2014 has a been a huge year for Superior Spider-Talk. In fact, it was the first year of existence for the site. This was also an enormous year for Spider-Man and all of his readers. We were treated to the end of Superior Spider-Man, the relaunch of Amazing Spider-Man, a graphic novel, the introduction of Silk, “Spider-Verse” kicked off, countless B-titles were launched, “Amazing Spider-Man 2” came to theaters, Spider-Man 2099 returned to the present, Peter Parker returned in Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man, Spider-Man learned to crawl, and Spider-Gwen demolished the Rhino and won our hearts.
Here at Superior Spider-Talk we asked our contributors to provide their favorite Spider-Man moment of 2014 and here are the results:
My favorite moment in Spider-Man comics this year came in the pages of Superior Spider-Man #26 where Peter finds himself lost deep in the barren Mindscape. After over a year of Peter succumbing to Otto’s nefarious deeds here he finally found his core memories scattered across Otto’s mind. Peter found the power in himself to reassert his rightful place as the only Spider-Man. Marcos Martin’s pencils and Dan Slott’s writing knock this moment out of the park. Martin’s very specific choices in how he draws Peter’s revelatory moment fully sells the impending return of Peter Parker’s prominence in the Spider-Man universe.
This moment is also illustrative to me of my feelings about the core Spider-Man titles this year. They have been full of promise that would ultimately go unfulfilled. This moment was more powerful than the entire “Goblin Nation” arc and led to a disappointing and drawn out relaunch of Amazing Spider-Man. It is a shame because at this particular moment in Superior Spider-Man, nothing could derail it. As a result, my interest has shifted from Amazing Spider-Man to the B-titles, which have been almost universally outstanding this year (I would like to highlight Ultimate Spider-Man #200). As “Spider-Verse” heats up, I’m hoping it will explode soon, I’m excited to see what 2015 has in store, especially if the storyline for “Renew Your Vows” is anywhere near as interesting as the teaser.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I LOVE team-up books. Marvel Team-Up was my comic book introduction to Spider-Man and “Spider-Verse” is bringing all of the over-the-top, only-in-comics fun. Besides, who hasn’t been waiting to see Spider-Ham knock someone out? I realize this isn’t the most popular moment, but there’s no denying the fun in this one punch drawn by the incomparable Olivier Coipel.
My favorite Spider-Man moment this year was Edge of Spider-Verse #5. I thought it was an incredible melding of Spider-Man lore, giant robot anime (specifically “Neon Genesis Evangelion”) and Gerard Way’s unique writing style. Peni Parker and her supporting cast are my favorite part of “Spider-Verse” and indicative of the possibilities of diversifying the line! My favorite scene from the comic was the post-fight sequence where Peni and Daredevil have a heart-to-heart, showcasing the Spider/Daredevil friendship spanning across realities. There were some fantastic cameos too–keen eyes are rewarded!
Even though the Hobgoblin that appears in “Spider-Man: The Animated Series” is not Roderick Kingsley, I’ve been obsessed with all things Hobgoblin since first watching the show. Given my love of this Marvel villain, I picked up the AXIS: Hobgoblin miniseries as soon as I could. I’m not sure quite what I was expecting when I opened the first issue up, but it turned out to be one of the funniest and most entertaining books of 2014. While there are a number of phenomenal moments, one of the best appears in AXIS: Hobgoblin #1 when Phil Urich describes the recent feats of Kingsley. With great art from Javier Rodriguez, jokes about copyright infringement, and nods to classics like Amazing Fantasy #15, this one page encompasses the heart of the series and its eccentric, opportunistic hero. It doesn’t take itself or comic book history too seriously and is reminiscent of the fun that drew me to Spidey titles in the first place.
Spider-Man comics are a big part of my life. At the start of 2013 I was so ready to read more about Otto Octavius. I was excited to read and reflect on a more authoritative and in-control Spider-Man. While I loved most of the next year and a half of Spider-Man stories, it got harder and harder to support and relate to the character. Then, a few days after my birthday, Peter Parker was back! I still have this issue, open to the fantastic two-page spread hanging on my wall.
My favorite Spider-Man moment from 2014, arguably, didn’t occur in the comics. The April 1 publication of Marvel’s Original Graphic Novel, Amazing Spider-Man: Family Business, contains a potentially controversial reveal by shattering the notion that Peter is an only child. Teresa Parker, Peter’s alleged sister, works in the intelligence community, and though her status as his kin is deliberately left unresolved by the end of the OGN, their adventure shows that they work well together and leaves open the possibility that Spider-Man is a big brother after all. As the oldest and only male child in my family, this potential dynamic tugs at my heartstrings somewhat, leaving Teresa’s reveal to Peter as, for me, the most memorable moment from Spider-Man of 2014.
