Spider-Man is without a doubt the most popular and monetarily successful superhero that Marvel has ever created. Sporting the broadest and best known rogues gallery of any superhero, Spider-Man has appeared in dozens of adaptations from both live action and animated TV shows, to a Japanese show and five (soon to be six) movies. As a result, there has been more than a few hiccups along the way that have left fans mad.
So here are our Top 10 Controversial Spider-Man moments. Let us know what your favourites are from this list and remember to push that red button to subscribe for more.
The Death of Gwen Stacy
While today it’s considered to be one of the most iconic moments of comic history, and a defining story of the Bronze Age of comics, at the time The Death of Gwen Stacy was hugely controversial. The idea of killing off Spidey’s main love interest (this was before Mary Jane firmly placed herself in that role) was unthinkable. Marvel needed a bump in sales though, and they thought the best way to do that was to bump off Gwen Stacy.
Not only that, but it was Spider-Man’s failure that caused her death, as he accidentally snaps her neck when trying to save her. With comics just coming out of the Silver Age, and Spider-Man never having been a particularly dark comic, fans just didn’t know how to take all this sudden weight at once.
Now that time has passed however, fans appreciate this story and the bold steps it took to bring comic books into the modern age. Gwen Stacy was a huge part of Pete’s life, her death became a huge part of Spider-Man’s lore and the question of their relationship, had she survived, will always be his greatest ‘what if’.
Kraven’s Death and Spirit
Kraven’s Last Hunt is kind of a big deal, in fact ComicBookResources fans voted it as the greatest Spider-Man story ever told. At the dawn of the dark age of comics, J.M. DaMatteis penned what was to be the final Kraven story. Taking a villain who had been relatively lacklustre and having him not only defeat Spider-Man but end his own life in the darkest Spider-Man story ever told to that point.
… So if everybody loved it, where’s the controversy? Well, the story, originally planned as a Batman story, features Kraven shooting himself with a shotgun. This sparked outrage over its supposed glorification of suicide and as a result it caused DeMatteis to write a sequel story “Soul of the Hunter”, a story which completely undermined the poignant and dark subject matter of the first story.
Spider-Man 3’s Dance Scene
This is getting a little too dark, so let’s laugh at Spider-Man 3 again. The third movie in the Raimi trilogy received initially a mixed critical reaction, but is now generally perceived to be pretty terrible. Its villains lacked focus, it was overly cluttered and those complaints describe all the Spider-Man movies since then. However, it was the dance scene that really tipped the stupid over the edge.
The worst part of the ridiculous, ballroom dance scene isn’t just how out of place it is, and how unlike the rest of the movie it is, it’s the fact that it was well choreographed. A lot of time and effort went into making this dance scene… Tobey Maguire underwent dance training and hours of rehearsal in order to get it perfect. On the behind the scenes DVD special features, the choreographer praises Maguire’s great skill.
This is all time that could have gone to fixing the numerous problems of Spider-Man 3’s script, rather than shoehorning a decently well-crafted dance scene into the movie.
The Lizards Portrayal in The Amazing Spider-Man
Not unlike Spider-Man 3, public opinion of The Amazing Spider-Man movies turned pretty quickly, but everyone was in agreement from the start that the first movies villain, The Lizard, was handled very poorly.
While the Lizard has been portrayed as both an animalistic split personality that Dr. Connors has no control over, and as Connors being evil and pretending to have a split personality, the movie just wasn’t able to decide which interpretation it wanted to use.
That and the decision to use a complicated villain in a movie that doesn’t dedicate very much time to him, and the decision to give him a human like face, like in his early appearances, instead of the lizard face we know and love, meant that a lot of die hard Lizard fans just weren’t happy..