It’s fun to explore Marvel’s Spider-Verse. It’s a regular multiverse of madness filled with fun variants of Spider-Man. However, the deeper you explore the Spider-Verse, the more unusual these Spider-Men get.
For example, did you know there was a Spider-Man made of ramen, and another one who was a bouncing ball? Did you know that Marvel’s first Spider-Man was a serial killer? The Spider-Verse is a wild place, and it’s inhabitants are full of surprises.
Sony Pictures Animation will be releasing Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse this summer. The sequel to 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse will feature even more Spider-Men than the first movie.
To help prepare for the upcoming film, we thought this would be a good time to catalogue some of the strangest Spider-Men found throughout the Spider-Verse. From dinosaurs to pirates, here are 15 of the more bizarre variants of Spider-Man. (If you're planning on watching all the Spider-Man movies to prepare, check out this handy Popverse guide on how to watch all the Spider-Man movies).
First Appearance: Edge of Spider-Verse #1 (2022)
Recommended Story: His first appearance. Trust us, it’s wild.
Yes, this is Spider-Man as a Tyrannosaurus Rex. He’s also a Pteranodon trapped in a T-Rex’s body, so there’s a lot to unpack here. The T-Rex and the Pteranodon accidentally switched bodies when they were hit by a meteorite containing radioactive spiders.
Spider-Rex learned about responsibility after accidentally smooshing innocent dinosaurs.
First Appearance: Spider-Verse #5 (2020)
Recommended Story: Sadly he only has one appearance, but let’s hope that changes soon.
A fusion between Spider-Man and a bowl of ramen. His origin is unknown.
Spider-Ramen comes from a future alternate timeline. He can generate multiple bowls of ramen, which he uses to swing around the city and to feed the homeless. Spider-Ramen was created by a fan named Steve Poole as part of a campaign where Marvel invited fans to pitch their own additions to the Spider-Verse.
First Appearance: Spider-Geddon #3 (2018)
Recommended Story: Vault of Spiders #2 (2018)
Spiders-Man comes from a reality where Peter Parker fell into a pile of genetically altered spiders. The spiders devoured Peter and absorbed his consciousness. The spiders all operate together as a hive mind, swarming together to take the shape of Peter Parker. In other words, Spiders-Man is a pile of spiders that collectively think they’re Peter Parker.
Newspaper Strip Spider-Man
First Appearance: King Features Amazing Spider-Man newspaper strip, January 3, 1977
Recommended Story: Spider-Verse #1 (2014)
This is the version of Spider-Man that appeared in King Features syndicated newspaper strip from 1977 to 2019. Newspaper strip Spider-Man briefly appeared in the original Spider-Verse event, where the villain Morlun quickly lost his patience with him. Because his adventures take place in a serialized newspaper story, this version of Peter was constantly recapping the events of the previous panel, causing Morlun to wonder if he lacked short-term memory.
Electric Company Spider-Man
First Appearance: The Electric Company season 4, episode 1
Recommended Story: Spider-Man Meets the Spoiler is a funny segment, and it’s available in its entirety on YouTube.
The first live-action version of Spider-Man wasn’t Tobey Maguire or Nicholas Hammond, it was Danny Seagren. In 1977, Spider-Man began appearing in short educational segments on the children’s television program The Electric Company.
Spider-Man would never speak aloud, but word balloons would appear onscreen to help teach kids to read. Spider-Man would battle foes such as the Spoiler (no relation to the DC character), who would annoy the hero by attempting to feed him a rubber glove sandwich. Did I mention that Morgan Freeman narrated some of these segments?
Toei's Japanese Spider-Man
First Appearance: Spider-Man episode 1: The Time of Revenge Has Come! Beat Down Iron Cross Group!
Recommended Story: Spider-Man episode 6: Shuddering Laboratory! Devilish Professor Monster!
In 1977 Marvel licensed Spider-Man to the Toei Company, a Japanese studio known for their children’s television programs featuring costumed heroes. Toei adopted Spider-Man’s look and name, but nothing else. Instead of Peter Parker, Spidey was a motorcycle racer named Takuya Yamashiro. Takuya received his spider powers after encountering a dying alien from the planet Spider.
Because storytelling sensibilities are different in Japanese children shows, this version of Spider-Man can sometimes be a bit jarring for those who only know him from the Marvel Comics. For example, Spider-Man fights crime in his giant robot Leopardon. In fact, the success of Spider-Man encouraged Toei to incorporate giant mechs into their Super Sentai series. In other words, the Power Rangers can thank Spider-Man for the existence of their Megazord.
Believe it or not, Takuya appeared in the 2014 Spider-Verse event, where his mecha Leopardon played a major role.
"This is a gun" Spider-Clone
First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man season 1, episode 4: Night of the Clone
Recommended Story: Unfortunately, this Spider-Clone only has one appearance
Did you know that Nicholas Hammond’s Spider-Man had his own clone storyline? This Spider-Clone appeared on a 1978 episode of The Amazing Spider-Man, a primetime television series starring Nicholas Hammond. The clone was created by a mad scientist named Doctor Moon, who also happened to be an evil clone. The Hammond Spider-Clone is fondly remembered for the over the top dialogue he delivered when he introduced himself. “That’s right Peter, I’m you, you’re me, and this is a gun.” The visual image of Spider-Man being held up with a gun by his double is worth the price of admission, and the dialogue delivery is the cherry on top.
