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Explore the Spider-Verse: Your Guide to Marvel’s Spider Family

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There is more than one Spider-Man out there! It’s no secret, especially since the release of the animated movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, where a whole new universe of spider heroes swung into the limelight, introducing the large Spider-Family to a new public.

At the center of the web, we naturally find the original and most well know Spider-Man/Peter Parker, created by Stan Lee and Steve Dikto in 1962. Between the comic books and the adaptations on the big screen, Peter Parker’s story is quite known today: When everything started, he was a nerdy high school student from Queens, New York, and an orphan raised by his Uncle Ben and Aunt May. After being bitten by a radioactive spider at a science exhibit, Peter acquired the agility and proportionate strength of an arachnid! At first, he decided to exploit his heightened athletic abilities to make money. But when the robber he refuses to stop becomes responsible for his Uncle Ben’s murder, Peter learns a painful lesson: “With great power there must also come—great responsibility!”

The world of Spider-Man only expanded from there, at first in the mainstream universe with all those clones and the introduction of Jessica Drew as the first Spider-Woman. Then , with all thos different incarnations of the character in alternate universes. From Miles Morales from the Ultimate Universe to the futuristic Miguel O’Hara and more extravagant versions like Spider-Ham, there’s no shortage of Spider-people in the large Marvel Comics Multiverse.

Though most arachnids evolved separately from each other, they had to come together with the event Spider-Verse, and its sequel Spider-Geddon, to defend the multiverse. Such stories are always great occasions to explore old forgotten characters as well as create new ones such as Spider-Gwen. The Spider-Verse is always evolving and growing!

What follows is not an exhaustive Spider-People Guide as there are too many of them out there for that. But you’ll find the most important Spider-Men and Spider-Women, the ones you should know, some fun characters and newly additions to the Spider-Verse in order for you to find your way across the multiverse!

The Spider-People from Earth-616

Peter Parker/Spider-Man

Peter Parker is the principal incarnation of the web-slinging hero of Earth-616. He made his debut in “Amazing Fantasy” issue #15 in 1962, as a young high school student bitten by a radioactive spider, granting him tremendous powers.

Since then, Peter Parker tries to juggle between the challenges of everyday life and being a superhero. He swings around the streets of New York City to fight criminals, having some witty words for his enemies, and helping the people of his beloved city. He’s always determined to save everyone and do what is just, even if it can hurt his civilian life. It is what is known as the Parker Luck (though, if you ask Johnny Storm, he has  a different definition of this concept.

Peter Parker has known many ups and down in his life since 1962 and you can find them all in the Complete Spider-Man Reading Guide.

Ben Reilly Reading Order

Ben Reilly/Scarlet Spider

Created by Gerry Conway in 1975, Ben Reilly first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #149 in October 1975, where he is immediately killed. But he later returned as the “Scarlet Spider” in the infamous “Clone Saga” storyline. He fought next to Peter Parker while entangling his complex history and trying to make sense of who he is.

Ben Reilly also took the mantle of Spider-Man twice, the first time when Peter chose to settle down with a family. But Ben Reilly’s story is always full of twists and turns and deaths and the character died and returned many times, and also crossed the line to become a villain.

To make sense of it all, check out our Ben Reilly Reading Order.

Jessica Drew/Spider-Woman

Spider-Woman was created for one reason only: for Marvel to secure the copyright for the name “Spider-Woman.” Despite her very corporate origins, Jessica Drew became an enduring and valuable member of the Spider-Family.

Created by Archie Goodwin and Marie Severin, she made her debut in Marvel Spotlight #32, in February 1977 working as an agent of Hydra with no memories of her past. She will come to embrace her heroic nature, and become a superhero, a member of the Avengers, and best friend to Carol Danvers. To help her fight crimes, Jessica possesses superhuman strength, agility, and the ability to generate bio-electric blasts.

To know more about Jessica, check out our Jessica Drew (Spider-Woman) Reading Order.

Madame Web Reading Order (Spider-Family)

Cassandra Webb/Madame Web

Created by writer Dennis O’Neil and artist John Romita Jr., Madame Web made her debut in The Amazing Spider-Man #210 in November 1980. She is not your typical member of the Spider-family, as she is not swinging between buildings or fighting. Madame Web is a powerful psychic and clairvoyant who possesses the ability to perceive future events and sense the presence of other dimensions.

Cassandra Web served as a mentor and guide to Spider-Man on numerous occasions, delivering prophetic visions and guiding him in the large cosmic tapestry. This role made her more of a mysterious character in Spidey’s life, a feeling accentuated by the fact she didn’t appear often.

