5 Times Spider-Man Overcame Great Odds (And 5 Times He Quit)

4. Overcoming Six Of His Deadliest Foes

Spider-Man Sinister Six First Appearance
Marvel Comics

After Stan Lee and Steve Ditko introduced most of Spider-Man's greatest foes during their historic creative run on Amazing Spider-Man, the duo decided that for Spidey's first ever annual issue, he would face off against six of them at the same time.

Dubbed the Sinister Six, Doctor Octopus, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio, Vulture and Sandman conspire to defeat Spider-Man once and for all. They kidnap Spider-Man's Aunt May and Peter's then-girlfriend Betty Brant, forcing Spider-Man to run this impossible gauntlet of villains. Adding to Spider-Man's misery is the fact that towards the beginning of the issue he suddenly loses his spider-powers. Realizing that he doesn't stand a chance against the Sinister Six at full strength, Spider-Man is at a total loss as to how he'll beat them as regular old Peter Parker. But even without his powers, Peter pledges, "if this be my finish, at least I'll face it like a man!"

Fortunately, Peter's powers return in the nick of time. Using his strength and guile, he's able to outsmart and defeat all six villains in succession, including Doc Ock as the final obstacle.

Maybe if all six villains attacked Spidey at the same time (as Mysterio and Vulture suggest), things would have worked out differently for Spider-Man. But running a gauntlet of the Sinister Six is still pretty darn impressive.

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Mark is a professional writer living in Brooklyn and is the founder of the Chasing Amazing Blog, which documents his quest to collect every issue of Amazing Spider-Man, and the Superior Spider-Talk podcast. He also pens the "Gimmick or Good?" column at Comics Should Be Good blog.