Spider-Man does whatever a spider can. Crawling up walls, tingling senses, agilely contorting, and possessing all the strength of a tiny eight-legged arachnid — these are the spectacular superpowers of your friendly neighborhood webhead. No surprises there… or so you thought.
Ever since his first appearance in 1962, Spider-Man has been one of comicdom’s most popular superheroes. With Homecoming and his successful entry into the MCU, Underoos is reaching a whole new generation while reigniting the delight in older fans.
A big reason for this long lasting success is his relatability, having to continuously face everyday problems like paying the bills and dating beautiful women. Of course, when you are a superhero, all that just means added danger and risk.
Luckily, Spidey is more powerful than most realize, with an impressive array of skills to save the day. As the saying goes: with great power comes even greater, more awesome powers.
Look out! Here come the 15 Superpowers You Didn’t Know Spider-Man Had!
15. Cosmic Powers
Spider-Man is tough, but swinging between buildings and stealing Captain America’s shield will only get you so far. In Spectacular Spider-Man #158 when Loki formed the greatest supervillian team of all-time, Spidey had to go cosmic with his powers to win the day.
In order to set things right, Spider-Man infused with the Uni-Power and momentarily took on the role of Captain Universe. This basically meant he could do whatever the universe can, like emit energy blasts strong enough to destroy planets, fly, wield god-like strength, be invulnerable to pretty much everything and see things on a subatomic level.
Once universal balance was restored and Loki sufficiently put in his place, the power left Parker and he had to go back to his humdrum life of occasionally fighting Morgan Freeman and emo dancing.
14. Invulnerability to Radiation
Everyone knows Spider-Man’s origin story with its radioactive spider bites and all that webbed jazz. Although apparently getting his DNA zapped also granted Peter Parker immunity to the effects of all other radiation, kind of like a flu shot– only way cooler.
Spidey puts this immunization to good use in Amazing Spider-Man #35 when he first encounters Morlun, a vampire-like being that feasts on totems (humans who have inherited their powers from animals).
Initially, Spider-Man is no match for Morlun until he realizes the monster’s blood is vulnerable to radiation. Swinging into nuclear action, Peter injects himself with enough radiation to down a rhinoceros but thanks to the radiation already in his blood stream, it has little impact other than killing Morlun when the dude feeds on him again.
After the tragic death of Peter Parker in Ultimate Spider-Man #160, a new webslinger appears on the scene who soon after is revealed as Miles Morales.
Having similarly been bitten by a radioactive spider, Miles has a slight different power set than his predecessor on account of his spider having been infused with an enhanced version of the Oz Formula. One of the more unusual outcomes from his encounter than that of the original Spider-Man is his ability to organically camouflage himself.
As a result, Miles, along with his clothing, can blend into his surroundings at a moment’s notice, seemingly disappearing into thin air in an effect that pretty much resembles the power of invisibility.
Most commonly, Miles can uses this trait to overcome his opponents, camouflaging himself during a fight, vanish without a trace, and then magically reappearing elswhere with a surprise attack. Don’t worry yourself with how or why this is possible, it’s better if you don’t ask questions and just let it happen.
In the alternate Ultimate Universe, Spider-Man’s radioactive spider bite had a little more oomph. This is because the arthropod was tested on using the specialized Oz formula created by Norman Osborne.
In this reality, both Peter Parker and Miles Morales’ powers are derived from the mutations generated by the formula. One of its cooler side effects, as Obsorne explains in Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #6, includes bestowing immortality.
Although this has yet to be definitively proven, Peter Parker did reawake some time after apparently dying (for a third time) in Ultimate Spider-Man #160, so it seems legit.
This means that Spider-Man cannot be permanently killed and will age at a snail’s pace. While there has been no indication that the main continuity Earth-616 Spider-Man can live forever it does suggest that his accelerated healing can do a whole lot more than just fix getting his hair burned off in a fire.
11. Genius-Level Intellect
Everyone knows Peter Parker is a nerd. It’s one of his defining character traits. So, like any good nerd, Peter is super smart. Case in point: chemically engineering the formula for his web fluid and creating their one-of-a-kind web shooters.
