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Spider-Verse

Marvel’s Black Cat Origin Story, Not Just Another Catwoman

As Spider-Man wasn’t the first spider-themed superhero, Black Cat wasn’t the first comic book cat-themed cat burglar with an ambiguous relationship with a famous vigilante.

Master thief Felicia Hardy was created by Marv Wolfman, Keith Pollard, and Dave Cockrum and made her first official appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man #194, in 1979. It wasn’t supposed to be her introduction as she was first drawn for the cover of Spider-Woman #9, before the story was even written. But Marv Wolfman left the book and brought his feline villain to another spider-titled series, the “amazing” one.

Read More »Marvel’s Black Cat Origin Story, Not Just Another Catwoman

Who Is Spider-Ham? The Origin Story of the coolest anthropomorphic pig from Marvel Comics

Now a well-established character in the Spider-Family, Spider-Ham started his life more than 40 years ago as a character for a one-off Marvel comic, without any real future. But who could resist this funny animal version of Spider-Man? Not long after his introduction, Spider-Ham headlined his own series for a short while before slowly fading into relative obscurity.

This situation changed in the 2010s when Spider-Ham came back slowly but surely into the spotlight. First, with his cameo in the video game Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. Then, making his real comeback into the comic book world in the big Spider-Verse event, followed by a stint as a main member of the Web Warriors team. And finally, making a splashing entrance in the mainstream area with the release of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse in 2018. 

Today, let’s explore Spider-Ham’s creation and origin story, from his improbable invention to his also improbable transformation into a superhero pig!

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Kaine Parker Reading Order, The (second) Scarlet Spider (also Peter Parker’s clone)

Just as there are multiple superheroes named Spider-Man and several superheroines known as Spider-Woman, there are also two members within the Spider-Verse who took the mantle of Scarlet Spider. And they are both clones of Peter Parker. We already covered the life (and multiple deaths) of Ben Reilly. Today, we are covering the superior Scarlet Spider (in my own personal opinion), aka Kaine.

Created by Terry Kavanagh and Steven Butler, Kaine Parker made his first appearance in Web of Spider-Man #119, during the infamous Clone Saga. It was then revealed that Kaine was the initial unsuccessful experiment by Jackal to clone Spider-Man. Dying from day one, Kaine’s life was marked by violence and villainy until Spider-Man intervened and offered him a second chance.

Sometimes presented as a sort of mash-up between Punisher and Spider-Man, Kaine has evolved a lot throughout the years as a character, from his mysterious introduction to his murderous actions, his redemption, and his own cool run as Scarlet Spider.

Let’s dive into his story with this Kaine Reading Order!

Read More »Kaine Parker Reading Order, The (second) Scarlet Spider (also Peter Parker’s clone)

The Venomverse: A guide to Marvel’s Main Symbiote Characters

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For a long time, there was only one symbiote: Venom. Today, there are apparently more than 40 known symbiotes in the Marvel Universe. But who’s counting?

Introduced into the Marvel Universe during the 1985 Secret Wars event, the “black costume” was more than a new look for Spider-Man. This was an alien creature that bonded with the superhero and started to influence him. When Peter Parker realized that his new clothes were in fact a conscient being that was changing him not in a good way, he got rid of him… But that was just the beginning.

After that, the symbiote found a new host and was officially named Venom. He instantly became one of Spider-Man’s archenemies. That said, as writers explored the creature from outer space, it evolved as well as its mythology. Venom also had children, some really deadly ones! All had different hosts and powers, but all are vulnerable to intense heat and sonic vibrations.

Also, we are calling them the Symbiotes, but Venom is a member of the extraterrestrial species known as Klyntar. As we learned during the last few years, they were created by Knull, a malevolent god, a primordial Deity–and certainly one of Marvel’s most powerful supervillains –read the King in Black storyline for a better understanding of the menace he represented–, and creator of All-Black the Necrosword.

We are not here to talk about Knull (this is a subject for another article), but to speak about his creations. From Venom and Carnage to Rascal, here is a guide to the major symbiotes that appeared in the Marvel Universe during the last three decades.

Read More »The Venomverse: A guide to Marvel’s Main Symbiote Characters

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!

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

Last Updated on February 9, 2024.

Summer of Symbiotes Reading Order, an entire season of symbiote insanity at Marvel

Summer of Symbiotes Reading Order

To celebrate 35 years of the first appearance of Venom, the flavor of the summer ’23 at Marvel will be coming from space. It’s the Summer of Symbiotes! It will be Symbiotes crossovers after Symbiotes crossovers with even more Symbiotes. Yes, a lot of Symbiotes.