One of my favorite moments from 2014 was the ending of Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #11. Within the span of a single issue, Kevin Shinick and Ron Frenz do a wonderful job of building the dysfunctional friendship between Otto Octavius and Norman Osborn. Their friendly rivalry is almost a dark mirror to the rivalry between Spider-Man and the Human Torch. But the the final two pages are dark comedic gold as Norman and Otto go back and forth on the fate of Otto’s long-lost love, and I laughed out loud at the cliffhanger/punchline of “I’ve learned my lesson…which is why I’ve infected her blood with a deadly virus.”
This has been one of my favorite years as a Spider-Man fan. I had so much fun reading the Superior Spider-Man and the Edge of Spider-Verse stories. I’m excited about everything we’re getting in “Spider-Verse.” The movie, cartoon, and iPad game have truly turned my life into a multi-media “Spider-Verse.” But the moment I will remember most from this year is when Kevin Shinick and Ron Frenz had Ock and Norman team up & share a glider ride in Superior Spider-man Team Up #11. The story actually serves as a better coda to the Superior era than “Goblin Nation.”
I am going to be a pain and pick two:
Like Miles, I wasn’t ready to buy into the notion that Peter Parker had somehow returned from the dead. He had to be a clone…right? Don’t get me wrong – I loved the original Ultimate Spider-Man series, but was still a little disappointed to see Peter return (especially in a series deliberately renamed Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man). It seemed to both undo the powerful ending of the first series and undermine the new lead character. I was waiting for the inevitable revelation that Peter was somehow an imposter. In true Bendis fashion, the plot unfolded at its own pace until an explosive payoff in issue #4. Peter’s dialogue has you punching the air in triumph while David Marquez’s character reactions tell a story all on their own (especially MJ). This was the moment that I didn’t even know I wanted and an easy highlight of 2014.
I love the idea of Gwen Stacy as a new Spider-Woman. As a child of the 80s, I grew up knowing of Gwen as Peter Parker’s first love, but never got a sense of her as an individual in her own right. Ultimate Spider-Man went a long way toward breathing new life into the character and then later her clone (because hey, Spider-Man comics). I was curious to see how Jason LaTour and Robbi Rodriguez would reimagine her as a full-on superhero. With electrifying colors and elegant design, Spider-Gwen rocked right out of the gate (the musician in me loved seeing her as a drummer!). It’s tough to pick a highlight from an all-around entertaining debut, but I especially loved seeing this no-nonsense takedown – it sealed the deal for me. Instantly likable with a fun supporting cast and intriguing origin (not to mention that slick costume), Spider-Gwen can’t come back soon enough!
My favorite Spider-Man moment of 2014 really has nothing to do Spider-Man himself, but rather a member of his fabled rogues gallery. The rogue I’m talking about is the Shocker and his unforgettable moment of retribution featured in the final issue of Superior Foes of Spider-Man may very well be one of the greatest moments in comics this year. After surviving being buried alive by his former partners, Shocker makes an appearance at a huge gang war with nothing but revenge on his mind. Directly referencing the famous (or should I say infamous) story in a 1976 issue of Spidey Super Stories that features Shocker in a quilt-patterned Shocker-Mobile, Shocker rides onto the scene, shouts “Don’t Mock the Shocker!” and blasts Punisher into the stratosphere. Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber’s Superior Foes of Spider-Man was a hilarious breath of fresh air that ended well before it ever should have. Of all the fantastic moments that filled the series through it’s 17 issues, this one in particular sums up the comedic zaniness that the series will long be remembered for.
My favorite Spider-Man moment comes from the lovely Superior Foes of Spider-Man. Even though this series has our favorite wall-crawler in the title, he rarely makes appearances in the story and one could consider him to be as minor a character in Superior Foes as the Superior Foes are in his. Until the last page in the series that is, where it’s revealed that the story we have been reading is a tale perennial loser Boomerang was telling to Peter over drinks in a bar. This last shot of Peter is a great humanizing moment that puts him in the audience with us, listening to the same lies that were stringing us along for seventeen issues, and I bet he was enjoying it as much as we were.
In November, Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber crafted their final issue of Superior Foes of Spider-Man, an irreverent and consistently hilarious Spider-Man “B” title which very well might be my favorite non-Spidey book from the past 20 years. The final issue was a fitting closer for this offbeat serious, as it often poked fun of other finales like “The Sopranos” and “LOST.” However, unlike those two television shows, Superior Foes ended on a perfect note. I’m legitimately sad that this book won’t be waiting in my monthly pull box, but remain committed to buying Spencer and Lieber books for the rest of my life. These guys, right?
That’s it for 2014! Let us know your favorite Spider-Man moments of 2014 in the comments below. Thanks for reading and supporting Superior Spider-Talk in its first year and look forward to seeing you in 2015!