Over the last few weeks in the pages of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, everyone's favorite webslinger and his old pal Daredevil have renewed a classic Marvel partnership to take on the new Kraven and her sinister schemes. But Daredevil certainly doesn't stand alone as one of Spider-Man's amazing friends.
For years and over 100 issues, Spidey anchored the original MARVEL TEAM-UP title, standing shoulder to shoulder with everybody from Ant-Man to the X-Men. Even beyond the pages of that Marvel classic, the Wallcrawler has long been one of the key pivots of the Marvel Universe.
We asked Marvel writers and editors to share their favorite Spider-Man team-ups and partnerships—here's what we go back.
It's Friday, so kick back, relax and enjoy.
KEVIN GREVIOUX (writer of NEW WARRIORS):
As far as team-ups go, Spider-Man's team-ups with the Human Torch have to rank alongside the Superman/Batman team. Because they are such polar opposites, when Spidey and the Torch get together, they have the right kind of chemistry that makes for really unique character and dialogue moments.
GREG PAK (writer of SKAAR: SON OF HULK):
This isn't exactly a team-up, and I don't remember the exact book or issue number, but I love that Silver Age scene wherein Spidey doubles up his fists and actually manages to briefly stop the Hulk in his tracks. It's incredibly endearing the way ol' Webhead's so astounded by himself—he says something like, "I did it! I actually staggered the Hulk!" And then, if I recall correctly, he scampers away quickly, 'cause he knows better than to push his Parker luck too far.
MIKE CAREY (writer of X-MEN: LEGACY):
A good 20 years ago now, maybe more, there were two annuals that came out back-to-back, both drawn by Frank Miller and both teaming Spider-Man with Doctor Strange. The bad guys were Dormammu and Doctor Doom, and Denny O'Neil—I think—wrote them. They were a blast. Crazy, exhilarating romps with so much kinetic energy you had to nail them to a wall to read them.
KAARE ANDREWS (writer/artist of SPIDER-MAN: REIGN):
SPIDER-MAN VS WOLVERINE was a big deal for me as a kid. Not just because they were my favorite characters but because the story itself was so dark. It was a memorable issue and really helped showcase the differences between the two characters.
DUANE SWIERCZYNSKI (writer of CABLE):
Spider-Man and the Punisher have crossed paths many times over the years, but my absolute favorite was when Garth Ennis had Frank use an unconscious Spidey as a friggin' human bludgeon to beat the stuffing out of the Russian. Spidey wakes up, and asks what happened. "We had a team-up," Frank says. "You were great." Absolute genius.
ROB LIEFELD (artist of ONSLAUGHT REBORN):
My favorite Spider Man team-up was when Spider-Man teamed up with Nick Fury, Shang Chi—the Master of Kung Fu—and Black Widow in the pages of MARVEL TEAM-UP v1 #83-85. The story featured Hydra, Silver Samurai and Boomerang against the action heavy crew. It had tons of great combat and action on the Helicarrier and was superbly written and drawn. Fury, Shang Chi and Widow really shined in the story which is what MARVEL TEAM-UP did best: it took lesser characters
and gave them a platform to shine alongside Spider Man. My runner-up is MTU #69-70, featuring Havok and then Thor fighting against the Living Monolith. I always loved Havok and was thrilled to see him hog some spotlight in this two-issue epic.
TOM DEFALCO (writer of AMAZING SPIDER-GIRL):
I always enjoyed seeing Spider-Man teamed-up with Silver Sable. His idealism contrasted against her pragmatism always ignited sparks. And, of course, it's always fun to see Spider-Man and Spider-Girl together—they may share the same powers and DNA, but they have wildly differing styles!
AXEL ALSONSO (Marvel Executive Editor):
Easy. That would have to be MARVEL TEAM-UP v1 #79, where Spidey teams up with that other redhead, Red Sonja. I so
wanted him to defeat her in battle, so to speak—Robert E. Howard fans, you know what I'm talking about, right? And Sonja's definitely Peter's type
CHRISTOS GAGE (co-writer of AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE):
One of the first comics I read as a kid was Spider-Man's team up with Killraven in MARVEL TEAM-UP v1 #45. I had never seen any Killraven comics before, so the whole idea of Spidey going into the future and helping Killraven fight Martian tripods for the freedom of Earth blew my young mind. It
got me interested in seeking out not just the Killraven comics—which are terrific—but H. G. Wells' classic novel "War of the Worlds." So, see, comics are
RAFA SANDOVAL (artist of INCREDIBLE HERCULES):
I really enjoyed Spider-Man teaming up with the Black Cat in SPIDER-MAN/BLACK CAT, by Kevin Smith and Terry Dodson. I liked the touch of sensuality between Spidey and the Black Cat. I think a female character gives more game as a partner to Spider-Man.
