Where to Start Reading — Simple comic guides, with links to books.

Last updated Apr 25, 2019

Where to start reading Spider-Man comics

Where to start reading Spider-Man comics

Where should I start reading Spider-Man? There have been over 50 years of Spider-Man comics mostly across two universes, Ultimate and 616.

Universes!? Marvel comics started a long time ago, and their characters were all set in the same world, so they could meet each other and team up and stuff. But in the year 2000, someone had the idea to create a new world, where they could create modern versions of the origins and stories of Marvel characters like Spider-Man. This new Ultimate universe was denoted as Universe-1610, while the original was denoted Universe-616.

So the original Spider-Man comic which began in 1963, Amazing Spider-Man, continued in the 616 universe, but so did this new Ultimate Spider-Man comic in the 1610, or Ultimate universe. He exists in the same world as a lot of other comics under the Ultimate title like Ultimate X-Men.

In 2015, a comic book event called Secret Wars destroyed both of these universes and create a new, single Marvel universe with characters from both.

Here's all of the best starting points for reading Spider-Man, with a little information and Marvel Unlimited and Book links for each:

Marvel Universe (Universe-616)

  • Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #1 Amazing Fantasy (1962) #15 and Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #1 - Stan Lee and Steve Ditko introduced Spider-Man in the final issue of the cancelled Amazing Fantasy anthology. It went on to sell more than any previous issue, and the Amazing Spider-Man series was born! These are classic stories, but not everyone's personal taste, due to being over 50 years old. I fell in love with them on first read though. The Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection: Great Power collects the first 19 issues which is an incredible deal.

  • Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #1 Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #1 - After issue #441 they restarted the numbering of the series to show new readers it was a good starting point, but at issue #500 they went back to the original numbering, so people often just call this issue #442. It's a great way to jump to "modern" Spider-Man. It leads right into the "JMS run" of Amazing Spider-Man. A run is a part of a series written by a specific writer, with JMS being a writer people really like. I can't find a collection that starts with this issue, but Amazing Spider-Man by JMS Ultimate Collection, Book 1 skips right to the JMS run which is fantastic.

  • Marvel Civil War Marvel Civil War - A massive event which had a huge impact on Spider-Man, and the Marvel universe as a whole. This is a cool place to start reading comics because you get exposed to so many characters, and you can see parallels with the film. Here's a breakdown of which comics to read for Civil War, but a short summary would be the main Civil War series, which features lots of Spidey, as well as The Road to Civil War and Amazing Spider-Man: Civil War being great additions.

  • Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #546 Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #546: Brand New Day - A brand new Peter Parker emerges from Civil War! But why is everything different? This is as close to a reboot as Amazing Spider-Man has every gotten and it's a great fresh start for new readers. This run is printed in Brand New Day: The Complete Collection, Vol. 1, Vol. 2, and Vol. 3.

  • Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #648 Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #648: Big Time - Parker finally gets his shit together! It's got some of the BEST recent Spidey stories and leads right into the Superior Spider-Man, which is harder to start at. There's a great print copy Spider-Man: Big Time Ultimate Collection, followed by The Complete Collection Volumes 2, 3, and 4 which include everything up to Superior.

  • Superior Spider-Man (2013) #1 Superior Spider-Man (2013) - After 700 issues Amazing Spider-Man ends, and Superior Spider-Man begins. This series is absolutely brilliant, and one of the most memorable stories in all of Spider-Man, but also very different from Amazing so maybe not where you want to start. Superior Spider-Man, Vol. 1 actually contains lead-in issues Amazing #698-700 which is awesome, and continues with Vol 2 and Vol 3.

  • Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #1 Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #1 - Modern Spider-Man! The main draw of starting here is that it leads right into the Spider-Verse, which a fun event full of different Spider-Men from different universes. The volume starts with The Parker Luck, then the Spider-Verse Prelude, and Spider-Verse! At this point, Marvel also published an updated origin story called Learning to Crawl. It wasn't my favorite, but it does tie in a little bit to Parker Luck, so they do make a good pair.

Ultimate Universe (Universe-1610)

After Secret Wars

In 2015, Secret Wars reshaped the Marvel Universe. This is a fantastic story with both the 616 and 1610 Spider-Men playing big parts, and resulted in the two sharing the same universe. Their new series are fantastic jumping on points if you want to read current adventures of Spider-Man.

  • Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #1 Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #1 - This is the current series with Peter Parker, Spider-Man from the 616 Universe. Parker Industries is a global company, with offices in New York, Shanghai, London and San Francisco. Peter and his "bodyguard" Spider-Man take on the world. The prints start with Amazing Spider-Man: Worldwide Vol. 1.

  • Spider-Man (2016) #1 Spider-Man (2016) #1 - This is the current series with Miles Morales, Spider-Man from the 1610 Ultimate Universe, finding his place in the post-Secret-Wars marvel universe alongside the 616 Peter Parker. This is a good place to get to know Miles for the first time. The prints start with Spider-Man: Miles Morales Vol. 1.

All Articles

Ant-Man Apr, 2019

Archie Apr, 2019

Avengers Jun, 2018

Black Panther Dec, 2018

Black Widow Jul, 2018

Captain America Sep, 2018

Captain Marvel Nov, 2018

Civil War Dec, 2018

Daredevil Dec, 2018

Deadpool Jun, 2018

Doctor Strange Apr, 2019

Guardians of the Galaxy Jul, 2018

Hawkeye Jul, 2018

Iron Fist Jul, 2018

Iron Man Dec, 2018

Jessica Jones Jun, 2018

Marvel Events Oct, 2017

Moon Knight Jun, 2018

Ms. Marvel Dec, 2018

Old Man Logan Jul, 2018

Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat Jun, 2018

Runaways Dec, 2018

Secret Wars Dec, 2018

Silk Apr, 2019

Spider-Gwen Apr, 2019

Spider-Man Apr, 2019

Spider-Verse Dec, 2018

Spider-Woman Jun, 2018

Squirrel Girl Apr, 2019

Superman Jan, 2017

Thor Apr, 2019

Vision Oct, 2018

Wasp Jul, 2018

Wolverine Jun, 2017

X-Men Jul, 2018

Young Avengers Jul, 2018