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VOICE OVER: Adrian Sousa WRITTEN BY: Craig Butler
You can't please all of the people all of the time – as these divisive web-slinger moments prove. Welcome to, and today we're counting down the top 10 most controversial moments in Spider-Man history.

For this list, we're looking at comics only, so controversial movies or TV shows don't count.
You can’t please all of the people all of the time – as these divisive web-slinger moments prove. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down the top 10 most controversial moments in Spider-Man history. For this list, we’re looking at comics only, so controversial movies or TV shows don’t count.

#10: The Clone Saga

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The premise started out okay on paper. Peter Parker discovers that he’s actually a clone and has been for the last 20 years of adventures. And now the real Peter Parker is back and ready to jump back into the old Spidey suit. Unfortunately, Marvel kept this storyline going far too long, two years to be exact, adding more convoluted details along the way. It didn’t get any better through repetition. And fans were pissed that 20 years of comics history had been a fraud. Eventually, it turned out that our Peter was the real thing after all, so it was all an overly long exercise in misdirection that left fans utterly disappointed.

#9: Morlun’s Unusual Appetite

In a storyline called “The Other,” your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man develops a crazy radioactive sickness that seems to be destroying him, so he’s already in sorry shape when he’s attacked by the nefarious villain Morlun. This dude likes to travel from one alternate Earth to another, gathering up totems that belong to the Spider-Man of each Earth. When he attacks Peter, he goes all out. In one of the grossest moments in comics, he actually eats Peter’s eyeball, right out from its socket. For good measure, he also seems to kill Peter, but that didn’t generate as much controversy as his optic appetite. Don’t worry – Peter would return with both eyes intact.

#8: The Suicide of Ann Weying

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The overused trope where a woman suffers just so that her love interest, be it,hero or villain, can get angsty, gets really old in superhero comics. Ann Weying was the ex-wife of Eddie Brock, host to the symbiote known as Venom. She had even unwillingly hosted the symbiote herself, briefly becoming She-Venom, which left her deeply scarred. When Eddie tries to make up with her, she freaked out at the sight of Spider-Man swinging by in a Venom-inspired costume. She was even more freaked out when Eddie changed into Venom right in front of her to fight Spider-Man. So much so that she throws herself out of her window. This was all done to justify Eddie’s hatred of Spider-Man. Some fans bought the tragedy, but others found it superfluous and heartless.

#7: Buried Alive

“Kraven’s Last Hunt” is generally hailed as an exciting and gripping story arc, one which really explored the titular villain’s personality. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t generate controversy. It was for the time an especially dark and grim tale, which put off some fans. Most controversial was Kraven disposing of Spider-Man, seemingly killing him. Turn out, he actually paralyzed him and buried him alive. It takes two weeks for the drug to wear off, after which readers endured an excruciating sequence as Peter somehow saved himself. There was a lot to admire in the story, but not everyone could get beyond the darker aspects and the intensity of the story.

#6: Spidey Unmasked!

To show his commitment to Tony Stark’s registration campaign in Civil War, Spider-Man took the unprecedented step of revealing his secret identity to the world. Sure, it made for a powerful moment, but it also riled up a lot of fans who felt that this would fundamentally change the character. After all, Peter had made a huge deal since the beginning of keeping his identity a secret so his loved ones would be safe, so willingly giving up his secret felt out of character and forced. Sure enough, Aunt May ended up getting shot - and writers had to find a way to make Peter’s identity a secret again… more on that later.

#5: Aunt May’s Final Chapter… Not

Speaking of Aunt May, she had actually met a tragic end during “The Clone Saga.” So how could she have been shot during Civil War? Blame “The Final Chapter,” a story arc with one of the absolute worst comic book resurrections in history. See, it turns out that WASN’T dear Aunt May who was killed among all that clone mess. No, that was an actress who had been genetically altered to pass for May. Yes, the Green Goblin once again came up with a convoluted plan to mess with Spidey’s head – and in doing so, negated any real emotional value her death had provided. Many readers found this explanation too big a stretch to accept.

#4: Death by Sperm

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We’d like to say we’re kidding about this – but we can’t. Marvel ripped off “The Dark Knight Returns” to put Peter into a dark dystopian future. Called “The Reign,” it picks up with Spidey as a retired 60-year-old getting suited up again to go after the Sinister Six. There’s a lot of grim posing going on that doesn’t really fit with Spidey, but the most controversial moment was the discovery that in this timeline, MJ was dead – and Spider-Man was responsible. Or rather, his sperm was. See, all that radioactivity in his body trickled down into his sperm and got transferred to MJ every time they…you get the idea. But it’s an idea that a lot of fans objected to for obvious reasons.

#3: Superior Spider-Man

The Superior Spider-Man storyline inspired passionate supporters and equally fervent haters. Before his body withers and dies, Doc Ock finds a way to switch his mind with Peter Parker’s. But surprisingly, the Doc is inspired to become an even better Spider-Man than Peter ever was: a superior Spider-Man. He’s good, but not perfect; he kills Massacre, a mass murderer whom he assumes is beyond redemption, and ruins Spidey’s reputation with the Avengers. Eventually, it turns out that Peter’s essence is still in Spider-Man’s body, and Otto ultimately relinquishes control back to the real Spider-Man. Some hailed it as a masterpiece, but others found way too weird to be taken seriously.

#2: Sins Past

The death of Gwen Stacy was one of the defining moments in Spider-Man history. This 2004 storyline (and its equally controversial sequel, “Sins Remembered”) fascinated some readers but outraged a sizable portion of the community. How? By creating a backstory in which Gwen had an affair with Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin – and gave birth to twins. According to this retcon, Goblin threw her off the bridge to keep their offsprings’ existence a secret. Gwen Stacy’s reputation was besmirched by this story arc, which angered long-time readers and new fans alike.

#1: One More Day

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There are good ways to reboot a character – and then there’s “One More Day.” The marriage of Peter and MJ had been one of the most beloved relationships in all of comicdom, and many fans had invested a lot of themselves in their relationship. But after Aunt May was shot thanks to Peter revealing his secret identity in Civil War, Peter was overcome with guilt and anguish. And we mean literally overcome. So much so that he made a deal with Mephisto, the Devil of the Marvel Universe. Peter traded his marriage in order to save Aunt May, rewriting the timeline and splitting up the iconic couple. It remains one of the most despised moments in Spider-Man’s long history.