Since Spider-Man’s debut in 1962, he’s featured in countless comic books, television series, and films. He’s so popular, even his alternate universe counterparts are well known. Despite fans liking most of Peter Parker’s Spider-Man appearances, a good portion of his comics haven’t been well received.
While Spider-Man has beloved stories like Spider-Man: Blue spirit Kraven’s Last Hunt, even hardcore Spidey fans admit the Web-Slinger has received some stinkers. A remarkable amount of Spider-Man stories have gross characterization, bizarre plot lines, and unnecessary changes. As per the comic book medium, many of the Web-Head’s controversial titles have been retconned in one way or another, which satisfied the fans who hated those stories.
10/10 Sins Past Retroactively Tarnished The Night Gwen Stacy Died
Written by J. Michael Straczynski and illustrated by Mike Deodato Jr., Sin’s Past pious The Amazing Spider-Man #509 to #514 is one of the most controversial comic book storylines ever published. Sin’s Past retconned The Night Gwen Stacy Diedinstead of having Gwen Stacy and Norman Osborn embark on a secret affair, resulting in the birth of twins: Gabriel and Sarah Stacy.
As one can imagine, most Spider-Man fans loathed this storyline because it needlessly retconned one of the best Spider-Man stories and made Gwen an unlikeable person for cheating on Peter Parker. In addition, Straczynski’s original idea was to have Peter be the father, but the editors wanted Norman to be the father instead. Much to fans’ chagrin, it took seventeen years for Marvel to finally retcon the Sin’s Past arc.
9/10 The Return of Peter’s Parents Was Weird And Unnecessary
During the 1990s, Peter Parker’s parents, Richard and Mary Parker, seemingly came back from the dead in “Fathers and Sins” from The Amazing Spider-Man #365, written by David Michelinie and drawn by Mark Bagley. This was one of the many weird and forced plot points in The Amazing Spider-Man at the time. Despite being dead for three decades, Richard and Mary Parker suddenly reappeared and confused the hell out of readers.
Their return came out of nowhere and was an unnecessary addition to Spider-Man’s story. In true ’90s fashion, two years later, they turned out to be robots sent by the Chameleon to deduce Spider-Man’s identity. Fan’s reaction to Peter’s parents might have inspired this sudden change, but them being cyborgs is another oddball retcon.
8/10 Sins Remembered Reminded People Of Sins Past
Sins Remembered pious Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #23 two Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #26 by Sara Barnes and Scot Eaton is a continuation of the Sin’s Past storyline. As one can imagine, fans weren’t too keen on remembering Sin’s Past existed. However, Sins Remembered made it clear the controversial storyline wasn’t being retconned any time soon.
Sins Remembered features more queasy moments, particularly Sarah Stacy’s confusing feelings towards Peter Parker. She kisses him in the comic, and there’s even a comic cover of her and Spider-Man romantically canoodling. Sins Remembered not only reminded fans of why they hated Sin’s Pastbut Sins Remembered‘s uncomfortable art and plot points gave them more reasons to hate it.
7/10 Trouble Was A Failed Attempt To Revitalize Romance Comics
Trouble is a limited comic series written by Mark Millar and illustrated by Terry and Rachel Dodson. Although it was part of Marvel’s attempt to revitalize romance comic books, suffice to say, it didn’t work. In fact, it’s probably for the best this tale is kept far away from Spider-Man canon.
Trouble featured versions of Peter Parker’s parents, Richard and Mary Parker, and versions of Aunt May and Uncle Ben in a strange tale about teenage pregnancy. It’s unclear whether Trouble was ever meant to take place in an established Spider-Man universe, but fans didn’t believe it. Trouble is a polarizing romance comic that puts Peter’s parental figures in an uncomfortable and negative light.
6/10 Spider-Man: Chapter One Was An Unnecessary Retcon Of Spider-Man’s Early Comics
Spider-Man: Chapter One by John Byrne was Marvel’s attempt to retcon Spider-Man’s origin story and the other Stan Lee/Steve Ditko comic books. As a result, Spider-Man: Chapter One condensed the earlier stories into unsatisfactory results for readers.
