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YMMV: Spider-Man

Examples from Spider-Man in Comics

  • Accidental Innuendo: This Spider-Man cover. Whoa Petey, cold shower much? It's supposed to be his knee, but damn, bad placement. Made worse by the two Jail Bait girls in the background.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: A lot of people who hated the character have expressed this towards Carnage after his death in Axis, mainly because he was just redeemed as a character in the eyes of many. The blow is softened by solicits for 2015 that reveal he survived.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Battle-hardened self-taught warrior using a combination of wit, intelligence, strength, and bitter experience to become a dangerous foe? Or young, inexperienced, naive newbie who can't keep his mouth shut? Even the writers aren't sure.
      • Not that these are in conflict as it is very plausible to imagine the latter during his early years and he starts becoming the former.
    • In his review of One More Day Linkara paints a chilling picture of Spidey. According to him, despite his Anvilicious motto, Peter is largely irresponsible of any actions that befall his friends and loved ones under the guise of Spider-Man. He never takes the time to make any long term plans in life nor to to help his family in the time of his death, like getting health and life insurances. Instead, he prefers to make excuses and be mopey about how being Spider-Man ruins his personal life. The conclusion is that Spider-Man is nothing but a Man Child whose only reason of existence at this point is being an Escapist Character for Marvel writers (See Escapist Character below). Finally, Linkara argues that the character needs to be written like a proper adult already, since he's been out of high school for over a decade in comic book time, and over four decades in Real Life.
    • In his rant about Man of Steel, Max Landis calls Spider-Man "a narcissistic bully", and that the reason why his enemies hate him so much is because he bullies and mocks them while he's "braking their bones". What he basically comes to say is that Spider-Man is a blatant case of You Are What You Hate, probably through He Who Fights Monsters.
    • Just... take a look at this series of essays on the Goblin...
    • A recent /co/ post has suggested the idea of J. Jonah Jameson as a Secret Secret Keeper who is tough on Spider-Man in order to motivate him to keep working harder in defending the city. Other interpretations:
      • Jameson is a huckster, and the Bugle is a borderline-tabloid, which he uses for his anti-Spidey crusade regardless of facts.
      • Jameson is the Butt Monkey, just there for comic relief.
      • Jameson is a good, honest newspaperman, and the Bugle is a good paper, he just happens to have a bug up his butt about Spidey.
      • Jameson is a psychopath who has commissioned the creation of supervillains and lethal anti-Spidey robots, and he should be in jail.
    • 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. Also, does he actually have feelings for Shriek, or is she just a useful tool he'll eventually dispose of? The Carnage miniseries implied it's a combination of the two.
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: At the time the character was created, teenage "everyman" heroes were seen as exclusively the stuff of sidekicks, and the Marvel bosses were skeptical Spider-Man would sell. As a "compromise" they allowed Lee and Ditko to put the character in an anthology book they knew was going to be canned with that issue, presumably hoping he would be forgotten fairly quickly. The result was an Ensemble Darkhorse of such caliber he had to be given his own book.
  • Anvilicious: "With great power Comes Great Responsibility". Yes, Uncle Ben, we got it! You don't need to repeat that Aesop at every adaption and alternate universe and at least twice and thrice a year!
    "With great power Comes Great Responsibility"
    That's the Catch Phrase of ol' Uncle Ben
    If you missed it, don't worry, they'll say the line
    Again and again and again...
    • A lot of people, specially first time readers, see this as Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped. Considering people getting Drunk with Power is something totally ubiquitous in Real Life, it's a lesson that apparently is not taught enough.
    • Others point out that the original Steve Ditko-Stan Lee run, this motto was never directly attributed to Uncle Ben himself, it was mentioned in the final caption of Amazing Fantasy #15. It originally served as the Aesop and the early issues did not dwell greatly on the motto either, focusing to show the conflict in Peter's daily life instead.
  • 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.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Within eleven months, Dan Slott's run undid the majority of the plot developments fans disliked about the One More Day/Brand New Day era, with the exception of the actual Cosmic Retcon itself. Quesada being promoted to a position with more power in the company but less influence over the stories probably helped this.
  • 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.
