Look out! Here comes the Spider-Man, and he is freaking crazy. And not just because he swings around in his underwear in a constant state of self-doubt and general anxiety. We're talking about a dude that will pull a pair of guinea pigs out of his pants and then lecture you about teen pregnancy. The type of weird, twisted stuff that will have you slowly walking away and screaming for Iron Man.
Ok, sure, most of the time Peter Parker is nothing more than your run-of-mill do-gooder friendly neighborhood Web-Head, crushing on beautiful girls, supporting his loving aunt and propagating Jewish stereotypes. But every once in awhile he does something so wacky, so bizarre, so terrifying, that you can't help yourself but go, “WTF Spidey?!”
Thankfully Spider-Man: Homecoming is set to restore our faith in a character many believe is the greatest superhero of our time. But before we let how amazing and spectacular he is go to our heads, let's take a trip-down memory lane and revisit all those occasions Underoos left us questioning his mental stability and our sanity, whether he's dancing, singing or killing space ninjas in a giant robot.
Here are the 15 Most WTF Things Spider-Man Has Ever Done.
Too many villains. Web hammocks. Bernard the butler. James Franco doing the twist while making an omelette. There are a lot of reasons why Spider-Man 3 was a disaster. But as frustrating as the rush-job on Topher Venom was, nothing was more disturbing then seeing Spider-Man brush his hair down and pop his collar up.
Credit where credit is due, Tobey Maguire acts the heck out of Emo Peter Parker. From his sidewalk dance-strut to causally indifferent finger-snapping, no one has ever looked so good doing something so awful. The rehearsal time alone that must have gone into his jazz club ballroom dance scene is worth applauding. But as infamously memorable as Maguire's swing moves are, they were just the webbing on the cake of an all around ill-conceived superhero movie.
The Web-Head has appeared in his fare share of mediums. Comic books, video games, live-action TV, cartoons, films, PBS - he has done it all. But you know you've really made it when you get to star in your own theatrical production on Broadway. Though maybe the highbrow world of theater and a guy that shoots webs dressed in tights shouldn't mix. Especially when it means rewriting Spidey's origin story so his powers are the result of a mythical Greco-Roman character named Arachne.
Featuring a score by Bono, logistically impossible stunts and a budget costing twice as much as the previous record holder, the world waited in eager anticipation for Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark like no other. And waited. And then waited some more. Plagued by constant delays, when the show finally did premiere it was a disaster. On opening night three cast members were injured, one quit and the critics yawned. While things did eventually improve over its 3-year run, it wasn't enough to make up for the horror of watching the Green Goblin sing, “A Freak Like Me Needs Company.” Between this and Captain America's failed play featuring pedophilia, we think it's safe to say that superheroes do not belong in musicals.
Long before he was president or the voice of God, Morgan Freeman joined the ranks of Big Bird and Steve from Blue's Clues teaching children about spelling and the power of vocabulary on PBS. Known as The Electric Company, his show was a 70s educational series set to porno music, which occasionally featured a homeless looking Spider-Man wandering onset. As one would expect, it was nothing sort of miraculous.
Everything Morgan Freeman and Spider-Man did on The Electric Company together was gold. Most often Freeman would play a cop helping Spidey solve sandwich-related crimes and catch Yetis. But the truly special moments were the ones when the two went toe-to-toe. Like when umpire Morgan Freeman threw Spider-Man out of a baseball game for attacking a brick wall. Or there's the time - our personal favorite - when Spider-Man stops Morgan Freeman dressed as a vampire from biting a woman's neck in a movie theater. We think it goes without saying that neither of them have been able to top this since.
The Fantastic Four have the Fantasti-Car. The Ninja Turtles have their hippy van. Batman has the Bat-Mobile, Bat-Wing, Bat-Rocket, Bat-Zeppelin, Bat-Kayak… you get the point. So why not Spidey? When an auto company gifts him his very own specialized ride in The Amazing Spider-Man #130 (aka Stan Lee got a huge paycheck from a toy company), Spider-Man need feel inadequate no more. Thus began the wild ride of Spider-Man's very own Spider-Mobile.
