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The Wednesday Club’s Comic Picks: Spectacular Spider-Verse
The Wednesday ClubThe Wednesday Club

The Wednesday Club’s Comic Picks: Spectacular Spider-Verse

The Wednesday Club is Geek & Sundry’s weekly talk show covering all things comic books. This week, hosts Matt Key, Amy Dallen, and Taliesin Jaffe were joined by Hector Navarro, Starfleet captain and Spider-Fan extraordinaire, to talk about the spectacular Spider-Man.

“Spider-Man is kind of the reader point of view,” said Taliesin. “Spider-Man was always a character I felt like I could maybe be.”

Hector is passionate about the character of Spider-Man/Peter Parker, and argued that he is the best superhero in all of comics. Despite Peter’s past with tragedies he could have prevented, like the deaths of Uncle Ben and Gwen Stacy, he continues being a hero.

“Despite all of that [history],” said Hector, “Peter Parker chooses to live his life with a sense of humor, he laughs in life’s face and cracks jokes constantly. He decides he is still worthy of love. He gets married. In some versions of stories he has kids.

“He still chooses to do the right thing even though he failed monumentally. His approach to life, his outlook on life, his philosophy on life, is the exact opposite of a character like Batman.”

“Spider-Man is the greatest superhero character ever created,” said Hector. “Hands down.”

Amazing Fantasy #15

Spider-Man makes his first appearance in 1962 in Amazing Fantasy #15, a collection of quirky short stories. While his appearance may be brief, it establishes the character we’ve all grown to know and love, along with the motivation that still drives Peter Parker to this day.

“That initial story was so good that we’re still telling that story all these years later,” said Hector.

“It is frankly astonishing how much we know and love about Spider-Man is in that tiny story,” Amy agreed.

(Marvel Comics, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko)

Ultimate Spider-Man

Ultimate Spider-Man

“For those who were daunted when the movies started coming out by the sheer amount of Spider-Man there was to read,” said Taliesin, “they kind of did a universe reboot, where they started over with a brand new, more modern take on Spider-Man called Ultimate Spider-Man.”

While the book takes place in an alternate Marvel universe, it’s still Spider-Man with an updated story and flourish, described Taliesin.

“I really like this book,” he said. “I think this is such a great intro to Spider-Man.”

(Marvel Comics, Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley)

Spider-Man: Blue

Spider-Man: Blue is Amy’s vote for favorite Spidey story. “It’s a standalone story,” she said. “You get in, you get out, you get introduced to the major players in his world, and it will break your heart.”

This is the story of Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker and how they fell in love, complete with supervillains and plenty of Spider-Man action, told by Peter as he remembers his first love one melancholy Valentine’s Day.

(Marvel Comics, Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale)

The Superior Foes of Spider-Man

“Even though Spider-Man’s not in it, this book is so amazing,” said Taliesin. “I love this book so much.”

The story follows Spider-Man’s rogues gallery of baddies like Boomerang, Beetle, and the other members of the Sinister Six. They might not be the webslinger’s biggest enemies, but they’re not good guys, either. Boomerang hatches a plan to get out of jail and team up with the Sinister Six, but things don’t go quite according to plan.

“This book is very funny, very emotionally engaging,” Amy agreed.

(Marvel Comics, Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber)

Superior Spider-Man

Peter Parker is dead, but Spider-Man isn’t, thanks to the machinations of Doctor Octopus. Doc Ock has found a way to switch his consciousness with Peter’s, so that Peter succumbs to the cancer ravaging Doc Ock’s body while he, in turn, becomes Peter.

Determined to be an even better Spider-Man and Peter Parker than Peter was, he becomes the Superior Spider-Man, ruthless and ambitious.

“He actually ends up being pretty decent to people,” said Taliesin, “in kind of a smug, jerk way.”

(Marvel Comics, Dan Slott, Giuseppe Camuncoli, and Ryan Stegman)

Miles Morales

Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man Ultimate Collection

In the Ultimate universe, Peter Parker is dead, and the young Miles Morales is Spider-Man. Miles was created by the influential Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis, who saw the need for young Spider-Man fans of color to see themselves reflected in a comic book.

Miles Morales is a thirteen year old kid who doesn’t know what to do with his powers, said Hector, until he meets Gwen Stacy at Peter’s funeral. She describes Peter’s life and all the reasons he became a hero, and Miles decides to follow in his footsteps.

“Miles Morales is different,” said Hector. “He does different things, he has different powers. But at the end of the day, he is Spider-Man, because he’s a kid who’s in over his head, who is trying to do the right thing, and he is failing.”

(Marvel Comics, Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez, Chris Samnee, and Sara Pichelli)

Hector, Taliesin, Matt, and Amy also mentioned titles like Amazing Spider-Man By JMSKraven’s Last Hunt, Maximum Carnage, and Death of Spider-Man if you’re looking for even more spectacular stories about everyone’s favorite wallcrawler.

Hang out on the Geek & Sundry Twitch channel every Wednesday night to catch the next amazing episode of The Wednesday Club.

Featured Image: Geek & Sundry

Other Images: Marvel Comics

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