Everyone knows that Spider-Man has some great powers that come with some great responsibilities. But has anyone ever sat down to try to figure out just how great those abilities actually are? After six decades in existence and five feature films outings, and with Spider-Man: Homecoming on the way, the wall-crawler has more superpowers than anyone could imagine. With an arsenal stocked with his iconic Spider-powers and some lesser known ones originating from non-Peter Parker Spider-Men like Kaine and Miles Morales, just where do these powers rank amongst each other?
After years of childhood debates on the playground, it’s time we finally figure out what exactly it is that makes Spidey so cool and unbeatable. Why have kids and adults around the world rooted for the red and blue web-head for over sixty years? Today's the day we find out. We’re going to take a look at the biggest and best superpowers that Spider-Man possesses, and we’ll be ranking them once and for all.
What makes the web-slinger unique among other heroes? What makes him so unstoppable? Which of his many powers make him the superhero we all need? Take a look at Every One Of Spider-Man’s Superpowers, Ranked.
15 Communication with Spiders
Coming in at the bottom of the list is a power rarely discussed and only barely useful. In fact, Spider-Man’s ability to mentally communicate with spiders is such a minuscule power in the hero’s arsenal that it only ever came in handy once. In The Queen story arc in Spider-Man comics, the titular Queen had created an army of arachnid followers, and it was here that the web-slinger's spider-communication came in handy. Spidey was able to detect the Queen’s human-spider-hybrid followers and communicate with them regarding how to deactivate a deadly bomb.
After that moment, Spider-Man’s arachnid communication was never mentioned again. Though other aspects of this ability include the fact that the wall-crawler can detect when a spider is near, as well as what kind of spider it is, none of these things come particularly handy during battle. Maybe if Spider-Man was able to control his fellow arachnids the same way Ant-Man could control ants, this power would be deadly a deadly one, but alas, that is not the case, and this power is left on the bottom of the list.
There’s no doubt that super-strength is an incredibly useful and at times very cool power. but let’s be honest, it’s been done. In fact, it’s safe to say that it’s been done for pretty much every major superhero and supervillain ever created. Even if a character isn’t known for having super-strength, chances are they do to some degree. The same goes for Spider-Man, a hero that was given super-strength simply to compete with other heroes. And while his strength is nothing to laugh at, it doesn’t make him all that unique either.
The web-head’s strength is appropriately proportional to an actual spider's, meaning that he can lift somewhere around 10 tons. While that’s certainly nothing to laugh at, in the aforementioned story arc, The Queen, Spidey’s strength was doubled, allowing him to lift over 20 tons. So while there’s no doubting that our favorite web-slinger is stronger than most would assume, it just isn’t that exciting. Especially because he never dominates his enemies by force, but rather by using intelligence and athleticism. So yeah, Spider-Man is strong, but so what?
When you think of enhanced healing, your thoughts no doubt go to Deadpool or Wolverine. And while there’s no doubt that those two mutants are the most famous super-healers in the world, Spider-Man needs to get a little bit of credit in this category. Sure, he can’t regrow a hand or push a bullet out of his skull, but ever since the events of The Other storyline in 2005, Spidey’s been able to heal faster than you’d ever imagine.
Healing definitely isn't Spider-Man’s best power – he’d be better off just dodging attacks and avoiding injury all together, obviously – but there’s no doubt that it’s impressive. Massive blood loss and fractured bones can be fixed in just a few hours, while Peter Parker’s skeleton, nervous, and muscular systems are super-enhanced for maximum strength and durability. His super-healing allows him to fall from great heights without getting badly hurt – as seen in Spider-Man 2 – as well as take beatings from bad guys that would be fatal to any normal human. So just because Spidey isn’t known for restorative abilities doesn’t mean that it’s not an incredibly valuable behind the scenes power.
One of his lesser-known abilities, Spider-Man developed night vision after the events in The Other. But just because it’s not an original Spidey power doesn’t make it any less cool. Though the skill hasn’t been featured a lot in the comics – and not at all in any on-screen iteration – it’s still something that's come in handy over the years for the wall-crawler.