Now you might think a car is an unnecessary extravagance for a guy that can swing from the sky, especially considering New York traffic, and you'd be right. Even the webslinger thought it was a dumb idea. But that didn't stop Corona Motors from asking Spidey to promote their impractical low-emission metropolitan dune buggy anyway. Fitted with its own web shooters and ejector seat, the Spider-Buggy stuck around for longer than one would expect until Spider-Man got tricked into driving it into a lake. After hopelessly searching for it, Spider-Man eventually gives up only for the Spider-Buggy to return with a vengeance years later and try to kill him. Once defeated and the two make-up, he decides to retire his ride for good only for Deadpool to steal it. A replica of the original is currently on display at the Smithsonian for everyone to laugh at.
Peter Parker and Mary Jane had anything but a perfect relationship (as we'll see). But when they were together their marriage was one of the best in all of comics. That was until Spectacular Spider-Man #226 when Peter Parker had to go and punch his wife in the face…. while she was pregnant.
Spidey had just received some really bad news. His supposed clone, Ben Reilly, revealed that he was actually the original and Peter is the clone. Crazy, right? Well, this was too much for Parker to handle so he starts beating the crap out of Ben. Mary Jane tries to intervene and SPWAT! Spider-Man back fists her across the room. Shocked by his outburst, Peter runs away crying. We're not sure what is worse though - Spider-Man's domestic abuse, or the fact a bloodied Mary Jane reacts by sweeping the whole thing under the rug and feeling sorry for Peter on account of his bad news. Just another reason why the Clone Saga is the absolute worst.
Spider-Man has killed his fair share of people, but none compare to the time he murdered Captain Lou Albano. Yes, that Lou Albano. The WWF Wrestler turned star of the Super Mario Bros. Super Show. Though to be fair, Spidey didn't do him in alone. He had help. Namely, from Earth's other greatest superheroes: Batman, Superman and - you guessed it - Nagraj.
It all happens in the Indian bootleg comic Nagraj vs. Shakoora the Magician. After an alien dwarf wizard attacks a circus in India, it takes the combined efforts of all four heroes to save the day. Now we know what you're thinking. Why would Nagraj ever need the help of Superman, Batman and Spider-Man? But when Shakoora turns Lou Albano into a psychotic giant hellbent on destroying the world, he can only be stopped by the most amazing team ever assembled (and an 11th century Hindu yogi). For his part, Spider-Man straps a bomb conveniently kept in his costume to blow big Lou to smithereens. But it is only after Nagraj stuffs some snakes down the giant's throat that he finally topples and everyone can have a good laugh over killing a beloved American entertainer.
Supaidāman was a 1978 Japanese live-action TV series that has very little to do with Spider-Man and everything to do with fighting monsters with giant robots. The by-product of a licensing deal between Marvel and Toei Company, the show revolves around a motorcycle racer stumbling upon a UFO, getting injected with alien blood and gaining spider-like powers to stop Professor Monster and his evil army of space ninjas from taking over the universe. Oh yeah, Japanese Spider-Man also pilots a giant robot called Leopardon. Sound familiar?
It is well known Saban's Power Rangers series was heavily inspired by Toei's other crazy superhero offering, Super Sentai. But while that show might have come first, it was their Spider-Man that originated the use of giant robot sword fights, ginormous monsters growing out of nowhere and weird henchman in grey waving their arms around frantically. Without a doubt, we have Toei's mighty morphin Spider-Man to thank for the Power Rangers. Yeah, yeah, yeah, wow!
Peter Parker was very close to his Uncle Ben. More of a surrogate father then anything else, Ben helped shaped Peter into the Spider-Man he is today - power, responsibility and all that jazz. So it should come as no surprise that Uncle Ben is on his mind a lot. But there's a time and a place for everything and the time and the place not to think about Uncle Ben is while your naked wife is straddled on top of you in bed.
In Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1, we open with Peter telling Mary Jane about a weird dream he had involving Kraven in a tutu, some frogs and a trip to the mortuary. Innocent enough. Then the dream shifts prominently to Uncle Ben, causing Peter to analyze his life and muse about losing everything. Nothing out of ordinary. That is until we realize all this is going on mid-coitus with MJ, and Spider-Man would rather visualize his elderly uncle than concentrate on the matter at hand. To each their own we guess.
Every once and while comic books try to get a little too real. Like when Superman's writers attempted to use pseudo-science to explain why he can fly or Captain Marvel got impregnated by her own son. Sure, getting bit by a radioactive spider would probably do some horrific things to the chemical makeup of your body, but we'd rather not know about it. Spider-Man does whatever a spider can, that's good enough for us. Sadly, 2006's Reign didn't agree.
Set in an alternate reality 30-years into the future, this story revolves around a retired, wrinkly Peter Parker getting fired from his job as a florist and deciding to take up web slinging again between bouts of crying and vomiting (because he's old). Along the way we learn Mary Jane has tragically died of cancer and the reason why is because - and this is when things get way too real - Spider-Man has radioactive sperm. Of course knowing that Spider-Man's baby gravy is poisonous isn't bad enough. The writers felt no fantasy should be left un-ruined. Thus they explain in explicit detail how his boys will infect you “like a spider, crawling up inside your body and laying a thousand eggs of cancer.” Yep, that's right, apparently Spider-Man's sperm also does whatever a spider can.
There's a new sound in town care of 1975. And it will rock your spidered socks off. The Marvel-approved, rock opera Spider-Man: Rock Reflections of a Superhero was a rock compilation of twelve entirely original rock songs detailing the rockin' life of Peter Parker, and narrated in rock-inspired intervals by the biggest rockstar of them all - Stan Lee. Judging by the album's back cover, it also included the musical stylings of the Marvel Universe. That's right, Thor on Trumpet. Conan the Barbarian on strings. Hulk on drums. Power Man on base. Faclon on handclapping? Whatever. It rocks.
Spider-Man: Rock Reflections of a Superhero was no joke. It was an honest-to-Aunt May rock-and-roll album that Marvel advertised as the “biggest rock event of the decade” and hailed as a “musical revolution.” Take a listen and we are sure you'll agree it nailed it on both accounts. So good was Spider-Man: Rock Reflections of a Superhero that it was quickly taken off the shelves and forgotten forever, preserved for posterity in the free bin at tag sales. Because nothing says rock-and-roll more than Spider-Man staring at himself depressed in the mirror in an old lady's boudoir. Or maybe he's looking at his wiener. It's hard to say, but whatever he's doing, it rocks.
Sometimes it takes a true hero to reach today's youth, and get them to touch themselves more. So when Planned Parenthood needed a new approach to teach kids about unprotected sex they know just who to ask - a guy that would one day kill his wife his sperm.
The Amazing Spider-Man vs. the Prodigy was just one of the many free PSA comics from the 70s and 80s that enlisted the help of superheroes to educate kids about life, voting and making babies. A telekinetic alien seeks to trick America's ignorant youth into believing they can't get pregnant from having sex so he can implement the “great baby snatch” (probably not the best name) to bring their unexpected offspring to his homeworld for child labor. As far as evil genius plans go, this one seems pretty logical. Which is exactly what Spider-Man was worried about, so he immediately swings into action, shoots his webs down Prodigy's throat and provides some helpful Spidey tips on wet dreams (“wishes about sex are natural"), masturbation (“it won’t make you insane”) and homosexuality (“being attracted to a person who’s the same sex doesn’t mean you’re homosexual, or ever will be”).
It's one of the most famous comic story lines in history. The Green Goblin abductsPeter Parker's then girlfriend Gwen Stacy. In the ensuing battle he throws her off a bridge and, despite Spider-Man catching her with his webbing before smashing into the water below, she dies. Shattered beyond repair, he returns home to find Mary Jane Watson, equally as saddened over the death of her close friend, and the two take comfort in each other by eventually hooking up and getting married.
