Any fan of superheroes knows that they all inevitably wind up fighting each other eventually. It’s gotten to the point that some fans look forward to another iconic clash between two good guys more than their usual rosters of villains. Sure, in the world of comics any character can beat another depending on who’s writing them, and there’s rarely a definitive answer to the fight. But it doesn’t take away from the endless debates about which hero would triumph over another.
Though he might not jump out as one of the strongest heroes in comics, Spider-Man is one character who has a pretty impressive list of victories to his name. By the standards of other heroes, he’s far from the most powerful guy around, but he compensates for that a lot with his speed and his even quicker wits. There’s a reason he’s one of Marvel’s most iconic characters, so if you’ve ever doubted Spidey’s ability to hold his own in big fights, here are 15 Superheroes Spider-Man Has Beaten.
15. LUKE CAGE
The fallout of Norman Osborn’s death had a lot of obvious and well-known consequences. It led to Peter having to watch someone he cared about die, it led to Harry eventually taking up his father’s villainous mantle, and also gave J. Jonah Jameson more fuel for his hatred of Spider-Man. This time Jameson decided he had to personally take steps to stop what he viewed as a menace, and he did so by hiring a mercenary by the name of Luke Cage.
Cage had no trouble taking on the job, but the problem was that he was driven by money while Spider-Man had the truth on his side. Spidey knew Osborn’s death wasn’t due to any malice or negligence on his part, and that righteousness led to him getting the better of the fight. But Cage also is a pretty determined guy, so he came back for a second round despite losing the first encounter. Spider-Man finally got fed up and webbed Cage up tight to force him to sit still and talk out their issues. Luke Cage realized Jonah Jameson wasn’t the most unbiased journalist, and also gained a newfound respect for Spider-Man’s fighting prowess.
14. WONDER WOMAN
Despite Marvel and DC always being viewed as rivals, they have worked together on plenty of occasions as well. One such time was in the Superman and Spider-Man comic, which saw the two heroes join together to take on Doctor Doom. The Hulk and Wonder Woman also got side roles in the story that created more opportunity for a mix of personalities. And because it’s unavoidable in crossovers, the heroes also had to fight eventually, which led to Spider-Man having to fend off Wonder Woman.
It was a very brief fight instigated by Doctor Doom where he told the two heroes that they were enemies. Spider-Man didn’t buy it for a second, but Wonder Woman didn’t trust Marvel’s poster boy and immediately started hurling objects at him. Spider-Man didn’t want to fight and initially just used his agility to keep himself alive while cracking jokes. But Peter became indignant once Diana attempted to catch him with her lasso, and refused to allow himself to be hogtied. Surprisingly, Spider-Man gained the advantage by just killing the lights, leaving Wonder Woman flailing defenselessly while Peter could still get around in the dark with his Spider senses. He finally ended the conflict by startling Diana with a tap on the shoulder to let her know he could be pummeling her right then if he wanted to. Wonder Woman conceded that since Spider-Man hadn’t taken his shot to harm her, maybe this wasn’t a fight worth pursuing.
13. THE HULK
Obviously a hero like Spider-Man is not the strongest guy in pretty much any aspect. He’s superhuman, but with how abundant superheroes are, that still leaves plenty of people who are naturally faster and more powerful than he is. So a lot of times Spider-Man has to use his mind to outwit his opponent. He’s won some pretty mismatched encounters that way, but his scuffle with the Hulk is a surprising case where Spider-Man didn’t have to be clever to win. He really did just overpower and nearly kill the Hulk with his own two hands.
Unfortunately for the Hulk, he picked a really bad time to challenge Spidey. Spider-Man had recently acquired some cosmic god-like powers that greatly enhanced his abilities. This was a Spider-Man who was faster, who didn’t need his webbing to go airborne, and had incredible strength– so incredible, in fact, that he was stronger than the Incredible Hulk. When the Hulk’s attack started to endanger nearby kids, Spider-Man finally struck and literally punched the Hulk into space. And the Hulk got knocked into zero gravity, so he wasn’t going to come back down. Realizing the Hulk would die if he didn’t intervene, Spider-Man flew into space and rescued his opponent.