First Appearance: What If #23 (1980)
Recommended Story: Vault of Spiders #2 (2018)
Spider-Ma’am comes from a reality where Peter Parker’s Aunt May was the one bitten by the radioactive spider. May then sewed herself a costume, and began fighting crime as a geriatric superhero. Instead of web-fluid, Spider-Ma’am used a sticky substance she accidentally created when she left the oven on for too long.
Originally conceived as a one-off character in a What If backup story, Spider-Ma’am has recently enjoyed a renaissance thanks to the various Spider-Verse events.
First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man #399 (1995)
Recommended Story: Amazing Spider-Man #404 (1995)
Spidercide was one of the many Spider-Man clones created by the Jackal during the infamous Clone Saga storyline. Spidercide lacked Peter’s morality, and he was prone to violent outbursts. Thanks to some experimentation by the Jackal, Spidercide had the ability to shapeshift and alter his density. Spidercide had his head punched off of his body while battling the Scarlet Spider, resulting in an unsettling image of a quippy head on the floor. It was the epitome of 1990s comics excess. Spidercide’s head continued to taunt his foes, until he summoned enough liquid to regrow his body. Spidercide is considered the black sheep of Spider-Man’s many clones, which is saying a lot.
First Appearance: Marvel Tales #209 (1987)
Recommended Story: Marvel Tales #210 (1987)
Spidey-Ball is Spider-Man in the form of a sentient ball. He comes from a reality where all of Marvel’s heroes are in ball form. One day they were transported to Spider-Ham’s reality after the swine accidentally spilled soda on his television. Yes, that’s as good of an explanation as you’re going to get. Spidey-Ball bounces around Spider-Ham’s dimension, causing mayhem as he rolled along. He was eventually returned to his reality.
First Appearance: Blonde Phantom Comics #12 (1946)
Recommended Story: No return appearances yet, but maybe this article will inspire a talented creator to bring him back.
Marvel’s original Spider-Man is a character many of you have never heard of. Almost two decades before Peter Parker’s first appearance, a serial killer named Spiderman bedeviled Miss America in the pages of Blonde Phantom Comics. He lacked many of Spider-Man’s familiar traits, including the hyphen. Spiderman was a mad scientist with no powers.
Spiderman traps his victims in giant spider webs, and then he drains their blood to his giant spiders. That’s right, Spiderman has his own giant spiders and planned to use them to overrun the world. The story ended with Spiderman being eaten by his giant spiders. Something tells me he won’t be invited to the next Spider-Verse event, and even if he was, I don’t think the others would get along with him.
First Appearance: Marvel Versus DC #3 (1996)
Recommended Story: Spider-Boy #1 (1996)
Spider-Boy is a fusion between Spider-Man and Superboy. The teenage hero was created for the 1996 Marvel versus DC crossover event. The premise was that various Marvel and DC heroes had fused, and their adventures would be published under an imprint called Amalgam Comics. Spidey-Boy was a genetically altered clone created by Project Cadmus.
Spider-Boy’s powers are gravity based. By manipulating gravity, Spider-Boy can pull himself to objects, making it appear that he’s walking on a wall. These powers also give him increased agility. His webbing comes from a special gun given to him by his Project Cadmus handlers. Since the character is jointly owned by Marvel and DC Comics, legal issues prevent him from being used in Spider-Verse events.
First Appearance: Spider-Island: I Love New York City #1
Recommended Story: He also appears in Amazing Spider-Man #7 (2014), but he’s killed by the villainous Inheritors, so read his first appearance instead.
Spider-Cat is a feline with spider powers. His nemesis is a pigeon with the Venom symbiote. Their battles usually wind up exhausting most of the feline’s nine lives. Spider-Cat was tragically devoured by the Inheritors in the prelude to the first Spider-Verse event. However, it’s possible he still has some of his nine lives left. Perhaps Spider-Cat will prowl the alleys of the Spider-Verse again.
First Appearance: Ultimate Spider-Man season 4, episode 17: Return to the Spider-Verse Part 2
Recommended Story: Ultimate Spider-Man season 4, episode 19: Return to the Spider-Verse Part 4
Spider-Beard is pretty simple, he’s a pirate version of Spider-Man. He’s obsessed with hoarding treasure, he wears a beard over his mask, and his best friend is an inanimate coconut named coco. Oh, and his pirate ship is a giant version of Groot shaped like a boat. Spider-Beard appeared in two episodes of the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series and hasn’t been seen since. It’s a shame, because he would add some flavor to the next Spider-Verse event.
First Appearance: Spidey Super Stories #25 (1977)
Recommended Story: No other appearances. Isn’t it a shame?
Web-Man is a clone of Spider-Man created by Doctor Doom. Web-Man is designed to be the direct opposite of Spider-Man, right down to his costume design. Unfortunately for Doom, this means that Web-Man was dumb, while Spider-Man was smart. He is also incredibly bad at web-swinging, crashing into buildings clumsily. Web-Man had a single appearance in Spidey Super Stories, a comic book series for young readers inspired by The Electric Company Spider-Man segments.
This is just a small sample of some of the bizarre Spider-Men you’ll find throughout the Spider-Verse. Keep your eyes peeled to Popverse for more articles and guides as we continue to explore the Spider-Verse, and its many strange inhabitants.
Want to meet another Spider-Man? How about a bizarro one? Meet Rek-Rap, the new bizarro Spider-Man