5 comics to read before (or after) seeing ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’

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1:00 pm EDT, July 6, 2012

If you’re reading this I’m guessing you’ve either already seen The Amazing Spider-Man or you are planning to see it soon. Hopefully the film made you want to try out some Spider-Man comics, and these are just a few stories which link into the film.

Just a quick word of warning, this article will feature spoilers for both the film and the comics.

Ultimate Spiderman #1-7 (Powers and Responsibility)

Obviously the best place to start with Spider-Man is his origins. First shown in Amazing Fantasy #15, Spider-Man’s origins have been reprinted and re-imagined more than most other superheroes. However one of the better re-tellings is that seen in 2001s Ultimate Spiderman. The story is pretty similar to the origins shown in the film, but features the Green Goblin instead of The Lizard. This particular arc received critical and commercial acclaim and is a great start for anyone looking to begin reading Spider-Man comics.

The Amazing Spider-Man #6

The Lizard/Dr. Curt Connors first appeared in this issue of The Amazing Spider-Man. Essentially this story is a basic origin of The Lizard. Rumours of a lizard-like monster reach Peter Parker who decides to investigate. Through flashbacks, Connors’ wife tells Spider-Man how he was transformed into the Lizard and Spider-Man has his first fight with the Lizard. This issue is a pretty generic superhero story but is significant for introducing the Lizard, who would go on to become one of Spider-Mans greatest enemies.

Spider-Man: Blue #1-6

This series retells the story of how Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy fell in love. Told through a series of flashbacks, the comics also show the beginnings of the love triangle between Peter, Gwen and Mary-Jane Watson and how Gwen’s death affected Peter. Although the main focus of the series is Peter and Gwen’s relationship, it also provides an introduction to iconic enemies such as Kraven the Hunter. Obviously Peter and Gwen’s relationship is a major focus of The Amazing Spider-Man film so this is a good starting point for people wishing to learn more about the pair.

The Amazing Spider-Man #88-90 (The Death of Captain Stacy)

Anyone who has seen The Amazing Spider-Man will know that at the end, Gwen’s father Captain George Stacy was killed by The Lizard, whilst aiding Spider-Man. This story is very similar to the conclusion of the film but features Dr. Octopus instead of The Lizard. The story also temporarily ended Peter and Gwen’s relationship due to the blame she placed on Spider-Man. Although this story influenced the film, Captain Stacy’s final words couldn’t be more different. Whilst in the film he made Peter promise to stay away from Gwen, in the comics he encouraged Peter to stay with Gwen and protect her.

The Amazing Spider-Man #121-122 (The Night Gwen Stacy Died)

Another major story which, although not featured in the first film, will likely influence later films is ‘The Night Gwen Stacy Died.’ In this story, obviously, Gwen is killed. However, it’s never made clear whether it’s the Green Goblin’s attack or Peter’s attempt to rescue her which kills her. This story has since become iconic due to the long-term repercussions for Peter and how it killed such a major character with an established fan-base. Gwen is also one of the few comic book characters who has stayed dead and hasn’t returned from the dead. Although this story didn’t play any major role in the film, judging by Captain Stacy’s speech before his death it’s likely to make an appearance in a future movie.

These are just a few stories to use as an introduction to the comics. There are hundreds more which will have influenced the film and could be used as a starting point for anyone wishing to get into comics.

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