Top 25 Spider-Man Books Of All Time

This is going to be a tough one. I've had to change the title twice already as this started as a top 10 list, then morphed into a top 20, and I just couldn't leave out the last 5, so we've landed at a beefy 25. Well, technically 27, as a few were grouped together into a storyline.

I'm on record that "ASM" is my favorite series, and consequently Spidey is my favorite hero. My most prized possession is my complete Amazing Spider-Man # 1-700 + Annuals & variants & Superior & New ASM (ongoing) collection. So picking out just 25 issues is going to be pretty tough. 

But as someone that has them all, I guess I'm qualified to hazard a guess. So here we go!

Keep in mind as usual with our lists, that these are one humble nerds opinions. Not fact. And while I'd put these 25 issues up against any in the spider-verse, the order of them is very subjective. Whether you'd order them by value, personal preference, or significance to the storyline, it's fair to say, they're all instrumental in the formation of the web.


25.) Amazing Spider-Man # 100

Importance: Spider-Man Grows 4 Extra Arms, Classic Cover

Creative Team: Gil Kane & Stan Lee

24.) Amazing Spider-Man # 96, 97, & 98

Importance: No Comics Code Approval Drug Issues

Creative Team: Gil Kane & Stan Lee

23.) Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 2 # 36

Importance: September 11th tribute issue

Creative Team: John Romita Jr. & J. Michael Straczynski

Insight: This is a personal favorite of mine. Much like the Dark Knight Returns, or Watchmen, this book has the ability to appeal to comics fans and non comic fans alike. If you ever meet someone that doubts comics as a medium, give them this issue and I'm sure it will change their mind. 

22.) Amazing Spider-Man # 361

Importance: 1st Appearance Of Carnage

Creative Team: Mark Bagley & David Michelinie

Insight: This is a bit of a speculative ranking, as I'd find it hard to believe that Carnage won't eventually get the big screen treatment. Anything in the Venom, Carnage, Anti-Venom vein is widely popular among collectors, this one is no exception. 

20 & 21.) Amazing Spider-Man #'s 25 & 42

Importance: 1st Appearances Of Mary Jane Watson

Creative Team Steve Ditko & Stan Lee (25); John Romita & Stan Lee (42)

Insight: Could these issues have been ranked higher? Sure, but because MJ's reveal is stretched out through several issues, her introduction takes a bit of a hit as you can't pin it on 1 issue.

19.) Amazing Spider-Man # 238

Importance: 1st Appearance Of The Hob-Goblin

Creative Team: John Romita Sr. & Jr. & Roger Stern

Insight: A few years ago I found a copy of this book signed on the cover by both Sr. & Jr. I still have it and it's one of my favorite issues. I am also personally a Jr. so this cover and it's significance bump it up for me. 

18.) Amazing Spider-Man # 194

Importance: 1st Appearance Of The Black Cat

Creative Team: Keith Pollard & Marv Wolfman

17.) Amazing Spider-Man # 122

Importance: Death Of The Green Goblin

Creative Team: Gil Kane & Gerry Conway

16.) Amazing Spider-Man Annual # 1

Importance: 1st Appearance Of The Sinister Six

Creative Team: Steve Ditko & Stan Lee

15.) Amazing Spider-Man # 41

Importance: 1st Appearance Of The Rhino

Creative Team: John Romita & Stan Lee

Insight: Maybe a little high on the ole Rhino. But it's Mr. Romita's first big character introduction. And as the man that did as much artistically for Spidey as anyone but maybe Ditko, I had to move it up the chart.

14.) Amazing Spider-Man # 101

Importance: 1st Appearance Of Morbius

Creative Team: Gil Kane & Roy Thomas

Insight: In a time that the comics code still reigned supreme, a Vampire wasn't exactly welcome in the comics medium. Stan must have felt confident enough to introduce him though after trampling the code with issues 96-98 only a few months prior and in doing so he re-introduced the monster genre into Marvel & mainstream comics.

13.) Amazing Spider-Man # 6

Importance: 1st Appearance Of The Lizard

Creative Team: Steve Ditko & Stan Lee

Insight: You could certainly argue that the Lizard deserves more love. But honestly, who gets bumped down?