WILLIAM MESSNER-LOEBS (former writer of THOR):
My favorite Spider-Man team-up was the one he had with J. Jonah Jameson in an issue of WHAT IF? called, "What if JJJ adopted Peter Parker?" It emphasized Jonah's more endearing qualities as a soured reformer and ended with them adventuring together as father and son.
KYLE HOTZ (artist of THE HOOD):
Spider-Man and Werewolf by Night vs the Taterdemalion. If you know anything about my art, the reasons should be obvious. If anyone ever wants to remake this issue I'd love to draw it.
MIKE PERKINS (upcoming artist of THE STAND):
I have two favorite Spidey team-ups. The first one, merely for sentimental reasons, is Spider-Man and Captain Britain in MARVEL TEAM-UP. Two great heroes up against Arcade and illustrated by John Byrne. Gorgeous work by all involved and extremely fun. On the other end of the scale was the incredibly serious turn of events in the mid '80s SPIDER-MAN VS WOLVERINE one-shot. A gruesome and tense tale taking place behind the iron curtain. It's one of those stories that has stuck with me as crystal clear as the first time I read it. In fact, I think I'll have to track it down and enjoy it all over again.
ANDY LANNING (co-writer of NOVA):
My favorite Spidey team-up has to be Spidey and Red Sonja from MARVEL TEAM-UP v1 #79 by Chris Claremont and John Byrne.
Not only is it two comic greats at their best, it also introduced Kulan Gath to the modern age and which led to one of my other favorite Spidey team-ups, when Gath returned in UNCANNY X-MEN #188-191 and transformed New York and everyone trapped inside into Hyborian Age counterparts. And, really, who couldn't love Mary Jane Watson transformed into Red Sonja?! Double Jackpot!!
BRIAN REED (writer of MS. MARVEL):
Spider-Man and Punisher vs the Russian in MARVEL KNIGHTS PUNISHER #2. While maybe not one of Spidey's greatest moments, it's certainly one of the funniest.
DAVID MICHELINIE (former writer of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN):
Off the top of my head, I'd have to say I always enjoyed the stories where Spider-Man and the Human Torch were partnered up—whether they wanted to be or not. Peter Parker's indomitable striving to do the right thing contrasted well with Johnny Storm's "stop-being-a-stick-in-the-mud" goodtime attitude. And it was always fun when Spidey was able to turn the tables on the Torch and make him look like a goofball.
TOM BREVOORT (Marvel Executive Editor):
There's no question that the greatest team-up comic ever produced was the original SUPERMAN VS THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN Treasury Edition. I wasn't yet even a reader of the web-slinger's adventures at the time it was published, yet I understood instinctively that this was something important, something monumental, so I bought it anyway.
Time and many other lesser inter-company crossover books have made it seem less special, but that first Superman/Spider-Man book was everything you could want. It was produced at a time when there was a tangible difference between the DC and
Marvel styles of storytelling, but that 96-page story managed to bridge that gap, creating a fusion of both approaches that really worked. That's also what made it interesting, seeing these characters not just from different publishing companies but coming from different storytelling philosophies meet and interact. It was like Spidey had stepped into a DC mag, Superman into a Marvel one.
It's perhaps not the greatest story ever told, but it is the greatest team-up comic ever produced—precisely because it was so unlikely! In 1976, the mere idea that these two titans would end up between the covers of the same issue was crazy, unthinkable! And yet, it happened! And of course it was released in the oversized Treasury format—no smaller size would have been able to contain it!
So…our final reply from Marvel Senior Editor Ralph Macchio kinda broke the rules, as it didn't actually involve Spider-Man, but y'know what, we here at Marvel.com love Ralph Macchio, so away we go…
RALPH MACCHIO (Marvel Senior Editor):
My favorite MARVEL TEAM-UP issue didn't feature Spider-Man. It was the issue that had the Human Torch teaming up with the Hulk, written by Len Wein and penciled by Gil Kane. I loved it because it featured one of my all-time favorite Marvel villains, that awesome enemy from Sub-Space: Blastaar!
I've always loved the look Kirby gave [Blastaar], with the lion mane and huge hands that shot out those incredible explosive bolts. I recall that in this story there was some fortress called F.A.U.S.T which was constructed of an adamantium alloy. Some gent had enlisted Blastaar's services to take down F.A.U.S.T's walls so he could get inside for something. At first, Blasty's explosive bolts didn't do any damage to the adamantium alloy walls. But then, with some great, terse writing from Len and powerful penciling from Gil, Blastaar set himself to the task and fired bolt after bolt. Fissures appeared in the outer wall, then larger cracks, and, finally, the walls came a' tumbling down. Now that's a guy you don't want to rile. It was only a two pages sequence but it's one that's stuck with me for decades. Loved it!
As Blastaar said in his first appearance in FANTASTIC FOUR: I am supreme unto myself! I am Blastaar!
No arguing with that.