However, his brilliance goes well beyond being the stand out star of his high school science club, making Spider-Man one of the smartest superheroes in all of comics.
In Amazing Spider-Man #588 it was stated Parker’s IQ is north of 250. By comparison, Albert Einstein’s was a lame 160. Fellow Marvel brainiac Hank Pym has acknowledged Pete as his intellectual equal and it is said that his college test scores were on par with those posted by Reed Richards at the same age.
Spidey’s other brainy achievements include besting Tony Stark by easily hacking into the Stark Industries computer system and discovering the Parker Particle, a dark energy force tied into the continuous expansion of the universe that wields a power greater than that of Hulk, Sentry, and even the Phoenix Force.
10. Mark of Kaine
Kaine Parker, Peter’s disfigured clone, is not exactly the most mentally stable of characters. He was the first attempted clone created by the Jackal but came out deformed and as a result was cast aside when the more handsome Ben Reilly was made.
Left bitter and resentful, Kaine spent most of his life trying to murder his successor until finally taking up the mantel of Scarlet Spider and turning a new leaf as the oddly specific protector of Houston, Texas.
Despite his issues and gross face, Kaine possesses enhanced superpowers that go well beyond those of his counterparts. One of the most unique is the ability to supercharge his wall-crawling abilities as an offensive attack so that his fingers and hands burn scars into or even rip off the skin of people.
Dubbed the “Mark of Kaine,” Spider-Man has actually showed a similar capability on several occasions, once wounding Norman Osborne’s face in the form of five fingertips and another time tearing off the face of a foe. Though while Kaine uses the power on command, Spidey can only call upon it when uncontrollably angry.
9. The ability to talk to Spiders
Why let Ant-Man have all the fun? Thanks to a suped-up powerset obtained in Spider-Man: The Other after he hatched from a cocoon (more on that in a moment), Parker emerges with the ability to telepathically chat with spiders. A power that ultimately helps him go on to save hundreds of lives, and comes in very handy when he wants to freak out Mary Jane.
Prior to that instance, everyone’s favorite clone Kaine showed this particular skill in Scarlet Spider #5. Faced with stopping a bomb before it blows a sizable chunk out of Houston, Kaine comes to the convenient realization he can communicate with spiders and thus calls upon them to help him locate the device.
8. Mystical Powers
Did you ever wonder whether the spider that bit Peter did so because it was actually a deity trying to give him its powers? No, of course not, because that is ridiculous. Well, lo and behold, 2001’s Amazing Spider-Man #30 just goes to show how little we all know about the motivations of spiders.
Turns out Parker’s superpowers aren’t the result of his radioactive blood but rather are derived from an inter-dimensional construct known as the Web of Life and Destiny that connects all spider empowered beings.
Predictably this news blows Spider-Man’s mind and he sets out on an existential quest that eventually finds him face to face with the giant spider behind it all – the Great Weaver.
This god-like being reveals Peter’s powers, like his Spider-Sense are mystical by nature. They also include other abilities like the power to drain energy from others with spider-like abilities as well as emit deadly energy blasts.
7. Accelerated Healing
No one will ever confuse Peter Parker with being as prolific a healer as Wolverine, Deadpool, or Lobo, but Spidey’s regenerative powers are nothing to swat at.
He has healed from gunshot wounds in as little as two hours, taken bloody beatings from the likes of the Hulk, brushed off getting spit in the face with acid and, as seen in The Amazing Spider-Man #700.4, and been so badly burned to the point that he was unrecognizable only to return to his old self after a good night’s sleep.
Then there’s the time in The Other when Peter got beaten nearly to death and had his eye torn out by Morlun, only for the hero to make a full recovery by webbing himself up in a cocoon beneath the Brooklyn Bridge and hibernating there until shedding his mortal skin for a brand new model.
Oddly enough, this enhanced healing factor does not keep him from getting sick on the regular. Just goes to show there is no cure for the common cold, even for superheroes.