12.) Amazing Spider-Man # 121

Importance: Death Of Gwen Stacy

Creative Team: Gil Kane & Gerry Conway

Insight: As the great comics saying goes, "unless they're ben or gwen they're not really dead" has taken a bit of a hit recently with the introduction of Spider-Gwen, but this was easily the most significant character death of the bronze age, and possibly of all time. 

11.) Amazing Spider-Man # 50

Importance: 1st Appearance Of Kingpin

Creative Team: John Romita & Stan Lee

Insight: With Mr. D'Onofrio's fantastic portrayal of the Kingpin on last year's Daredevil, this book has taken quite a boost in most collector's eyes.

10.) Amazing Spider-Man # 9

Importance: 1st Appearance Of Elektro

Creative Team: Steve Ditko & Stan Lee

9.) Amazing Spider-Man # 2

Importance: 1st Appearance Of The Vulture

Creative Team: Steve Ditko & Stan Lee

Insight: Yes this is the 3rd Spider-Man solo book, and the introduction of a low A level villian, but everything from here on in is just too important to bump down!

8.) Amazing Spider-Man # 31

Importance: 1st Appearance Of Gwen Stacy

Creative Team: Steve Ditko & Stan Lee

7.) Amazing Spider-Man # 4

Importance: 1st Appearance Of The Sandman

Creative Team: Steve Ditko & Stan Lee

6.) Amazing Spider-Man # 300

Importance: 1st Appearance Of Venom

Creative Team: Todd McFarlane & David Michelinie

Insight: Our sole "modern" book to crack the top 10. And with good reason. Venom has worked his way into "hero" status in the Marvel U nowadays, even getting a role with the guardians of the galaxy. The sky is the limit for this former villain. 

5.) Amazing Spider-Man # 129

Importance: 1st Appearance Of The Punisher

Creative Team: Ross Andru & Gerry Conway

Insight: Starting tomorrow you can see "Shane" himself portraying the Punisher in Daredevil Season 2 on Netflix. I've heard nothing but rave reviews about the character, so look for this book to start boiling again.

4.) Amazing Spider-Man # 14

Importance: 1st Appearance Of Green Goblin

Creative Team: Steve Ditko & Stan Lee

Insight: No explanation required. The first Appearance of one of Spidey's foremost and longest lasting villains. A true "must-own" for any serious spider collector.

3.) Amazing Spider-Man # 3

Importance: 1st Appearance Of Doctor Octopus

Creative Team: Steve Ditko & Stan Lee

Insight: As far as I'm concerned, #'s 3 & 4 are pretty interchangeable. I don't think you'll find much of an argument to the sentiment that the Octopus & the Goblin are the two longest lasting & serious villains that Spidey has ever faced down. Not to mention the 2 best "on-screen" portrayals of a spider villain. It's been over 10 years... look for the octopus to reappear in a theater near you before too long!

2.) Amazing Spider-Man # 1

Importance: # 1 Ongoing issue, almost 1 thousand issues within this vein's continuity have followed since. This issue is also Spidey's first crossover, with the Fantastic Four, the FF's first crossover, and Marvel's first new hero crossover. 1st J Jonah Jameson, 1st Chameleon.

Creative Team: Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Stan Lee

Insight: As I have chronicled on the blog before, ASM # 1 was the last issue I needed to complete my 2-700 run. So it has a special place for me. But aside from that, I doubt we'll have any haters as ASM # 1 is clearly the 2nd most importans Spidey issue of all time!

1.) Amazing Fantasy # 15

Importance: 1st Appearance Of The Wall Crawler Himself. 1st Appearance Of Uncle Ben & Aunt May, Death Of Uncle Ben. 

Creative Team: Cover: Jack Kirby Interiors: Steve Ditko Story: Stan Lee (AKA The Holy Marvel Trinity)

Insight: The One that started it all. First Spider-Man Ever, THE Silver Age Holy Grail!

And there you have it. Our definitive, unquestioned, no doubt about it list of the 25 (27) greatest Spider-Man issues of all time. Well maybe not, but it's a pretty solid guess!

Until next time!