If there’s one thing Spider-Man has had a lot of over the past fifty years, it’s relations on a rooftop. If there’s a second thing, it’s team-ups (of a different kind), as Spidey hasn’t just buddied up in his own - and other series - but often been the anchor for the many iterations of the appropriately named Marvel Team-Up. Because there are SO many different times Spider-Man has met other supermen and women, we went to you, the fans, to find out what some of YOUR favorite team-ups of all time were (and some of our own):
Okay, there have been a lot of inter-company crossovers that are no fun - this wasn’t one of them. Gerry Conway, with art by Neal Adams, Ross Andru, and John Romita, Sr. brought together the two titans of the comic book industry, just as you’d want ‘em: every supporting character, Doc Ock and Lex Luthor, and Superman somehow not immediately punching Spider-Man into a fine blue and red powder.
9. Red Sonja
Hey, you guys remember how Mary Jane’s hair is red? RED SONJA’S HAIR IS RED, TOO??? Let’s base two crossovers on this! Okay, but seriously, both the original story in Marvel Team-Up # 79, and the sequel mini-series which teamed bad guys Venom and Kulan Gath together was a ton of fun... Hey, isn’t Ron Weasley’s hair red, too? Let’s put him in a metal bikini!
Back when Robert Kirkman was at the height of his “I can do whatever I want” powers, which is a period I think we’re still in, actually, he was writing Marvel Team-Up, and his Image title Invincible. So cross company boundaries went ‘Vince, into a one issue crossover with Spider-Man that tied nicely into both characters legacies.
Huh? Wha? Okay, the crossover between the Amazing Spider-Man and Ultimate Spider-Man is still going on; but with this week’s fourth issue, it’s turned into a poignant, exciting exploration of everything that’s good about Spidey... And we love seeing Peter play off of Miles.
This one was suggested via Facebook by a fan, and we’ve got to say we love the cover. Inside, it’s a new villain named Black Abbot and Taskmaster versus Spider-Man and Nomad, and from our research, we know there’s some fun fight scenes. We’ll take it, anonymous fan.
5. Kitty Pryde
This is a little bit of a cheat, but the combination of Ultimate Spider-Man and Ultimate Kitty Pryde was the sort of exciting team-up that was far too late for the regular Marvel U, and just right for the Ultimate Marvel U. The two played off each other wonderfully and humorously, and since we identify with Spider-Man, and love Kitty Pryde, the fact that they were dating was, you know, nice. Cough.
4. The Cast of Saturday Night Live
One of the weirder team-ups in history, Spider-Man met the cast of Saturday Night Live when John Belushi’s sketch comedy samurai character turned into the villainous Silver Samurai. Later, Spider-Man would team up with the ‘90s cast of SNL to take down Goat Boy, who was actually just Jim Breuer.
The normally deathly serious Daredevil makes a great foil for the constantly joking Spider-Man, and their similar beats mean they almost constantly bump into each other. One of the bests, though, is from Spectacular Spider-Man #27, where Spidey becomes blind, and has to rely on Daredevil for help.
What can we say? We get a thrill whenever we see Spider-Man teaming up in the comics with Iceman or Firestar, two of his Amazing Friends from the animated show. Before he was killed in the Ultimate Universe, Spidey was shacking up with Iceman and The Human Torch, a great riff on that classic trio, and one that was sadly cut short too soon.
1. Human Torch
Speaking of ol’ Flame Head, there may be no better pairing in comics than the Human Torch and Spider-Man, two constant jokesters who play like lost siblings - yet somehow make each other better. Nowhere was this better exemplified than Dan Slott’s brilliant mini-series tracking the duo throughout the decades, and seeing how their lives - and friendships - have changed. And from that, Spider-Man/Human Torch #3 stands as one of the best comics of all time, managing to mix Gwen Stacy’s death, the Spider-Car, and fruit pies into a brilliant stand alone story that’s as hilarious as it’s heart-breaking. For that alone, Peter and Johnny are the best team-up ever.