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Vote for Spider-Man’s 50 Greatest Stories!

In honor of the fiftieth anniversary of Spider-Man, we’re doing four straight months of polls having to do with Spider-Man, culminating with the release of the Amazing Spider-Man film in July. The first month was the 50 Greatest Spider-Man covers (click here for the results of the 50 Greatest Spider-Man Covers poll). The second month was the 50 Greatest Friends and Foes of Spider-Man (click here for the results of the 50 Greatest Friends and Foes poll). Last month was the 50 Greatest Spider-Man Writers and Artists (click here for the results of the 50 Greatest Spider-Man Writers and Artists poll). This month is the 50 Greatest Spider-Man Stories!

Spider-Man has starred in a bunch of a great stories, from one-shot issues to multi-issue stories to, well, sagas. So here you will be casting your vote for who you feel are the greatest Spider-Man stories!

You folks all vote in the comments section here up until 11:59 Pacific time, June 19th. I’ll tabulate all the votes and I’ll begin a countdown of the top 50 beginning June 21st.

Okay, here are the guidelines!

1. Vote in the comments section below, making sure to include that classic word “ACBC” somewhere in your comment so your vote will be marked invisible.

2. Vote for your TEN favorite Spider-Man stories.

3. Rank your ten stories from #1 (what you think is the greatest story) to #10 (what you think is the 10th greatest). I’d prefer it if you actually numbered your entry, #1-10. It’s easier for me to count. On that note, please also avoid listing them like this “1) 2) 3) 4),” because 8 with a ) after it transforms into a smiley face in the comments section (this one 8) ). Just plain ol’ “1. 2. 3.” works best. Really, just use this template:

ACBC
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

4. Your top choice will be given 10 points, your second choice 9, etc.

5. Ultimate Spider-Man stories count.

6. Now for the most annoying part of the rules. What is the definition of a particular story? First off, runs are not stories. To wit, you can’t pick, say, Amazing Spider-Man #1-10 and call it a story. It is not. Each of those individual issues is a story. Now Amazing Spider-Man #11-12, THAT can count as a single story since it was a two-parter.

Author intent is a big factor in whether I’ll count a bunch of non-consecutive issues as a “saga,” like the Harry Osborn Saga from J.M. DeMatteis’ Spectacular Spider-Man run (#178-184, 189-190, 199-200). DeMatteis clearly intended the stories to lead into each other and finally end with Harry’s death. Contrast that with early Green Goblin stories where Lee/Ditko weren’t planning anything specific when they introduced the first Green GOblin, so you can’t tie Amazing Spider-Man #14 in with Amazing Spider-Man #39 and 40 and call it all a saga. #14 is one story and 39-40 is one story.

I’ll count Roger Stern’s Hobgoblin issues of Amazing Spider-Man (plus that one Spectacular issue) as “The first Hobgoblin saga” and Tom DeFalco’s Hobgoblin issues of Amazing as “The second Hobgoblin saga.” Gang War is a separate story. So is Hobgoblin Lives.

The Saga of the Black Costume is Amazing #252-259.

I’ll allow you to count Joe Kelly’s two Rhino stories as one (#617 and 625). We can call it the Saga of Rhino’s Failed Second Chance on Life.

The first Clone Saga is one story. That’s easy. The second Clone Saga, though, is tricky. For the second Clone Saga, it was SO big that I’ll allow you to vote for the second Clone Saga as a single story while also allowing you to vote for any component stories of the Clone Saga separately. So if you want to vote for the Second Clone Saga AND, say, “The Gift” from Amazing #400, feel free. Or if you just want to vote for “The Gift” and not the Second Clone Saga, also feel free.

7. Mini-series count as one story. Like Spider-Man/Human Torch or Spider-Man/Fantastic Four.

8. Make sure to include ACBC in your ballot.

9. If you have questions and or requests for clarification, feel free to ask them in the comments section below.

Remember, please include the following word: ACBC – on your ballot. It will make it so your ballot appears invisible to other readers, so only I can read it (and count your vote secretly).

Most importantly, have fun!

Now vote! :)

59 Comments

I just hope Maximum Carnage can beat Sins Past to the top spot…

Michael Howey

June 5, 2012 at 1:53 am

I pray that the clone saga distinction isn’t necessary. ASM 400 aside natch.

Cool! I’ll make sure to prepare my list with enough time so I don’t leave behind any great story.

…such as Torment.

The pressures on! Narrowing it down to ten is gonna be hard. I need to go and re-read some classics and read the ones that I never got round to.

Does Spider-Man: Reign count?

1. Kraven’s last hunt.

Michael Sacal

June 5, 2012 at 8:47 am

Crap, I misspelled it, lol

Does Spider-Man: Reign count?

Yes. All Spider-Man mini-series count. Reign, Spider-Man: Blue, all of ‘em.