To discover all Cassandra Webb’s appearances, check out our Madame Web Reading Order.

Madame Web (Julia Carpenter) Reading Order

Julia Carpenter

Julia Carpenter, created by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz, debuted in in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #22 in 1988. First introduced as Spider-Woman, she later took on the mantle of Arachne and eventually became the new Madame Web.

Like Jessica Drew, she was first on the wrong side of justice but soon helped the Avengers. As Spider-Woman, she demonstrated enhanced strength, agility, and the power to create psionic webs. Julia took on many roles inside the Spidey world, becoming Arachne during the famous Civil War before her destiny completely changed when she became the new Madame Web. She is now offering guidance and foresight to fellow arachnid heroes.

To know more about Julia Carpenter as Madame Web, check out our Madame Web Reading Order.

Mattie Franklin/ Spider-Woman

Mattie Franklin, alias the third Spider-Woman, was created by John Byrne and debuted in Spectacular Spider-Man Vol. 2 #262 in 1998. She assumed the guise of Spider-Woman after obtaining her powers through a magical Spider Society ceremony.

Mattie possessed superhuman strength, speed, and agility, as well as the ability to adhere to walls and produce bio-electric “venom blasts” from her hands. She appeared in several stories, including “Gathering of Five” and “The Final Chapter,” in which she overcame personal challenges and encountered other Marvel characters.

Kaine Parker/Scarlet Spider

If one clone of Peter Parker wasn’t enough, here’s another one! Created by Terry Kavanagh and Steven Butler, he made his first appearance in Web of Spider-Man #119 in December 1994. Initially portrayed as a villain, Kaine turned into an anti-hero with a complicated and interesting tale.

He has assumed the mantle of Spider-Man at various times, bringing a more brutal approach to crime-fighting. Like Peter, Kaine has superhuman strength, agility, and a regenerative healing element. He does, however, have certain unusual physical characteristics, such as damaged facial features and a large facial scar. He is mostly known as the Scarlet Spider nowadays, an alias used by Ben Reilly before.

To know more about the second Scarlet Spider, see our Kaine Parker Comics Reading Order.

Anya Corazon (Araña, Spider-Girl)

Created by Fiona Avery and Mark Brooks, Anya Sofia Corazon made her debut in 2004 as Araña in Amazing Fantasy vol.2 #1. Unlike other members of the Spider-Verse, she gained her spider-like abilities through a ritual performed by the mage Miguel Legar of the Spider Society. Endowed with a spider-shaped tattoo, she became a Hunter for the secret society.

She has been associated with various superhero groups, such as the Young Allies, the Avengers Academy, and of course the Web Warriors. She possesses enhanced strength, agility, reflexes, and the ability to stick to walls, as well as heightened senses and a “spider-sense” that warns her of danger. Anya is a skilled hand-to-hand combatant, adept at acrobatics, and can emit organic webbing from her wrists.

She has also headlined her own series in the past, and you can find all her appearances in our Anya Corazon Reading Order.

Cindy Moon (Silk)

Created by Dan Slott and Cindy Moon first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man (v.3) #1 (April 2014) as a faceless cameo and made her full debut in issue #4. Like Peter Parker, she was bitten by a radioactive spider during a science exhibit. Unlike Peter Parker, she didn’t become a superhero. Cindy’s journey took a drastic turn following her encounter with the mysterious Ezekiel who offered to help her control her new abilities. After six years of training to use her powers, Ezekiel locked up Cindy to protect her and the other ‘spiders’ from Morlun and his family called the Inheritors. Simply put, she was more than ready to live new adventures once she found her way out.

She possesses powers similar to Spider-Man, including enhanced strength, agility, and reflexes. She also has the ability to stick to walls and possesses a “spider-sense” that alerts her to impending danger. Additionally, Cindy has the unique ability to create organic webbing, allowing her to swing through the city with ease.

To know more about Silk, check out our Silk (Cindy Moon) Reading Order.

Superior Spider-Man

Coming from Dan Slott, with artwork by Ryan Stegman, Humberto Ramos, and Giuseppe Camuncoli, The Superior Spider-Man made his entrance in Amazing Spider-Man #700. After years and years of battles, Peter Parker finally lost against Otto Octavius. The famous Doctor Octopus swapped consciousnesses with Parker and left him to die in his decaying body to ensure his own survival. Otto became Peter, but arrogant as he is, he also decided to become a better Spider-Man than Parker ever was, and a better man than he was as Otto Octavius. He became the Superior Spider-Man.

