Starting with 2002’s Spider-Man, numerous live-action versions of Spider-Man have taken several scenes directly from the comics. In The Best Comic Book Panels Recreated in Spider-Man Movies, we’re taking a look at the best so far…
The Death of Gwen Stacy
The Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies focus on the romance between Peter Parker and Mary-Jane ‘MJ’ Watson, and although the couple has a long relationship in the comics the movies repurposed a lot of the dynamic and scenes that originally involved Peter’s original comic book high school girlfriend Gwen Stacey.
The Amazing Spider-Man movies starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacey went back to the original comic book roots, including the tragic death of Gwen. The scene was recreated almost exactly from 1973’s Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1 #121.
Spider-Man No More
The scene from 2004’s Spider-Man 2 where Tobey McGuire’s Peter Parker throws his suit into a trash bin, mirrors Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1 #50 where Spider-Man tried to give up his superhero identity, only to realise things were much worse without him.
The Green Goblin vs. His Glider
The Green Goblin is one of Spider-Man’s most recognisable villains and appeared as the first live-action villain in 2002’s Spider-Man, and again in 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2. His Iconic (first) death in 1973’s Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1. #122 thanks to his own hubris and glider, is almost perfectly recreated in Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man movie.
Spider-Man Takes on the Pretend Avengers
At the beginning of Spider-Man: Homecoming Spidey’s first real fight (excluding the brief scenes of his battle during Civil War) is against a group of thieves in Avengers masks. The scene is packed full of jokes and references, from the masks being the classic comic book looks of the Avengers, to Spider-Man noting that it’s nice to meet Thor and Hulk, pointing out that they are the only Avengers he hasn’t met yet. But the coolest reference is that the whole scene is a big nod to the Ultimate Comics, which Homecoming takes a lot of its influence from, namely Ultimate Spider-Man #42.
A Tense Dinner Party
The first live-action Spider-Man movie adapts years worth of comics, with Norman Osborn and Peter Parker slowly uncovering each other’s true nature throughout the film. The scene in which Norman discovers Peter’s spider-themed side hustle shows a pretty tense Thanksgiving, one that echoes a very similar scene (in which Osborn already knows who Peter is) from 1968’s Spectacular Spider-Man Vol. 1 #2. The scene also features Peter wearing Green Goblin’s colours, and Norman wearing Spider-Man’s, just like the comic.
Spider-Man and the Debris
One of the seminal moments of 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming sees Peter Parker trapped beneath a pile of rubble after trying to take on the Vulture without his Stark Suit. The scene serves as Peter’s realisation that he is Spider-Man regardless of what suit he’s wearing, and is some ways the end to the MCU’s Spider-Man’s origin story. But to add even more to the scene, the shot is a direct reference to the cover (and opening panels) of 1966’s The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 1, #33.
The Sandman Punch
2007’s Spider-Man 3 is often critiqued for being filled with too many villains and generally seen as a poor ending to Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. One of the film’s villains is Thomas Haden Church’s live-action adaption of Sandman. In the first confrontation between Spider-Man and the Sand-powered villain shows Spidey punching through Sandman, just like he does on the cover of the fourth issue of Amazing Spider-Man from 1963.
The Symbiote vs Church Bells
One of Spider-Man 3’s other villains was the fan-favourite Venom. The alien Symbiote initially turns Peter Parker into a care-free, overconfident, piano playing, dancing version of himself, but after he gets rid of the alien Symbiote, it latches on to Peter’s Daily Bugle photography competitor Eddie Brock. The scene with Peter removing the Symbiote (and it finding Eddie) shows him using the sound of church bells to fight Venom. This scene is just like Peter using church bells to get rid of Venom in 1985’s Web of Spider-Man Vol. 1 #1.
Web Face Thanos
During the battle between Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, Iron Man, what is left of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and Thanos, in Avengers: Infinity War Spider-Man manages to get a number of hits in against the Mad Titan. One of them includes a web to the face, which is yet another shot taken from the pages of the Infinity Gauntlet comic book.
Swinging in the Suburbs
2017’s Spider-Man Homecoming marked an unprecedented deal between Sony and Marvel to allow Spider-Man into the MCU. Spider-Man is, of course, a Marvel character but his movie rights were sold to Sony before the first Sprier-Man film in 2002. His first MCU appearance came in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, and his first full movie the next year. Homecoming delivered a great villain, and Spider-Man story, and focused on Peter’s struggles to maintain a dual identity.
One of the scenes that shows this the most sees Peter leaving a party to save the day, unfortunately for him, the party was out in the suburbs (and not the usual skyscraper-filled city centre he is used to). As he goes to swing through a golf course he finds himself unable to web on to anything. The scene mirrors Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1 #267.
If you enjoyed our look at The Best Comic Book Panels Recreated in Spider-Man Movies, check out our original ‘The Best Comic Book Panels Recreated in the MCU’ Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE. And for a more detailed breakdown and side by side slider check out the full posts HERE and HERE.