Just in case you were wondering, there’s more than one friendly neighborhood Spider-Man out there.
Peter Parker has always been a beloved character for Marvel Comics, and arguably their most recognizable superhero of all time. From his costume to his abilities, the moment anyone sees that costume of red and blue, they know what to expect. Over the years, we’ve seen Mr. Parker fight countless baddies (or six at a time, if you know what I mean) while still going to high school and falling in love with the girl(s) of his dreams.
However, once it was revealed that the Marvel Universe was actually a multiverse of worlds, the creators had a little fun in imagining different version of our favorite heroes. One of their most used canvasses was Spiderman, of course. What I mean by that is that there were a lot of different versions of this character created. What made this even cooler was when they all had to work together to stop an interdimensional threat in the Spider Verse comic series.
What made these different Spidermen so interesting was not only their sweet costumes and enhanced abilities, but how each of their origins were altered to give them their own unique feel. Each Spiderman was fighting for something different, and that factored into their ideals and morals. For example, whereas the original Spiderman of our universe would never kill a man, some of the others feel differently and so on.
There’s no end to the infinitely different Spidermen out there, but here are 15 of our favorites.
15. Spider-Man 2099
In Earth-928, the timeline has been sped up a considerable amount to the year 2099. In that timeline, the classic Marvel heroes still existed, but many years in the past in a period known as the “Heroic Age.” Characters like Spiderman and Thor were well-loved and well-remembered. A young genius by the name of Miguel O’Hara was working in the future version of Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, where he began conducting experiments based on the genetic research of the Spiderman from the Heroic Age. An lab accident eventually struck his DNA and injected it with spider DNA, granting him very similar powers to the classic version of the wall crawler. At first, he did everything he could to get rid of these powers, then he realized that it was a blessing. His friends and family disliked his deeds as a human, but had great respect for the new Spiderman. Furthermore, he also discovered that big businesses (like the one he worked for) were taking advantage of those that had much less. This motivated him to keep his powers and take on the mantle of Spiderman 2099. In the All New All Different storyline, this version of Spiderman still exists, but with a new suit upgrade that Peter Parker made for him.
14. Captain Universe
In the Earth-616 continuity (the Marvel world that we know and love), there exists a force known as Eternity. This cosmic being is the source of many creations, and many have tried to bring him down as a result. As such, he has a guardian for himself known as Captain Universe. This entity has been known to possess many of the Marvel Universe’s superheroes to give added abilities in the fight to protect Eternity. Naturally, for a time he also possessed Peter Parker himself. Having amazing and intense cosmic abilities from that point, the wall crawling Captain Universe was powerful, deadly, and wise. In Earth-13, Captain Universe possessed Spiderman and remained within him. This came into play during the Spider Verse event, where multiple other Spidermen happened upon this Earth. While Captain Universe’s powers were tied to the dimension he was on, he did promise sanctuary to any that sought refuge in his world. Unfortunately, he was no match for the interdimensional villains known as the Inheritors and was brought down with a large number of other Spider heroes.
13. Kaine Parker
While there are multiple heroes that have taken on the role of Spiderman, there are some heroes that take on the rule of multiple Spidermen. A villain known as the Jackal was attempting to clone Peter Parker to create soldiers to eventually take the down the web slinger, but he was horrendously deformed and was left for dead. However, Kaine survived, left the Jackal, and began his own path as his own man. Eventually, he went toe to toe with a few other Spidermen, such as Peter Parker and fellow clone Ben Reilly. However, after many dangerous exploits, Kaine grew fond of Peter and even gave his life for him. He didn’t stay dead for long, though, as Jackal found and resurrected the clone into the monstrosity known as Tarantula. While he served the Jackal for a time at this point, Peter Parker eventually came to his aid, Kaine was rid of his monster-like form, and donned the Spider Stealth suit. After this, Kaine took on the life a new hero, and eventually became a new version of the Scarlet Spider (a title that his brother Ben Reilly also had). In the Spider Verse event, Kaine bore his monster form once in more in a last resort attempt to stop the Inheritors from destroying the multiverse.