In fact, everything begins this spring with Carnage Reigns, a crossover that is presented as Miles Morales vs Carnage written by Alex Paknadel and Cody Ziglar and featuring art by Julius Ohta, Jan Bazaldua, Federico Vicentini, and Francesco Manna. Here is how it starts:

Cletus Kasady is back, and of course, he is more powerful and bloodthirsty than ever before! “With his soul trapped within the Extrembiote Armor created by Tony Stark during the King in Black event, Cletus has the means to level an untold amount of chaos and, well, carnage on New York City and the entire Marvel Universe. But like any good Tony Stark invention, the Extremis coursing through Cletus’ symbiotic veins needs POWER, and that means Cletus is HUNGRY. Good thing Brooklyn’s very own Spider-Man is there to stand in his way! If he survives their first encounter, that is.”

Read More »Summer of Symbiotes Reading Order, an entire season of symbiote insanity at Marvel

Last Updated on October 10, 2023.

Spider-Punk Reading Order (Hobie Brown)

Artist Olivier Coipel created the design of Spider-Punk to be for Spider-UK. Writer Dan Slott rejected it for being “too punk”, but the design was too popular to be ignored and a new character was born.

Spider-Punk made his debut in The Amazing Spider-Man #10 (January 2015). He is the Spider-Man of Earth-138, but he is not Peter Parker. Behind the mask hides teenager Hobart ‘Hobie’ Brown who fights for freedom on his Earth. He became a Spider-Totem following the classic bite by a spider that was irradiated by OsCorp’s illegal waste dumping.

He was recruited by Superior Spider-Man to be part of the army of Spider-Men during the first Spider-Verse, where some other Spiders called him Spider-Punk, a nickname Hobie disliked at first.

Since then, Hobie lived several adventures and found its way into other media. He appeared in the video games Spider-Man Unlimited and Marvel Strike Force, and made a cameo in an episode of Ultimate Spider-Man. More importantly, he is set to appear in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, voiced by Daniel Kaluuya.

It’s now time to become more familiar with another member of the Spider-Verse with this Spider-Punk Reading Order!

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Last Updated on June 7, 2023.

Who is Kraven the Hunter?

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Spider-Man’s rogues’ gallery is composed of animal-themed characters like the Vulture, Doctor Octopus, the Lizard, the Scorpion, and plenty more, but also of people who altered—voluntarily or not—their bodies to become super-powered or who built some kind of devices to commit crimes like Sandman, Electro, Shocker, Hammerhead, Hydro-man, and of course, the Green Goblin.

Kraven the Hunter found its place in the middle of that. Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man #15 (see our Spider-Man Reading Order to find the story), Kraven came to New York wanting to hunt Spider-Man. This Russian is after “the most dangerous game.”—like another famous fictional Russian big game hunter, General Zaroff.

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Last Updated on April 10, 2024.

Spider-Man Dark Web Reading Order, a Marvel crossover featuring Spider-Man and the X-Men

Barely one month after the A.X.E.: Judgment Day event, the X-Men are caught in a new crossover. However, this one also revolves around Spider-Man. Written by Zeb Wells and drawn by artist Adam Kubert, Dark Web is about clones. Here is the official synopsis:

“The worlds of Spider-Man and the X-Men collide, thanks to the unholy alliance of Madelyne Pryor, AKA the Goblin Queen, and Ben Reilly, now known as Chasm! The two most famous and famously wronged clones are back…and they’re going to claim what’s rightfully theirs! The Dark Web they spin over Manhattan is going to change the NYC skyline forever!”

So, the Dark Web event involves Spider-Man and the X-Men, but also Mary Jane Watson, Black Cat (Felicia Hardy), Venom (Eddie Brock), Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan), and Scarlet Spider (Ben Reilly).

Read More »Spider-Man Dark Web Reading Order, a Marvel crossover featuring Spider-Man and the X-Men

Last Updated on June 22, 2023.

Carnage Reading Order

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Created by writer David Michelinie and artist Mark Bagley in The Amazing Spider-Man #361 (published in 1992), Carnage is a supervillain, pure and simple. Being an offspring of Venom (see reading order to know more), Carnage is a Symbiote, an extraterrestrial organism who bonds with a host to which he gave superpowers.

In this case, even if it had multiple hosts through the years, Carnage is famously connected to its first, the sadistic serial killer Cletus Kasady. Everything began when, after Venom left behind him its offspring in a prison cell, the new symbiote connected with Eddie Brock’s cellmate, Kasady. Together, they left behind them chaos and deaths.

Envision as a darker version of Venom, Carnage is more violent, powerful, and – simply put – deadly. He became an adversary of Spider-Man of course, but also the archenemy of Venom. At times, Carnage was put at the center of multiple storylines, crossovers, and events, spreading fear throughout the Marvel Universe.

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Last Updated on September 25, 2023.