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10 Insane Alternate Versions Of Spider-Man You Won’t Believe Exist –

Though DC tend to hold the crown for the best use of their many, many alternate universes, when it comes to Marvel, Spider-Man is the only one who can really give them a run for their money.

The wall-crawler has a troff of unique, alternate counterparts that span the entire Marvel multiverse, and with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse set to spotlight these characters on the big screen come December, True Believers are going to have a ball.

So highly regarded are these Spider-Men that two (Miles Morales and Spider-Gwen) have already made the leap to Marvel’s main 616 continuity. They’re both now stars in their own right, with Miles having even eclipsed Peter in the comics as of late, but they’re nowhere near as wild as some of these other alternate Spider-Men.

Some sport six arms, others just the usual two, and some have even opted to shirk their great responsibility altogether. There are so many variants of the identity in the comics that there have even been Spider-villains to compete with the heroes. It’s a crazy, multi-dimensional world, and with it being such a crazy, multi-dimensional world, the only surprise should be that there’s scarcely a dull one to be found.

10. Ghost Spider

Marvel Comics

Marvel have had an awful lot of fun with the Ghost Rider identity over the years, bonding the Spirit of Vengeance to a whole manner of different heroes and villains at varying points in continuity.

The most recent wearer of the mantle has been Frank Castle – the cosmic Ghost Rider – but a version of Peter Parker has also done the same at one point in time. Called Ghost Spider (which, to his credit, does actually rhyme with rider), this particular incarnation of the wall-crawler boasts a flaming skull, a white costume, and a creepy, bone-like spider-symbol on his chest.

Yes, it all looks rather cool, but potentially cooler is the fact that the Sorcerer Supreme of this universe was none other than Bruce Banner. Ghost Spider’s origin actually involves the mystic Banner plucking Peter’s soul straight from Hell and setting him on a new path as the Spirit of Vengeance, and it’s just as wonderful as you think it is.

 

9. Spider-Man: Unlimited

Saban Entertainment

The only nineties Spider-Man cartoon worth revisiting is obviously the one that aired on Fox Kids, but that doesn’t mean fans should forget Spider-Man: Unlimited – the weird, half-sibling of that original series.

Centred around Spider-Man as he chases Venom and Carnage into a place called ‘Counter Earth’, Unlimited was Marvel’s answer to Batman Beyond. Peter is placed in a futuristic, noir dystopia, given a new, snazzy suit, and leads a revolution alongside J. Jonah Jameson’s son against a bunch of half-human, half-animal hybrids.

Needless to say, the show didn’t last long, airing just a measly thirteen episodes before it was cancelled during its cliffhanger finale. It made for an interesting take on the wall-crawler though, and while it’s probably the most obscure Spidey show going, one thing it did have was a brilliant aesthetic. Just look at that Spidey suit and try to say otherwise.

8. Spider-Wolf

Marvel Comics

For the sake of making a lycanthropic Spider-Man even more confusing, Marvel decided to actually make two of them. There’s the Peter Parker of Earth-13989, and the one of Earth-7085 (pictured above). Both – as you may have guessed already – are werewolves.

The idea of injecting another animal to the Spider-motif is bizarre enough, but the fact this was a trope the House of Ideas returned to on two separate occasions makes things even weirder. In any case, the Spider-Man of Earth-7085 exists in a realm where dozens of Marvel characters fell victim to the call of the moon, with the group having actually managed to kill Galactus too.

His abilities are also fairly self-evident, retaining the gifts imparted by the radioactive Spider, whilst also having all the bonuses of being a werewolf too.

The other werewolf only made one appearance in 2015’s Amazing Spider-Man #11, and is killed off in that very same issue.

Still though, Spider-Wolf everyone! For when one animal gimmick just isn’t enough.

7. Cosmic Spider-Man

Marvel Comics

Although Spider-Man is a character that tends to be associated with Marvel’s street-level contingent, he has starred in multiple storylines with a cosmic focus. 1984’s Secret Wars, which featured the wall-crawler and other Marvel heroes being transported to deep space per the request of the Beyonder, had a key focus on the character – even outfitting him with the infamous black suit that would later birth Venom.

Throw in all the Spider-Verse stuff too, which is fairly cosmic in and of itself, and it makes sense that at least one Spider-Man would wield an even greater power than what fans have gotten used to.

Taking place in What If? #32 during the series’ second volume, ‘What If… Spider-Man Had Not Lost His Cosmic Powers?’ features the wall-crawler having retained the Enigma Force – a powerful cosmic energy more commonly associated with the stories of Mar-Vel – as he takes on the identity of Captain Universe. Peter eventually rises to a Superman-level of power, so much so that he winds up in direct competition with Thor, over the God of Thunder’s unwillingness to end a draught in Africa.

The design itself lifts elements from the classic Captain Universe garb, with only a brief remnant of Peter’s old costume, but still, what a look it was.

6. Spider-Punk

Marvel Comics

Ever found your Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man to be a bit too friendly with big-business? Wish he’d lead a revolution to the beats of one of the seventies’ most beloved music genres? Well you’re in luck, because Spider-Punk ticks all the boxes any Spider-Radical could possibly have.

Set in Earth-138 where Norman Osborn has risen to the highest office in all the land – the Presidency of the United States – this particular incarnation of the web-slinger isn’t actually Peter Parker, but instead Hobart Brown. In the main 616 continuity, Brown was, of course, the vigilante known as the Prowler. The red and blue of the spider-suit suits him well though, as Brown takes to the streets with a guitar and his favourite denim jacket to lead a revolt against a corrupt government in true punk-fashion.

