The Amazing Spider-Man is finally in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which can only mean one thing: It’s time for a Modern Marvel Spidey reading order guide!
I’ve already put together the Ultimate Spider-Man reading order (which is highly recommended for you webheads out there who’ve avoided the Ultimate Universe thus far), so it’s time to dive into Amazing Spider-Man. This is an occasionally complex continuity, so make sure you have plenty of spare web cartridges and possibly a clone nearby. We’re gonna be here a while:
Quick Caveats & Tips
1) Spider-Man has approximately 700 billion tie-in series. I make an effort to find a place for many, and definitely all of the good ones, but some may slip through the cracks. As always, if you see something, say something.
2) My ‘modern’ Marvel era kicks off with the start of the 2000’s and the launch of Marvel Knights. There are TONS of great Spider-Man stories from before this time, and there’s also a Clone Saga. I include the essentials below.
3) Amazing Spider-Man is the flagship Spidey title, and as a result I may give short shrift to some of the other offshoots. Essentially, if you’re looking for the cleanest possible route through Spider-Man continuity, stick to AMS, with the occasional Civil War/Event interruption. Additionally, I’ll do my best to avoid spoilers for those catching up.
Bonus Update – The 10 Best Spider-Man Stories Before 1998
While this initially started as a “modern” Spider-Man reading order, that’s clearly limiting the amount of great Spidey stories you read before the 2000’s approach. As a result, I’ve listed out the best Spider-Man comics of all time. Put these in your back pocket, and you’ll be a regular webhead in no time.
Collects: Amazing Fantasy #15, Amazing Spider-Man #1 to #17, Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1
Simply put, Amazing Spider-Man is an excellent comic book for the vast majority of its early issues, launching in 1963 and holding its own as one of Marvel’s best (if not the best) through the early 70’s.
You would not be wrong to read the first 123 issues of Amazing Spider-Man straight through. I’d argue this is a must for any Peter Parker fan. The collection above will get you started and give you a feel for how much you may enjoy these early days of Spidey.
As a final note, if you want, I have a reading order for you to read all of Spider-Man’s 1960’s appearances.
The linked edition above will highlight 1968’s Spectacular Spider-Man magazine #1 and #2, which features an essential Green Goblin story. Note that you should definitely have read Amazing Spider-Man #39 to #40 prior to these issues!
Collects: Amazing Spider-Man #88 to #92, #121 to #122
Collects: Amazing Spider-Man #139 to #150
Collects: Amazing Spider-Man #238-239, #244-245 and #249-251
Collects: Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider -Man #107-110, 134-136
Reading Order: Web of Spider-Man #31, Amazing Spider-Man #293, Spectacular Spider-Man #131, Web of Spider-Man #32, Amazing Spider-Man #294, Spectacular Spider-Man #132
Collects: Secret Wars #8, Amazing Spider-Man #252-259, #298-300 & #315-317
9 — Maximum Carnage
Note that the Clone Saga (really stretching the borders of ‘best’ and expanding into ‘intriguingly complex attention vortex’) runs through a fifth Complete Clone Saga Book 5.
Where to Start With a Modern Spider-Man Reading Order
Revenge of the Goblin & Flowers For Rhino
The 2000’s are a very Norman Osborne heavy decade for the wall-crawler (see also: 60’s, 70’s, 90’s), so we start here with the Revenge of the Goblin story arc. I’d note as well that Peter Parker: Spider-Man #1 – #24 occur before these issues. I’d consider them less essential, but they’re out there. There are also a number of references to late 90’s Spidey continuity (with MJ in particular) – keep calm and carry on.
Amazing Spider-Man #25
Spider-Man’s Tangled Web #5-#6 (Flowers for Rhino)
The J. Michael Straczynski Amazing Spider-Man
There are some VERY controversial moments from this lengthy Spidey run, including some of the worst Spider-Man stories ever told, but on average I’m a fan of the early going. JMS and John Romita Jr. take Peter Parker to some new and unexpected places, changing the status quo for Spider-Man in a number of meaningful ways.
The JMS and John Romita JR Collected Editions:
Issue by Issue Order:
Collects: Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #30-35
Collects: Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #36-39
Collects: Peter Parker: Spider-Man (1999) #44-47
Collects: Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #40-45
Collects: Spider-Man: Blue #1 To #6
Collects: Spectacular Spider-Man (2003) #1-5
Collects: Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #46-50
Collects: Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #51-56
Spider-Man / Human Torch: I’m With Stupid #1 – #5 (outside continuity)
Collects: Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #57-58, 500-502
Note Here: You haven’t lost your mind – Amazing Spider-Man renumbers to the original numbering started in 1963 for the 500th issue.
