A Beginner’s Guide to ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’

With a successful reboot under his belt, it’s time we delved into some of the stories that helped inspire the film. Here are some recommendations for anyone (fanboy to layman) who loved Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Amazing Spider-Man #31-33
“If This Be My Destiny”
Writer: Stan Lee
Pencils: Steve Ditko

This is it, folks. The greatest Spider-Man story ever told. Rendered with a kinetic pace by “Sturdy” Steve Ditko and plotted beautifully by Stan “The Man” Lee, these three issues contain the most essential elements of a Spider-Man story. Right as Peter Parker starts college, Aunt May falls ill and requires a blood transfusion, with Pete being the only available donor…if it weren’t for his radioactive blood. Spidey not only needs to deal with the nightmare that is his social and family life, but also the emergence of the villainous and mysterious “Master Planner”. Trapped under rubble and exhausted from a battle with the Planner’s henchmen, it looks like the wall-crawler may have spun his last web (a scene replicated directly in Homecoming). An emotional tale of trials and errors, struggles against certain doom, and the power of self-belief, this is an absolute must read for all True Believers.

Amazing Spider-Man #529-538
“Road to Civil War” & “Civil War: Amazing Spider-Man”
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Pencils: Ron Garney

For those curious about the origin of the “Stark-Spidey” dynamic, these issues not only detail the first appearance of the Iron Spider Armour (as seen in Homecoming), but also what Peter Parker was doing behind the scenes of the Marvel Civil War. Straczynski excels at putting the web-head through the ringer, and these issues are real heartbreakers.

Ultimate Spider-Man #86-90
“Silver Sable”
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mark Bagley

There a surprising number of connections to Homecoming in this small arc of “Ultimate.” Damage Control as a plot point? Check. Spider-Man worried about being exposed to his peers? You got it. The Vulture and the Tinkerer mad at corporate CEOs for screwing them out of work? Three makes a hat trick! Bagley is easily in the top 5 Spider-Man artists of all time, and there are sequences here that demonstrate the web-head’s acrobatic skills and web-shooting. An underrated volume in the “Ultimate Spider-Man” saga.

There you have it, folks! Just a handful of spectacular Spider-Man tales tangentially related to the brand-new film!

Happy Reading!

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