There's a reason why Spider-Man is consistently Marvel's number one comic seller by a huge margin. The character of Peter Parker is so relatable and timeless that millions of people have looked up to him as a role model and inspiration for decades. If anyone can claim the title of "The Face" of Marvel comics, it would be Spider-Man. That doesn't mean things are all rainbows and butterflies for everyone's favorite webhead, though.
Perhaps more than any other Marvel character, Spider-Man has been through the wringer. He often faces brutal, violent challenges that leave him broken and questioning his worldview. Realistically, Uncle Ben should have told him, "With great power comes great people kicking the ever-loving sh*t out of you." Below is a list of some of the goriest Spider-Man issues and craziest Spider-Man comics out there right now. With all that's happened to him, it's a wonder he's still the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man and not the Scarred, Clinically Depressed Spider-Man suffering from PTSD.
Spider-Man Swallows Sandman, Explodes
Although the Marvel Zombies brand should never be taken too seriously, it would be a shame not to mention the horrific Spider-Man death that occurred in Marvel Zombies Return #1. The event takes place on Earth-91126, where that world's Spider-Man is almost exactly like our own. The Sinister Six appear and Spidey goes to change into his costume. While he's gone, the zombie version (don't ask, it's a whole thing) of Spider-Man appears and kills almost all of the Sinister Six. Sandman escapes, but then runs into the real, still alive Spider-Man. Sandman is so scared and angry that he goes into a homicidal rage, pouring himself into Spider-Man's mouth and killing Spidey by bursting out of his stomach and mouth in a huge blast. You know, if he was a serious villain he probably should have done that years ago.
Spider-Man Gets His Eye Ripped Out And Eaten In Front Of Him
In the comic crossover story arc The Other, it really sucks to be Spider-Man. See, Spidey learns he has a deadly, radiation-based illness that is making him disoriented and weaker in fights. He talks to all of his superpowered friends (including Bruce Banner and Doctor Strange) and they all tell him the same thing: death is coming for him.
To make matters worse, the insane supervillain Morlun is hunting Spider-Man at the time in order to drain his life force. In The Amazing Spider-Man #526, he finally catches up with the webhead. A massive battle takes place across New York City, and after getting his butt whooped for most of it Spidey summons one last burst of strength to fight back... but it's not enough. Morlun casually rips Spider-Man's eye out and eats it in front of him, then continues to beat the bejesus out of him, leaving the wallcrawler as nothing but a bloodied, beaten, one-eyed mess.
Spider-Man Literally Gets Turned Into A Gigantic Spider
Have you ever thought to yourself, "I really like Spider-Man, but I'm not a huge fan of the 'Man' part." Well then the Spider-Man Disassembled arc is going to be right up your alley. Starting in Spectacular Spider-Man #17, Spider-Man faces a villain known as The Queen, a villainess who can control spiders.
She wants to mate with Peter (gross) because of his unique genetic makeup, and although she kisses him our hero is able to stop her before things go any further. After some time though, Peter starts to feel weird. Like sitting-on-your-uncle's-lap-as-an-adult level of weird. Parker morphs into a horrifying spider creature, unable to contain his mutation. That's not even the strangest part. His spider-creature body eventually gives birth to a brand new Peter Parker, complete with organic web shooters and the ability to talk to insects. It's weird, it's violent, and it's best not to think about it too often. Before you go to bed tonight, for instance.
Spider-Man Rips Off Kraven's Wife's Face
Spider-Man's friends are very important to him. The rule is simple: if you hurt them, you'll be in for more than just a wisecrack and web to the mouth. That's really the message of the Grim Hunt storyline, which sees Kraven's wife Sasha assemble her family to take revenge on Spider-Man and resurrect (it is a comic book, after all) Kraven from the dead.
They end up killing Kaine, a spider-clone who Spider-Man was close with, thinking he was the real Spider-Man. They also use his blood to bring back Kraven. It's pretty bonkers. When Peter finds out, he becomes consumed with rage. He vows to hunt down Sasha and make her pay. He doesn't kill her, but he ends up using his strength to literally rip off her face, leaving a horrible scar in the shape of a handprint.
Hell hath no fury like a Spider-Man scorned. He even almost kills Kraven, and would have done it, but one of his psychic friends appears and tells him that if he kills Kraven it will set him on a path to become a ruthless killer. Spider-Man spares his wife, but again doesn't even apologize for ripping her face off. Somehow, it doesn't seem like that storyline will make it to the big screen.