Comics Reading Guide for Beginners: Spider-Man

If you’re a fan of the web-slinging Peter Parker, then you might have considered reading the comics. Our favorite two-legged spider first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15 (1962) and was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. If you decided to start reading the comics and are confused about where to start, don’t worry. We have assembled a guide on how to start reading Spider-Man comics. You’ll be hurrying to the nearest comic book store after you’re done reading!

Please do note that this guide is not the be-all and end-all. This is just, in our opinion, one of the many good ways you can start your comic-book reading journey. You are free to read it the way you want it. If you want to read a specific arc first, then by all means, go. The most important thing is that you enjoy going through the life and adventures of our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

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The various Spider-Man universe

Where do I start? This question may be a bit tricky because there exist three different universes in Spider-Man. The first one is called the Earth-616 and is considered the main universe. It is just like our universe and where many of the Spider-Man comics take place.

Then in 2000, the creators decided to release a new comic book title called Ultimate Spider-Man where they introduced the Ultimate Universe, which is also called Earth-1610. Don’t be confused. Just because a new universe was introduced doesn’t mean the other universe ended. In fact, both Earth-616 and Earth-1610 exist simultaneously.

Marvel realized that the whole multiverse thing was confusing readers so decided to release a new comic title called Secret Wars in 2015. In there, the two universes collided to create just one universe where the characters from both worlds can exist together.

Did you get all that? It can get a little confusing so take all the time you need to digest the information. If you’re ready for the next step, here are our recommendations on which book to start with each universe.

Which comic book do I pick up first?


The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #1 (Stan Lee and Steve Ditko)

1. The Amazing Spiderman

What better way to start than with the very beginning? While Lee and Ditko first introduced Spidey in a different comic book as a guest character, The Amazing Spider-Man is the first-ever exclusive Spider-Man comics.

The Amazing Spider-Man: Brand New Day (Slott, et. al)

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The setting in Brand New Day follows the Civil War and an event that altered the past. This is why it is considered a Spider-Man reboot by some people. If you haven’t read any Spider-Man comic book yet, this is also a great jumping point.

Spider-Man: Blue (Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale)

spider man blue

If the names of the author and illustrator sound familiar, that’s because you’ve probably read them somewhere. Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale are both known to have produced a few favorite Batman comics like Dark Victory and The Long Halloween. This standalone series focuses on an emotional retelling of Peter’s relationship with former girlfriend Gwen Stacy.

It’s also important to note that Spider-Man: Blue has only 6 issues. This is perfect for anyone trying to know Spider-Man as quickly as they can.


Ultimate Spider-Man (2000) #1 (Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley)

ultimate spiderman

This is the first-ever issue of the new universe called the Earth-1610. If you do not want to read the older comic books, you can easily jump into this one since it offers a fresh start. It doesn’t require the reader to know any backstory since it is set in a brand new universe.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man (2011) #1 (Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli)

ultimate comics

We recommend that you read Ultimate Spider-Man first before reading this one as this is the sequel. It focuses on the new Spider-Man Miles Morales. If you’ve watched Into the Spider-Verse, then you’ll be glad to see him in action again.

Post-Secret Wars

Now that the two universes have joined, the two Spideys (Peter Parker and Miles Morales) now live together in one world.

Amazing Spider-Man #1 (2015) (Slott, et. al)

amazing spiderman 2015

This series focuses on the adventures of Peter Parker from Earth-616. He is now the owner of Parker Industries and has Spider-Man as his “bodyguard.”

Spider-Man (2016) #1 (Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli)

While the other series focuses on Peter Parker, this one tells the story of Miles Morales. If you haven’t read Ultimate Comics Spider-Man (2011) #1, this is also a great starting point to get to know the other Spider-Man.

Now that you have an idea of where to start reading, it’s time to go to the bookstore!

IN OTHER SPIDER-MAN-RELATED NEWS: The OG Spider-Man Tobey Maguire could be appearing in Doctor Strange 2!

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