Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, and to a lesser extent Spider-Man: No Way Home, have both exploded the Spider-Man mythos in wild new directions. Nothing is off the table now when it comes to Spidey movies. So we think Sony and Marvel should start thinking outside the box. There are plenty of weird, off-the-wall Spider-Man tales that would make for amazing films, in both animation and live-action. Here are some wild chapters from Spider-Man’s comic book history that just might work (or be hot messes). But we’d love to see them try!
The Six-Armed Spider-Man
One of the earliest of the “weird” Spider-Man stories came in Amazing Spider-Man #101-102, in a Stan Lee-written tale where Peter Parker decided to take a serum to remove his powers, which caused him so much grief over the years. Instead, they cause him to mutate into a more spider-like being with six arms. While this story only lasted two issues, it was adapted into a memorable episode of the ’90s Spider-Man cartoon. And there are some wild What If…? stories where Six-Armed Spider-Man is actually proven to be better, and even defeats Thanos! All because he had a few more extra limbs. We dare you to make that movie, Sony and Marvel.
The Superior Spider-Man (Doc Ock Spidey)
For over a year in the comics, Peter Parker was dead. Not in body, just in mind. And his mortal enemy Doctor Octopus took over his physical form and retained his memories. And after experiencing all the pain and sacrifice Peter went through, he had an epiphany and became a hero. He was still an arrogant jerk, however, declaring himself the “Superior Spider-Man.” But in some ways, he really did a better job at being Peter Parker than the real Peter Parker, even creating a huge business empire, Parker Industries. Superior Spidey briefly popped up in Across the Spider-Verse, but he deserves his own movie.
Spider-Man and the X-Men
In the Marvel universe, the X-Men are mutants, and Spider-Man, famously, is not. He got his powers from that infamous spider bite, and doesn’t have an X-gene. But in the Spider-Man and the X-Men limited series, Wolverine asks Peter Parker, who recently taught at Midtown High, to teach ethics at the Jean Grey School for Gifted Youngsters (the renamed Xavier School). While there, he investigates a traitor at the school, and has to deal with super-powered students who don’t have much respect for their teacher, Mr. Spider-Man. Corporate logistics might make this one impossible, but what a fun animated film this would make.
In the two Spider-Verse films, as well as in No Way Home, we’ve learned that there are an infinite number of variants of Spider-Man across the Multiverse. But what if everyone on the island of Manhattan suddenly got spider powers too in just one reality? That’s the premise of Spider-Island, a 2011 storyline that had Peter Parker suddenly dealing with a New York where everyone has his spider powers, but not his moral compass. This one is probably too wild for live-action, but it would make for an incredible animated Spider-Man movie.
Spider-Man vs. Dracula
When you think of Spider-Man, you don’t usually think of gothic monsters like vampires (Morbius notwithstanding). Dracula seems like a more natural enemy for someone like Batman. But back in 1974, in Giant-Size Spider-Man vs Dracula, Peter Parker took on the Lord of the Vampires himself. Well, except he really didn’t? In that comic, written by the great Len Wein, the two never even fight. They just happen to be on the same ship at sea for reasons. Luckily, in more recent times, in the YA book Ultimate Spider-Man: Spider-Man vs. Dracula, he really fights the legendary bloodsucker and his undead armies with the help of S.H.I.E.L.D. We say adapt that one and forget the original.
The Spectacular Spider-Ma’am
Why have a Spider-Man, when you can have a Spider-Ma’am? Yes folks, there is a Spectacular Spider-Ma’am, and she is Aunt May herself. In an issue of What If…? from 1980, Spider-Ma’am was introduced in a story where her nephew Peter forgot his lunch at home. So May rushed to the science demonstration field trip to give to him, and she was bitten by that pesky radioactive spider instead. She made a costume and set out to do stunts to support her family, but ended up fighting the villain Leap-Frog. We can’t tell you how down we’d be for this as a movie. An Aunt May movie was once seriously discussed. This is the only one we want to see.
What if Spider-Man was a cosmic god? That’s not a What If…? story; for a time, that actually happened in the pages of Marvel Comics’ main continuity. For a brief few issues, Peter Parker gained the might of the so-called “Uni-Power,” and became Captain Universe. When a professor at Empire University had a machine in his lab overload and unleash the mysterious Enigma Force, it surged through Peter Parker’s body, giving him the cosmic Uni-Powers. Man, what are the odds of being in two lab accidents that give you super powers? As the new host for this ultimate power, he became Cosmic Spider-Man. It didn’t last long, as the power left him for a new host. But a movie where Spidey gets suddenly as strong as Galactus? Sign us up.