Marvel Comics’ most iconic New York street hero is regarded as one of the greatest due to his down-to-earth persona, incredible resourcefulness, and broad versatility. Due to Spider-Man’s zenith being explored on multiple occasions, he is also regarded as the pinnacle crime-fighter when compared to other Marvel heroes.
Nearly 60 years since his inception, Spider-Man has gone toe-to-toe with some of the most powerful friends and foes of the Marvel Comics Universe and has often found creative ways to emerge victorious despite stacked odds and less-than-favorable situations against Juggernaut, Firelord, and more.
10/10 Spider-Man Takes On Kingpin In An Over-Sized Brawl
In The Amazing Spider-Man #544 by Joe Quesada, John Romita Jr., Phil Jimenez, Alex Saviuk, and J. Michael Straczynski, Spider-Man takes on New York’s penultimate crime boss. In the issue, Aunt May is struck by a sniper’s bullet, meant for him.
Spider-Man and Kingpin have had multiple confrontations throughout their nearly 60 years of existence however the outcomes have typically resulted in a draw or complete avoidance of physical altercation. Kingpin is known for being a brutal yet proficient fighter with goliath strength however Spider-Man took the win by beating the crime boss within an inch of his life.
9/10 Spider-Man Overcame The Unstoppable Juggernaut
Spider-Man is able to defeat the unstoppable Juggernaut by using “mind over matter” in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man #229-#230 by Roger Stern, John Romita Jr. Jim Mooney, Glynis Wein, Joe Rosen, and Tom DeFalco.
In the issue, Juggernaut is on the hunt to kidnap Madame Webb. He lays waste to much of New York City as Spider-Man attempts several times to physically stop him. In a moment of clarity, Spidey devises a plan to stop the villain using cement from a construction site. The plan works as he is able to lead Juggernaut into the work site where he is stopped in his tracks. This is one of Spider-Man’s most iconic and unlikely wins just due to him battling an unstoppable force of nature.
8/10 Spider-Man Claims An Unlikely Win Over The Hulk
The Grey Hulk got sent flying by Spidey in The Amazing Spider-Man #328 by David Michillinie, Todd McFarlane, Al Gordon, Bob Sharen, and Rick Parker. This is regarded as one of Spider-Man’s most impressive physical wins over a nearly unbeatable opponent, despite him having some cosmic help.
In the story, Spidey gains possession of Captain Universe’s gauntlet and confronts the rampaging Grey Hulk on New York City’s Roosevelt Bridge. Hulk put up a decent fight however Spider-Man was able to counter his futile attempts. Finally, Spider-Man sends the Grey Hulk into low Earth orbit after landing a single blow.
7/10 Spider-Man’s Most Controversial Win Over Firelord Is A Total Blur
Spidey’s most questionable and unlikely win came against Galactus’s former herald, Firelord in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man #270 by Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz, Joe Rosen, Bob McLeod, and Jim Owsley.
The story unfolds with Spider-Man battling Firelord, to very little avail. Firelord mocks Spidey’s feeble attempts, enraging him. What happens next is still the subject of much debate, however, Spider-Man essentially speed blitz him with several hundred punches unrelenting. It isn’t until Captain America pulls Spider-Man away, that he realizes he’s won the fight.
6/10 Spider-Man Bests Goliath Using His Signature Weapon
Eric Josteen went by the alias Goliath prior to joining The Thunderbolts with Baron Zemo and changing his name to Atlas. But in Web of Spider-Man #60 by Bob Sharen, Alex Saviuk, Phil Felix, and Rick Parker, the villainous strongman goes toe-to-toe with the Wall Crawler in a revenge plot following Spider-Man receiving Captain Universe’s gauntlet.
Goliath is notable for his size and strength. He typically lifts over 100 tons with relative ease, making it hard to imagine how Spider-Man was able to defeat him sans the gauntlet. During their battle, Spidey web shoots Goliath’s legs without his knowledge, causing him to fall flat on his face, rendering himself unconscious.
5/10 Spider-Man Gets The Advantage Over Silver Surfer In An Unlikely Way
Silver Surfer is regarded as one of the most powerful cosmic beings in the Marvel Comics Universe. Spider-Man standing toe-to-toe with him does not come into the mind of anyone due to the sheer lack of power he has compared to the cosmic being. However, in Silver Surfer #14 by Stan Lee, John Buscema, Dan Atkins, and Sam Rosen the Wall Crawler and planetary traveler collide in an epic battle.
In the issue, Silver Surfer is badly injured after saving the Earth from a near-deadly meteor strike. Weakened by taking preventative measures, he plummets to Midtown Manhattan where Spidey mistakes his fall for an invasion and begins to attack. He is able to knock the Silver Surfer off his board several times, landing powerful blows, The skirmish ends after Spider-Man notices Silver Surfer shielding a young girl from falling debris caused by their fighting.
4/10 Spider-Man Gives Graviton A Colossal Beat-Down
Graviton and Spider-Man have battled on several occasions with the latter often emerging victoriously. During Spider-Man’s time in possession of Captain Universe’s gauntlet, Graviton and several other villains were rendered powerless.
Seeking revenge, Graviton ambushes Spider-Man tossing him several thousand feet into the air. Spider-Man was able to slow his ascent into the upper atmosphere thanks to a random commercial plane doing a flyby. When Spider-Man was able to make his way back to the fight, he sucker-punched the unsuspecting Graviton knocking him unconscious.
3/10 Spider-Man Bests Wolverine, A Friend Turned Foe
Spider-Man Versus Wolverine by. Jim Owsley and Mark Bright is one of the later chapters of the historic friendship-turned-rivalry between Wolverine and the Wall Crawler. In this one-shot the two cross fists in one of the best retellings to date.
In the story, Wolverine agrees to the mercy killing of his friend Charlemagne following her gut-wrenching medical diagnosis. Spider-Man, still grieving the death of his beloved friend Ned Leads, intervenes, instantly angering Wolverine. Spider-Man accidentally kills Charlemagne after he throws a punch intended for Wolverine. The two brawl for some time however the fight ends after Wolverine’s spine is snapped by Spidey, rendering him powerless.
2/10 Spider-Man Beats Thanos At His Own Game
Spider-Man’s greatest win against an overpowered adversary is remembered by no one else except himself. In Avengers & The Infinity Gauntlet #4 by Jim Starlin, George Perez, and Ron Lima, the Wall Crawler takes on the Mad Titan along with his fellow Avengers in an effort to save reality from total erasure.
During the battle, Spider-Man is successful in distracting the villain long enough to rip the Infinity Gauntlet away from him using his webbing. Thanos tries unsuccessfully to lunge for the powerful weapon but is evaded by Spider-Man who simply makes a wish that Thanos never existed. The issue ends with the Avengers back on Earth completely unaware of the events that previously took place as well as knowledge of who Thanos is.
1/10 Spidey Dethrones Luke Cage, The Hero For Hire
In The Amazing Spider-Man #123 by Gerry Conway, John Romita, Gil Kane, Artie Simek, and Roy Thomas, Daily Bugle Publisher J. Jonah Jameson caves to negative public sentiment about Spider-Man and hires Luke Cage to apprehend him.
Cage was unrelenting in his quest to bring the Wall Crawler into custody and despite losing in their first encounter, he allowed his love of money to blind him. During the second meeting, Spider-Man is able to bind cage tightly using webbing. It is during this time that Cage is forced to listen to Spider-Man and determine that he is in fact innocent. This was not one of Spider-Man’s most brutal battles however it is still an unlikely win considering Luke Cage’s immense strength and rival speed.
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