For more than sixty years, Peter Parker, better known as the Amazing Spider-Man has astonished fans of all ages through his web-slinging exploits. However, Peter isn’t the only one to take up the mantle of Spider-Man, as several different versions of the iconic webslinger have been seen thoughout the years.
Thanks to the Marvel Multiverse, countless variants of Peter and other Spider-Totems have been introduced. Unsurprisingly, these astonishing heroes range from the prototypical Spider-Man to the abjectly horrifying. When it comes to the latter, there are more than a few varieties of nightmarish Spiders who have sent chills throughout their respective corners of the Multiverse.
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10 Hammer Supreme
2018’s Infinity Wars was one of the most awe-striking events ever seen in the Marvel Universe. As a result of Gamora folding the universe on top of itself within the Soul Gem, reality was transformed into Warp World, a realm where several characters were merged with another.
Intially, Peter Parker was merged with Marc Spector (aka Moon Knight) to create the menacing Arachknight. When Warp World folded a second time, Arachknight was merged with Soldier Supreme, a combination of Captain America and Doctor Strange, giving rise to the Spider Supreme. Upon Warp World’s third folding, the souls of Black Panther, Ghost Rider, Iron Man, and Thor had been incorporated into the being ultimately known as Hammer Supreme who, despite being a hero, is undeniably horrifying in concept alone.
Whereas Hammer Supreme was a figure who quite literally had layers upon layers of character and backstory, the Great Spider-Wolf of the Lycansphere was nowhere near as fortunate in terms of development. Otherwise known as simply as the Spider-Wolf, this Spider-Totem made his one and only appearance in 2014’s Amazing Spider-Man #11 (by Dan Slott and Olivier Coipel) in which he died at the hands of the Inheritor known as Karn.
Based on the name of his world, it is safe to assume that the Spider-Wolf’s entire planet was either ruled by or overrun with werewolves which, while terrifying, is also intriguing enough to make it a shame the lycanthropic Wall-Crawler lost his life so soon.
8 Zoltan Amadeus
The world of Earth-8107, better known as that of the 80s animated Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends series, hasn’t made many appearances in Marvel Comics, but it is still an indelible part of the Spider-Verse as a whole. That said, its most horrifying Spider-Man was very well deserving of the name.
Also referred to as the Arachnoid, this monstrous villain came as a result of chemist Zoltan Amadeus exposing himself to his homemade Spider-Serum. Initially, this imbued Zoltan with all the powers of Spider-Man, allowing him to imitate the hero and commit a series of brazen crimes in the real Wall-Crawler’s name. Unfortunately, the Spider-Serum didn’t stop there, and soon enough Zoltan was completely transformed into a giant spider.
2000’s Avataars: Covenant of the Shield (by Len Kaminski and Oscar Jimenez) saw the Marvel Universe remade into a high fantasy setting replete with all new versions of its familiar heroes and villains. Among these was a young boy who ventured out into the dark and ominous Webwood alone one day only to come face-to-face with the Widow of the Web.
This fabled witch bequeathed unto the boy all the power her kingdom had to offer under the condition that he never use them for his own gain. Initially, this request was easy to fill, but when the boy’s uncle was attacked and he used his powers to save his family member’s life, he unwittingly broke his oath. With that, the boy was reduced to the monstrous Webslinger, a hero fated to be hated and feared by the very people he puts his life on the line to save.
While most versions of Peter Parker get their powers from being bitten by a radioactive spider, the Peter of Earth-11580 had a much more unsettling start. While on a tour at Horizon Labs, this Peter fell into a sprawling colony of spiders that were in the midst of being bombarded by radioactive particles. In an instant, the experiment meant to alter the spiders’ genetics had reduced Peter’s physical form to nothing.
However, Peter’s consciousness was miraculously transferred into the spiders themselves as a sort of psychic hive mind. Whereas any other Peter Parker would have become Spider-Man, this variant instead became Spiders-Man, as was shockingly revealed in his first full appearance in 2018’s Spider-Geddon #3 (by Christos. N. Gage, Dan Slott, Carlo Barberi, and Todd Nauck).
5 Kraven the Hunter-Spider
2022’s Edge of the Spider-Verse introduced a plethora of astonishing Spider-Totems from across the Multiverse, although none were as instantly popular as Kraven the Spider-Hunter. This version of Sergei Kravinoff began leading a life that was almost identical to that of his primary universe counterpart, up until the moment he encountered a massive spider during what should have been a lion hunt in Zimbabwe.
Rather than being felled by his incidental adversary, Kraven was merely wounded, eventually emerging both victorious and with a new set of superpowers for his troubles. Though this could have easily led him down a better path, it instead drove Kraven to take on similarly powered prey, and soon enough the trophy room of Kraven the Spider-Hunter was lined with the heads of classic, animalistic villains such as the Rhino and Vulture.
4 Ai Apaec
First seen in 2010’s Osborn #1 (by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios), Ai Apaec the Decapitator was imprisoned within the underwater Special Containment Center where the United States government housed the most dangerous villains.
An ancient god worshiped throughout the Incan Empire, Ai Apaec’s proclivity for torture and killing made him a potentially devastating threat, whereas his subjugation at the hands of humans made him a perfect fit for Norman Osborn’s handpicked team of “heroes.” As part of Osborn’s Dark Avengers, Ai Apaec played the role of Spider-Man until being driven back into the shadows where his crusade of vengeance was brought to an end by Skaar, the son of the Hulk.
3 Jay T. Thomas
While the year 2000 saw the introduction of Marvel’s Ultimate, it also offered a glimpse of other versions of the Marvel Universe. Hailing from the world of Earth-20007, Jay T. Thomas was a Spider-Man unlike any other.
Rather than simply being imbued with the powers of a spider, Jay was transformed into a hulking insectoid aberration following what should have been a harmless mission to space, one analagous to that which transformed John Jonah Jameson III into the Man-Wolf. As his world’s Spider-Man, Jay feasted upon his enemies in grotesque fashion, with his singular solo outing leaving an unforgettable impression.
Despite only ever being seen in 2010’s Thanos Imperative #4 (by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Miguel Sepulveda), the Spider-Woman of Marvel’s Cancerverse is still among the Multiverse’s most horrifying iterations of the character.
Like all other denizens of the Cancerverse, this Spider-Woman succumbed to the influence of the Many-Angled Ones who destroyed Death and replaced it with never ending life. Ronan the Accuser not only took it upon himself to battle this Spider-Woman but also survived to tell the tale.
When Ereshkigal first appeared in 2009’s Spider-Man Noir #2 (by David Hine, Fabrice Sapolsky, and Carmine Di Giandomenico), it was in the form of the Spider-God from whom The Spider-Man derived his powers. In the years that followed, Ereshkigal would take on numerous forms, the easiest of which to face was always that of the otherwise ordinary human Holly Babson.
In truth, however, Ereshkigal is a nightmarish Mesopotamian god with incredible strength, which she has used to help her world’s Peter Parker however she can.
Over more than sixty years, Peter Parker has set the standard for what makes a Spider-Man, but the Multiverse has offered some horrifying alternatives Read More