Spider-Man’s 10 Most Underrated Comic Arcs

Spider-Man’s 10 Most Underrated Comic Arcs

Some of Spider-Man’s greatest story arcs, like the death of Gwen Stacy, have been adapted into the movies, but with sixty years of comic book history behind him, many Spider-Man stories remain unknown to general audiences. Some of his best stories are very underrated, even among comic book fans.

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With the Wall-Crawler’s future on-screen wide open, the opportunity exists to explore some of his lesser-known stories. Some of them involve some major Marvel characters and events, making them possible storylines that the MCU could adapt into future Spider-Man movies.

10 Acts Of Vengence

Spider-Man Captain Universe

The gigantic ’90s Marvel Comics crossover Acts Of Vengeance is an underrated story, at least when it comes to Spider-Man. In the story, he gains the Oni-Force and becomes Captain Universe and one of the most powerful cosmic beings in the Marvel Universe.

With his power, Spider-Man becomes omnipotent for a brief time. His story is more of a tangent in the crossover, which features the God of Mischief Loki assembling all the major Marvel villains to take on the Avengers all at once.

9 Spider-Man and the Human Torch

Spider-Man Human Torch

Spider-Man and the Human Torch is one of the unlikeliest friendships in Marvel Comics, but it’s also one of the cornerstone relationships in the comics. Their funny give and take took center stage in the underrated Spider-Man/Human Torch from 2005, by writer Dan Slott and artist Ty Tempelton.

This brief series cast the two friends together on a number of random adventures which involved familiar characters like Black Cat. It was a fun, lighthearted series that was a perfect showcase for the duo.

8 Spider-Man 2099

Spider-Man 2099 Comic Art

Spider-Man 2099 in some ways pioneered the Spider-Verse concept so prevalent today. This future version of Spider-Man existed in the year 2099, in one of Marvel Comics’ darkest future timelines. The book’s story arcs like “The Fall Of The Hammer” are underrated compared to more recent titles, written by Peter David and featuring Miguel O’Hara as the future Spider-Man.

The book was a deep exploration of corporate greed and technological advances that perhaps speaks louder today than it did when it debuted thirty years ago.

7 Secret Wars

1985’s Secret Wars mega-crossover is pretty well known among comic fans, but like Acts Of Vengence, Spider-Man’s role is somewhat underrated. That might be saying a lot considering it’s where he gets the black suit that becomes Venom, but he also briefly gets the powers of the Beyonder, another massively powerful cosmic being.

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This story arc actually occurs in a flashback to the original mini-series, but it does a lot to fill in the blanks, It also explores Peter Parker’s humanity in contrast to such cosmic power and possibility.

6 Spider-Island

Spider-Man, Shang-Chi, and Sister Dagger in Shang-Chi #1.

The Spider-Island crossover from 2011 was a huge story arc that threw a lot at the reader, but one underrated aspect of it is the plotline involving as Spider-Man and Shang Chi. Comic fans know that Shang-Chi is one of Marvel’s premier martial artists.

In Spider-Island, Peter Parker loses his Spider-Sense and ability to anticipate danger. To counter this, he trains in the martial arts with Shang-Chi. Though Spider-Man doesn’t exactly become one of the best Marvel martial artists, it’s a lot of underrated fun.

5 Untold Tales of Spider-Man

Untold Tales Of Spider-Man is an anthology series from the 1990s with many underrated stories. Most of the story arcs in the series looked back to fill in gaps between the early stories from the ’60s and ’70s and produced some real gems.

One of them was “The Boy Next Door,” which focuses on one of Spider-Man’s best love-interests, Mary Jane Watson and her early life. It also reveals how she and Peter were actually in each other’s lives much earlier, something the movies, particularly the Sam Raimi versions, would pick up on.

4 The New Fantastic Four

Wolverine, Hulk, Spider-Man, and Ghost Rider as new Fantastic Four from comics

Peter Parker has been part of one of the best Avengers rosters of all time, and in the late ’80s, he was part of one of the most underrated versions of the Fantastic Four. In Fantastic Four #347 and 348, the team is taken off the board by a malevolent Skrull who takes on the persona of Sue Storm.

She assembles the unlikely squad of Spider-Man, Wolverine, Hulk, and Ghost Rider as the new Fantastic Four. It’s one of the least known and most underrated Spider-Man stories from the period.

3 Future Foundation

Spider-Man has been associated with the Fantastic Four from the very beginning of his run in Marvel Comics. One of his most underrated story arcs involved him becoming a proper member of the team as part of the Future Foundation.

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When the Human Torch appears to die, Peter Parker accepts an invitation to join the Fantastic Four. He brings a new life and vitality to the team and also gets to indulge his scientific side as part of one of the most forward-looking groups in comics.

2 Spider-Man Vs. Wolverine

Wolverine And Charlamagne Marvel Comics

Spider-Man and Wolverine were not always friends. An underrated story arc from the mid-80s is Spider-Man Vs. Wolverine, a mini-series that initially pits the two against each other.

They eventually put away their differences when they realize the person that brought them into conflict is Charlamagne, a former lover of Wolverine. This 1987 series had some good characterization for both characters as well as great fight scenes, including a brutal brawl in a cemetery.

1 Spider-Girl

Spider-Girl aka Mayday Parker

Spider-Girl is both a fantastic character and series from the early 2000s which is somewhat underrated. Taking place in the MC2 universe which imagines a possible future for Marvel Comics, it features May Parker, Peter and Mary Jane’s daughter, as the titular Spider-Girl.

The family dynamic is fantastic, and the 100 issues of the ongoing series provide a deep dive into this alternate reality that few of the infinite multiverses in the comics get. With Spider-Girl’s place in the Spider-Verse somewhat overshadowed by more recent characters like Spider-Gwen, it’s an underrated classic.

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