12. Spyder Knight
One of the greatest ideas that Marvel had when creating alternate versions of Spiderman was asking the question: what if Spiderman existed in a different time period? This led them to create a medieval version of the Marvel Universe, where a hero known as the Spyder Knight protected the town of York. Not having the technological upgrades necessary to be as mobile as the modern versions of Spiderman, Spyder Knight still has plenty of tricks up his sleeve. For starters, his suit is actually a form of medieval armor that holds up surprisingly well against strong attacks. Then, he bears a retractable sword on his arm that also gives him a considerable edge in battle. In the Ultimate Spiderman TV show, Spyder Knight made an appearance along with other versions of the character when the Green Goblin attempted to travel across universes and rid the multiverse of all Spidermen. Eventually, Spyder Knight’s skillset made Peter Parker call upon him again to be rid of the Goblin once and for all. It’s quite impressive for a guy not with the times.
11. MCU Spider-Man
Spiderman has had a relatively rocky film career. With a positive start in the early 2000 films Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2, it seemed that the wall crawler would be around for a long time on the big screen. Unfortunately, after Sony released Spider-Man 3 as well as The Amazing Spider-Man, they knew they needed to try something else to make this character awesome on film again. As such, Marvel came in for the rescue, brought the character into their universe, and rebooted him. While this frustrated some, this new version of Spiderman is probably the best one we’ve witnessed on screen. Portrayed by the excellent Tom Holland, the MCU Spiderman is exceptionally strong, quippy, and excited to fight alongside his heroes the Avengers. In this continuity, his suit was also very excellent while still focusing on the technology behind it. His eyes are able to move via lenses that help him focus his Spider Sense in the heat of battle. Despite him being little more than just a kid, Peter Parker proved that he could still fight with the best of them. He fights to protect the little guy from bigger bullies, and is eager to always do the right thing. His upcoming film, Spider-Man Homecoming will see him don web wings as well as go up against a technological version of the Vulture.
10. Superior Spider-Man
Because Spiderman is such a staple in the Marvel Universe, the writers many times have asked the question: what if Peter Parker died? There have been a few times this question has been answered, but one of the more notable instances was after the Dying Wish storyline. After Parker’s death, Dr. Octopus was determined to prove that he could be a better, more efficient Spiderman than his enemy ever was. In order to satisfy his ego, he placed his mind into Parker’s body and assumed the identity of the Superior Spiderman. Making use of robotic tentacles and webbing, this version of Spiderman was dangerous and unhinged. Not having the moral compass that Peter did, Doc Ock wasn’t afraid to kill some of Spiderman’s villains when necessary. This led to a run-in with the Avengers, who were unable to discover that it was Octavius in their comrade’s body. However, some of Parker’s consciousness still remained and persuaded Ock to make the right choice on a few occasions. That said, it wasn’t long before the villain eventually wiped himself of Parker’s memories so that only he would remain. He also played a part in Spider Verse by discovering the existence of the Inheritors.
9. Spider Gwen
Genderbent stories are either hit or miss, but in the case of Spider-Gwen, it was definitely a hit and a home run. In Earth-65, the spider that happened upon Peter and gave him powers actually bit Gwen Stacy instead. Naturally, she was the one that gained powers and became Spider-Woman, more commonly known as Spider-Gwen. Once she begins her career and dons her fashionable hood, high school nerd Peter Parker also shows up, tired of being bullied. This leads him to become the Earth-65 incarnation of the Lizard, and their ensuing battle led to him eventually dying because of a dangerous chemical he used. This caused her to be labeled a public menace, until she revealed her identity to her father, the current police captain. Her bouts as a hero caught the eye of Spider UK, who recruited her in the Spider Verse event. In this event, she came face to face with the Earth-616 Spiderman, Peter Parker, and the two shared an emotional reunion. Since then, she has become a staple of Spiderman’s world and has aided him on multiple occasions.
