Peter Parker, the amazing Spider-Man, is a regular guy. It’s kind of his whole shtick. While so many other superheroes are WWII soldiers, alien gods, former assassins, or androids, Peter is just a smart kid who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and only learned to do the right thing after he messed up the first time. This makes Spider-Man stand out from the rest of the superhero community, like the geeky outsider he is, and throughout most of his history, he’s been more of a loner than a team player.
But for a loner, he sure has a lot of close superhero friends.
The idea of Spidey teaming up with other superheroes is a new concept in the cinema, now that he’ll be swinging around with Iron Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming before getting all tangled up in the crossover of all crossovers, Avengers: Infinity War. But in the comics, the web-head has a long history of connections with other superheroes, leading to some rather unexpectedly close friendships. Would you believe that a nerdy guy from Queens and a centuries-old mutant with adamantium claws share a beer every now and again? Or that he’s been on a date with Captain Marvel? And these examples are far from Spidey’s only unexpected superhero friendships. Read on for 15 Superheroes You Didn’t Know Spider-Man Was Best Friends With.
Though Spider-Man and Daredevil have very different personalities, between Spidey’s lighthearted sense of humor and Daredevil’s brooding anger, the pair actually have a lot in common. Both of them are working class heroes, usually short on the rent, dealing with street level crime rather than cosmic struggles, all while struggling to hold their lives together. Both Peter and Matt come from tragic backgrounds, and both of them heap coals of fire on themselves for the mistakes of their past. And both have had to watch one (or more, in DD’s case) of their girlfriends die due to the actions of their most personal enemy.
Spider-Man and Daredevil have been tight for many years, and are actually one of the closest superhero friendships in comics. At one point, Peter even wore Daredevil’s costume and swung into the same courtroom as Matt, as a way to shut down public suspicion of Matt’s secret identity. Whether the two heroes will cross paths in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a mystery, though the odds aren’t too bad. Spider-Man: Homecoming producer Eric Carroll has expressed interest in the crossover, and Daredevil star Charlie Cox has also promoted the idea. After all, the two vigilantes are patrolling the same city. Fingers crossed that maybe someday, a certain wall-crawler will swing by Hell’s Kitchen.
What does a science kid from Queens have in common with an ancient mutant warrior with adamantium claws? Not a lot, probably, and the two heroes definitely didn’t get along at first, with Wolverine finding Spider-Man annoying, and Spidey disapproving of the angry mutant’s more violent methods. But over the years, Logan and Peter Parker’s relations have evolved from tense beginnings into what turned out to be a surprisingly close friendship.
Wolverine is one of the few older superheroes who truly respects Spider-Man for his genuinely heroic ideals, and Peter has shown Logan a great deal of compassion and understanding for the many traumas he’s endured in his long life, becoming one of the few people that Logan can truly vent to. After their time on the Avengers together, the two have grown into a big brother/little brother relationship. Since then, Logan once even celebrated his birthday by calling Peter to come have a drink with him, which is no small thing. On top of that, one story revealed that Spidey is actually Wolverine’s emergency contact (!). After Logan’s death, Spider-Man pays his respects to the fallen mutant by joining the staff of Wolverine’s mutant X-Men academy, the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. Just goes to show that you never know who your next best buddy might be.
13. Human Torch
Back in the early days of the Marvel Universe, there were only two teenage superheroes: Spider-Man, and the Fantastic Four’s kid brother, the Human Torch. Peter Parker and Johnny Storm became fast friends, and they’ve stayed close throughout the years. At this point, it can safely be said that the Human Torch is Spidey’s closest, longest, most enduring superhero friendship of all, to the point where the two could definitely be considered brothers.
Though both of them are now adults, Peter and Johnny are still like the teenage buddies of the superhero community. They’ve gone on many fun adventures, gotten involved in wild and ridiculous projects together — the wall-crawling “Spider-Mobile” was a result of their friendship — as well as bickered with one another, played pranks, and spent lazy afternoons watching TV. At one point, they even shared a two-bedroom apartment. It’s a very realistic friendship, with periods of both love and conflict, but the two never stopped being close. When the Human Torch seemingly died, his last wish was actually to give his spot on the Fantastic Four to Spider-Man, referring to Peter as “family.” Which brings us to our next entry…
12. The Rest of the Fantastic Four
What makes the Fantastic Four special is that they are a true family. Reed and Sue are the parents, the Thing is the cranky uncle, and Johnny is the rebellious teenager. Within this dynamic, Spider-Man functions like Johnny’s friend who comes over all the time. So often, in fact, that he’s also considered part of the family.
Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four have a long history, with their first interaction occurring all the way back in Amazing Spider-Man #1. The team knows his secret identity, they helped Peter deal with his symbiote problem, and Spidey even served as a member of the team for a while. Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four have a lot of love for each other, and the Baxter Building is one of the few places where Peter truly feels at home.
Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that Spidey will ever ride in the Fantasticar on the big screen, unless Marvel Studios, Sony, and Fox somehow work out a deal for the two to interact; it’s hard to say what will happen, since Fox has admitted that it has no idea where to take Marvel’s first family after their last cinematic failure. It’s a shame, because in the comics, they might just be the web-slinger’s most beloved allies.
11. Captain Marvel
Carol Danvers, AKA Captain Marvel, is likely to be the next huge breakout star of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with her solo movie starring Brie Larson set to hit theaters in 2019. Carol is a Captain in the United States Air Force. She’s hyper-driven, serious, and focused to her core, though she’s occasionally prone to slipping into alcoholic tendencies. But her and Peter Parker, the lovable jokester and nerd, have become good friends over the years. She also worked for J. Jonah Jameson at one point — though Carol was a lot more argumentative with the infamously cranky newspaper editor than Peter — and their shared J.J.J. experiences are another point of relation between she and Peter. It’s no big surprise that they easily connected.
Once, they actually went out on a date. This was something technically proposed by Peter, but truly initiated by the more confident Carol. After a somewhat awkward dinner at a fancy restaurant, the two end up beating up some bad guys together and then grabbing chili dogs from a New York City street vender; both confess to preferring the street food to the nice restaurant. Though they’ve casually flirted since then, it seems both have agreed that, as a whole, they work better as friends.
With all of the dour and driven superheroes out there, one thing that Spider-Man and Jennifer Walters have in common is a playful sense of humor. Both like to lighten the mood with jokes, hurling them at their super-powered opponents like weapons. As a result, their interactions tend to be similarly playful, with such incidents as She-Hulk holding up a giant spotlight to the sky with a crudely-drawn spider on it in order to get Spidey’s attention one night, and calling it the Spider-Signal.
Jennifer is also familiar with Peter’s raging boss and anti-Spider-Man crusader, Jonah Jameson, due to the fact that she had a long relationship with his astronaut son, John (in fact, Jen and John were even married at one point).
Most likely, the pair’s single most memorable team-up was in She-Hulk #4, where she convinces Spider-Man to finally sue J. Jonah Jameson for libel, since the editor has spent so many years printing terrible lies about the wall-crawler. Spidey agrees, though he eventually settles out of court on the condition that he and Jameson have to spend a business day in chicken suits, handing out public apologies.
Both Spider-Man and Deadpool have similar costumes, both crack a lot of jokes, and both often end up being disliked by the public. But, well… okay. So this friendship might be a bit one-sided. Deadpool has a deep adoration and love for the web-slinger — and, most likely, a pretty serious crush on him — and would love nothing more than to be Spider-Man’s new best friend. Unfortunately for Wade, Spidey doesn’t return the same feelings. To him, Deadpool is a killer, a nutcase, and not someone he wants to pal around with. In fact, Spider-Man actually can’t stand Wade, and gets angry about it anytime the two are forced to team up. None of this does anything to halt Wade’s constant affection for him, of course, much to the wall-crawler’s chagrin.
However, while the legendary #SpideyPool combination might be weird and disliked by Spider-Man himself, it is beloved by a lot of comic readers, so the two have teamed up on many occasions. Believe it or not, since 2016, the two have even shared a comic together, titled Spider-Man/Deadpool, where they’ve encountered scenarios as wacky and horrific as a recent issue where someone used their DNA to create a murderous “daughter” out of the two of them named Itsy Bitsy. While Deadpool will be teaming up with Domino and Cable in the upcoming Deadpool 2, it’s a sure bet that if Wade Wilson himself had control of the matter, he’d probably rather hang out with Spider-Man.