  • 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". The latter, it's not so much that they didn't like the change that One More Day came about, but rather just hated the way they went about (un)doing it.
    • 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.
    • There's also a lot of debate about Peter's portrayal since the launch of Brand New Day.
    • Gwen Stacy vs. Mary Jane is the debate that will never end. Ever.
    • Black Cat/Felicia Hardy Vs. Mary Jane as well, for that matter.
    • Or pretty much Mary Jane vs. Any Spidey Love Interest, really.
  • Cant Unhear It: Go on, try to not imagine Josh Keaton's voice coming out of Spidey.
  • Complete Monster: With the franchise having been around so long, Spider-Man has faced many foes. However, a few members of Spidey's Rogues Gallery stand out.
    • Norman Osborn, one of Spidey's Arch-Enemies (along with Doctor Octopus and Venom), graduated 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 Stacy off 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 captured 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 Asgardian 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 Crazy Mad Bomber who regularly endangers/kills hundreds of civillians during his battles 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, calculating psychopath 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 Kasady was a psychotic, sociopathic, prolific Serial Killer even before he bonded with a bloodthirsty alien symbiote and took the name of Carnage; 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. As Carnage he became one of the worst enemies of Venom and Spider-Man both with his psychotic killing sprees through New York where he murdered anyone unfortunate enough to cross his path and if not for Venom and Spider-Man he would have killed thousands more. During the Maximum Carnage event, Carnage created a "family" of fellow super villains, using their powers to drive New York into homicidal insanity and to capture his "father" Venom, in whose captivity Carnage subjected to horrible torture. Not even his own family was safe from Carnage's psychosis and he brutalized his "wife" Shriek for ignoring his instructions before murdering their "son" Doppleganger when he tried defending her. Carnage has a habit of returning from death, always nastier than before, and the intense evil of Cassidy and the symbiote together results in one of Peter Parker's most murderous enemies.
    • Oneshot villain Carl King, a.k.a. The Thousand, definitely fits the bill. A particularly vicious childhood tormentor of Peter Parker who happened to be at the demonstration where Pete was bitten by a certain radioactive spider. He quickly put two-and-two together and decided to get spider-powers of his own by eating said spider. Instead, he was transformed into a colony of a thousand oversized spiders with the ability to crawl into a human body, eat the host's organs, musculature, and bones from the inside out, and wear their skin like a suit, mimicking both the victim's mannerisms and voice. The first person Carl "possessed" in this fashion was his own mother; the second, who he killed intentionally and for no reason, was his father, and the imagery implies that he killed his dad after having sex with him. Since then, he has come to the conclusion that he should have been Spider-Man rather than puny Parker, and has gone through around a dozen bodies every year, several of which were children, in order to become strong enough to overpower Spidey and steal both his body and his life.
  • Crazy Awesome: Jameson once yelled at GODZILLA.
  • Creator's Pet:
    • Mary Jane in the comics is an inversion: Most of the fans like her and want stories featuring her, while creators (especially Joe Quesada) hate her and are willing to ruin the franchise to get rid of her. This might be because they were readers when they were young, when MJ became the target of Die for Our Ship from Gwen fans following Gwen's death, and MJ and Peter's marriage became a Base Breaker move. As MJ went through massive amounts of character development and became a much more beloved character, a combination of lazy writers using her in uncreative ways during The Clone Saga and old hatred of her and/or the marriage led to people like Quesada gaining control over the writing.
    • Carlie Cooper, however, has been playing this frustratingly straight:
      • Introduced at the start of the BND reboot, she was quickly established as being Peter Parker's next love interest. Initially she started off as a minor character who just happened to have a crush on Peter, but recently writers have been cranking it up how much she's perfect for Peter, having both Peter complain about not being worthy of her and Mary Jane telling him he needs to hook up with her. Oh, and did we mention she's named after Joe Quesada's daughter?
      • Also, she's coming off as a Composite Character to many. Tries hard to invoke the Nerds Are Sexy trope, presumably so that she's "on the same intellectual level" as Peter or some such nonsense? Deb Whitman. Has a tragic past involving her father? MJ. Touted as being the "perfect girl" for Peter, being idolized (this time by people in-universe, as opposed to in fans' memories). Gwen Stacy. Falling in love with "plain ol' Peter Parker? Mary Jane again.
