From Comic Book to Movie: The Recreation of Iconic Spider-Man Moments
Updated: Apr 28
Spoiler alert: This article will detail the top 3 most iconic moments from the Spider-Man comics which were then recreated in the movies.
3. Trapped in the rubble
In the Amazing Spider-Man Issue 31-33 If This Be My Destiny, Peter Parker/Spider-Man is trapped in the rubble and attempts to get out after battling Doctor Octopus. This scene is regarded as one of the most iconic Spider-Man moments because of the strength he has to show to get out and to save his Aunt May. The moment was recreated in the movie Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) after Adrian Toomes/Vulture (Micheal Keaton) traps Spider-Man (Tom Holland) under rubble by using his wing pack to destroy the supporting columns. These issues were the inspiration for the plot of Spider-Man 2 (2004) where Doctor Octopus tried to obtain a priceless element for his machine.
2. Learning ‘with great power comes great responsibility’ - the hard way
In the Amazing Fantasy Issue 15, Peter Parker tracks down and chases the thief who killed Uncle Ben, only to find out that he was the robber who stole money from a television station where Peter went to get attention as a minor celebrity. The burglar broke into Parker’s house to steal money, but was caught by his Uncle Ben, who subsequently got shot by the burglar. Peter is ashamed of not stopping him earlier, vowing to use his powers more responsibly following Uncle Ben’s famous quote: “With great power comes great responsibility.” It is regarded as an iconic moment as it is the moment where Parker truly becomes the Spider-Man we all know and love. This is recreated in Spider-Man (2002), when Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) chased down the thief who he thought killed his uncle. However, the thief fell backwards out of the window as he was intimidated by Peter. It is later revealed in Spider-Man 3 (2007) that it was Flint Marko/Sandman who killed his uncle after trying to get money to save his sick daughter.
1. The Death of Gwen Stacy
In The Amazing Spider-Man Issue 121-122, Norman Osborn/Green Goblin, recovers from his amnesia (which he had gotten in Issue 40-47). While he had amnesia, his son Harry Osborn continued taking drugs and his company (Oscorp) was dealing with a financial crisis. However, he remembers his life as Green Goblin as well as Spider-Man’s secret identity. He then kidnaps Peter Parker’s then-girlfriend Gwen Stacy. When Peter goes to confront Goblin, on Brooklyn Bridge, Goblin ends up hurling Gwen Stacy off the bridge. Peter attempts to save her but ultimately fails and she breaks her back due to whiplash. Because of this, Peter attempts to kill Goblin but cannot bring himself to do so.
While initially receiving polarised responses from Spider-Man fans and critics (even Spider-Man’s co-creator Stan Lee disapproved of the decision at that time), it is now regarded as the most iconic Spider-Man moment. It is an example of him being shaken to his core and how he has learned to become a better hero because of it. The moment has been adapted in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) where Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) attempts to catch Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) from falling into a clock tower after a battle with Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan). Just like the comics, Peter fails to catch her. Moreover, Peter nearly killing Goblin has been recreated in the film Spider-Man No Way Home (2021) after Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe) kills Peter’s (Tom Holland) Aunt May (Marisa Tomei). In the final battle, Peter brutally beats Goblin and nearly impales him with his glider, but is stopped by another version of himself (Tobey Maguire).