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Top 10 Spider-Man Moments That Made Fans Rage Quit

VO: Adrian Sousa WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands
Please, don’t play it fast and loose while writing stories about our beloved Webhead. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Spider-Man Moments that Made Fans Rage Quit. For this list, we’ll be looking at moments from Spider-Man comics that fans found to be annoying, illogical, cringeworthy and disappointing - moments that likely made fans wish they’d never picked up that particular issue. For the record, if it appears on this list, fans were frustrated by the moment at the time of publication, not just in hindsight after it had time to age poorly. Furthermore, we’d like to clarify that we’re not necessarily calling all of these stories bad. But if it appears on this list, readers were vocally opposed to the moment in question.
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Please, don’t play it fast and loose while writing stories about our beloved Webhead. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Spider-Man Moments that Made Fans Rage Quit.

For this list, we’ll be looking at moments from Spider-Man comics that fans found to be annoying, illogical, cringeworthy and disappointing - moments that likely made fans wish they’d never picked up that particular issue. For the record, if it appears on this list, fans were frustrated by the moment at the time of publication, not just in hindsight after it had time to age poorly. Furthermore, we’d like to clarify that we’re not necessarily calling all of these stories bad. But if it appears on this list, readers were vocally opposed to the moment in question.

#10: Doc Ock & Aunt May


Look through the history of any long-running, iconic comic book hero and you’re sure to find some rather absurd storylines. The early days of comics were a different, less cynical time - more concerned with having fun than great narratives. Be that as it may, the planned marriage of the nefarious Doctor Otto Octavius to Peter Parker’s beloved aunt elicited groans even in its own time. Published in 1974, Amazing Spider-Man #131 saw Doctor Octopus attempting to secure a nuclear power plant which Aunt May was about to inherit. And naturally, he decides that marrying her is the best means to his desired end. Oh to be a comic book writer in the 1970s!

#9: Spider-Man: Chapter One


Running for 13 issues from 1998 to 1999, “Spider-Man: Chapter One” was an attempt to modernize and updated the early years of Spider-Man’s career. As our previous entry showed, some of his adventures from decades past were more than a little dated, unrelatable or downright silly. And so they took some of Spidey’s earliest stories and gave them a new coat of paint, with the intention of appealing to and drawing in new readers. The thing is… you don’t mess with the classics, especially not with facepalm-worthy, gag-inducing dialogue like they had on the cover of the very first issue. Later seeing the error of their ways, Marvel has since returned the original issues to their canonical status. Suffice it to say, Batman: Year One this was not.

#8: The Return of Peter’s Parents… as Killer Robots?


Ahhh… the ‘90s! A decade in comics where the motto seemed to be “there’s no such thing as a bad idea”. Much like with Batman, Peter’s status as an orphan is pretty important to his character. So fans were both shocked and more than a little divided when it was revealed that Peter’s parents - who, in case you didn’t know, were secret agents - weren’t actually dead. Apparently, they had just been imprisoned for years. It’s understandably a lot for Peter to take in, but just as he’s getting used to the idea of having them back, he discovers that they’re Life Model Decoys tasked with killing him. Spidey survives but is understandably rattled, and so too were readers!

#7: Sins Remembered


Speaking of disrespecting the dead, how about this doozy of a story? The follow-up to a controversial plot point that we’ll be talking about a little later, Sins Remembered saw Spider-Man take a little trip of self-discovery with the daughter of his deceased girlfriend, Gwen Stacy. Because of her father’s uniquely enhanced blood and genetics, she aged rapidly. So by the time she actually came face to face with her mother’s old flame, she basically looked like Gwen’s doppelganger. As you can imagine, this results in messy feelings all around, especially when Sarah kisses Peter - in front of his wife, Mary Jane, no less. Suffice it to say… many people found it to be a real skin-crawling read with little merit.

#6: The Other & the Eye


This story wasn’t universally detested by any means, but those who didn’t like it… REALLY didn’t like it. It all begins rather dramatically with Peter learning of his impending doom. Are you hooked... or are you already frustrated by the obvious gimmick? Losing all hope, Peter becomes reckless and aggressive, nearly getting himself killed in a fight with Morlun, who freaking rips out and proceeds to eat Spidey’s eyeball. Curveball, right? But wait! After one last fight, in which he evolves into an animalistic spider-being, he actually dies. But WAIT! In the next issue, he’s alive! He rose from the dead, new and improved, leaving his old skin behind. It’s just a whole lot of weirdness and some new powers, but mostly… a return to the status quo.

#5: The Superior Spider-Man


Like we said in at the beginning of this video, these moment and plot points aren’t all bad. There are many people who absolutely loved what Dan Slott did with Superior Spider-Man. But… there are also a bunch of people who were simply turned off by the basic premise, losing the series a buttload of readers before it had a chance to win them over. In this body-swapping story, Doctor Octopus transfers his mind into the body of his nemesis, replacing him as both Peter Parker and Spider-Man. It sounds like something from the ‘70s and the sort of story that couldn’t last more than one issue, and the fans reacted accordingly. But over time… many of those who kept reading loved it.

#4: Peter Hits Mary Jane


Apart from dedicated comic book fans, few people seem to know it, but just like Hank Pym, Peter Parker once struck his partner in a moment of confusion and anger. The major difference? Parker did it almost a full decade and a half later. The moment is deeply disappointing, but considering it took place during the events of the Clone Saga - which was a colossal mess both in terms of narrative and characterization- most people have seemingly just removed it from their personal canon, holding the editorial staff responsible. But when it happened? You better believe some fans were ready to walk away from this story. It had taken an iconic couple to places no one wanted to see them go.

#3: Peter is the Clone


Of course, there are some people may not have stuck around long enough to see Peter hit Mary Jane. Why? Because they’d already been given a pretty solid reason to put the comic book down just a few pages earlier when the writers added yet another complication to this long-winded story. Ben Reilly isn’t the clone, Peter Parker is! While that might have made for interesting twist a few months earlier, you have to remember that the Clone Saga really dragged on, and by this point in time, it had already been disappointing fans for nearly a year. The reveal was so unwelcome it inspired a letter writing 03-campaign, because really…who wanted to see Peter Parker replaced by his own, less-interesting doppelganger?

#2: Sins Past


Second only to the death of uncle Ben - and perhaps Peter’s parents before that - the demise of Gwen Stacy is one of the most important formative moments in Spider-Man’s life. His greatest nemesis, the Green Goblin, robbed this young woman of her life and robbed Peter of a future with her. Her death added unprecedented stakes and risk to Spider-Man’s super-heroics and was a sobering lesson in terms of the effects that his life choices have on those around him. For all these reasons and more, the death of Gwen Stacy was sacred. And then they freaking make it canon that she was having an affair with Norman Osborn (the Green Goblin) in the lead up to all this?! For many readers, it was more than a bad editorial decision - it was downright disrespectful and offensive.

#1: One More Day


Spider-Man is an inherently youthful hero, we get that. The thing is, that’s a quality inherent to Peter Parker, and him having a wife doesn’t change that - or (many would argue) detract from his appeal. Unfortunately, the powers that be at Marvel apparently weren’t happy with some of the recent developments in Peter’s life. Their solution? Put Aunt May’s life on the line as an excuse to have him do the unthinkable - make a literal deal with the devil. His marriage to Mary Jane? Gone. The public knowledge of his identity following the events of “Civil War?” Forgotten. But at what cost? This is the event that pissed off arguably more Spider-Man fans than any other moment in the character’s 50 plus years of history.
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