Comic Strip / Spider-Man

Spider-Man is the daily newspaper strip that is basically the adventures of Spider-Man in an Alternate Continuity to the comic books. The strips are written by Stan Lee and have been illustrated by the likes of John Romita and Larry Leiber (Stan's brother). Although Stan remains credited on every strip, some fans speculate that it is either Larry or another ghost writer who takes up the task of writing an all-year 'round batch of adventures.

There are many changes in the strip's presentation, both to pacing and to how Spidey interacts with the rest of the Marvel Universe. He's met Daredevil relatively recently, and had a crossover with the X-Men in the 90's that was adapted to the Animated Series. There was also a switch to Peter Parker's domestic situation to match with the "Brand New Day" storyline... and readers' letters made the writers agree to drop that.

The strips were initially responsible for Peter marrying Mary Jane Watson, with the 616 books following suit. From 2010 through to 2015, the strips were the only place where fans could still enjoy the adventures of Peter and MJ as a married couple, before it was eventually joined by the Renew Your Vows universe.

The Spider-Man comic strip provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Name Change: The Mole Man is Melvin Kurtzman, rather than Harvey Elder. (Although it's still a reference to Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, and their character "Melvin Mole".)
  • All Just a Dream: The switch to an unmarried Peter in early 2009 was done with no explanation, thus passing it off as a dream had some merit in this case. And the strip where he wakes up almost comes across as a Take That! (the title for the story was "Will The REAL Peter Parker Please Stand Up?").
  • Anti-Hero: The Punisher, obviously, in his guest appearances.
  • Arch-Enemy: Due to Spider-Man's tendency to get incapacitated by means of a brick or another heavy object to the head (see Tap on the Head below), bricks are jokingly referred to as being his most dangerous foe by some readers.
  • As You Know: Due to the casual nature of a newspaper strip, this is used frequently for readers who might not have read the previous day's strip. Especially when some newspapers don't have Sunday strips.
    • Lampshaded and a plot point when Spider-Verse touched on this reality. To a comic book character like Morlun, this comes off as time resetting and freaks him out so severely that he's content to let the Master Weaver pull him out of this universe instead of questioning it further.
  • Author's Saving Throw: invokedUsing the dream as a Reset Button, in order to avoid repeating the "One More Day" mistake (and basically admitting so).
  • Canon Foreigner: Plenty of characters show up who aren't seen in any other Spider-Man canon, including villains created specifically for the strip.
  • Character as Himself: Stan "The Man" Lee made an appearance in 2015 as the creator of Marvella the action heroine Mary Jane plays in several direct-to-video movies. He hangs around long enough to take a selfie with both Mary Jane and Black Widow
  • Classical Movie Vampire: An arc has an heiress fear a vampire is after her, and he looks like this. It is a washed-up actor trying to stage a stunt to revive his career.
  • Continuity Nod: A story arc with Sandman in 2009 makes it clear that the events of Spider-Man 3 are canon to the strip.
  • Costume Copycat: A guy pretends to be Spider-Man's Secret Identity, but for the fame and fortune. Peter has to save him when villains inevitably go after the impostor.
  • Crossover: In Spider-Man: The Mutant Agenda, the comic strip version of Spider-Man meets the X-men. Together, they take on the Hobgoblin and the scientist Landon, who is working on a cure for the mutant gene.
  • Grand Finale: We're going to get a Venom story in the final collection of the newspaper strips.
  • Happily Married: Peter and MJ.
  • Hypnotize the Princess: When heiress Muffy Ainsworth is captured by a vampire, she's hypnotized so that she will agree to stay with him. Even though it was really an actor just staging a stunt to revive his career, hypnotizing her was real, just meant to look like a vampire's spell.
  • Idiot Ball: So many characters pick this up that it is not unusual for the series to descent into an outright Idiot Plot at times.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Mary Jane is often seen lounging around their apartment wearing lacy pink lingerie for no discernible reason except to be fanservice. To further drive the point home, her debut in the strip is just as much of an Establishing Character Moment as it is in the source material: she's wearing a shirt, with the only "buttoned" button being the one right above her belly button, and not wearing a bra.
  • Pretty in Mink:
    • Muffy Ainsworth, being an heiress, owns a few furs. This includes a fur trimmed jacket in Spidey's first adventure with her, and a white fur jacket in a later adventure where he saves her from (apparent) vampires.
    • Mary Jane has worn a few fur-trimmed jackets.
    • In the arc where a guy pretends to be Spider-Man for the fame and fortune, his wife buys a fur coat among other things. When he's complaining about some lawsuits based on what Spider-Man did (or people imagined he did), his wife is just trying on the fur in front of a mirror and telling him of the jewelry she bought.
  • Red Skies Crossover: During the Spider-Verse event, Darker and Edgier villain Morlun invades the comic strip's universe to devour Peter's soul, but quickly becomes vexed with the daily strip's constant resetting, giving the Great Weaver enough time to save Peter and hide his dimension from the Inheritors.
  • Take That!:
    • In addition to the aforementioned "dream" retcon of the "unmarried" Spidey status quo from early 2009, in 2010, during a crossover with Iron Man, Spidey is asked by Stark if he would ever make his identity public. Spidey makes it clear such action would be far too dangerous and would put people he loved in danger. A No-Prize to whoever can guess what that's referring to...
    • Anyone who's tired of Peter's ridiculous moping over his "no-one dies" policy in the 616 comics will be happy to know daily strip Spidey is not as quick to lay blame on himself for causing a death. During a 2013 storyline involving The Tarantula, Peter is partially responsible for the death of the Tarantula's trecherous girlfriend when he jams her rifle with webbing. She pulls the trigger and receives a fatal back-blast. Rather than mull over the death he has helped caused, Peter lightly brushes it off, pinning the blame squarely on the girl's shoulders for firing the weapon, and quickly changes the subject.
      • A 2014 storyline with Doctor Octopus putting up the pretense of being a crime-fighter seems to be the strip's way of poking fun at Superior Spider-Man
  • Tap on the Head: Happens very often to Spider-Man. It is a miracle how he manage to steer clear of permanent brain damage with all that trauma applied to his skull. Then again, Spider-Man having brain damage might explain a lot of the odd behavior he exhibits from time to time.
  • Spider-Sense: It seems to work only to let Spider-Man know where trouble is or to help him find pieces of paper with important information. If someone comes up from behind to whack him over the head with a blunt weapon, or a brick falls off of a wall, he's helpless to avoid being knocked out.
  • Start of Darkness: For quite a few villains.
  • Underside Ride: Spider-Man and Tarantula cling the underside of an army truck bringing reinforcements in order to sneak into a prison.