Thinking about Spider-Man and the infamous villains that fight him, many of them tend to stick to the night sky when conducting their nefarious deeds. The Green Goblin glides around dark buildings, The Lizard stalks through dim, steamy sewers; even Doc Ock prefers the cover of night. So imagine the advantage that the web-head would have with night-vision, an ability that lets him pick out objects and see in great detail even in the darkest environments. Considering how stealthy Spider-Man can be when crawling along dark rooftops or descending down his web to grab enemies, being able to see in pitch black when no one else can is definitely a huge advantage.
11 Organic Webbing
This power is nothing short of controversial, but when it comes down to it, it’s also one of the more useful abilities that Spider-Man has ever had. Most famously portrayed in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy, Peter Parker’s organic webbing replaced his original hand-made mechanical web shooters. With this new power – which has also been featured in the Disassembled comic storyline – Spider-Man is able to internally produce web-fluid and organically shoot it out of his own wrists. This webbing is often shown to be stronger and more robust than his traditional, homemade web-fluid.
While many love the mechanical web-shooters that Peter Parker originally invented in order to fight enemies and swing from buildings, there’s no doubt that problems arose from them. For one thing, there’s only so many web-canisters that Spider-Man can carry around with him at once. What that often meant was that the wall-crawler would run out of webbing during a fight or would need to reload at the worst possible moment. That isn’t the case with Peter’s organic webbing, which – so long as Spider-Man keeps healthy and stress free – will never run out and has far more upsides than disadvantages.
10 Man-Spider Transformation
Staring with an issue called Marvel Fanfare vol. 1, Spider-Man got a new, kinda cheesy upgrade. He became “Man-Spider.” If that sounds stupid, it’s because it was. Originally, Man-Spider was literally an inverse Spider-Man, in that he was a man-sized spider with almost no traces of human intelligence. Thus, Peter Parker was trapped inside the body of a monster with no way to stop himself from causing horrific damage.
As time went on, the web-slinger's Man-Spider transformation was adapted into new storylines and became a little less lame. Eventually, his monstrous form made it into 1994’s Spider-Man: The Animated Series, where it became a key element in the “Neogenic Nightmare” arc. And it was pretty cool. In that storyline, Parker’s mutation didn’t end with him becoming Spider-Man, but instead it intensified and resulted in him becoming a giant spider. It was horrific body horror with the added drama of trapping Peter Parker’s brilliant mind inside the body of a monster. Stronger, bigger, and more vicious than ever before, Man-Spider eventually lost out to Peter Parker and Spider-Man, but not before becoming one of the more powerful and deadliest iterations of the character ever.
9 Utility Belt
You may be saying to yourself, “Spider-Man doesn’t have a utility belt!” You may also be saying, “Spider-Man isn’t Batman, what could he possibly keep on a belt?” Well, if you’re saying either of those things, maybe stop talking to yourself for a second and read: the web-head’s utility belt is cool, and all fans of 1990s era Spidey would agree. Is it his greatest weapon? No. Is it something we all wanted as a kid? Hell yeah.
When the web-slinger is wearing his utility belt, there’s no doubting that it’s an incredibly useful tool. Holding web fluid cartridges, his spider-tracers, and his all-important camera, Spider-Man simply would have a harder time being Spider-Man without the belt. Adding an ultra-powerful light and a Spider-Signal to the belt gives the friendly neighborhood hero some tech that always comes in handy, not to mention something that makes him look as cool as Batman. If you’re still not convinced about the belt, look no further than the MCU’s iteration of Spider-Man, where he rocks the belt as well as other belt-inspired tech. If Marvel’s love of the belt isn’t going to convince you that it deserves this spot on the list (especially with that new flying spider device courtesy of Tony Stark), sadly, nothing will.
8 Venom Blast
Despite what purists may think, not every Spider-Man is Peter Parker. What that means is that yes, even Miles Morales’ powers count on this list, and as a result, Morales’ venom strike power is one that finds itself right in the middle of the pack.