Timely, beautifully drawn and with a wonderful premise, this particular incarnation of Spider-Man is as bizarre as it is bedazzling, showcasing Brown as he leads his own Spider Army against a tyrant Osborn.

Fans of this particular wall-crawler will also be happy to know that it’ll appear in Insomniac’s upcoming Spider-Man game, so there’s that too.

5. Spider-UK

Marvel Comics

Funnily enough, the design for Spider-Punk was originally intended to be used by Spider-UK – a version of Peter Parker raised in the British Isles. What makes the character so interesting, however, is that he’s actually an amalgamation of the Captain Britain and Spider-Man identities – hence the rather garish webbed Union flag on the character’s chest.

The character, who goes by the name of William Braddock in Earth-833, had a key part to play in the original Edge of Spider-Verse event from 2014. The novelty of seeing a British version of the web-slinger doesn’t wear off either, with the character also being a member of the Captain Britain Corps – a collective that draws together all the alternate versions of Captain Britain (yes, there are that many) under one banner.

Braddock then goes on to form the Warriors of the Great Web – a super-team of Spider-Men and Spider-Women who respond to multiverse-threatening events. He’s actually a really important character, and while Spider-Gwen is certainly the most noticeable of the recent additions to Spidey’s alternate selves, Braddock’s role should not be overlooked.

4. Armoured Spider-Man

Marvel Comics

Fans of the nineties Spider-Man cartoon will be all too aware of this particular incarnation of the wall-crawler, who managed to lead a life of wealth and privilege no typical depiction of Peter Parker has ever managed to come close to.

Situated in a reality where Peter managed to prevent the death of Uncle Ben, this version of Spider-Man does more than just sport an armoured costume; he’s rich – like, filthy rich – is a bit of a playboy and, as opposed to the show’s typical depiction of the character, is engaged to Gwen Stacy too.

Disney

The irony here, of course, is that while this particular Spider-Man has it made, he’s a bit of a tool. Arrogant, selfish and completely out of touch, the character attempts to wrest control of the Spider-Team assembled by Madame Webb from the original version of Peter Parker, before falling in line and realising just how lucky he truly is compared to his webbed cohorts.

The episode also saw the introduction of Spider-Carnage – a version of Peter Parker who bonds with the Carnage symbiote and embarks on a campaign of villainy against all of reality – which was equally wild in its own, terrifying way.

3. What If? #19

Marvel Comics

Similar to the aforementioned entry, this incarnation of Spider-Man actually managed to save Uncle Ben from being killed, and it’s one of the better What If? stories in Marvel’s library too.

Titled ‘What if Spider-Man Had Stopped The Burglar Who Killed His Uncle?’, the story sees Peter become a celebrity of sorts, appearing on talkshows, promotions, and even movies. Spidey’s celebrity gets so big that he eventually becomes the PR agent for the Fantastic Four, X-Men and Avengers, before buying Marvel Comics outright. He also attempts a rebrand of Daredevil’s costume as his new agent, though the Man Without Fear remains unconvinced of the web-slinger’s fashion-sense.

Of course, there’s a catch to Peter’s newfound stardom. He falls out with Uncle Ben and Aunt May, threatens J. Jonah Jameson in order to maintain his secret identity, and ends up being ruined by a feud with the media personality which eventually sees a whole different kind of Sinister Six team up in revenge.

At the very least, however, What If? #19 serves as one of the more unique alternate-reality Spidey stories, and one worth seeking out if you have the time.

2. Man-Spider (Earth-92100)

Marvel Comics

There’s nothing quite as wild as a six-armed Spider-Man – there just isn’t.

And though the concept of the radioactive spider transforming Peter Parker into a literal arachnid might seem comical, it’s actually quite harrowing. The way the nineties cartoon in particular showcased this transformation was especially creepy, with the end result of Peter’s transformation into the Man-Spider even bearing the echoes of Cronenberg’s Fly movie – it’s that gross.

But while that particular arc was adapted from the Six Arms Saga in the comics – where Peter was eventually able to come up with a cure – the Spider-Man of Earth-92100 had no such luck. In his world, Morbius (who played a vital role in the development of a cure during the 616 timeline) was eaten by sharks. This meant that he was stuck with his extra appendages, and though you’d think the general public would be horrified at the prospect of a six-armed Spidey, they actually warm to him over time, with this particular incarnation of the wall-crawler having also succeeded where other Spider-Men failed by saving Gwen Stacy.

Unfortunately, the Man Spider of Earth-92100 suffers a tragic fate during a run-in with Daemos in 2099, but he managed to leave a great impression all the same.

1. Spider-Man Noir

Marvel Comics

Spider-Man Noir isn’t just the most off-the-wall variant of Spidey going – he’s also the best.

Set in Depression-era New York, this version of the wall-crawler (created by David Hine, Fabrice Sapolsky and Carmine Di Giandomenico), sees Peter Parker fighting a sinister figure known as The Goblin, who presides over the most malicious of New York’s mobs.

It’s super pulpy with a big dose of noir thrown in for good measure, and though the image of a trenchoat-wearing, gun-toting Spidey might feel like an odd departure at first, there’s a reason why the character has already made plenty of appearances in other media, and is gearing up for a key part in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse with none other than Nicolas Cage lending his voice to the role.

It’s a wonderfully unique version of the character, and one that looks set to stay in the spotlight too. Throw in the fact that that the original mini-series that introduced Noir Spidey was also rather good, and you have as perfect a basis as any to argue that this wall-crawler is as insane, as he is spectacular.

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