When you’re as big a name for Marvel as Spider-Man is, it means having a target on your back from a lot of people. Typically it’s villains, but he also has people on the heroic side who are less than fond of him. One such occasion saw one of Captain America’s allies, the Falcon, take issue with Spidey. The Falcon was looking to make a name for himself as a hero, and figured what better way to do so than by taking down one of the biggest names around.
Unfortunately for Falcon, Spider-Man is a big name for a reason. He doesn’t go down easy, and certainly not against just anyone trying to prove they are a big deal. Not only did Spider-Man quickly render Falcon unconscious, but Falcon was later captured as well, leading to Spider-Man even having to rescue his opponent. Falcon was looking to prove something, but all he did was prove that he still had a few things to learn.
11. THE FANTASTIC FOUR
The Amazing Spider-Man #1 kicked off in a big way by immediately having Spidey take part in a crossover with the Fantastic Four. This wasn’t a case of them teaming together, though; instead Spider-Man took on all four members of the team by himself. Since this was a Spider-Man comic it probably isn’t too surprising who won, but then an extended version of the encounter was also featured in Fantastic Four Annual #1. Due to popular demand, Marvel gave fans a panel by panel recreation of the fight, but with new panels added in for all the heroes to further show off their abilities.
No matter which version you read, the entire fight is all Spider-Man. He infiltrated the Fantastic Four headquarters with the plan of asking them to let him join. He figured the best way to convince them was to show what he could do, so he went in ready to impress. Spidey has counters for all four members’ signature moves, tossing The Thing aside and trapping him inside electric webbing. He binds Reed Richards’ limbs together so he can’t stretch his body. Spidey-sense tips Peter off when Sue Storm tries to capture him using her invisibility powers. And Spider-Man literally bats away Johnny Storm’s fireballs with a webbing bat. It’s an impressive display, but ultimately for naught. Once they finally get to talking, Spider-Man learns that being on the team doesn’t pay, so he loses interest and calls the Fantastic Four cheap.
10. BLACK WIDOW
Some defeats are not about what happens so much as what is perceived to have happened. In this incident, Black Widow was looking to reinvent herself and perceived Spider-Man as a good person to test out her capabilities on. Unbeknownst to her, Spidey was not at one hundred percent for this encounter due to struggling with an illness at the time. But being a hero takes no days off and Black Widow wasn’t asking permission to initiate this fight.
Since Spider-Man wasn’t in top form he wound up really only able to play defense while Black Widow pushed forward with her assault. Spidey still got knocked around though, and wound up getting trussed up as well. Black Widow was on the verge of declaring victory when Spidey mustered enough strength to escape his bindings and stand like he was ready for round two. Black Widow was so stunned by this strength and resiliency that she retreated and considered Spidey way out of her league. In reality Spider-Man was wiped out and had just been bluffing when he acted like he was ready to continue the fight. But in Black Widow’s mind, this was a fight she had to concede.
9. IRON MAN
When you’re looking for heroes fighting other heroes, few events better facilitated that than Marvel’s Civil War storyline. Of course Spider-Man had to choose a side, and initially he was in favor of heroes having to register under their real names. He even helped lead the charge by publicly unmasking and revealing himself as Peter Parker in support of Iron Man’s initiative. But once Peter started seeing the conditions the heroes captured by Tony Stark’s forces were being kept in, he had a change of heart.
Spider-Man and Iron Man came to blows, but Tony had prepared for this eventuality. Tony had seemingly given Peter a gift of an enhanced Spider-suit similar to the Iron Man suit. But in actuality, the suit had not only analyzed Spidey’s powers as a way for Tony to use them himself, but it also had a built-in override. When Peter attacked, Tony disabled the suit with a voice command. Unbeknownst to Tony though, Peter wasn’t that naïve, and had analyzed the suit himself, found the override, and created his own counter voice command to make it operational again. Iron Man got webbed up and punched in the face for his deception while Spider-Man fled, but Peter had definitely won the battle of wits here.