8. The Spectacular Spider-Ham
Earth-8311 is a bit of a unique world in Marvel’s multiverse. Dubbed the Larval Zooniverse, Earth-8311 is an entirely animal-based universe, featuring cuddly versions of the characters we know and love such as noble Captain Americat and the deadly Punfisher. At the forefront of these storylines is the Spectacular hero known as Spider-Ham. His origin story can be summed up like this- a spider named Peter resided in the home of May Porker, a scientist fascinated with radiation. After one of her experiments irradiated her, she accidentally bit Peter, who turned into a pig that maintained his spider powers. Under the new name of Peter Porker, he would don the role of Spider-Ham. His misadventures across the Larval Universe have teamed him up with characters like Captain Americat and pitted him against dastardly villains like Ducktor Doom. He also made an appearance in Spider Verse to fight alongside the other Spidermen. On a side note, he also found his way into the Marvel Zombies Universe, where he was zombified, becoming an undead monster known as Ham-ibal Lector. I’d be careful when reading his comics- they’re full of bad puns if you didn’t already catch on to that…
7. Assassin Spider-Man
Have you ever imagined what a character with Spider-Man’s powers and Wolverine’s bravado would be like? You’d get someone like Assassin Spider-Man. A much rougher and tougher version of Peter Parker, the Earth-8351 version of the character doesn’t take no for an answer and shoots before asking questions. He even went so far as to leave his wife Mary Jane for another woman. Assassin Spider-Man sees all of the villains in his world as threats that he needs to deal with. As such, he underwent a brutal training regime under the tutelage of Wolverine, whom we already know is not afraid to kill when he needs to. The training that he had increased his already heightened abilities, to the point where he could take down Black Widow without breaking a sweat. Furthermore, his Spider Sense is also so amazing that he can come to great conclusions long before anything happens. In battle, he can predict any move his opponent can throw at him long before they even think about doing it. Naturally, he was one of Superior Spider-Man’s top picks when forming a team to take down the Inheritors.
6. Ghost Spider
Earth-11638 answers the question of what Spider-Man’s life would be like had Uncle Ben never been killed. Unfortunately, without his ultimate motivation for becoming a hero, this version of Spider-Man began doing whatever he pleased. Working with his Uncle Ben, they would lure Spidermen from other universes into their own, where they would drain their powers and put them in this version of Spider-Man (called the Amazing Spider). Eventually, this brought him face to face with the Earth-616 version of Peter Parker, and the two engaged in a glorious battle. During the fight, Uncle Ben fired the machine to take Spiderman’s powers, but accidentally hit the Amazing Spider. He was placed into a long coma, and his soul was sent to Hell, where the Sorcerer Supreme, Dr. Banner, would eventually free it. Once the Amazing Spider awoke, he found himself in a much more frightening form, taking on the new name of Ghost Spider, bearing the looks and abilities of both Spider-Man and the Ghost Rider. This combination is a match made in Heaven (or Hell), and he served as a reliable asset when trying to take down the Inheritors, but did not have a role in the Spider Verse event. It’s a real shame. I want to see more of him.
5. Ultimate Spider-Man
What Spider-Man list would be complete without the Ultimate Spider-Man? In the Ultimate Marvel Universe, Peter Parker operated as Spider-Man for quite some time, until he was eventually slain during an intense battle with the Green Goblin. During that time, there was a young boy named Miles Morales. Experiencing the very same accident that gave Parker his powers, Morales also had spider-like abilities. Unlike Peter, though, Miles chose not to use his powers and let the real Spider-Man do his thing. Then after he witnessed Peter’s death, Miles felt responsible and felt that he could have helped Peter had he embraced his powers. In honor of the fallen Spider-Man, Miles Morales donned a black and red suit to become the Ultimate Spider-Man. Since then, Miles has gained a lot of support and love to have his own appearance in the Battleworld storyline that ended with the entire Marvel Universe being rebooted. In it, both Peter Parker and Miles Morales operate as different versions of Spider-Man. He defends New York while Parker defends the entire globe. He has also appeared in the Ultimate Spider-Man TV show, but don’t let the name confuse you. He isn’t the lead character.
4. Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew)
There have been multiple heroes that held the mantle of Spider-Woman, but this list will be focusing on the Jessica Drew version. Furthermore, Jessica Drew has a few different origin stories, but I’ll be focusing on the more interesting story contained in the Spider-Woman: Origin comic series. In it, the Drews were scientists who were studying spider DNA while Mrs. Drew was pregnant with Jessica. Like all origin stories, this resulted in a lab accident, this time a laser beam that struck Mrs. Drew’s stomach with spider DNA. As such, Jessica Drew was born with unnatural spider abilities. Eventually, she is found and tricked into working with the organization HYDRA, where she was trained in combat by the villainous Taskmaster. This has led Jessica Drew to become one of the best fighters in the Spidermen pantheon and an incident with the Skrull Queen even gave her the ability to fly with the use of web wings. After helping with the Spider-Verse incident, Jessica ends up quitting the Avengers to focus on saving normal people, working with people like Ben Urich (a man prominent in the Daredevil comics).
3. Silk (Cindy Moon)
We all know the story of how Peter Parker gained his powers, but what about the spider itself? As it turns out, the spider that bit Peter was dying and attacked him as a last resort. Shortly after, the spider also bit another bystander, Cindy Moon. Like Parker, she too gained impressive spider abilities, but was unable to manage or control them. However, shortly after she was trained by a man named Ezekiel, he locked her up to protect her from the coming Inheritors. However, Peter eventually learned in Original Sin that Moon existed and eventually broke her out. Because they were bitten by the same spider, they had the instinctive urge to be physically intimate every time they got close. After helping out in Spider-Verse, Cindy Moon, taking the title of Silk, begins her own career as a superhero. Since then, she has appeared in many storylines, fighting a large roster of bad guys and has even survived to the All New All Different Marvel relaunch. Her abilities are nearly identical to Peter Parker’s, but her Spider Sense is much stronger, making her just a bit more powerful in combat than her male counterpart.
2. Spider-Man Noir
Remember that thing I said about Spidermen from different time periods being really cool? Perhaps the best example of this is Spider-Man Noir. Operating in 1933, a time plagued by the Great Depression, this version of Peter Parker is much darker and more brooding to fit in with the Noir theme. He dons an entirely black suit with a cloak and gun, and uses Parkour to navigate across the rooftops (although he can climb walls, he chooses no to). In this universe, the Green Goblin is a mob boss, and Kraven the Hunter is now proficient in disguising himself. While his appearance in the Spider-Verse comic was very brief, Spider-Man Noir has had a fair share of appearances in other forms of media to remind us of how cool he is. He played a part in the interdimensional crisis in Ultimate Spider-Man, as well as being a playable character in the popular game Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. Perhaps the coolest Spiderman on this list, Spider-Man Noir is likely to be a staple of further Spiderman stories and games down the road. Maybe if we keep our fingers crossed long enough, we will eventually get a movie starring this dark and deep wall crawler.
1. The Hobgoblin
If you’re thinking this has anything to do with the villain, you’re dead wrong. This is still a version of Peter Parker.
The death of Gwen Stacy is, to this day, one of the most heartbreaking moments in comic book history- one that rocketed the medium into a new age. It’s still amazing how Peter was able to maintain his sanity despite the tragedy that had occurred. In an alternate universe, though, that’s not how it went down. Seeing his beloved die was so traumatizing to Peter that he slowly began to go insane. In a bout of depression and anger, he slaughtered all of his known villains, including Gwen’s killer. Eventually, he had to get rid of the Spiderman alias itself, and destroyed his own suit. Afterward, he donned a new suit- one that was very similar to the villain that destroyed his former lover. He then operated under the name Hobgoblin or “Goblin” as he is called in Spider-Man Unlimited. Either way, he is the most shocking and tragic version of Peter Parker to date and deserves his own spot on this list. Nevertheless, he was still a hero at heart. During the Spider-Verse comic, he was targeted by the Inheritors. When Spider-Gwen appeared to assist him, they fought side by side until they were overwhelmed, and he sacrificed himself for the girl that he had once loved.