      • However, the Spider-Island storyline ends with Carlie breaking up with Peter precisely because he didn't tell her he was Spider-Man, while Mary Jane gets closer to Peter. The comic also focuses on Carlie's negative traits and MJ's positive ones: when people in New York start developing Spidey's powers, Carlie uses hers to play around while MJ helps Peter and the Avengers fight the Big Bad.
      • Unfortunately, she's still not going anywhere anytime soon. Despite having had broken up with Peter, Carlie is still stuck around in the book until the end of Superior Spider-Man. In addition, she started to pop up in other books like The Punisher. Not only won't she go away, she's being featured in more titles despite an utter lack of enthusiasm on the part of the readers. And if you were thinking that she'd be portrayed in a negative light, the creators insist that she - out of anyone else in the books - is perhaps the "sanest" member of the cast.
      • Speaking of Superior Spider-Man, she is the first person to figure out that Peter is obviously acting incredibly out of character and decides to investigate. Not Mary Jane, the love of his life who has discovered other Spider-Man impostors on her own before. Not Aunt May, the woman who raised him. Not even the freaking Avengers, who have fought side by side with him for years! This woman is the one who figures it out, in the most simple way possible: She follows Spidey's money trail that he's using to pay for his minions and gear, and it belongs to Otto Octavius. The main character, who many criticize for being a Villain Sue, made such a stupid mistake, and yet nobody figures it out but Carlie. This one might be justified by the fact she does work for the police, but when you have the Avengers in the equation...
    • Many detractors towards Dan Slott tend to paint his usage of Spider-Man villain Doctor Octopus as this, especially after he became the Superior Spider-Man. A major complaint by fans toward this end is that Otto's thus-far-successful attempt at hijacking Peter Parker's life has less to do with him being clever and strategic, and more with all of Peter Parker's friends, allies, and family becoming total, brain-dead idiots, with the plot at times bending over backwards to keep Otto from getting egg on his face.
    • Silk is quickly on her way to becoming this. She's constantly played up by others, became Peter's new girlfriend in the same issue she makes her debut, has all of Spidey's powers but better, and even got her own ongoing even though fans by large despise her. Given this, hopes for her ongoing aren't exactly high, which makes the decision rather bizarre; why give her an ongoing rather than giving one to an established hero who could actually stand a chance of supporting an ongoing.
  • Creepy Awesome: The first Venom, when his creepiness isn't being flanderized anyway.
    • The current Jack O' Lantern, a creepy sociopath in patchwork clothing and a flaming pumpkin mask who goes into battle flaying scythes around.
  • Dork Age: Hoo boy, Spider-Man is arguably the character most hit with this trope in comics history, with only the X-Men possibly coming close. The Clone Saga, the events in his life during Civil War, One More Day, One Moment in Time and Brand New Day are basically the worst periods in Spider-Man history. Some feel that Superior Spider-Man is also this, but that's more Broken Base.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Several villains, especially Dr. Octopus and Venom.
    • On a related note, J. Jonah Jameson, many fans root for him even at his most bigoted anti-Spider-Man rant believing him to be absolutely right about that "menace".
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Spider-Man himself started out this way for the Marvel Universe. Stan Lee had considerable trouble convincing publisher Martin Goodman to let him try the character out, and was eventually able to stick him in the final issue of Amazing Adult Fantasy (renamed Amazing Fantasy for that one issue). It was only after Goodman saw the huge sales figures for the comic a few months later that a solo series was green-lit, which allowed Spider-Man to quickly surpass The Fantastic Four as Marvel's flagship character.
    • 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, whose solution to everything was to Wangst about it.
    • A lot of the new supporting cast members introduced by Dan Slott like Max Modell are pretty popular amongst fans.
    • Of all of Slott's additions, Anna Maria Marconi has become probably THE most popular one. Most people agree that she's one of the best things to come out of the Superior Spider-Man arc. Fans consider her extremely likable, well-written and that Slott treated her dwarfism with impeccable good taste.
    • Roderick Kingsley is considered by fans to be the only Hobgoblin worthy of the title. There was mass rejoicing amongst fans when he was reintroduced into the story and got to take down the most recent pretender to the throne in the process.