8. Iron Man
These days, Spider-Man’s most popular pairing is probably with Tony Stark, the invincible Iron Man. Peter has always been drawn to substitute father figures, due to the tragic loss of his Uncle Ben. The combination of Spider-Man and Iron Man are an interesting match, due to the fact that the characters have some key similarities and some enormous differences. Both are passionate about science, both are inventive, and both have clever senses of humor. But while Peter is a working class hero, with an outlook that is constantly guilt-ridden, responsible, and constantly contemplating about how to solve his many life problems, Tony is an irresponsible billionaire playboy, who is more likely to drown in a damaging quip, a new invention, or a bottle of scotch whiskey. Peter talks about his problems, sometimes ad nauseum, while Tony does anything to avoid such discussions. Along with the age disparity between the two heroes, it should come as no surprise that their relationship has often been fraught with controversy, tension, and major fallouts.
In the comics, Spider-Man and Iron Man’s relationship grows close, to the point where Tony even designs a high-tech new costume for him… only for their friendship to explode into pieces during the first Civil War, when Spidey switches to Team Cap after having initially backed Tony. While the movies have placed the beginning of their relationship during the Civil War, it’s almost a sure bet that the two heroes are going to have a big falling out at some point, as the Spider-Man: Homecoming trailers have already hinted at.
7. Luke Cage
Luke Cage, the bulletproof hero who’ll be coming back to Netflix soon when The Defenders premieres in August, didn’t interact too much with Spidey during his earlier superhero days. Outside of a few encounters, the two heroes mainly stuck to their own separate corners of New York City, generally doing their own thing.
When the two did finally get to know each other, it was during the time that both of them joined up with the Avengers. And their early interactions were, well… not the best. This was largely due to the fact that Cage’s wife, Jessica Jones, casually mentioned to Peter Parker that they’d gone to the same high school, and that she’d had a major crush on him back then. Though she said this in the past tense, Luke still got intensely jealous over it, an awkward situation that Spidey kept trying to defuse with his usual quips… which, not so surprisingly, Luke wasn’t all too amused by.
But after spending more time in the Avengers together, Spider-Man and Luke have grown to become good friends, often having each other’s backs when times get tough. They work together to successfully take down Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin, finally knocking the corporate businessman down a peg, and sending Osborn to prison.
6. Iceman and Firestar, the Amazing Friends
’80s kids, of course, will know by heart who Spider-Man’s most amazing friends are: the former X-Men Iceman and Firestar! A continuation of the 1981 solo Spider-Man cartoon, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends tells the story of Spidey teaming up with the ice-powered Bobby Drake and the fiery Angelica Jones to form the “Spider-Friends,” a crew of superheroes who all live at Aunt May’s house and attend Empire State University together. Luckily, some funds from Tony Stark allow them to convert Peter’s old bedroom into a high-tech crime lab (secretly, as if Aunt May really wouldn’t notice this), and the Spider-Friends go on to have many adventures around the world, sometimes accompanied by their yapping little dog Ms. Lion.
Obviously, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends wasn’t the most faithful take on the comics, but it was good-natured, silly fun. Dramatic arcs were tied up by the end of every episode. The heroes always won. It ran for three seasons, but is still remembered by fans to this day.
This trio has been paid tribute to in the comics a few times, but most significantly was in the “Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends” arc in Ultimate Spider-Man, though the Ultimate version of Firestar is actually Liz Allan, rather than Angelica, and her spot on the team is soon taken by the Human Torch.
5. Miles Morales, the Other Spider-Man
How? What? Considering that the entire origin story of Miles Morales, star of the upcoming animated Spider-Man film, relates to the death of Peter Parker, it might come as a bit of a surprise to know that these two heroes are actually friends now. But don’t worry, there’s no Spider-Ghosts to be found here: just alternate realities.
The key here is that Miles Morales originally comes from the Ultimate Universe, not the mainstream Marvel Universe, and Miles is inspired to become Spider-Man when he watches the Ultimate Peter Parker die in battle. But Miles met the original Peter in the inter-dimensional crossover event Spider-Men, at the end of which Peter gave Miles his blessing. Recently, the Ultimate Universe has been wiped out, with only a few survivors… foremost among them being Miles and his family. Since then, this new teenage Spider-Man has been operating at the same time as the original Peter, with the original Spidey acting as a mentor figure.
