These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Base Breaker: Mary Jane Watson. An interesting case because the split largely occurs between the audience and the creators (most of the fans love her, while many at Marvel hate her).
Carnage has shades of this: he's seen as a Generic Doomsday Villain by some fans, why other appreciate him precisely for the same reason. This was pretty much visible seeing as there are almost as many people who were mad when he died at the hand of Sentry than when he turned out to have survived.
Ass Pull: Flint Marko's Face Heel Turn. After spending nearly two decades (close to half of his existence) as a good guy, he showed up in the relaunched post-Clone Saga Amazing Spider-Man as a villain again for no explained reason. It took a retcon (see Brainwashed and Crazy on the character page) to explain why he was evil again and ever since then he's gone back to being something closer to an Anti-Villain.
Better Than Canon: Some fans consider alternate universes such as Spider-Girl and even the Newspaper Strip to have a better grasp of Spider-Man's life story than the mainstream 616 comics.
Black Hole Sue: Aunt May at times. More than once someone has argued that May is the "most important person" in Peter Parker's life, which tends to lead to a lot of creepy associations. In reality, she largely tends to be the person Peter structures his life around, all the while making him feel guilty whenever he lives his own life. A recent story said that Peter's "greatest sin" was running off the night of Uncle Ben's death to bring in his murderer and not sticking around to comfort Aunt May. Because Peter couldn't have been dealing with any emotional problem of his own.
Broken Base: Spider-Man's marriage, between those who saw it as the natural evolution of the character to those who think it "ruined him forever".
Carlie's elevation to Love Interest not so long after One More Day has understandably caused dissension over whether she's a good potential romantic interest, or if she's just the symbol to enforce the new Status Quo.
A lot of debate Peter's portrayal since the launch of "Brand New Day".
Norman Osborn, Arch-Enemy of Spider Man, gradauted to Complete Monsterdom following his resurrection in the nineties. Once a Tragic Villain who suffered from a Split Personality that forced him to become the Green Goblin, Norman was apparently slain after he threw Spider-Man's girlfriend, Gwen Stacyoff a bridge, in what many fans saw as his Moral Event Horizon. Brought Back from the Dead in the nineties, Norman revealed that he had been the mastermind behind the Clone Saga, buried Aunt May alive and killed Peter's clone, Ben Reilly, while gloating that he could now remember all the crimes he'd committed as the Goblin and was proud of them. Since then, he has gone on to be a major player in the Marvelverse, masterminding the creation of the Dark Avengers. During this time period, he kept the Sentry in line via drug addiction (then had his wife killed), planned to have the caputred Songbird decapitated (so that he could mount her head on the wall and masturbate to it), and deliberately triggered a war with Asgard by having the U-Foes attack Agardian warrior Volstaag in a football stadium, resulting in thousands of casualties. During this time, he also seduced and impregnated his son Harry's girlfriend, then plotted to have Harry killed, because he thought Harry's tragic death would earn him public sympathy. These, by the way, are all actions committed by the Norman Osborn persona; the Green Goblin persona remains an Axe CrazyMad Bomber who regularly endangers/kills hundreds of civillians during his battle's with Spider-Man, and, in commemoration of Gwen Stacy's death, tried to recreate the tragedy with Mary-Jane Watson, Peter's then Love Interest, as the victim. As Norman Osborn he's a cold-blooded, calculatingpsychopath who treats everyone as a means to an end. As the Green Goblin he's a violent lunatic who threatens every person in the vicinity.
Cletus Kassady, a.k.a. Carnage, was never really sane to begin with. As a child, he killed his grandmother and pet dog, tortured his mother, killed the headmaster of his orphanage with a lead pipe, and then burned the orphanage down, and pushed a girl he had a crush on in front of a bus because she rejected him; he became even more insane and murderous after bonding with the symbiote, and he has no qualms about who he kills...even people he once trusted, including his own henchmen and childhood friends.
Creator's Pet: Carlie Cooper! Good Gods, when will it stop! Everyone, and everyone seems to think she is the perfect woman for Peter. Even Mary Jane, the same woman who once said her marriage to Peter was the most important thing in the world to her and that she loved Peter more than anything else, is actually pushing for her former husband to hook up with this girl. Also, Carlie is named after Joe Quesada's daughter.
Also, she gets a ton of shilling on how awesome she is, despite never really showing these feats herself. Is shipped to be Peter's "perfect match" by everyone from Aunt May to Harry Osborn to Mary Jane Watson, despite having little chemistry with him to begin with. And is stated to have totally been able to deal with Spider-Man's secret identity according to Word Of God is only Peter had trusted her, despite only being in the book for a short while. A significant victim of "Show, Don't Tell".
