Spider-Man: 10 Best Comic Issues From The 1960s



Spider-Man: No Coming Home is the most successful Spider-Man movie of all time, and that’s partly thanks to the way it draws on the beloved superhero’s rich tradition, not just of live-action movies precedents, but also from Marvel Comics. The Wall-Crawler made its debut 60 years ago in amazing fantasy #15, and some of the best Spider-Man comics from the 1960s helped make the new movie the hit it is.

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Virtually everything about Spider-Man as fans know him today is established in those early issues, starting in 1962. His classic origin story, his first encounter with Mary Jane Watson, and his first battle with the Sinister Six all occur during this historical period. Some of the best acts of the 60s also hint at his on-screen future, including possible live encounters with the Kingpin.

ten The Amazing Spider-Man #51

Kingpin attacks Spider-Man in Marvel Comics.

Comic book fans know that Kingpin is a major Spider-Man villain, and his first full appearance is one of the best issues of the ’60s. The Amazing Spider-Man #51 established Kingpin’s iconic look and menace, creating an instant fan favorite that would trouble Peter Parker for decades.

Although this issue is relatively low stakes considering how dangerous Kingpin will be in the future, this 1967 issue establishes much of Kingpin’s ethos. He wants to take over New York and is only stopped by Spider-Man’s intervention.

9 The Amazing Spider-Man #15

Kraven The Hunter's First Appearance in Marvel Comics

The Amazing Spider-Man #15 introduces Kraven rhe Hunter to fans for the first time. This thrilling issue from writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko excels at giving fans something unexpected in the big-game hunter who takes aim at a new target: Spider-Man.

Kraven searches for Spider-Man, inspired by his half-brother the Chameleon, the first of what would be many teams of villains in the book. This 1963 issue is one of many potential comic book storylines to come. Kraven the hunter the film could draw inspiration from.


8 The Amazing Spider-Man #3

Spider-Man confronts Doctor Octopus

The Amazing Spider-Man #3 from 1963 is a seminal issue and one of the best of the era as it features Doctor Octopus. Doc Ock is easily one of Spider-Man’s best comic book villains and this issue establishes much of his iconic persona.

Steve Ditko’s iconic art creates an instant visual icon in Doctor Octopus with his four mechanical arms, and much of his classic origin would be adapted into his live-action version, both in the Sam Raimi films and now in the MCU.

seven The Amazing Spider-Man #33

Peter Parker in Amazing Spider-Man #33

The Amazing Spider-Man #33 features one of the most iconic covers in Spider-Man history and one of the most iconic sequences. The scene where Spider-Man struggles to lift the heavy machinery crushing him has become synonymous with his strength and determination.

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The scene also inspired a moment in Spider-Man: Homecoming, when the Vulture traps Peter Parker under an avalanche of machines. He has to force himself to keep fighting and getting through it, like he did in this epic comic.

6 The Amazing Spider-Man #12

Green Goblin flying on a broomstick in the Spider-Man comics

The Amazing Spider-Man #12 from 1964 is the Green Goblin’s first appearance and as such a pivotal issue of the period. Comic book fans know Green Goblin would become one of Spider-Man’s deadliest villains, but here he’s less of the evil villain they know.

The question is of great interest not only for the character’s iconic beginnings, but also for the unusual way in which he was introduced. He first appears to be a random criminal with no connection to Norman Osborn, which he is later revealed to be.

5 The Amazing Spider-Man #50

Spider-Man walks away from his suit into a trash can in Marvel Comics.

The Amazing Spider-Man #50 is a landmark issue with an all-time cover by one of the greatest Spider-Man artists of all time, John Romita Sr. In this issue, Peter Parker does the unthinkable and walks away from Spider-Man. Man.

The iconic image of him trashing his suit in an alley would be replicated on screen in Sam Raimi’s films and remains one of the most powerful images not just of the ’60s, but of the entire history of the character in comics.

4 The Amazing Spider-Man #42

The Amazing Spider-Man #42 is one of the best issues of the 1960s to finally introduce one of comics’ most iconic characters: Mary Jane Watson. Mary Jane makes perhaps the biggest entrance in superhero comics, proclaiming, “Admit it, Tiger…you just hit the jackpot!”

Mary Jane had been teased for several years, hinted as a possible romantic interest for Peter Parker from issue #25. all media since.

3 The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1

Spider-Man battling the Sinister Six in Marvel Comics.

The very first annual Spider-Man from 1964 is one of the best issues not only of the 60s but of all time, as it features the Sinister Six. This team of villains has been pursuing Spider-Man ever since in the comics, animation, and now, in some ways, the movies.

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The team includes many of Spider-Man’s iconic early foes, including Mysterio, Vulture, Kraven the Hunter, Doctor Octopus, Sandman, and Electro. He is forced to fight them one by one in a tough gauntlet across New York.

2 The Amazing Spider-Man #1

The Amazing Spiderman 1 1963 (Cover) Spider-Man meets the Fantastic Four

The Amazing Spider-Man #1 is one of the most important comics of all time. It’s also a thrilling introduction to Spider-Man and a great showcase of how this new character would work in the Marvel Universe, thanks to an appearance by the Fantastic Four.

Spider-Man wants to join the first superhero team but runs into some objections. He nonetheless proves his worth as a hero and makes lifelong allies and friends that will continue to pay dividends for fans for decades to come.

1 Incredible Fantasy #15

Peter Parker remembers the great quote from Uncle Ben.

amazing fantasy #15 is Spider-Man’s first appearance and the origin of the iconic superhero. The classic Stan Lee and Steve Ditko story features all the now familiar beats, including how Peter got his powers, the death of Uncle Ben, and one of the most famous lines of all time.

The story ends with Uncle Ben’s now iconic quote, “With great power must come also – great responsibility.” This quote has become synonymous with Spider-Man and is quoted in every movie franchise, including the MCU, where it was uttered by Aunt May.

NEXT: Spider-Man’s Comic Book Villains, Ranked From Laughable To Coolest

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