I just hope Maximum Carnage can beat Sins Past to the top spot…

But seriously, folks, this one is going to be tough. It would almost be easier if we were voting for either single issues or sagas. It seems weird to be judging The Kid Who Collected Spider-Man against Kraven’s Last Hunt…

Does the Saga of the Alien Costume count as a saga? If so, when does it stop? ASM 259? Web of Spider-Man 1? The orginal Venom story?

Does Spider-Man: Reign count?

As one of the 50 greatest Spider-Man stories? That would be a no ;)

Does the Saga of the Alien Costume count as a saga? If so, when does it stop? ASM 259? Web of Spider-Man 1? The orginal Venom story?

The Saga of the Alien Costume does count. It is Amazing Spider-Man #252-259. There was even a TPB collecting those issues called “The Saga of the Alien Costume.”

#259 doubles as also the start of DeFalco’s Hobgoblin Saga.

Meaningless Albert

June 5, 2012 at 10:45 am

Wow, just ten? Now, that will be hard

Well, now I know what I’m doing this week.

I don’t know if I’m even going to have room for anything outside of Spidey Super Stories in this list.

Do Spider-Man stories in other comics count? How about crossovers with DC? Out of continuity stories?

Out-of-continuity? Yes.

Crossovers? Yes.

Spider-Man stories in other comics? Yeah, I guess. Like what? An Avengers arc or something?

sandwich eater

June 5, 2012 at 3:21 pm

I love Spider-Man comics so much that it’s impossible for me to pick 10. It’d be easier for me to pick my 10 least favorite stories.

Well, like Fantastic Four #347-349, the new Fantastic Four. Or the more recent stuff in Fantastic Four or Avengers. Guest shots, I guess. Can’t think of any I’d vote for off the top of my head, but theoretically, there has to be a few.

I guess what I was thinking of was if it was a top 50 Superman stories, I’d vote for Hitman #34. That sort of thing.

Then yeah, sure.

Geoff Gardner

June 5, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Oops – that should be an “8” not a smiley face!! Not sure how that happened …

8 followed by a ) gets turned into a smiley face.

I fixed it for ya.

Deus_ex_machina

June 5, 2012 at 5:55 pm

The kid who collected Spider-man

Would you count Amazing Spider-Man #50-52 as one?

As a whole, it’s the first Kingpin battle. However issue 50 has its own story, even more famous, which wraps up in the issue. On the other hand, the Kingpin’s rise to power is a consequence of this aspect of the plot.

I’ve struggled with the question of whether to count issue 50 as a standalone story for years.

Pantson DaGround

June 5, 2012 at 6:50 pm

My dilemma: How many Spider-Ham stories should I choose?

Would you count Amazing Spider-Man #50-52 as one?

As a whole, it’s the first Kingpin battle. However issue 50 has its own story, even more famous, which wraps up in the issue. On the other hand, the Kingpin’s rise to power is a consequence of this aspect of the plot.

I’ve struggled with the question of whether to count issue 50 as a standalone story for years.

I’m going to count them as #50-52, even if people just vote for #50. It’s just easier.

This is going to be a great list. I wish it could be a top 100. Or maybe, Brian, you could just decide to eventually show us everything that gets at least 50 points?

I can’t decide whether to vote or not. I’ve read enough Spider-Man to have a top ten, but not enough to really feel confident that my choices are good. And I selfishly want the list to show me stuff I don’t know about, and if my voting for something knocks out a different story that I didn’t know about, well…

The Death of Ultimate Spider-Man! Very recent but totally touching!

This is going to be a great list. I wish it could be a top 100. Or maybe, Brian, you could just decide to eventually show us everything that gets at least 50 points?

I can’t decide whether to vote or not. I’ve read enough Spider-Man to have a top ten, but not enough to really feel confident that my choices are good. And I selfishly want the list to show me stuff I don’t know about, and if my voting for something knocks out a different story that I didn’t know about, well…

Vote!! The more ballots cast, the better the final list.

And we’re talking FIFTY stories here, you’re bound to find something new. In addition, who is to say that your choices won’t help to get a story on to the list that someone ELSE hasn’t heard of?

I assume Mark Millar’s run counts as one story? And for that matter is there any official name for that entire story.

Yes and no (which is weird – I was thinking about that when discussing Millar in the Creators Countdown, how the story had no name).

I made my list not on too obvious choices, but on stories I want to see listed. I think certain issues will be mentioned by everyone, while other jewels are at risk of being forgotten. On that note, I’ve just remembered another cool story: “By Myself betrayed” (ASM 253), where Spidey helps a football player. It is also the first appearance of the Rose, and one of the issues that explains how the black costume works. It is also my favorite issue of Rick Leonardi ever.

If possible I would like to include it instead of No. 3 on my list. Otherwise, I hope somebody else does.

My list was pretty much the Ditko years, Dematteis, and Spider-Man: Blue

Does Untold Tales of Spidey count as a story?

Not as a whole, no.