The Death of Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man #121 so shocked the comic book community that it marked the end of the Silver Age. After something like that, Superman making fun of Lois Lane's weight just didn't seem right anymore. At that time, witnessing the demise of such an important comic character was unthinkable. Though even crazier was the fact it was Spider-Man who actually killed her. Not convinced? Look again. With a with subtle “SNAP!” the whiplash from his webbing attached to her leg broke her neck. Had he done something different, perhaps she would still be alive. Which makes this tragic moment all the more poignant. As to be expected, the importance of it would be undermined and made all the more effed up when it was revealed later on that she was sleeping with the Green Goblin all along.
Word to the wise if you find yourself in Turkey and see Spider-Man, run. Run fast. Because that's not your friendly neighborhood Web-Head coming your way. That's an evil drug lord gangster who rules the streets of Istanbul and is not above forcing you to look into a tube where wild guinea pigs will eat your face. That's a guy so crazy his eyebrows appear on the outside of his mask. So get out of there and don't look back. But of course you would know all this already if you were well versed in Turkish underground illegal cinema.
In 1973's 3 Dev Adam ( translated 3 Giant Men) Istanbul is being terrorized by notorious mob boss Spider-Man and his Spider-Gang. Naturally, the legendary superhero team of Captain America and El Santo - the world's greatest Mexican luchador - are called in to stop him. Joined by local police, their mustaches and Captain America's girlfriend, Julia, they put an end to the villainous webslinger's crime spree. Though not before he kills a lot of people using speedboat motors, shower nozzles and guinea pigs, and makes love to his girlfriend while several Mr. Rogers puppets watch. Like we said, not your everyday Spider-Man.
Spider-Man has done some bonehead things over the years. But revealing to the world his secret identity is one of the stupidest. After all, he isn't Wonder Woman who has nothing to lose by triumphantly declaring she is the Goddess of Truth. This is a guy with an established civilian life and lots of friends and family who would rather not get slaughtered by the Sinister Six on a regular basis. Doubly as troublesome is that Spidey's double life is a huge part of the character, and his public reveal negated that in the name of a contrived plot point.
Peter Parker's nationally televised unmasking is a pivotal moment in the Civil War story arc for sure. With his mentor and Tom Crusie-lookalike, Tony Stark, by his side, Spider-Man puts a stake in the fight by declaring, “My name is Peter Parker and I’ve been Spider-Man since I was 15 years-old.” But aside from the immediate difficulties it creates in his own life and the superheroing world at large, the repercussions of this reckless decision go well beyond his coming out party. As expected, someone ends up trying to assassinate him and Aunt May gets shot instead. Real nice, Web-Head. But as the saying goes, if you mess up, you can always make a deal with the devil to make things even worse...
Few fans will ever get over Spider-Man's mind-boggling blood-pact in The Amazing Spider-Man #544 (care of some idiotic editorial decisions). It is the most hated Spider-Man storyline ever put to panel (and that's in a world where the Clone Saga exists). Aunt May is dying. She's been shot because Spider-Man can't keep his mask on. Despite all their best efforts, nothing can save her. So in a moment of desperation, Peter Parker calls upon Marvel's resident Satan, Mephisto, to help. The terms for saving May's life? Peter Parker's marriage to Mary Jane must be wiped from the face of reality. Finding this to be a square deal, Spider-Man shakes on it.
Ever mindful of power and responsibility, Spider-Man is probably the last hero on Earth you would expect to make a deal with the devil. In one fell swoop, Marvel fundamentally undermined everything the character stood for. Sure, Aunt May is a huge part of his life, but she was in her 90s. Dying at an old age due to a lethal gun wound is the natural order of things. You know what's not natural? Having your marriage to the love of your life - who is pregnant by the way - metaphysically annulled. Even Mephisto is surprised by the choice. (“Dude, I know I'm the devil and all, but you're effing crazy.”) Of course, it is debatable whether MJ was actually carrying their unborn child at the time, but even if she wasn't, who knows what might have been down the road. For his part, Mephisto gloats by showing them a vision of the amazing kid they would have made, had Spider-Man not been such a dick.
Oh well, live and learn.
Know of any other messed up Spidey moments? Let us know in the comments. Good luck topping the time he killed a dude with guinea pigs.