people who were about to receive a fatal shock from touching a metal railing. This Amazing Spider-Man is also fast enough to dodge Electro’s lightning blasts in the finale of the movie, no easy feat.
13. Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire)
The first Spider-Man to hit the big screen, Tobey Maguire‘s portrayal of the wall-crawler had three movies to develop his skills, and as a result, I believe that he is the most powerful of three film versions of Peter Parker.
Firstly, unlike the two other versions of Spider-Man, Maguire’s is able to generate his own organic webbing via spinnerets in his wrists. This means that unlike Holland’s and Garfield’s Spider-Men, Maguire would never have to change his web cartridges and theoretically has an infinite supply of webbing.
Most impressive of all though might be his feats of strength and durability throughout the movies. This mighty spider was able to survive a pumpkin bomb to the face, getting his head crushed by Doc Ock’s robot arms and the combined might of Venom and Sandman in Spider-Man 3. Even with all that, his most impressive feat would be in Spider-Man 2 when he stopped an out of control train traveling at top speed.
12. Spider-Man 2099
Despite being from the future, Miguel O’Hara isn’t quite as strong as other versions of Spider-Man in the Marvel Multiverse. Having said that, he’s isn’t one to be taken lightly.
Given super powers after being infused with the DNA of a spider, O’Hara has all of the standard comic book abilities like superhuman strength, speed, agility, stamina and durability. Where he separates himself from the pack though is with his accelerated vision and organic webbing. His accelerated vision allows him to see far greater distances than an average human, see people’s heat signatures and see with perfect clarity things which are moving at speeds undetectable to humans.
Offensively speaking, O’Hara has talons and teeth which can induce temporary paralysis in an opponent. While they lack killing power, they’re still immensely useful. The biggest drawback which keeps Spider-Man 2099 from making it any higher is a lack of spider-sense.
11. Spider-Man (Earth 616)
The original, the one who started it all, the teenager who created a legacy like no other… it’s the Earth 616 Spider-Man! While this may not be the strongest version of the wall-crawler, he sure as hell has the most feats that can be measured and studied.
Possessing all of the standard “spider-powers” and armed with mechanical web shooters, Peter Parker has accomplished some incredible achievements with his relatively tame power set (compared to some other Marvel characters anyway). He is shown to be fast enough to dodge strikes from the Hulk, strong enough to hold up the Daily Bugle from collapsing in a squatting position and durable enough to endure a beating from a Phoenix Force-powered Colossus. And that’s not even mentioning his mental fortitude; he was able to survive the Clone Saga without feeling like slitting his own throat! Well maybe that last one shouldn’t count…
10. Symbiote Spider-Man
Now then, take everything I just said about the Spider-Man listed before this entry and you would have a good idea of the powers of this Spidey. Except you would have to add an alien life form to the equation.
Premiering in Amazing Spider-Man #252, Symbiote Spider-Man is Peter Parker while attached to the Venom symbiote. Something interesting to note about the original version of the symbiote costume (not the ones from cartoons or movies) is that Spider-Man’s physical strength wasn’t enhanced at all by the symbiote. While his physical strength didn’t increase, the symbiote did respond to Peter’s mental commands, was able to replicate any form of clothing and most important of all, gave Peter the power to generate his own organic webbing. Never again would Peter have to fight a super villain and worry about lack of web fluid… until he gave up the suit when it realized it was taking his body for joy rides while he slept.
9. Iron Spider
Even if Peter Parker switched sides midway through the Civil War storyline, you really have to wonder why he didn’t decide to keep this costume and just give it a different paint job.
For the most part, the Iron Spider suit has all the advantages of Iron Man’s suits minus any of the firepower. Despite no rockets or repulsor blasts, this version of Spider-Man is packing a full filtration system for any harmful materials, analyzing systems, three tiny cameras that could sneak around corners and a web mesh gliding system on the arms which is perfect when you’re falling and can’t snag a web line. While not really a power per se, the suit also allows openings for Spider-Man’s webbing and his “stingers” (we’ll get to that later).
8. Six Arms Spider-Man
If Spider-Man ever wanted to cosplay as Goro from Mortal Kombat, this would have been the ideal time to do it.
All the way back in Amazing Spider-Man #100, Peter Parker has one of his episodes where he decides he wants to give up being Spider-Man. This time though he goes deeper than ever before and decides to whip up a serum designed to rid him of his superpowers. Long story short the serum is a dud and instead of curing him, it grants him four extra arms. While he eventually got rid of them, one has to wonder how strong he would be if he got used to them.
Think about it for a second, if Spider-Man can lift up to 10 tons with just two arms, one can only imagine how strong he would have been with six arms! Yes it might be a hindrance in combat at first (just ask any sword fighter how difficult it is to fight with two swords) but with his spider-sense and reflexes, I’m sure Peter would get used to them after a while. Also, imagine Peter equipped with six web shooters instead of two.
7. Ultimate Spider-Man (Miles Morales)
One of the newest versions of Spider-Man to make the list, Miles Morales of the Ultimate universe in Marvel Comics might not have the experience and skills of his more experienced counterparts, but he makes up for this with superpowers that the others put on their Amazon wish lists.
Not only does Morales have all of the powers of the original Spider-Man, but he also has stronger versions of some powers and entirely new ones which prove to be very useful. First off, Morales’ spider-sense works a little differently than the one we all know of. Morales has exhibited the ability to see danger hours before it happens, hinting that he is part psychic.