For the uninitiated, Morales’ Spider-Man is able to send a high-voltage shock to his enemies that comes organically from his hands. The spark is strong enough to disable technology or totally electrocute a villain, both of which come in handy when you’re a 13-year-old superhero that needs all the help you can get. Though the venom strike ranges in severity depending on who Spidey's facing off against, it has at times knocked out villains as powerful as Venom and the Green Goblin. Useful in order to protect himself and those around him, Spider-Man’s venom strike is a power that packs a punch while mitigating the amount of collateral damage that saving the day often creates.
Another Miles Morales power ranking in the middle of the list, Morales’ Spider-Man’s ability to camouflage himself is both very cool and very un-Spidey-like. In all of the web-slinger’s history, he’s stood out from the crowd with his bright red and blue suit, never afraid to make a statement with his bold color design. Sure, he’s flirted with a black suit at times, but the iconic Spider-Man we all know and love never blends in. That’s exactly what makes the wall-crawler's camouflage ability so exciting.
When Miles is Spider-Man, he is able to completely hide his body – and clothing – from anyone who wishes to spot him. By blending into his surroundings, Spider-Man essentially turns invisible, thus allowing him to run from enemies he’s outmatched by or sneak up on enemies when the element of surprise is needed. When coupled with everything else he can do, camouflage is an incredibly useful power that gives the web-head the upper hand on unsuspecting villains.
6 Super-Agility and Speed
When looking at some of the enemies that Spider-Man has faced over the years, it’s tough to not have thought that he was truly doomed on several occasions. Look at Doctor Octopus, for instance, and his four metal arms that have no upper limit on strength. Why can’t they simply crush the webhead and rip him limb from limb? Well, as any good Spiderfan knows, it’s because of Spidey’s incredible speed and agility.
Simply put, Spider-Man is one of the most gifted, nimble, and swift athletes in the Marvel Universe. During a fight, it’s nigh-impossible to even hit the wall-crawler if he doesn’t want you to, as he can bend his body in crazy ways and dodge pretty much anything you throw at him. Best shown off in the original Spider-Man trilogy, Spidey’s fights look like choreographed dances, and the wall-crawler always ends up ahead based simply on his acrobatics. Whether he’s avoiding attacks in mid-air or using obstacles around him to leap up and web-zip around enemies, Spider-Man’s agility and speed are unmatched by any rival hero or villain.
5 Sense of Humor and Intimidation
Everyone knows about Spider-Man’s legendary sense of humor and his quick, sarcastic jabs at enemies during battle. Always armed with a quick one-liner and ready to hurl an insult at any supervillain he crosses, the web-head’s jokes are what endeared him to the entire world in the first place. It’s his colourful personality and rejection of Batman-esque darkness that makes Spidey special, but it’s also what helps him kick ass and defeat anyone stupid enough to try to cross him.
Yep, our hero’s sense of humor isn’t just a fun side-trait, it’s actually one of his top five abilities. While it hasn’t been portrayed in the five Spider-Man films as well as it has over the course of the character's six decades of comics, fans everywhere know that Spidey’s wit disarms enemies as much as his web-shooters do. Whether he’s insulting the Kingpin's weight (see above) or quipping about the miserable aim of a small-time thug, the biggest benefit to the web-slinger’s dry sarcasm is its ability to intimidate enemies and wear them down emotionally. Never one to rely on just strength or agility, Spider-Man knows which of his powers are most useful, and that’s why he brings out the jokes during nearly every fight he has. He has a great sense of knowing just what buttons to press in the minds and hearts of his foes to throw them off their guard.
Now that we’re in the top five of Spider-Man’s powers, it’s safe to say that these are the traits that make Spidey unique. Strength, healing, and belts are useful, sure, but they’ve got absolutely nothing on wall-crawling. In fact, no superhero has an ability that has anything on wall-crawling, since Spider-Man’s wall-crawling is one of the most unique superpowers ever invented. With his ability to stick to the sides of buildings and walk upside down on any surface he wants, Spider-Man is the ultimate all-terrain hero. His knack for maneuvering any surface lends a special something to all of his brawls, making many of his fights rank amongst the greatest you'll ever see, hands down. Or hands up, whatever, it doesn’t matter to Spidey.
