Awesome: JMS' Spider-Man
- Uncle Ben, of all people, got one. When Charlie Weiderman was hiding in Parker's home, Ben told the jocks who wanted to beat him to go away. Flash Thompson tried to attack him instead. And our old, dear Uncle Ben KICKED HIS ASS!
- During J. Michael Straczynski's opening arc, Spidey met a dude called Morlun, who said his need to suck the Life Energy out of Spidey was nothing personal. Spidey's response:
Spider-Man: Waitaminnit... you're saying you're gonna kill me and it's nothing personal? Nothing personal? Listen, Buddy, I've fought every kind of nutball on the planet. I've fought freaks, mutants, aliens and high-tech gangs. Heck, I've fought my own costume. And you know what? You're the first one who's really ticked me off. You want me? Bring it on, chowderhead. Bring it on.
- At the end of that same arc, having gotten the tar kicked out of him by Morlun, Spidey uses a desperate plan involving radioactive isotopes. Morlun proceeds to become a lot less fearsome. Spidey then delivers a royal beatdown while declaiming:
- His thought just before injecting himself with radioactive goo:
Spider-Man: I've finally reached my own critical mass. And I'm taking you with me.
- A little while before that, when Morlun has a beaten, exhausted Peter on the ropes and Ezekiel shows up — a recently acquainted mysterious older man sporting Peter's exact powers:
Spider-Man: It's a moment... A moment when even Morlun seems taken aback. And in that moment, oddly enough, I finally understand what it's like for someone else to look up and see me. And it's great. Totally, freakin' great.
- Pretty much all of issue #500, which featured Spidey reliving his entire career as a super hero up to that point. To further elaborate, Spidey has been flung back in time due to a weird magic explosion caused by a fight between Dr. Strange and Dormammu. In order to find his way back into the present, Spidey must travel back into the future, and he must relive every exploit he has ever had, one fight at a time. There is so much violence and tragedy, he can barely catch his breath as he teleports from one fight only to start another, and at times he feels it's hopeless and wants to quit, but for the patience and encouragement of Dr. Strange, he fights on, until he makes it to the present... In which he has to convince the Thor, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four and many other heroes to stall for time instead of closing a dimensional portal which would unleash Dormammu. And they trust him, because of all the battles he had endured throughout his career, he has proven that he is a hero worthy of their respect and trust, even when he suggests something counter-intuitive, and they manage to save the day. The entire issue is a pretty awesome metaphor for Spider-Man as a character and as a comic book, capping off an awesome milestone with... Uncle Ben, resurrected for 5 minutes, telling Peter that he has lived his life well, and that he's happy for Peter.
- In the Book of Ezekiel storyline, Ezekiel has sacrificed Spider-Man to placate a spider god/demon/thing from hunting him, having obtained his powers identical to Spidey's through a forced ritual a long time ago. As the spider demon comes to claim Peter's life, they switch minds/hearts/thoughts, and they relive each other's lives. It goes like this.
Ezekiel: I tried to help but there was nothing I could do—
Ezekiel: Why do I seek the power of the Spider? So that I can help people, without it there is nothing I can do—
Ezekiel: Before I can get started I need a base of operations, a company—
Ezekiel: Look, we can't get anything done unless the full Board of Directors can agree on—
Ezekiel: I know they're in trouble, but I told them not to go, and there's no time right now, I can't—
Ezekiel: I want to, but—
Ezekiel: Nothing I can do—
Spider-Man/Peter Parker: I can do it—
Spider-Man/Peter Parker: Can't let her down—
Spider-Man/Peter Parker: I love you Aunt May—
Spider-Man/Peter Parker: Can't let this stop me—
Spider-Man/Peter Parker: Depending on me—
Spider-Man/Peter Parker: I love you, MJ—
Spider-Man/Peter Parker: Won't give up—
Spider-Man/Peter Parker: Never give up—
Spider-Man/Peter Parker: Never—
Spider-Man/Peter Parker: Love you...—
Ezekiel: Peter... My God, What Have I Done?
- During "The Other", Mary Jane is accosted in a bar by a crazed fan. She gives him a beatdown with a pool cue.
- A lot of people probably don't realize this, but one of the greatest speeches in comic books was written by JMS in ASM #537. You know the one. It's by Captain America. Most people quote the final section, but Cap reciting Mark Twain can send chills down your spine all the same.
Captain America: In a republic, who is "the Country"? Is it the Government which is for the moment in the saddle? Why, the Government is merely a servant — merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.
Who, then, is "the Country"? Is it the newspaper? Is it the pulpit? Why, these are mere parts of the country, not the whole of it; they have not command, they have only their little share in the command.
In a monarchy, the king and his family are the country; in a republic it is the common voice of the people. Each of you, for himself, by himself and on his own responsibility, must speak.
It is a solemn and weighty responsibility, and not lightly to be flung aside at the bullying of pulpit, press, government, or the empty catch-phrases of politicians. Each must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, and which course is patriotic and which isn't. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide it against your convictions is to be an unqualified and inexcusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may.
If you alone of all the nation shall decide on way, and that way be the right way according to your convictions of the right, you have done your duty by yourself and by your country — hold up your head. You have nothing to be ashamed of.
Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — "No, you move."
Spider-Man: Can I, like, carry your books to school? For the rest of my life?
Captain America: Come on, time to get you back to the rest of the group.
Spider-Man: I mean it. I can give you my lunch. My aunt made tuna sandwiches. Again.
- While Back in Black is not remembered fondly, Peter's No-Holds-Barred Beatdown of The Kingpin. Complete with bone chilling "The Reason You Suck" Speech that completely deconstructs Wilson's role as a supervillain.
Peter Parker: You forgot something, Fisk. Something you should have remembered before you decided to put a bullet through someone too old and frail to get out of the way. And it's this: For all your money, for all your cruelty, for all your big talk... you don't have any real power. You can't fly, can't stick to walls, can't turn into living flame or stretch out across a twenty-foot room. At the end of the day, you're just a fat man with an attitude... a balloon just waiting for someone to stick a needle in it. And me? I'm the needle.