Cool Comics for Kids: Get Started with Spider-Man

Get to know your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man before or after Spider-Man: Homecoming!

A new Spider-Man movie is out this year! If that's got you excited to read more about him, there are plenty of choices. Marvel's Spider-Man comics have been in continuous print since the early 1960s, which might seem overwhelming. But we have some suggestions to help you get started.

If you're looking for short, light stories without a lot of backstory, try the Marvel Age comics or the new Spidey title.

If you'd like to see how Spider-Man got his start:

Check out the Marvel Masterworks , Essential , or Epic reprints of his original adventures. (FYI, Essential reprints give you many issues, but they are in black and white.) Look for ones written and drawn by his creators, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. These include the first appearances of Spider-Man: Homecoming villain the Vulture (Amazing Spider-Man #2 and #7, fore example). Ditko designed many of Spidey's classic supporting characters and villains, including Doctor Octopus, the Green Goblin, Sandman, Electro, and the Lizard, all of whom have appeared in other movies.

In other reprints, Lee is joined by artist John Romita (who came from drawing romance comics, so Peter Parker and his female leads suddenly become more attractive). Romita helped Lee create more classic villains, including the Shocker, who is rumored to appear in the new movie.

If you'd like to dig deeper:

By the 1970s, other writers and artists were making Spider-Man comics, and they added more characters, killed off a few , and made other big changes in his life. At one point he got a clone (an exact copy of his body, powers, and memories), which showed up again in the 1990s in a very complicated storyline known as the Clone Saga .

In the 1980s, the comics had Peter Parker get married, wear a new black-and-white costume, and meet fan-favorite villain Venom. By the 2000s, he is a high school teacher.

If you'd like to start fresh with a newer version of the character:

Try Ultimate Spider-Man, written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Mark Bagley . This is a brand-new retelling of the Spider-Man story, set in more modern times, with Peter starting over in high school, and with updated versions of characters and storylines. This new version has influenced later movies, TV shows, and games.

In fact, a younger Peter was so popular, they decided to make changes so that the original Peter would feel younger again. If you'd like to read the updated version, start with the Brand New Day storylines .

Meanwhile, back in Ultimate Spider-Man, something huge happened: They replaced Peter Parker with a new Spider-Man. Part of Spidey's appeal is that although Peter is white, fans of all races have been able to imagine themselves behind the familiar mask. The new Ultimate Spider-Man is Miles Morales , another young high schooler, this time of African-American and Latinx descent. Miles appears in multiple video games and a new animated movie due out in 2018.

Finally, the current Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott has made huge changes to Peter's life, including swapping his body with that of Dr. Octopus ( Died in Your Arms Tonight and The Superior Spider-Man ), giving everyone in New York City spider-powers ( Spider-Island ), and having him meet every version of Spider-Man from every alternate universe ( Spider-Verse ).

-- Tom

Fun fact: My favorite Spider-Man bad guy is Mysterio, the master of illusion. His ridiculous costume includes a fishbowl head. I have no idea how they could put that in a movie, but I love it. Read some Spidey comics and then tell me, who's your favorite?

Created by Thomas Kochinski on Jun 22nd, 2017 @ 12:43 PM.
Updated on Jul 6th, 2017 @ 9:31 AM.