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Five sinister Spider-Man stories the MCU wouldn’t dare adapt

Peter Parker seems like a pretty fun fella but here are five sinister Spider-Man stories that we're certain you'll never see in the MCU.

Spider-Man stories too dark for the MCU

Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can… when you stop and think about it, that’s actually quite creepy, which is appropriate, all things considered. Yes, despite being Marvel’s most popular hero (don’t start Iron Man fans; this is an argument you’ll lose), Spidey’s got a tendency to be embroiled in some pretty terrifying tales.

In fact, several of Peter Parker’s biggest stories are so dark we think they’d turn Kevin Feige’s hair white, and we never expect to see them in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I mean, just off the top of our heads, there was the time our favorite Marvel character sold his marriage to the devil. That’s not what you expect to see in a superhero movie, right? Still, there are plenty of other creepy moments in Spider-Man history that’ll never see in Spider-Man 4.

Spider-Man stories too dark for the MCU: Clone Saga

The Clone Saga… from the ’90s

For the longest time, The Clone Saga was arguably the most controversial Spider-Man storyline ever printed. It’s too sprawling a tale to go through beat by beat. Still, the long and short of it is that Peter Parker was cloned while in college, and the Spider-Man we’ve been following all this time was actually not the real one.

You can probably see why fans who’d been buying Spider-Man for decades weren’t thrilled by the revelation they’d been reading about a Walmart own-brand Spidey all these years. Still, honestly, that’s not the worst of it.

The story sees Peter fall apart upon learning he’s not the real deal, briefly turning against his friends and family and siding with the villain who cloned him. While Peter comes to his senses eventually, with a bit of help from his clone, the whole saga leaves Spidey in a pretty weird place that we think Marvel and Sony would be keen to avoid.

Spider-Man stories too dark for the MCU: The Other

The Other

The Other is a gruesome Spider-Man story and possibly the darkest on this list. The grisly arc dealt with Peter learning he was dying of some mysterious terminal disease, which led him to seek out the foremost minds in the Marvel Universe. Each of them unfortunately told him there was nothing they could do.

As his body failed him, Peter found himself attacked by one of the deadliest Spider-Man villains around, the vampiric Morlun, who wanted to drain what was left of Spidey’s weakened life force. Their fight was a bloody and brutal one, which saw Peter lose an eye before he eventually died rescuing Mary Jane from Morlun.

It seems, though, that not even death can stop Spider-Man. After a strange vision where he encounters a mystical spider deity known as The Other, Peter is reborn. When he comes back, he’s healed and has many new powers, including deadly stingers that shoot from his wrists.

There should be some pretty obvious reasons why Marvel would never put Tom Holland’s Spidey through this. It’s horrifically violent, and neither Disney nor Sony wants an R-rated Spider-Man movie where the titular character dies halfway through!

Spider-Man stories too dark for the MCU: Kraven's First hunt

Spider-Man’s First Hunt

Everyone loves Kraven’s Last Hunt; it’s an iconic tale that’s been adapted countless times across various forms of media, but you’ve probably never heard of Spider-Man’s First Hunt. This story comes from Chip Zdarsky’s Amazing Spider-Man run and has poor put-upon Peter Parker accidentally absorbing the sins of Norman Osborn, transforming him into an evil Spider-Man fuelled by the Green Goblin’s malice and cunning.

Peter then decides to give some of his old enemies a taste of their own medicine, and he starts by hunting down Kraven and burying the big game hunter alive. As far as Spider-Man stories go, that’s pretty dark, but it only gets worse from there. Driven by the Goblin’s insanity, Peter jealously attacks Mary-Jane and her boyfriend Paul. Let’s be honest Spider-Man transforming into a violent jealous ex? That’s probably pushing the boundaries of Spidey’s character a bit too far for comfort.

Spider-Man stories too dark for the MCU: Savage Spider-Man

Savage Spider-Man

Peter Parker has a bad habit of mutating into a monstrous creature that’s more spider than man. Still, few versions of this horrifying concept are as scary as the Savage Spider-Man. This poor Peter Parker was given a drug by Baron Zemo (Yes, the Marvel villain from Civil War), which transformed him into a mindless spider monster who acted on pure instinct.

As terrifying as this mutated Man-Spider was, it wasn’t the scariest part of this story. When Peter was cured of his mutation, something went wrong, and while his human form was restored, he became cold and overly logical. This new and ‘improved’ version of Peter was anything but a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man and is far too ruthless for the big screen.

When you couple that with Peter’s David Cronenberg-esque transformation, it’s clear any adaptation of this storyline would skew too far into body horror for traditional Spidey fans (although fans of The Fly would probably love it).

Spider-Man stories too dark for the MCU: Superior Spider-Man

Superior Spider-Man

A personal favorite, the Superior Spider-Man story saw a dying Doctor Octopus pull a Freaky Friday on Peter, stealing his body and replacing him as the Wallcrawler. A complex and controversial story at the time it was published, Superior was both a chilling look into the psyche of one of Peter’s greatest enemies as well as an absorbing examination of concepts of redemption and identity.

As compelling a story as Superior was, it was also an incredibly uncomfortable read that turned one of the world’s most beloved heroes into a murderous and violent vigilante. We can’t imagine a world where Sony or Disney are comfortable with making one of their flagship characters into someone who makes the Punisher look reasonable, and that’s without getting into the difficulty of telling such a complicated story in a two-and-a-half-hour run time.

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If you love the Wallcrawler, then check out our guide explaining how to watch all the Spider-Man movies in order — it sounds easy, we know, but in the words of Doctor Strange, the multiverse is something we know dangerously little about.

That’s not all, though. We’ve also got detailed breakdowns on the Spider-Man Freshman Year release date, the Venom 3 release date, and even the Spider-Verse 3 release date. If you already know when your favorite web-swingers are returning, why not learn where the Spider-Man cast is now or who the Spider-Women in Madame Web are?

Finally, if you’re an arachnophobe, we have a list of all the new movies coming in the next few months and the best movies ever made.