1. PETER PARKER THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN
I was introduced to comic books by a grown up in the man’s basement. (I know how that sounds, but it wasn’t like that–my parents were there, too. The adults were looking for a way to amuse junior while they all had dinner upstairs.) The first comic book I ever read was Peter Parker the Spectactular Spider-Man #1. I then devoured the next 10 issues in order. I was completely rapt: Spider-Man, Jackal, Punisher, Tarantula…When it was time to go home, I wouldn’t leave. The kind man gave me the first 25 or so issues of the title, to get me started, and then, finally, I had something to spend my allowance on. For the rest of my life. Every kid wants to be Spidey. He’s the most approachable, coolest superhero ever, and he belongs in the number one slot.
A few of my favorite Spidey tales:
- Marvel Masterworks: Spider-Man Vol. 1 (reprints Amazing Fantasy #15 and The Amazing Spider-Man #1-10)
- The Amazing Spider-Man 229-230 (“Nothing Can Stop the Juggernaut”) (color reprints are hard to find, but these issues and some other brilliant Spidey stories are included in the black and white reprint collection Essential Spider-Man vol. 10)
- The Death of Jean DeWolff
- Kraven’s Last Hunt (trade volume)
- The Amazing Spider-Man: The Gauntlet Vol. 5 (reprinting the “Shed” story arc).
- See also: My review of the entire Amazing Spider-Man title (yes, every single issue!)
And to close this all out, here’s a panel from the Spidey/Juggernaut battle–one of my favorite panels from one of my favorite comics of all time. Words by Roger Stern, art by John Romita, Jr.
And for all you who don’t feel like reading that much, here’s the full list, on the next page…