If it was obvious from the start that Peter Parker had to come back at some point, it will not stop the Superior Spider-Man to change Peter’s world and to become a fan favorite worthy of his own reading order.

The Spider-People from the Future, Past and other alternate Realities

Miles Morales, the Ultimate Spider-Man (Earth-1610)

Created by Brian Michael Bendis et Sara Pichelli, Miles Morales made his first appearance in Ultimate Fallout #4 in August 2011. A young kid from Brooklyn on Earth-1610, he follows in the footsteps of Peter Parker in the Ultimate universe before being made a character in the main Marvel Universe. He now lives on Earth-616.

Miles, like the original Spider-Man, possesses superhuman strength, agility, and the ability to attach to walls. He does, however, have the unusual ability of camouflage, which allows him to blend into his surroundings and become practically undetectable. When Miles makes contact with his opponents, his “venom strike” talent delivers a tremendous electric jolt.

To know more about The Ultimate Spider-Man, check out our Miles Morales Reading Order.

Spider-Gwen Reading Order Gwen Stacy Spider-Ghost

Gwen Stacy, alias Spider-Gwen or Ghost Spider (Earth-65)

Like her friend Silk, Spider-Gwen first appeared in the first Spider-verse event. Created by Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez, this Spider-Woman balances superhero life with being the daughter of a cop…and playing drums in an up-and-coming band, the Mary Janes!

At first, Gwen gained popularity among comic book readers for her unique costume design before becoming a key character in the Spider-Family. She has since appeared in her own ongoing series and later changed her name to “Ghost-Spider.” Like Peter Parker back in the days, Gwen has to deal with the challenges of being a young superhero while dealing with personal relationships and the responsibilities that come with her powers.

To know more about Gwen Stacy from Earth-65, check out our Spider-Gwen Reading Order.

Spider-Man 2099 Miguel O'Hara Reading Order

Miguel O’Hara, Spider-Man 2099 (Earth-928)

Created by Peter David and Rick Leonardi in 1992, Miguel O’Hara was a young genetics prodigy working for Alchemax in the future metropolis of Nueva York! One of his experiments, to recreate the powers of the modern Spider-Man, backfired and changed his DNA to make it 50% spider!

Following this event, Miguel now possesses superhuman strength, accelerated Healing, wall-Crawling, paralytic venom via fangs, enhanced Agility and reflexes. With great power comes great responsibility, and Miguel decides to use his new abilities to take down Tyler Stone and Alchemax.

To discover more about Miguel O’Hara (and his complicated timeline), check out our Spider-Man 2099 Reading Order.

May Mayday Parker, alias Spider-Girl / Spider-Woman

May “Mayday” Parker, Spider-Girl/Spider-Woman (Earth-982)

Created by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz in 1998, May Parker is the teenage daughter of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson from the MC2 (Marvel Comics 2) continuity — or Earth-982.In this timeline, Peter Parker and Mary Jane’s baby was never killed. She grew up and began developing versions of her father’s spider powers when she was 15.

Possessing superhuman strength, the speed and agility of a spider, as well as the ability to cling to walls, Mayday Parker decided to take on crime fighting. At first, her parents were not happy about it, but they will come to help her – while still being worried for their daughter.

To discover more about Mayday, check out our May “Mayday” Parker Reading Order.

Spider-Man Noir (Earth-90214)

We call him Spider-Man Noir, but he is “The Spider-Man”. Living in a hard-boiled world, this version of Peter Parker is your darker and grittier version of the traditional Spider-Man. Or you can consider him the Batman version of Spider-Man. He relies more on his detective skills to combat criminals and bring justice to his city.

This Peter has been raised by activists May and Ben Parker, and gained arachnid powers after being bitten by a supernatural spider. His powers and abilities are similar to the traditional Spider-Man, but his costume makes him stand out with a black suit, a fedora hat, and a trench coat, reflecting the noir aesthetics.

To know more about Peter Parker from Earth-90214, check out our Spider-Man Noir Reading Order.

Peter Porker, Spider-Ham (Earth-8311)

Introduced in the one-shot humor comic book Marvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham in November 1983, the anthropomorphic pig was a cartoon animal parody version of Spider-Man. He proves to be popular enough to have, for a short time, his own ongoing bi-monthly series.

Peter was born a spider and lived in the basement lab of May Porker, a scientist who created “the world’s first atomic powered hairdryer”. Following an accident, Peter was bitten by May and transformed into an anthropomorphic swine. At first disoriented, he soon found that he retained all his spider abilities in addition to gaining the genius of scientist May Porker, who now believes herself to be Peter’s aunt. After this life-changing event, Peter decided to become a superhero and use these talents to fight crime.