Spider-Man’s wall-crawling gives him a distinct edge in that he’s a hero that lives at rooftop level. And what better, stealthier, and downright cooler way is there to get up to a roof and surveil your city than crawling like a spider? Whether he’s sneaking up on someone or navigating a fight by sticking to the perimeter, Spider-Man’s wall-crawling powers have endless uses: each cooler than the last. And that right there is enough to top the list, so imagine how cool the top three powers are to be higher than this!
3 Technical Genius (See: Mechanical Web-Shooters)
There’s a lot of brilliance in the Marvel Universe. Hank Pym is one of the most brilliant minds of all time. Reed Richards is considered by many to be the brightest human in any universe. Tony Stark is one of the most technologically savvy people on the planet. Bruce Banner may be smarter than all of these people combined. And yet, Peter Parker can outsmart all of these people – in traditional fields such as biology, physics, chemistry, and engineering – but also in more superhero-related disciplines. Sure, Parker has an IQ of 250 and aces every subject he touches, but that doesn’t even begin to cover how smart he is when it comes to applying science with super-heroics. Case in point: mechanical web-shooters.
Peter Parker’s most brilliant invention by far was one of his first – the web-shooters that he uses to travel around the city and defeat bad guys. By endlessly tinkering with his formula – including adaptations that ground electrical currents when he’s facing Electro and turn into concrete when mixed with water for facing Hydro-Man – Parker constantly shakes things up to his advantage. Never one to be out-smarted, it could be argued that Spider-Man’s most useful power is his genius, but then, that would be selling short the final two powers on the list.
We’ve found ourselves wondering where Spider-Man’s spider-sense has gone in his most recent big screen outings. Formerly one of the hero's greatest powers, it seems to have taken a back-seat to slick CGI in recent films. For those too young to remember, there was a point where the web-slinger’s most famous catchphrase was “Uh oh, my Spidey-Sense is tingling!” That would often be followed up by some type of cartoon flashing or comic-book color distortion, and then Spidey would swing into action and land the first blow before his enemy even knew what hit him.
Yes, it’s the Spidey-Sense that ranks among the hero's greatest powers, as obvious as it may be. It's always there to alert the web-head of a deadly threat; as soon as it tingles, Spidey knows it’s time to get himself out of immediate danger. As if that wasn’t helpful enough to a hero that prides himself on his quick reflexes and agile attacks, the web-slinger's precognitive abilities alert him to any danger lurking nearby, as well as help him navigate around the twisty, turny city that he calls home. More powerful than an instinct and more useful than fancy tech, the Spider-Sense is an integral part of Spider-Man’s arsenal, and without it, he’d be nothing more than a squashed bug.
You knew it was coming, but that doesn’t make it any less true: Spider-Man is nothing without his web-slinging, and that’s exactly why it takes the top spot on our list. Think of any power listed above and try to imagine our hero utilizing it without having the ability to swing around on his webs. Would his strength be all that useful? Would his wall-crawling just leave him stranded on rooftops? Would his agility and speed matter if he couldn’t zip around the city and web-up his enemies? Simply put, Spider-Man needs his web-slinging to be a hero, and we need Spidey’s web-slinging to appreciate him.
There wasn’t one of us reading this that didn’t imagine swinging themselves around on Spider-Man’s webs as a child. We’ll even admit that we still think about it as adults. Whether we’re reading Spidey comic books, watching him in movies, or playing as him in a video game, all we really want to do is see the guy swing around and look cooler than any superhero has ever looked. Flying is overdone, so Superman can take a flight back to Krypton for all we care. Gliding is boring and not very economical, so Batman can go splat in a Gotham alleyway if he really wants. As for the rest, you can run fast if you’re The Flash, you can swim if you’re Aquaman, and you can glide if you’re the Green Goblin, but only Spidey can swing from a web and make it look good.
All that you need to know about Spider-Man is wrapped up perfectly in his theme-song. Can he swing from a thread? Hell yeah, he can. No escape from his spider web. Look out.
Hey, there goes the Spider-Man!
What do you think of our ranking of Spider-Man’s powers? Are there any we missed? Let us know in the comments!