8. THE X-MEN
Oddly enough, Spider-Man has struggled in one-on-one battles with the likes of Wolverine and Nightcrawler, yet when the occasion came for him to take on the entire X-Men at once, he emerged triumphant. It was in the Secret Wars storyline during issue number three when Spidey happened to be eavesdropping on the X-Men to find out what they were up to. They were in the midst of discussing the Avengers, mutant oppression, and meeting with Magneto, so Spider-Man didn’t like what he was hearing and crashed the party.
Maybe Spider-Man just steps up his game when fighting against teams because, like with the Fantastic Four, none of the members of the X-Men could do a thing to stop Spidey. He easily dodged slashes from Wolverine and blasts from Cyclops. He disabled Colossus’ strength by webbing up his face, left Rogue swinging from the ceiling, and stuck Nightcrawler in place so he couldn’t teleport. Finally having proven his point, he made his escape with the information he learned, and Wolverine of all people remarked how fortunate they were that Spidey decided to escape. Logan summed up the moment saying, “We’re lucky that’s all he was trying to do! He really clobbered us!”
7. SILVER SURFER
Some fights have a victor after a devastating brawl that leaves both combatants pushed to their limits. Other times, a fight has a victor simply because one person wanted the fight more than the other. Spider-Man is no stranger to the latter scenario, frequently holding back his strength so he doesn’t seriously injure or kill his opponents. But it’s probably not that often he encounters someone who is holding back against him.
In Silver Surfer #14, the eponymous character had a crossover encounter with Spider-Man while surfing over the city. And of course these situations always have to have a misunderstanding resulting in a fight, so Spidey immediately attacked the Silver Surfer. Anyone knows that on a good day the Surfer would usually brush Spider-Man aside no problem. But on this occasion the Surfer was already in a weakened state, and on top of that, he just plain did not want to hurt anyone. The Silver Surfer repeatedly tried to avoid the fight, and even saved Spidey from falling off a building. But Spider-Man wouldn’t let up, knocking the Surfer off his board and taking the fight to him on the rooftops. The Surfer finally just got fed up with the violence and made the decision to retreat, but first had to save a child who had taken his board. That act finally clued Spidey in that the Surfer was a good guy, so he wound up winning the fight simply because, to the Surfer, there was no fight to be had.
You know any fight involving Deadpool is going to be bizarre, violent, and full of one-liners. Usually his fights are against villains while he prefers to team up with a buddy. He really enjoys spending time with Wolverine, and yes, also Spider-Man. But that also doesn’t stop him from fighting his friends if the mood strikes him, and he often seems to have just as much fun regardless.
In this case, the fight took place in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon where Peter Parker got introduced to the reality defying nature of Deadpool’s personality. The battle quickly devolved into a slap-fight before Deadpool pulled Spidey into his realm and began fighting within his own twisted imagination. The fight featured Spider-Man being turned into a whale while Deadpool hunted him a harpoon, stampedes of barnyard animals chasing the heroes around, and verbal puns that did physical damage. Spidey caught on to Deadpool’s style and used it against him, figuratively and literally throwing the book of morality at Deadpool to remind him about responsibility, and delivered a knock out.
With as much competition as fans perceive between Marvel and DC, it was only natural that the two companies would eventually capitalize on it by doing a crossover where the characters battled. Some of the biggest names of both brands squared off to make many dream battles a reality. Batman vs Captain America, Superman vs the Hulk, and Spider-Man vs Superboy were just a few of the match-ups. And fans were even further involved thanks to their votes determining which characters won the encounters.
The fans picked Spider-Man to win his fight, which played out in a rooftop battle with Superboy. Superboy was the stronger of the two, but even though this Spider-Man was a clone at the time, he still had the original Spidey’s speed. Superboy’s high impact style wound up working against him when he accidently broke a water tower and flooded the roof. Water might not have been a big deal for the DC hero, but electricity was. Superboy charged at Spidey, but wound up getting webbed instead and crashing into a high voltage box. Electricity plus water equaled the end of the fight for Superboy.
