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The 30 best Spider-Man moments from the movies, games, and more

Goblin unmasked - The Amazing Spider-Man #40 (1966)

The moment: With the Goblin having uncovered Spider-Man's secret identity just one issue previously, The Amazing Spider-Man #40 sees Spidey return the favour, unmasking him to discover Norman Osborn underneath. 

Why it's great: In the space of two issues, the dynamic between the two characters was forever changed, foreshadowing the increasingly personal nature of their battles in issues to come.

Possession - What If? #4 (1989)

The moment: A legendary storyline from the '80s in which the alien symbiote takes control of Spider-Man, turning him into a cross between himself and Venom. 

Why it's great: Spidey's turn to the dark side and cool new suit is brilliantly handled on the page. However, the less said about the screen version (and that dancing scene in particular), the better.

Peas in a Pod - Peter Parker: Spider-Man #25 (1999)

The moment: The ultra-bleak Peter Parker: Spider-Man #25 (Vol. 2) comes to a close with a superlative monologue from the Green Goblin, telling Peter that they're not so different after all. "We’re cop and killer - the same psychological profile - one small step removed from being exactly the person we hate most."

Why it's great: As in The Dark Knight's interrogation scene, such speeches are the cornerstone of truly awesome hero-villain double-acts.

Does whatever a spider can - Spider-Man 2: The Game (2004)

The moment: Fully upgrading your swinging abilities in Spider-Man 2 and zipping around Manhattan with a sense of unmatched freedom.

Why it's great: There's a reason Spider-Man 2 is often cited as the model to which all open-world Spider-Man games should adhere: with its physics-based swinging (which was groundbreaking tech at the time), you finally felt like you really were Spidey. And once you'd leveled up your abilities to be as fast and smooth as possible, nothing could stop you.

RIP - The Amazing Spider-Man #121 (1973)

The moment: Gwen Stacy meets her maker in The Amazing Spider-Man #121, having been tossed from the George Washington Bridge by the Green Goblin. Spidey manages to snare her leg in a desperately thrown web, but when he drags her back up, he realises she's already dead. 

Why it's great: It was a groundbreaking move by Marvel, given that up until this point, superheroes tended not to fail on such a grand scale. Throw in a massive helping of guilt for Peter, and you've got a seminal moment in Spider-Man lore.

Realisation dawns - Spider-Man (2002)

The moment: Peter and MJ share a kiss during the first film's climactic funeral scene. As MJ realises where she recognises the embrace from, Peter's voiceover kicks in: "Whatever life holds in store for me, I will never forget these words: 'with great power comes great responsibility.' This is my gift, my curse. Who am I? I'm Spider-Man." 

Why it's great: If the goosebumps haven't already kicked in at the speech, the following skyscraper-swinging scene should seal the deal.

Goodbye old friend -  Spectacular Spider-Man #200 (1993)

The moment: Harry Osborn finally bows out in Spectacular Spider-Man #200, rescuing Spider-Man from an explosion that kills him in the process. As he slumps towards death, his old friend sits with him, the pair having patched things up at the last. 

Why it's great: It's a moving end to a truly epic saga, and handled with far more love and attention on the page than it was on the screen in Spider-Man 3.

Kiss the Rain - Spider-Man (2002)

The moment: Spider-Man rescues MJ from a gang of muggers, earning a rain-soaked kiss for his troubles. Result! 

Why it's great: A kiss in the rain is nothing new, but the upside down element lends it a certain something. It's certainly memorable, to say the least as you'd expect MJ to get a face full of chin and give up with the endeavour. But no. She's enamoured.

Uncle Ben - Spider-Man (2002)

The moment: Peter returns late from his wrestling escapades to find his waiting uncle bleeding out on the sidewalk. It's a devastating blow to our hero, which is why Ben's speech about great power and great responsibility looms so large in his consciousness.

Why it's great: It's a scene that packs a real emotional punch, particularly when taken in tandem with Ben's earlier speech.

Guilt trip - Amazing Fantasy #15 (1962)

The moment: Stan Lee and Steve Ditko deliver the ultimate hammer-blow with Spider-Man discovering that his uncle's killer was the same low-life he had an opportunity to stop earlier in the story. Crippling guilt, ahoy… 

Why it's great: It set up Spidey's conflicted persona for many years to come, that's why. Sam Raimi also includes it in the movie, but we're particularly partial to the original version.

George Wales
George is GR's resident movie news person, based out of London. He understands that all men must die, but he'd rather not think about it.