Marvel Comics: The History of Spider-Man: 2001
By Jim Beard
Peter Parker faces challenges like never before…
For over 50 years, Spider-Man has been a sensational standout in the Marvel Universe and the web-slinger will swing onto the silver screen once again in Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War” this May! In celebration of his memorable history, we present Spidey’s spectacular step-by-step story…
The wallcrawler entered his 39th year of existence in 2001, and he kicked off the year by teaming up with a fellow New York hero: Daredevil. Both Spider-Man and the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen sought the Kingpin in DAREDEVIL/SPIDER-MAN #1, but found Gladiator, Stilt-Man, and Copperhead blocking their path. Kingpin hired Matt Murdock as his lawyer when the villains blew up his headquarters in DAREDEVIL/SPIDER-MAN #2, just as the Owl and the Black Widow entered the picture. The two heroes confronted the villains in the sewers of New York and discovered Copperhead as the ringmaster in DAREDEVIL/SPIDER-MAN #3. Then the two fought an army of the dead in DAREDEVIL/SPIDER-MAN #4.
Plagued by weird, disturbing Green Goblin dreams in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #25, Peter Parker succumbed to Norman Osborn’s drugged toothpaste and awoke to a real nightmare. Osborn tortured him in PETER PARKER: SPIDER-MAN #25, but our hero fought back, resisting the Green Goblin’s scheme to make him his heir.
After his battle with the Squid in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #26 and his rescue of a mysterious cat hunted by criminals in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #27, various police officers reflected on the webslinger’s adventures in PETER PARKER: SPIDER-MAN #26. The Robot Master returned in PETER PARKER: SPIDER-MAN #27 as a disembodied head held captive by his own machine, forcing Spidey to devise a plan to shut him down without killing him in PETER PARKER: SPIDER-MAN #28.
Peter learned that Mary Jane survived a supposedly fatal plane crash in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #28, but her abductor got the better of him in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #29. Together, Spidey and MJ escaped his clutches in PETER PARKER: SPIDER-MAN #29, but MJ left afterward, no longer able to cope with her husband’s super hero career.
In SPIDER-MAN: LIFELINE #1, Man-Mountain Marko stole the stone tablet containing an eternal life formula, prompting others to try to grab it for themselves. Peter’s old friend Dr. Connors drank the formula in SPIDER-MAN: LIFELINE #2, transforming him into a kind of Supper-Lizard, but Spidey and Doctor Strange stopped him in SPIDER-MAN: LIFELINE #3 and Strange took possession of the tablet to hide it away for good.
Saddened over his separation from Mary Jane, Peter ran afoul of a new menace called Fusion in PETER PARKER: SPIDER-MAN #30 and failed to stop a bomb that ends up killing hundreds of innocent people. Confronting the baddie, Fusion breaks Spidey’s neck in PETER PARKER: SPIDER-MAN #31, but our hero realized his foe’s power laid in persuasion, not reality, and recovered from the shock of thinking he had a broken neck in time to take him down in PETER PARKER: SPIDER-MAN #32.
A man with spider-abilities called Ezekial taunted the wallcrawler with a strange destiny in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #30 before Ezekial told Peter about a powerful figure named Morlun in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #32. Morlun beat our hero savagely in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #33, but when Ezekial arrived to help in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #34, it costs him his life, leaving Spidey with only a small sample of Morlun’s blood to defeat him with in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #35.
The webslinger teamed with Frank Castle to clash with the Russian in PUNISHER #2, and later, on the anniversary of his Uncle Ben’s death, Peter took in a baseball game in PETER PARKER: SPIDER-MAN #33. During a date with his new neighbor in PETER PARKER: SPIDER-MAN #34, the wallcrawler faced off against a man with destructive eyes, and a young boy who idolized Spider-Man encountered a series of personal challenges in PETER PARKER: SPIDER-MAN #35.
A nosy insurance man investigated Spidey’s secret identity in PETER PARKER: SPIDER-MAN #36 and the hero himself confronted the horror of the September 11 attacks on his home city in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #36.
Pete, thanks for being a hero and, maybe more importantly, for reminding us of the heroes around us every day. See you in 2002.