6. Night Vision
Since he calls the city that never sleeps home, it should come as no surprise that Spider-Man spends most of his time fighting crime at night. This might be difficult, since vision is typically limited in darkness. However, luckily for Spidey, there is a superpower for that.
When Peter was taking a nap in his cocoon under the Brooklyn Bridge during Spider-Man: The Other, he for the first time fully embraced his “other” side, his spider side. As a result when he emerged he had all kinds of new and amazing powers like night vision.
5. Super Speed
Did you know that Spider-Man is fast– like really, really fast? Sure, it is common knowledge that, thanks to the combined efforts of his spider-sense and super agility, he is able to dodge incoming attacks with lightning quick reflexes operating as much as 40 times faster than the average human. However, that’s not the type of speed we’re talking about.
Granted, Spidey is not at Flash or Quicksilver levels of running, but the webhead has been known to outrace a speeding car or travel the entire length of Manhattan in under 10 minutes. Take those two into consideration and one can easily place his land speed at 100 mph.
If we wanted to get technical, we could even point out that your average household spider can run up to 70 times its own body length. That is roughly 10 times faster than Usain Bolt, or in other words, around 280 mph. Apply this to Spider-Man and you’ve got to figure he is at the very least clocking in at around 200 mph.
4. The ability to see Into the Future
What is a “spider-sense” but a quick glance into the future? So it’s not too far a leap from there to realize that, if given the right push, Spider-Man might be able to sense a whole lot more than just a vague notion of what’s coming around the corner.
Take his clone Kaine for example, whose Spider-Sense is far more powerful. So much so that he can actually see events to come, though he has no control over when or what he sees. Mostly famously in The Spectacular Spider-Man #222 Kaine receives a vision of Mary Jane’s upcoming death.
Similarly, Miles Morales’ Spider-Sense provides him with visions of the future, such as when he foresaw Peter Parker getting killed or Galactus arriving on Earth long before either event actually happened.
Once again The Other storyline provides us with a weird and ridiculous superpower, this time in the form of retractable, razor-sharp stingers. Overall this story was an attempted major reboot to the character, which is why we see Spidey suddenly take on so many new traits such as growing spikes from his wrists.
Located in Peter Parker’s arms, these bone-like prongs are coated in a polyamide venom that causes temporary paralysis, and even sometimes death, in its intended targets. And here you thought Sam Raimi’s organic web shooters were a dumb idea.
Ironically, Spidey has no control over the deployment of these stingers. Rather they shoot out whenever he finds himself in danger like some automatic defense mechanism. Kaine Parker on the other hand possesses venomous stingers that he has complete control over.
2. Venom Blast
The Venom Blast is another ability exclusive to Miles Morales’ Spider-Man thanks to the juiced up spider that bit him. By generating a spark of electricity from his hands, Miles can send a bio-electric blast at his enemies and blow up technology in varying degrees of force. This is kind of like creating static electricity by rubbing your hands on a the carpet– only a whole lot more effective.
This is all possible on account of his possessing the power to control the natural electricity produced by his body. By channeling that energy he can summon his own personal stun gun.
1. Increased Metabolism (aka Vampire Bite Immunity)
Most superheroes get a boost when they gain their powers, but it seems Spider-Man’s metabolism was sent to the next level. On the lighter side, this means Peter Parker eats like a pig to keep up with his voracious appetite.
Whereas on the powerful side, this means he has an extremely high tolerance for drugs and many disease that would take out most, and can quickly burn off nearly all poisons and toxins.
In the iconic Kraven’s Last Hunt storyline, this super vitality allowed Spidey to quickly recover from being shot up with enough tranquilizers to stop his heart. Seemingly dead, Kraven buries the hero only for him to self-resucitate and dig himself out of the grave.
Even more impressively this enhanced metabolism allows him to shrug of the effects of getting bit by a vampire, aided by his radioactive blood killing the enzymes responsible for the transformation. Though oddly enough, he is a lightweight when it comes to getting drunk.
Do you know of any other spectacular powers that Spider-Man has? Let us know in the comments.
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