Spider-Man: Chapter One was disliked by many people, who found it a poor imitation of the classic Lee/Ditko stories. Fans cite weak character development and unnecessary plot connections as the main reasons Spider-Man: Chapter One fails to tell Spider-Man’s early issues. Due to the negative reaction, Marvel ironically retconned Spider-Man: Chapter One so the events happened in another universe.
5/10 One More Day Erased Peter Parker And Mary Jane Watson’s Marriage
Written by J. Michael Straczynski and drawn and edited by Joe Quesada, One More Day is one of the most hated Spider-Man stories of all time. This is due to its unnecessary retcon of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson’s marriage in the 616 universe. Fans invested so much into Peter and MJ’s relationship, but One More Day threw all that out the window. The comic was another case of the editor’s and writer’s desires not being in sync.
One More Day remains universally hated, and its effects on Spider-Man are still felt to this day. Fortunately, fans got to experience Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, initially written by Dan Slott and Adam Kubert, which finally gave fans a new comic book where Peter and Mary Jane are married and parents. Although Renew Your Vows is in another universe, it essentially pretends One More Day never happened, and that alone makes fans love it.
4/10 The Green Goblin Kidnapped Peter And Mary Jane’s Baby
In writer Tom DeFalco and artist Steve Skroce’s The Amazing Spider-Man #418, Norman Osborn apparently kidnaps Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson’s daughter. However, the writing in Spider-Man was in disarray at that time, meaning there wasn’t a clear resolution as to what happened to the baby. As many fans note, it’s as though Marvel just wanted them to forget Peter and Mary Jane ever had a baby.
Fortunately for fans, they received a spectacular comic series called Spider-Girl, written by Tom DeFalco and drawn by Frenz and Pat Olliffe, that shows what would’ve happened if Peter and Mary Jane got their baby back. Many fans love the Spider-Girl comic and wish its continuity was canon to the main 616 universe.
3/10 Many Fans Really Disliked Dan Slott’s Run
Although Dan Slott’s tenure on The Amazing Spider-Man is not without its fans, many people dislike his run. Some Spider-Man fans believe the way Slott wrote Peter Parker was an ugly interpretation.
Many detractors of Dan Slott’s run believe he wrote Spider-Man as an unlikable man-child. For example, he did immature things such as violently punching Iron Man for talking negatively about Peter Parker. After Nick Spencer took over writing The Amazing Spider-Man, many fans expressed relief because his writing effectively retconned Slott’s characterization, making Peter more mature by acknowledging his past flaws. Due to Spencer’s writing, many people felt Peter Parker was finally acting like himself again.
2/10 The Clone Saga Is An Infamous Editorial Mess
The Clone Sagahandled by countless artists and writers, is one of the most infamous stories in all Spider-Man comics and the industry itself. This was due to endless editorial mandates, bizarre plotlines, and lengthy runs.
Although the Clone Saga began with great promise, including the introduction of fan-favorites Kaine and Ben Reilly, the saga as a whole turned into an enormous mess. The Clone Saga is indicative of numerous forced retcons and ’90s villains that didn’t mesh well with the standard Spider-Man lore. As a result, fans were happy when the Clone Saga finally ended, even if it ended with yet another egregious retcon.
1/10 Ultimate Peter Parker’s Return Never Went Anywhere
In Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man by writer Brian Michael Bendis and illustrator David Marquez, Peter Parker seemingly returned from the dead, which shocked many fans. However, his resurrection was arbitrary and never really went anywhere story-wise. The fans never got any answers as to how he came back to life, or whether he was even the real Peter Parker.
Peter’s characterization upset many fans, who found him unusually hostile and unbecoming towards Miles Morales. Fans also felt his resurrection did a disservice to writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Mark Bagley’s Death of Spider-Man story, which remains beloved within the community. Spider-Men II showed Ultimate Peter Parker alive, and some fans have theorized that Marvel retconned both his death and resurrection.
NEXT: 10 Times Spider-Man TAS Broke Our Hearts