Collects: Spectacular Spider-Man (2003) #6-10
Collects: Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #503-508
Collects: Spectacular Spider-Man (2003) #11-14
Collects: Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #509-514
Avengers Disassembled (Spectacular Spidey tie-ins)
Marvel Knights Spider-Man #5 – #8
Collects: Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #515-518
Marvel Knights Spider-Man #9 – #12
Collects: Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #519-524
Marvel Knights Spider-Man #13 – #18
House of M (Spider-Man tie ins are separate miniseries)
The Other gets its own special placement because it involves a crossover between all of the Spider-Man titles. The reading order for Spider-Man The Other:
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man 1
Marvel Knights Spider-Man 19
Amazing Spider-Man 525
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man 2
Marvel Knights Spider-Man 20
Amazing Spider-Man 526
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man 3
Marvel Knights Spider-Man 21
Amazing Spider-Man 527
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man 4
Marvel Knights Spider-Man 22
Amazing Spider-Man 528
Civil War (tie-ins include AMS #529 – #538)
The Amazing Spider-Man #539 – #543 (Back in Black story arc)
One More Day
Like The Other, One More Day includes crossovers between the Spidey titles. It also might be the single most controversial frustrating thing to ever happen to the characters, and I say that fully aware that the Clone Saga happened.
The Amazing Spider-Man 544
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man 24
Amazing Spider-Man 545
Spider-Man: Brand New Day – Joe Kelly, Dan Slott, Mark Waid, Zeb Wells & More Form the Spidey Brain Trust
Following the conclusion of One More Day and with it the conclusion of JMS’ six year run on Amazing Spider-Man, Marvel made a decision to bring Peter Parker back to his roots. With this decision comes a reduction in Spider series, meaning Amazing Spider-Man can be read without much invasion or crossover from other titles. AMS also switched to a publishing schedule of three issues a month, meaning the numbering shoots up towards #700 fairly quickly.
The Amazing Spider-Man #546 – #599
The Amazing Spider-Man #600 – #647
Spider-Man: Fever (out of continuity team-up with Dr. Strange)
Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine #1 – #6 (published towards the end of the Gauntlet. Can be read largely as out of continuity)
Dan Slott Spider-Man: Big Time Reading Order
Collects: Amazing Spider-Man #648 to #662
The Amazing Spider-Man #648 – #657
FF #1 -#4 (FF runs for #23 issues so you can keep the FF detour going as long as you like. Really up to you.)
The Amazing Spider-Man #658 – 665
Fear Itself (tie-ins)
The Spider-Island crossover results in a whole slew of one-shots and tie-ins. I’m not going to link all of them as I’d like to go outside sometime today (just kidding, really just want to make time to read Original Sin), but the easiest way to get most of them is to browse by series on Marvel and enter “Spider-Island” into the search browser.
Spider-Island – Emergence of Evil
Spider-Island Daily Bugle
The Amazing Spider-Man 666 – Prelude
The Amazing Spider-Man 667
Spider-Island – Cloak & Dagger 1
Spider-Island – Deadly Foes 1
Spider-Island – Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu 1
Spider-Island – The Amazing Spider-Girl 1
Spider-Island – Cloak & Dagger 2
Spider-Island Avengers 1
The Amazing Spider-Man 669
Spider-Island – Amazing Spider-Girl 2
Spider-Island – Spider-Woman 1
The Amazing Spider-Man 670 – Part 4
Spider-Island – Deadly Hands of Kung Fu 2
Spider-Island – I Love New York City
Spider-Island – Heroes for Hire 1
Spider-Island – Cloak & Dagger 3
Black Panther – The Most Dangerous Man Alive 524
The Amazing Spider-Man 671
Spider-Island Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu 3
Spider-Island Amazing Spider-Girl 3
The Amazing Spider-Man 672
The Amazing Spider-Man 673
The Amazing Spider-Man #674 – #700
The Superior Spider-Man & Marvel NOW!
I won’t say too much about Superior Spider-Man in case you’re in the dark on what happens in AMS #700. What I will say, is that this most recent addition to the Spider-Man mythos from Dan Slott is highly, highly entertaining. One of my favorite Spider-Man developments in years, despite all the fan backlash you may have heard.
From this point forward, I recommend you check out the Spidey sections of the Marvel NOW! reading order. This will get you every Spidey comic from 2012 to 2015, including great runs on Venom, Scarlet Spider, and Amazing Spider-Man.
You’ll also find in this section a complete reading order for 2014’s Spider-Verse event.
With that, you’re up to speed with Marvel’s 2015 Secret Wars, and you’ll want to pay particularly close attention to the Secret Wars Spidey tie-ins.
All-New All-Different Amazing Spider-Man – Worldwide
Following Secret Wars, Peter Parker hits the big time as part of the Dan Slott led “Worldwide” story arc in Amazing Spider-Man.
If you want every Spider related title from this time period, I recommend checking out Comic Book Herald’s All-New All-Different Marvel reading order.
Amazing Spider-Man: Worldwide Vol. 1 (Amazing Spider-Man #1 to #5)