Mary Jane Watson, to the point that a large majority of the book's fanbase consider her and not Aunt May to be the most important person in Peter's life.
Toxin was also one. Shame that he suffered from Chuck Cunningham Syndrome for so long, and when he returned, the symbiote was acting like Carnage while the host of the suit was nowhere to be found.
To a lesser extent, Toxin's father Carnage and grandfather Venom.
J. Jonah Jameson, when he's written as a multi-dimensional character. There's a reason why fans complain loudly when a writer decides to write J.J.J. as a borderline psychopath obsessed with destroying Spider-Man.
Flash has become the new, heroic Venom and has his own ongoing series.
Mr. Negative is one of the better liked new villains from BND.
The Shocker. A goofy costume, a Nonindicative Name (his powers are based on vibration and air blasts, not electricty) and a reputation for being a bit of a joke thanks to outside media and Ultimate Spider-Man. Yet thanks to his Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain and his more pragmatic approach to villainy (and perhaps being a big part of the '90s cartoon) fans absolutely love him. So much so that when Marvel ran a poll asking fans to pick the next member of the Thunderbolts Shocker won quite handily in a poll that included characters like Sandman and Absorbing Man.
There's also Sophia Sanduval, aka Chat: Spidey's girlfriend from the Marvel Adventures Spider-Man series. Generally down to earth, sweet, supportive of Peter/Spidey and a generally likable and entertaining companion a lot of people consider her one of Peter's best love interests. So much so that when the series was eventually cancelled the biggest lament was that there would be no more Chat.
Ben Reilly is actually decently popular if only because he was much more mature during the Clone Saga than Peter, who's solution to everything was to Wangst about it.
Evil Is Sexy: Harry, Octopus, Venom (even in-universe, apparently).
Fandom Berserk Button: Some fans get really upset if you leave out the hyphen and spell it as one word - And it's rather common that non-comic fans do so. This even applies in universe, as Spidey himself thinks it makes him sound like the Jewish family down the street - Honey, let's have the Spidermans over for dinner. It's so bad that an episode of Friends had Phoebe & Chandler actually discuss this.
Chandler: Because it's not his last name.
Phoebe: It isn't?
Chandler: He's not, like, Phil Spiderman. He's a Spider-Man. Like Goldman's a last name, but there's no Gold-Man,
Mysterio's fishbowl has been the source of many a joke. Ultimate replaces it with flames, and Shattered Dimensions with a distorted mirror.
Shocker is brought to you by Serta!
Averted somewhat - while the costume looks like someone took a pineapple quilt and turned it into a uniform, it serves to absorb the backblast from Herman's blast gauntlets. Also, small shock panels woven into the fabric make him hard to grapple and allow him to take a punch from Spider-Man without breaking his jaw.
For Doc Ock, his recent outings include firstly, trying to destroy 90% of the world so the remaining ten percent will remember him as the greatest monster that ever lived, and now he's swapped minds with Peter, leaving Peter trapped in his crippled body as he runs free with all of Peter's memories, allowing him to restart his relationship with MJ and live his life without anyone being any the wiser. Though some fans insist that neither May or Mary Jane would be fooled by this, especially since May once correctly deduced two people posing as Peter's parents were phonies, and MJ has figured out other people have impersonated her soul mate like Chameleon and Kraven.
My Real Daddy: DeMatteis' work on Kraven and his kids has clearly influenced every subsequent story about the character.
Spidey himself flies past Large Ham and straight into this in the first issue of Marvel Knights Spider-Man, during his fight with the Green Goblin. "WHO'S YOUR DADDY NOW, MR. OSBORN?! WHO'S YOUR DADDY NOW?!"
And more after it, such as Spidey somehow being dumb to realize he was drinking alcohol and not soda as he first thought, resulting in a one night stand.
And yet surprisingly averted when he backhanded a pregnant Mary Jane. Though long-time fans understandably criticize this one moment, you're not likely to find any writers willing to reference it in any way. Hank Pym would surely and understandably be envious of that.
Most media portrayals forever portray Flash as the Jerk Jock.
Also, Peter's Wangsty behavior during "The Clone Saga", Mary Jane once leaving him and turning down his marriage proposal, Venom's cannibalism, and Harry's drug addiction are all pretty minor parts to their character, yet some people don't seem to realize that. The first ends up being an overly cited problem with Spidey books, the second is probably a major cause for Mary Jane's status as a Base Breaker, the third ends up being the defining trait of Ultimate Venom, and the fourth, surprisingly, is handled pretty well by writers when they want to.
Chameleon's getting beaten up by a baseball bat wielding Mary Jane generally weakens the threat of the character.
Purity Sue: Gwen Stacy's current characterization.