    • The Gwen Stacy Spider-Woman from the Edge of the Spider-Verse storyline produced a frenzy of excitement based on little more than a really cool costume. It took Marvel less than a month after she finally appeared in a comic to announce that she was getting a solo series.
  • Escapist Character: Arguably one of, if not THE top reason of why the character became so popular, despite all the Deconstructions he's been through. Yeah, his life and luck might suck way more often than anyone in their right mind would like to, but all the excitement that comes with it would be worth it in the eyes of many (if not ALL). For a lot of people, even the drama itself would too, in a Soap Opera kind of way.
  • Evil Is Cool: Pretty much everyone in Spidey's Rogues Gallery that isn't deliberately made lame for humor. Harry, Norman, Octopus, Venom, Hobgoblin, Kraven, etc.
  • 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.
    • Curiously averted in Spain. The official name for the character there (used in all comics and all that) is "Spiderman" with no hyphen. It's a long story, but it became so natural to Spaniard fans (And there are A LOT of them) that when the Marvel HQ started supervising foreign editions more closely, they told the Spanish publisher to use the hyphen, and they asked them back to let them continue spelling the name without the hyphen. And it still continues to this day.
    • One More Day, in a big chunk of it.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: There's essentially three pairings for Spidey that fans find acceptable:
    • Spider-Man/Mary Jane, probably one of the longest running Official Couples in comics and still.
    • Spider-Man/Gwen Stacy, who were a couple at one point but are usually delegated to being Just Friends nowadays (though there are some exceptions).
    • Spider-Man/Black Cat. They actually have hooked up a few times but it never sticks.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain:
    • Electro.
    • 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! Arguably a case of Tropes Are Not Bad, since his goofy costume is part of why fans love him.
    • Green Goblin's suit hasn't exactly aged well. Some artists can make it look genuinely creepy or cool, but largely, its kinda been in need of a serious update for a while. It got an update during the Mark Millar run on Marvel Knights Spider-Man (the amount of green is reduced and the suit was made to look more like armour with the familiar mask/cowl). Furthered during the Warren Ellis Thunderbolts run, which was closer to the original Ditko look but through a realistic lens, and genuinely creepy looking.
    • The original Jack O' Lantern costume. Averted with the new Jack's costume which is fucking terrifying.
  • Franchise Original Sin: A lot of Spidey's rough periods were brought about by the writers or editors becoming too scared of him aging and falling back on old tricks to prevent it. This began with the famous Gwen Stacy death plotline; behind the scenes it happened as a way for writer Gerry Conway to resolve the Gwen Stacy romance since she had become too close to Peter and realistically they would eventually marry and settle down which aged up the character considerably. Thing is, Gerry Conway was a decent writer and the storyline worked out pretty well, becoming a stunning Wham Episode that changed the course of the series. When a later editor developed the same fear of aging Peter too much, we got universally reviled storylines and retcons like Sins Past and One More Day.
  • Friendly Fandoms: Spidey fans tend to be close with fans of other street-level New York heroes (Daredevil, Moon Knight, Luke Cage and Iron Fist, etc.) and vice versa. It helps that there's a lot of crossover between said characters in-universe.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Spider-Man is one of the most popular American super-heroes of all time, so it's not surprising that he's extremely popular abroad as well. What's more surprising is that in many countries he's arguably THE most popular American super-hero ever. Yes, even more than Superman.
    • Japan is probably the most iconic case of all. The popular show from the 70s, which started the Sentai genre, definitely helps.
    • In Western Europe, Spidey has always been competing for the "most popular super-hero" throne with Batman for decades.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: An issue of the Green Goblin series had Phil Urich (the heroic GG) being terrorized by apparitions of the Green, Hob, and Demo Goblins, which taunt him by saying that no matter how good he tries to be he's doomed to inevitably go insane and become evil. They were right.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In one issue, Spider-Man is on trial and when asked why Jameson might hate him, he jokes that it's because he's black. Then came Ultimate Fallout...
    • #304 of Amazing Spider-Man features a brief scene where Peter and Mary Jane visit Disneyland, years before Disney would go on to purchase Marvel.