4. Doctor Strange
The combination of a geeky science guy superhero with an arrogant former surgeon turned master of the mystical arts might not seem like the most natural basis for a friendship. It’s not like they fight similar battles, since Spidey tends to stop bank robberies, not cosmic menaces from other dimensions. But the relationship between Spider-Man and Doctor Strange is one of those weird, unexpected Marvel team-ups that have happened a lot more often than one might expect.
In fact, the reason for their frequent associations has been due to their different skill sets. Peter Parker, as a man of science, has occasionally run across bizarre magical threats, and when he doesn’t know how to deal with them, Doctor Strange is the one he goes to for advice.
The Spider-Man/Doctor Strange friendship becomes especially important during the “totem” years, when Spidey is approached by a strange businessman with spider-powers who called himself Ezekiel. Ezekiel claims that Spider-Man’s powers are actually magical in origin, and soon after, Spider-Man begins getting regularly attacked by mystical monsters like Morlun, Shathra, and the Shade. Needless to say, during those days, Spidey was very glad to have a friend like Stephen Strange.
3. Captain America
Though Spider-Man has more history with that other iconic Avenger (you know, the one named after a metal), Peter and Steve Rogers actually have a lot in common. As communicated during their one exchange in Captain America: Civil War, both are native New Yorkers — Steve from Brooklyn, Peter from Queens — and both grew up as scrawny outsiders, only to be gifted with enormous power via the magic of science.
In the comics, Peter has always idolized the historic figure of Captain America, even back to when he was a little kid. Cap receives a profound level of reverence from the usually snarky Spider-Man that few others do, and Peter has often gone to Rogers for advice and guidance. The two heroes have never necessarily been “buddies,” since the Star-Spangled Avenger is obviously a great deal older than the wall-crawler, but there is a lot of mutual respect between them. Really, if the two had grown up in the same decade and same borough, there’s a good chance they could have been childhood friends.
2. Venom… the Flash Thompson version, that is
In a way, the character of Agent Venom is like a combination of two figures that were once Peter Parker’s greatest enemies. The first is the Venom symbiote itself, which has had it out for Peter ever since he rejected it, and which spent years trying to rip his heart out when it was bonded to Eddie Brock. The second former enemy is Venom’s new host at the time, Eugene “Flash” Thompson. Back in high school, Flash was Peter’s most ruthless bully, regularly taunting him, pushing him into lockers, and making him feel like an outcast (while at the same time having a serious case of hero worship for the masked figure of Spider-Man).
However, as we all know, the social hierarchy of high school doesn’t mean much after graduation, and people often become friends with old classmates that they hated back in their locker room days. After graduating and joining up with the army, Flash ends up apologizing to Peter for tormenting him as a kid, and the two actually become close friends. Years later, after Flash’s legs are blown off overseas and the Venom symbiote comes into the government’s possession, he signs up to become Agent Venom, a government operative.
1. Scarlet Spider
Sure, Scarlet Spider is Spider-Man’s clone, so they’re genetically identical. Both Scarlet Spiders, Ben Reilly and Kaine, have been clones of Peter Parker. But nothing about being Peter’s clone ensures that these two Spider-themed heroes would ever be pals; if anything, one would think that the whole “clone” thing might actually make a friendship rather difficult. Seriously, can you imagine being around someone who not only looks just like you, but is so similar in their actions and motivations that you can practically read one another’s minds?
For that alone, we have to hand it to Peter for having good relationships with both Scarlets (excluding any Jackal-induced bouts of insanity). Peter and Ben are like brothers, and while Peter hasn’t always been on the same side as Kaine, the latter Scarlet Spider has always cared immensely about Peter’s well-being. The same goes for Ben, who actually sacrificed his life to save Peter’s. Though the Clone Saga itself will always be remembered as one of Spider-Man’s most controversial storylines, the Scarlet Spider mantle has proven itself as being worthy in its own right.
What other important Spidey-friendships did we miss? Let us know in the comments!