Apart from his buffed up spider-sense, Morales is also able to discharge his own bio-electricity into an attack called the Venom Blast which has been shown to even affect Electro, a guy who knows a thing or two about electricity. Also, Morales can camouflage in any environment even while wearing clothes.
6. “The Other” Spider-Man
Blink and you’d miss it. For a brief period in the mid 2000s, Spider-Man underwent a power increase which augmented his existing powers and granted him new ones. This has referred to by fans as “The Other” Spider-Man (due to the storyline where he gets these powers being called “The Other”).
So after hatching from a cocoon, Peter Parker was reborn and stronger than ever. Not only could he now lift 15 tons as opposed to his usual 10, but he could also communicate with insects, grow poisonous fangs and stingers and possessed night vision. Not only this, but due to a storyline released a year before “The Other”, Peter also had to ability to produce his own organic webbing, eliminating the need for his web-shooters.
While it is unclear if Peter had lost these enhancements after the debacle known as “One More Day” (where Peter sold his marriage to the devil so he could save his Aunt May), these have never been seen since that 2007 bomb of a story so we have to assume he no longer has them.
5. Kaine (Scarlet Spider)
For a man who was considered a reject by his creator, the hero known as Kaine is the first clone of the original Peter Parker. Funny enough though, he is much more powerful than his genetic “brother”.
When Kaine was originally introduced in the 1990s “Clone Saga”, his identity was a mystery but it he did have a connection to Spider-Man which could be observed through his powers. All of Kaine’s powers were beefed up versions of the standard spider powers; his “spider-sense” visions of the future, his enhanced wall crawling power granting him the “Mark of Kaine” ability which let him burn scars onto people, and his strength much stronger than the original Spider-Man.
On top of that, the current version of Kaine also has the power to use any of “The Other” Spider-Man’s powers, including the organic webbing, communicating with insects/spiders and the stingers. It is worth noting though that as of present time, Kaine has lost his spider-sense.
This is the point of the Clone Saga where we knew that Marvel had jumped the shark (well I mean they jumped the shark just from its concept, but I digress). A shape-shifting clone of Spider-Man? As ridiculous as it sounded, Spidercide was the strongest Spider-Man in the core stable of books.
Developed by The Jackal to be the most powerful Peter Parker clone, this version of Spider-Man has all of the normal powers associated to the original but had one giant advantage that no other Spider-Man possessed. Spidercide was able to change the molecular structure of his body at will. This allowed him to accomplish things like growing and shrinking in size, turning into water and creating weapons out of his body like a certain red alien symbiote. This makes it very suspect that in the issue where he dies, his death comes from a fall from the top of the Daily Bugle. Chalk that one up to lazy writing I suppose.
Amazingly enough, the Venom symbiote was not the most powerful alien life form to be bonded to a Spider-Man. For that answer, we have to look at Spider-Carnage, a merger between the Peter Parker clone Ben Reilly and the Carnage symbiote.
This temporary version of Spider-Man came in the 1996 storyline Web of Carnage, where the symbiote left Cletus Kasady once it realized that it could bond to a much stronger host in the form of Ben Reilly. While the symbiote eventually left Reilly because he wasn’t quite as willing to bond as the psychopath Kasady, the brief time they were together created a terrifying being of great power.
Spider-Carnage is able to lift around 80 tons, can morph his body into weapons like axes and swords, possesses a healing factor better than Spider-Man’s (though not quite at Wolverine or Deadpool levels) and can camouflage himself. While he didn’t actually exhibit much of these powers as Spider-Carnage, we have to assume he can do all this like the original Carnage could.
2. Captain Universe Spider-Man
While all the previous entries were somewhat comparable in terms of strength, the final two entries on this list outclass all of them so badly it’s not even funny. The first of these godly Spider-Men would be Captain Universe Spider-Man, otherwise known as Cosmic Spider-Man. Or even more well known as that costume from the PS1 Spider-Man game that made you invulnerable.
While there was a brief time in the regular 616 universe where the Spidey we all know and love held the power of Captain Universe for a few issues. With this power he was able to overpower the Hulk and send him into the earth’s orbit with a single punch. Amazingly though that isn’t his greatest power.
Whoever holds the power of Captain Universe can control the molecular structure of matter, pretty much enabling him to turn anything into… anything. Couple that with his power to control energy, and Cosmic Spider-Man is easily the most powerful version of Spider-Man. Except for a certain undead spider…
1. Marvel Zombies Spider-Man
Upon reading the description, you wouldn’t think that a zombiefied Spider-Man would be stronger than beings like Spidercide or Spider-Carnage. But what you don’t know is that the Marvel Zombies Spider-Man possesses the power of Galactus. How did he get this power? He (along with a bunch of other zombified heroes) ate him. Seriously.
Despite his decaying zombie body, the Spider-Man of this universe is one of the strongest to ever exist. He not only has all the original powers and experience of the mainstream Peter Parker, but he also possesses part of the Power Cosmic, the same force that grants the almighty Silver Surfer his powers. These powers being the ability to travel at light speed, being able to control any kind of energy, time travel and the list goes on and on. Basically, the Power Cosmic makes whoever wields it unstoppable.
Whoever thought that a zombified version of our wall crawler could end up being the most powerful one? I sure as hell surprised myself there.