  • Iron Woobie: Spider-Man himself of course. Truly taken Up to Eleven when he ends up with all his memories being purged before his spirit is kicked out of his own body.
  • It Was His Sled:
    • Poor Gwen.
    • Everyone nowadays knows that Norman Osborn was the original Green Goblin.
    • A bit less well known, but if you've heard of Amazing Spider-Man #248's famous story, "The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man", then you probably already know that Timothy Harrison has leukemia in the story.
    • The ending of Dying Wish is now a well known fact, largely because of how big and controversial the following relaunch is.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Black Cat, Harry Osborn, Dr. Octopus, Eddie Brock, even the Venom symbiote.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Norman Osborn and Dr. Octopus (Depending on the Writer).
    • Roderick Kingsley, the first Hobgoblin, has managed to trick Spider-Man and the Kingpin into believing the Hobgoblin was deceased Daily Bugle reporter Ned Leeds for a good ten years real time before being caught. He then blackmailed the Green Goblin into breaking him out of prison, and lived in luxury in the Caribbean. Now he's taken the late Justin Hammer's place as the world's premiere supervillain provider. Not bad for a guy who was originally a fashion designer.
    • Tombstone is perhaps the only gangster in New York who can give Kingpin a run for his money in the manipulator department.
  • Memetic Loser: Shocker, though this depends on continuity or writer.
  • Memetic Molester: Norman Osborn, Venom.
  • Misblamed: Joe Quesada gets nearly all of ire for some of the worst parts of JMS' Spider-Man run, mainly the storylines Sins Past and One More Day. While OMD was Quesada's idea, JMS by his own admission agreed with most of the story; it was a disagreement regarding how the marriage would be undone that caused JMS to demand his name be removed from the last issue and Quesada was far from the first person to try and make Peter single again or undo the marriage. Sins Past, meanwhile, was almost all JMS' idea. Quesada merely disagreed with Gabriel and Sarah being Peter's kids which is what caused the change to Norman.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Green Goblin killing Gwen Stacy.
    • In Brand New Day, The Lizard ate Connors' son.
    • 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.
    • It was teased, in-universe, with a drunken Carly Cooper deciding to get a Green Goblin tattoo to upset Peter when she was mad about him lying about going on a business trip. Keep in mind, that Carly outright declares "Peter hates Osborn!" but seemingly ignores that he hates him for killing Gwen Stacy, his girlfriend at the time that he was very much in love with, and being an all round abusive father to Harry; and that Carly was also friends with Harry and was retconned into being Gwen Stacy's childhood bestfriend before that. She ultimately gets a Spider-Man tattoo instead.
  • My Real Daddy: DeMatteis' work on Kraven and his kids has clearly influenced every subsequent story about the character.
  • Narm: 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?!"
  • Never Live It Down:
    • The One More Day fiasco. Marvel editorial thought that fans would get over it and move on in a couple of years, tops. Boy, were they wrong! As to 2014, fans still use this story as THE point of reference whenever they discuss about Spidey's maturity and/or love life. Many refuse to recognize any developments made ever since, like for example, Peter getting his first serious and stable job as a scientist.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Venom getting defeated by Spidey using a Zippo lighter.
  • One True Pairing: Peter and Mary Jane. Albeit supporters of other couples are far from scarce or undevoted (See Ship-to-Ship Combat below), this one has been around for over 45 years and counting despite the constant attempts from the editors to separate them. Even after the One More Day debacle, their support has only increased with the years. The fact that Mary Jane is Spidey's Official Couple in the vast majority of adaptations and spin-offs definitely helps.
  • Padding: The comics back in the mid-90s were really bad at this. Among those were Maximum Carnage (which was 14 parts, compared to the 3 parts the creature's first appearance took) and The Clone Saga, which was meant to last 6 months and lasted two years. Clone Saga's problem was due to Executive Meddling — the Marketing Department noticed how fans were gobbling up the stories and demanded more.
  • Purity Sue: Gwen Stacy's posthumous characterization.
  • Relationship Sue: Carlie Cooper appeared on the cover of The Many Loves of Spider-Man before even hooking up with Peter.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • Ben Reilly. As noted above, we was fairly popular due to his maturity during The Clone Saga, but the idea of him being the original had this effect.
