Spider-Man is one of Marvel’s most popular legacy characters (arguably the most popular), and that is due in no small part to his relatability.
He's a huge nerd, he gets little to no respect from a public he consistently saves, his fellow superheroes find him to be pretty annoying, and he never, ever, ever has his crap together. Sure, he's a hero, but he is also just struggling to get by … like the rest of us. Figuring out how to pay the bills week to week, or making bad decisions in his personal life, or even just figuring out how to extract his foot from his mouth during arguments with loved ones. We've all been there.
(I won't digress into how un-relatable Peter has become in recent issues, but suffice to say, I will never know what it's like to be a multi-billionaire who owns your own name-branded company. Oh, did you think I was talking about Tony Stark? Oh, if only.)
I've been missing my "I, too, am human garbage" Peter Parker, so I wanted to share some of my favorite moments in this doofus' history. Come with me, friends. Let's take a walk down memory lane together.
Amazing Spider-Man #16: Written by Stan Lee, Art by Steve Ditko, Letters by S. Rosen
Pete saves Matt Murdock (not knowing that he is Daredevil) and … immediately asks him for money. When he dies. What the hell, Peter?
FF #17: Written by Jonathan Hickman, Art by Nick Dragotta, Colors by Chris Sotomayor, Letters by VC's Clayton Cowles
It was hard to pick a specific panel from this issue. Peter spends the entire comic working up the nerve to kick Johnny Storm out of his apartment, and Johnny spends the entire issue being as Johnny-Storm as he can be.
Amazing Spider-Man #642: Written by Mark Waid, Art by Paul Azaceta, Colors by Javier Rodriguez, Letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna
Peter is broke and can't pay his rent, so his roommate sells. his. clothes. But because Michele is a benevolent soul, she leaves him a sweater that he can wear on this hot-ass day to go on a first date with a potential new lady. He shows up late, just in time to see that his date is already hanging with his ex. Oh, for Pete's sake. (Please appreciate that I waited till the third moment on this list to make that joke.)
Daredevil Vol. 3 #8: Written by Mark Waid, Art by Kano, Colors by Javier Rodriguez, Letters by VC's Joe Caramagna
In an ASM/Daredevil crossover two-parter, Peter, Matt, and Felicia work a case of sorts. Despite Spider-Man's, ahem, history with Black Cat … well, so it goes. (I'm on Pete's side here. I mean. Really? Matt "I constantly drown in my own guilt" Murdock?)
The Many Loves of the Amazing Spider-Man #1, "The Root of All Annoyance": Written by Chris Yost, Pencils by Michael Ryan, Inks by Danny Miki, Colors by John Rauch, Letters by Jared K. Fletcher
This might be my favorite page of any Spider-Man comic ever written. Peter makes the worst decisions. Panic is not his friend. (But panic is also not my friend. I get it.)
Amazing Spider-Man #663: Written by Dan Slott, Pencils by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Inks by Klaus Janson, Colors by Matt Hollingsworth, Letters by VC's Joe Caramagna
This is another one of my favorite pages, because he is just so genuinely pleased with himself. Spidey can definitely be written in an oh-so-arrogant way, but this was a moment of sheer joy at his own accomplishments. No radioactive genius bit him to make him smart, he did that all by himself! And it's so cuuuuute.
Avengers Vol. 5 #2: Written by Jonathan Hickman, Art by Jerome Opeña, Colors by Dean White with Justin Ponsor and Morry Hollowell, Letters by VC's Cory Petit
Savage Wolverine #6: Written by Zeb Wells, Art by Joe Madureira, Colors by Peter Steigerwald, Letters by VC's Cory Petit
So awkward. He is so awkward. Elektra is too cool for school and Spider-Man is the opposite (too school for cool?). I don't even need to give you context here, just wallow in the awkwardness of this one-sided exchange.
Avenging Spider-Man #7: Written by Kathryn Immonen, Pencils by Stuart Immonen, Inks by Wade Von Grawbadger, Colors by Matt Hollingsworth, Letters by VC's Joe Caramagna
Through a kooky turn of events while trying to stop a museum heist, She-Hulk ends up with a tail. And She-Hulk's tail IS SO CUTE. Peter gets it! The punchline to the joke he can barely get out of his mouth after the last panel? He doesn't want to tailgate.
Spider-Man & the X-Men #1: Written by Elliot Kalan, Art by Marco Failla, Colors by Ian Herring, Letters by VC's Clayton Cowles
This is just-post-Peter-finds-out-he-owns-his-own-company so he hasn't quite settled into the billionaire role. Instead, as one of Wolverine's dying wishes, he's … teaching mutants. It goes about as well as you might expect.
Spidey #10: Written by Robbie Thompson, Art by Nathan Stockman, Colors by Jim Campbell, Letters by VC's Travis Lanham
I have had this exact experience when meeting my heroes. Also, I'm ending on Spidey because I think it's one of the best Spider-Man spin-offs to come out from Marvel in the last few years -- if you're missing your Peter, look no further. He's right here!
These are just a few moments of Spider-Man being the doof we all know and love, but there are so many, many more in his long and storied history. Long live King Doofus Peter Parker. I know that feel, bro.