Billy Braddock, Spider-UK from Earth-833

William “Billy” Braddock, created by Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez, is a cross between Captain Britain and Spider-Man. He is presented as a Captain Britain Corps member, a group of interdimensional defenders. As such, he dresses in a variant of the traditional Captain Britain outfit, complete with the Union Jack emblem.

Billy possesses the same abilities as most Spider-Men, including superhuman strength, speed, agility, stamina, reflexes, a healing factor, and the ability to cling to most surfaces. He owns a talisman that permits him to travel from dimension to dimension. And even though he was just a rookie in the Captain Britain Corps, Billy proved to be great at teamwork, but also quite a good leader.

Hobart Brown, Spider-Punk from Earth-138

Spider-Punk is not Peter Parker, but a teenager called Hobart ‘Hobie’ Brown from Earth-138 who battles for independence on his planet. Like other Spider-Totems, Hobie acquired his spiderlike abilities after being bitten by a spider that had been exposed to radiation from OsCorp’s illegal waste disposal.

Our Spider-Punk personifies disobedience, fighting for liberty and against unfair and repressive regimes. He is prepared to face any difficult scenario and fight the good fight for his cause and the people he loves while using his razor-sharp sense of humor.

To know more about Hobart Brown from Earth-138, check out our Spider-Punk Reading Order.

Jessica Drew, the Ultimate Spider-Woman from Earth-1610

The Ultimate Spider-Woman is a composite of several characters from the mainstream universe. She uses the name Jessica Drew and dons a costume like Julia Carpenter’s. But mostly she is a gender switch of Ben Reilly. She is a genetically modified clone of Peter Parker whose chromosomes were altered to make her biologically female.

Without surprise, she has all the abilities of Spider-Man and also can fire silk-spinning webbing from her fingertips. A fiercely independent and empathetic woman, she is first introduced as an agent of the CIA using the codename Spider-Woman, but will later change her superhero alias to Black Widow. Also, let’s not forget that Miles Morales will not be the hero he is today without her help, as she acted as a cynical tutor for him.

Pavitr Prabhakar, Spider-Man India from Earth-50101

Pavitr Prabhakar is the Spider-Man of India. Originally from a remote village, He moved to Mumbai with his Aunt May and Uncle Bhim after receiving a partial scholarship . If his powers and abilities are similar to other iterations of Spider-Man, they are derived from a mystical spider.

Like many Spider-People, Pavitr is a responsible, courageous, and caring person, with a strong sense of justice, determined to help those in need. His cultural background is reflected in his costume, with a dhoti and kurta as well as the exploration of social, cultural, and political issues specific to India in his story. Also, the supporting cast is often inspired by Idina mythology and folklore.

Still More Spiders! Other members of the Spider-Verse worth mentioning and/or recently introduced

Hunter-Spider – Sergei Kravinoff from Earth-31 who were stinged by a gigantic spider during a hunt.
Night-Spider – Felicia Hardy from Earth-194 is still a thief in quest of a new thrill for a burglar lifestyle.
SP//dr – Peni Parker from Earth-14512. She pilots a psychically-powered mech suit built by her father, which is partially controlled by a radioactive spider that also shares a psychic link with her.
Spider-Boy – The newly addition from Earth-616.
Spider-Bitch – Ashley Barton from Earth-807128. The daughter of Peter Parker’s youngest daughter, Tonya, and Hawkeye,
Spider-Ham 2099 – Piguel O’Malley from Earth-93726, the parody version of Miguel O’Hara
Spider-Man – Takuya Yamashiro from Earth-51778, the Japanese live-action tokusatsu version of Spider-Man who found its way into the comic book pages.
Spider-UK – Zarina Zahari from Earth-834 who joined W.H.O. (the Weird Happenings Organization) to help them fight superhuman threats.
Sun-Spider – Charlotte Webber from Earth-20023 is hyper-flexible but requires crutches for stability due to being a wheelchair user.
Spinstress – Princess Petra from Earth-423 who was gifted her powers by her fairy-godmother. And she sings!
Web-Weaver – Cooper Coen from Earth-71490 worked in the world of fashion. During a field trip, he saved Peter from being bitten and was bitten instead.

What About the Symbiotes?

It’s a subject for another article… Coming Soon!

Did we forget an important Spider? Tell us in the comment!

Last Updated on June 13, 2024.

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