Relationship Sue: Carlie Cooper appeared on the cover of "The Many Loves of Spider-Man" before even hooking up with Peter.
The Brand New Day era in general used very few established villains, love interests, or supporting characters, and the replacements for them were widely considered inferior. When Dan Slott brought most of the established characters (including Mary Jane) back, many fans were pleased.
Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Unlike his fellow heroes, when Spider-Man first came along, he was just a teenager. Teenagers tended to be sidekicks for the more adult heroes, but Spidey was himself the hero. These days, teenage superheroes operating on their own is common place.
Gwen Stacy's death. At the time, it was one of the most surprising developments in comics as a hero's love interest was considered totally safe. After this storyline, other writers would follow suit for other characters, taking the edge off the initial surprise. Once again, it's common place.
Sequel Displacement: Gargan is actually Venom III, but Venom II was a complete pansy and didn't last very long, so many forget he existed.
Squick: Kraven's daughter, who, instead of Most Common Superpower, was a hot Pettanko chick with rockabilly hair and tight clothing. We later find out she's twelve. Curse you, ambiguous art style!
The Venom symbiote, combined with a douse of Nightmare Fuel when you think a bit about it.
Joe Q. named Carlie Cooper, a love interest of Peter Parker, after his daughter.
Strangled by the Red String: Joe Q. has been shoving Carlie down the throats of readers and pointing out how perfect she is for Peter. The dead give away for this was when Carlie was featured as a main character in "The Many Loves of Spider-Man" before actually hooking up with him. Dan Slott eventually came to the rescue, broke the two up, and downsized Carlie's role in the book to a more tolerable, less forced level.
How some people feel about Mary Jane and Peter getting together. Right down to some bloggers insisting that OMD is, somehow, an "example" of how 'forced Mary Jane and Peter is.'
They Wasted A Perfectly Good Character: Ben Reilly, AKA Scarlet Spider; though he did got some good time, he ended up replacing Peter, then dying when Marvel decided they didn't need him anymore;
Toxin; you gotta wonder how they could waste the potential of a character who was basically a Good Counterpart of Venom and Carnage;
Anti-Venom too, though he is more of a Base Breaker amongst those who prefer Brock as Venom.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: In the Mark Millar Marvel Knights Spider-Man, for the first time The Green Goblin and Doc Ock met and... it was disappointing. Really, Ock was drugged up and acting crazier and it was one of the few disappointing parts of the arc.
Gargan's whole career is built off this. First he has an awesome intro where he pummels Spidey to a pulp not once, but twice! And then there's there's the awesome potential that he knows that Jameson helped create him and after he is first defeated Jameson thinks 'my secret is safe... but for how long?' Only for people to apparently know about it by the time The Fly comes onto the scene in the 1970's. In Scorpion's second appearance, the second fight is downplayed. And then he seems to have some awesome potential during the twelve issue Mark Millar Spider-Man storyline where he serves as The Dragon to that Big Bad and eventually gains the Symbiote. Despite being beaten quickly, it seems like Millar was leaving him with the chance to become something great... only for writers to use him crappily.
The aforementioned Venom II, also from Millar's run. A mobster's son is given the suit to man up, and one of his first acts is to kill a former bully of Peter's after identifying Peter as Spidey at his reunion. What happens? Does this new Venom re-establish the symbiote as a great and dangerous villain, showing why Venom was a compelling villain. Nope, Spidey owns him, he runs, the suit abandons the host, causing him to fall to his death. Sigh.
Too Cool to Live: Sure Marvel, kill Reilly when you're not trying to replace Peter Parker anymore!
Uncanny Valley: In his earlier appearances, Peter was distrusted for emulating a creepy crawly so well. Throw in his sometimes rather painful-looking contortions, as well as his incessant prattling, and its understandable that he might freak some bystanders out.
For example, The Wasp admitted to being creeped out by him.
Villain Decay: When Venom and Spider-Man fought for the first time, Venom almost killed him. A later time they fought, Venom nearly killed him again, forcing Peter to fake his death. When Carnage first showed up, Venom took on both Spidey AND the Human Torch (fire being one of his weaknesses). Fast forward a few years to the end of the 1990's. Spidey sends him running scared with a Zippo.
Spider-Man when written poorly can fall into this. His "Parker is dead, I am the Spider!" phase in the '90s and One More Day are the most frequently cited examples. He had a lot of this in the early Lee/Ditko stories too before John Romita took Ditko's place. And the film is pretty guilty of this as well.
Here's the original from Marvel Super Heroes, and here's the jazzy rendition from Marvel vs. Capcom. Needless to say, fans are hoping that this theme gets remixed for Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (Who do you think they're kidding? Spidey's a shoe-in!).