    • Carlie Cooper, for Mary Jane.
      • And to some, Mary Jane for Gwen.
    • 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.
    • Pretty much every Hobgoblin other than Roderick Kingsley is this; given that Kingsley is widely considered one of the best Spidey villains ever, it's easy to see why.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • The Scarlet Spider's pretty much the one good thing from The Clone Saga, aside from the opening before it got too long.
    • Kaine in Spider-Girl, depending on how you felt about his Nineties Anti-Hero characterization. In the 616 universe, this happened with Spider-Island and his Scarlet Spider series.
    • Those who read Alpha: Big Time feel it gave serious Character Development to Alpha and made him much more likeable.
    • Since his return Norman Osborn hasn't been overly popular thanks to Dark Reign and him being linked to a bunch of Dork Age retcons. However the character was redeemed by The Superior Spider-Man, in which he was rerailed into a Badass Magnificent Bastard supervillain who succeeds on his own merits rather than relying on the Idiot Ball. It helped that he was going against Spider-Ock who is, at best, incredibly divisive.
    • While initially tied up in the awkwardness of Brand New Day and the 'mystery' of who would become Peter's latest love interest, Norah Winters has since managed to become a prominent part of Peter's cast and has taken a role in the larger Marvel Universe, playing important roles in the Osborn miniseries which appeared shortly after Dark Reign, and the run on The Punisher by Greg Rucka. It helps that her early role as a slightly obnoxious newswoman has gone through some real development to deal with her own morality and making her into a competent reporter.
    • While not a full-on Scrappy, Carnage seems to be regaining his previous popularity due to his unwilling inversion in Axis, mainly because his awful attempts at being a hero are hilarious.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Aunt May, to those who feel her character has become The Artifact.
    • Madame Web.
    • New "hero" Alpha due to basically being the antithesis to everything Spider-Man stands for (has zero responsibility, wastes his gifts, has an ego the size of a mountain, etc.). Dan Slott has stated this was intentional.
    • Carnage is this coupled with Broken Base. Some people love him, others view him as a cheap Joker rip-off and a perfect example of everything that was wrong with the nineties.
    • Norman Osborn after his resurrection, since, to many, he came back by being responsible for a massive Dork Age, then was revealed to have had sex with Gwen Stacy, and being responsible for Dark Reign, which was basically a massive example of why the Marvel Universe is filled with idiots. Needless to say, stories involving him since his return are generally not popular, and the fact that many did not want him back means he is not very popular with Spidey fans, never mind Marvel fans in general (thanks to the aforementioned Dark Reign).
    • A lot of the villains introduced during Brand New Day, like Freak or Paper Doll, were rather hated by fans due to replacing many of Spidey's established foes as well as the new villains established during JMS's run. At the same time many of said villains lacked the traits that made the old bad guys likable or cool. Fortunately once Dan Slott took over he either wrote them out or just acted like they never existed. The only real exceptions are Mr. Negative and Overdrive.
    • Cindy Moon aka Silk. A pretty girl who got bit by the same spider that bit Peter but spent over a decade locked in a room by Ezekiel. She has all of Spider-Man's powers but, with the exception of physical strength, they're all better than his. She's already proven to be just as competent as Peter, with no training except for watching videos of Spidey in action, and in a few issues has saved him on multiple occasions. She seems to be very important as it's Peter freeing her which seems to awaken Morlun thus setting off the Spiderverse event. Also, she lands a job on the Fact Channel despite not having any education beyond high-school, which likely she didn't even finished. And through all that she's Peter's new girlfriend. A lot of readers find her incredibly annoying while having all of the traits of a Mary Sue. And blatantly so at that.
      • This is getting worse after Spider-Verse, in which her incompetence causes the deaths of Last-Stand Spider-Man and Spider-Assassin, two beloved characters that fans had been wanting to see return for years.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: Silk's... 'costume' is basically just random sprays of webbing over her body. Ugly, mismatched, lazy and generally just a crude attempt to make her look attractive and failing horribly at it.
    • Subverted with the Shocker of all characters. While people like to poke fun at the 'quilt' aspect of his costume it's also one of his endearing and memorable aspects that fans like about him.

alternative title(s): Spider-Man
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