My top three consisted of something from the 60s(If this be my destiny), the 2000s(unscheduled stop) and the 90s(the best of enemies). I’ve got one 60s, two 80s, three 90s and five 2000s. I guess the 70s or 2010s didn’t impress me much.

I realized I put some Spidey 2099 on the list and didn’t ask if that was kosher. I’m hoping it is, because those early Peter David issues are a master class on how to build a compelling, readable character. Plus the Rick Leonardi art is stellar.

If Spidey 2099 is not okay, I can exchange it for Peter Parker: Spider-man #35 (the Paul Jenkins story)

I had the same problem than JoeMac . Actually, once I had sent the list, I remembered other stories that I love, including “Maybe Next Year” and all those wonderful stories by Jenkins showing a more human Spidey.

Out-of-continuity? Yes.

Crossovers? Yes.

Spider-Man stories in other comics? Yeah, I guess. Like what? An Avengers arc or something?

Although I wouldn’t (and didn’t) include it in my Top 10 Spidey Stories of All Time, Avengers #315 – 318 is a pretty good example of Spider-Man guest starring in an Avengers arc in a really cool way…. I mean, IIRC (it’s been 22 yrs since I read it), Spidey pretty much helps to save the universe in that one.

Plus, according to comics.org, it is pencilled by Paul Ryan, who is awesome.

Honorable mentions:

Strazynski’s coming out issue to Aunt May
Any Dan Slott. It’s good, but its really good, but its not a Spiderman story. I am still bitter after One More Day, and will leave the conversation at that.

And an honorable mention for Lo This Monster (Spectacular Spider-Man 1, 1968). Too bad Gerry Conway screwed the story up in the 1972 reworking (ASM 116-118).

Apologies. I misread the note for invisible post. Will my vote still count if I’m visible? Thanks.

S’all good, Andrew, I made your post invisible.

Does Miles Morales count?

Sure.

Talmidge Mcgulliger

June 14, 2012 at 7:39 am

I have a feeling if this list is done in 10 years again it’s gonna be pretty Dan Slott heavy. He really freakin good.

Geoffrey Hawley

June 14, 2012 at 8:39 am

Here’s my quandary: Ultimate Spider-Man 13. It’s one of the best Spider-Man issues I’ve ever read, but is it an acceptable candidate for the list?

Geoffrey Hawley

June 14, 2012 at 8:42 am

…I forgot to add that that’s the issue-long conversation between Peter Parker and MJ during which he reveals that he’s Spider-Man.

spidergeek2000

June 14, 2012 at 5:51 pm

I tried to put out unique storylines so that the list won’t be as predictable, like most.

spidergeek2000

June 14, 2012 at 6:14 pm

I really liked the 90’s run of Amazing with Mark Bagley. His art is awesome. But the storytelling is terrible by all the writers but DeMatteis, but I didn’t read his run because it was in the dreaded Clone Saga. I just put the Ultimate Spiderman arc one.
I included Spiderman Noir because it was my favorite dark-n’-gritty story. Plus, it had a setting that played a key role in the story, which I appreciated.
I included Spider-Island because it is my favorite story arc. Slott blew me away. Ramos’ art is awesome too. I am a sucker for tie -ins. I would include Ends of the Earth, but it technically isn’t over yet…with the Avenging Spiderman story coming out, and everybody hates it.:-(
Spiderman Blue is the one story that made me kind of sad about Gwen’s death when I was little, because I was ruthless back then. I also included Gwen’s death.
I found myself strangely addicted to 80’s comics, so I included the venom saga, and the Kingpin vs. Lobo Bros. gang war in my list.

I just voted.
I’ve got 4 that are pretty much guaranteed to make it high on the list, and a couple of “nobody else is gonna vote for this”.

While I would have loved to pick 10 nonobvious choices, I couldn’t. There are two my mind 12 greatest Spidey stories, all classics. I picked my favorite 9, and threw in one fun choice for good measure.

WIsh we had instant runoff voting. I would give up my votes for stuff like Amazing Annual #1 if it would push Acts of Vengeance Cosmic Spidey over the top from 26 to 25.

This was an impossibly difficult list to narrow down to ten, and only two — maybe three — on my list have a chance at the top 50. Spidey’s had some very good, very underrated adventures in the past 50 years.

Brian, are you soliciting reader input/comments/justification on selections that will be featured? I know you have done so in the past…

Sure, I’ll put up a post letting people know they can do that if they’d like.

Voted for the best MJ story: To Have and to Hold – The Sensational Spider-Man Annual #1
And The Wedding too! ;)

I really would like to see the whole list Brian. Don’t write up about them, but just show them. Always interested in discovering good Spidey stories.

Dammit Joseph! Couldn’t you have mentioned “To Have and to Hold” before? I knew I was forgetting something extremely important. I agree, what an amazing tribute to MJ and Peter’s love for each other!

Dammit… forgot to post my list; thought I had at least one more day.

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