4. BLACK CAT
The relationship between Spider-Man and Black Cat is a lot like Batman’s interactions with Catwoman. They clash frequently, but their fights never get too heated. It’s usually more of a sparring match than an outright attempt to end the other’s life. Each of them cares about the other too much to stay angry at the other, but their different moral philosophies also keep them apart whenever it looks like they’re on the verge of being allies or even having a romance together.
Due to the action-packed nature of video games, Black Cat has been a boss in the Spider-Man games numerous times. Two of her more recent appearances were also nearly identical in their description. In both Web of Shadows as well as The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Game, Black Cat falls in with the Kingpin and draws the attention of Spider-Man. They have a scuffle and Spidey subdues Felicia, after which she reveals she wasn’t actually a criminal but rather was just using Kingpin to suit her needs. Felicia loses her interest in fighting and offers Peter the chance to run away in love together, but Peter reluctantly declines due to his obligation to protecting the innocent.
3. CAPTAIN AMERICA
We’ve all heard about the most recent entry on this list. Readers of Civil War II went into the story arc expecting all the alliances and battles that were present the first time the heroes of Marvel stood on opposite sides of an issue. And as we learned back then, the differences that divide the heroes can go beyond punches and even wind up with heroes dead. It seems Civil War II will be no different.
It’s not often that we know the end result of a battle without knowing how it got there, but that’s where readers currently are with this defeat of Captain America. A clash between the heroes was interrupted by a vision that seemed to show Miles Morales not only having defeated Captain America, but even killing him. It’s unlikely the incident will just be thrown away as something that never comes to pass. It’s just a question of how Spider-Man and Captain America reach that point, and whether Cap survive the encounter.
2. POWDERED TOAST MAN
Of all the possible opponents for Spider-Man, none have been more eagerly anticipated than the mighty Powdered Toast Man. Or at least that’s apparently what the writers behind the Ren & Stimpy comics were thinking. In reality, this was a short and silly crossover of unlikely characters that goes down more as some amusing trivia for both franchises than an epic clash.
The mascot for Ren & Stimpy’s Powdered Toast cereal is being mind-controlled, so Spider-Man apparently had nothing better to do than fill in. Eventually he’s persuaded to put a stop to Powdered Toast Man terrorizing people, and a brawl breaks out between the two. It’s a brief battle filled more with jokes than devastating blows, and it comes to an end when Spidey soaks the breakfast mascot down with some milk. A bit of dairy was all Powdered Toast Man needed to shed his mind control, and he proceeds to work with Spider-Man to take down the true villain of the comic.
1. PETER PARKER
No, there was no instance of Peter Parker beating up himself. But we all know that there are plenty of Spider-Mans in the world of comics. One of the most recognized versions of the wall crawler beyond Peter is Miles Morales. The younger Spider-Man has been gaining a lot of attention in recent years, particularly for his involvement in the current Civil War II story arc. But like many successor heroes, Miles also wound up eventually encountering the inspiration for his heroics. Only they met in a battle, rather than as friends.
In an issue of Spider-Men, Miles and Peter come across each other in costume, and Peter is immediately suspicious of his counterpart. He demands that Miles unmask and identify himself, but Miles isn’t having any of that, even from his idol. They test out their acrobatic moves against each other, and Miles surprises Peter with a few additions to the Spider-suit. Miles actually gains the upper hand with stingers on his costume that cause paralysis, and brings the fight to a close by electrifying Peter’s webbing and making them both fall to the ground. Maybe Peter underestimated his young successor, but it led to the newer Spider-Man emerging triumphant.
Who do you think was Spider-Man’s best opponent of the bunch. Tell us which hero you think Spidey fared the best against in the comments!
Spider-Man: Homecoming will be in theaters on July 7, 2017.