The 10 best alternate versions of Spider-Man, ranked

Amazing Spider-Man 2099
Image via Marvel Comics

One of the best things about Spider-Man—besides the fact that he’s the best superhero—is that there are so many alternate versions of everyone’s friendly neighborhood wall crawler.

Pick practically any characters from Peter Parker’s universe, and there’s a good chance that they’re a Spider-Man in a different one. On Earth-3123, Aunt May is Spider-Ma’am. There’s also Spider-Horse, Spider-Jameson, Spider-Wolverine, and even Businessman Spider-Man, and this is a small smattering of alternate Spider-Men. At one point, they all grouped up as the Spider-Army to fight the Spider-Totem destroying Inheritors.

After the wild trailer for Across the Spider-Verse blew minds with a multitude of Spider-People, it begs the question, which Spider-Man variants are the best? We’ve got you covered.

10. Spider-Man Noir

Image via Marvel Comics

Let’s start with one of the cooler Spider-Men on the list: Spider-Man Noir, who famously made an appearance in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and was voiced by Nicolas Cage.

This alternate Spider-Man was raised during the Great Depression in a universe where Uncle Ben was killed by businessmen after he organized a strike on sweatshops. Peter was bitten by a spider after a “Spider Idol” broke open, and spiders swarmed one of Norman Osborn’s henchman. Peter happened to dream of a “Spider-God,” and then woke up with powers.

Spider-Man Noir is basically an old timey detective-like character who isn’t afraid to kill, but he struggles with the weight of those actions. He has the same powers as his counterpart and can shoot dark webbing organically from his wrists. His costume is cobbled together from the clothes of the time. Interestingly, unlike most of his fellow Spider-Men, he never learned the catchphrase, “With great power comes great responsibility,” but instead was taught, “If there is too much power, then it is the responsibility of the people to take it away.”

9. Spider Ma’am

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On Earth-3123, Aunt May is bitten by a radioactive spider instead of Peter after she showed up at a science demonstration with lunch for her nephew. Peter then makes her web shooters and helps her fight crime from the sidelines.

She first appeared in What If? #23, where she fought a villain named Leap-Frog and captured him after a crime spree. She also goes toe to toe with Vulture and defeats him with the help of her family. When Spider-Ma’am joins the Spider-Army, she raises clones of The Inheritors to make them heroes when they grow up.

8. Spider-Monkey

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Spider-Monkey is a real spider monkey that was, you guessed it, bitten by a radioactive spider. This version of Spider-Man is from the universe where everyone is an ape, including the superheroes. Because he’s a primate, Spider-Monkey is actually not as smart as his human counterparts and not that great at fighting them.

Like Spider-Noir, he has no problem with killing enemies who refuse to reform, like Doctor Ooktavious (Ape Doc Ock), whom he beat to death along with the Ape-vengers. Unfortunately, Spider-Monkey was killed by Jennix, one of the Inheritors.

7. Spider-Man 2099

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Spider-Man 2099 has actually been spidering around since he got his own comic book in 1992. His real name is Miguel O’Hara, an Irish-Mexican scientist who lives in futuristic New York. He was bitten by a radioactive spider after performing experiments to replicate Spider-Man’s abilities in other people.

Unlike the majority of other Spider-Men, O’Hara is not an alternate or future version of Peter Parker. He also has a few extra powers, like fangs, telepathic abilities, and he can make speed duplicates of himself in battle. O’Hara was also one of the first Spider-Men to have webs that shoot out of his arms organically as opposed to web shooters.

O’Hara was voiced by Oscar Isaac in Spider-verse, who will reprise the role in the upcoming sequel.

6. Six-Armed Spider-Man

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A six-armed Spider-Man in the number six spot? Serendipity! The original Earth-616 Peter Parker came up with a potion, so he’d lose his powers but instead grow six arms, though his frienemy Morbius cures him. However, this Spider-Man lives on Earth-92100, where Morbius is eaten by sharks, which—holy hell—what a way to go.

Because there’s no Morbius, there’s no cure for the added limbs, and Spider-Man was forced to live with it. Fortunately, the general public warms up to him in time. He also is one of the few Spider-Men who saved Gwen Stacy.

Unfortunately, the Six-Armed Spider-Man is gone, but he died like a real hero, buying time for two other Spider-People to escape harm.

5. Spider-Ham

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Who doesn’t love Spider-Ham? Most people know him from Spider-Verse, where he’s hilariously voiced by comic John Mulaney, but he actually has a deep and storied past in the comic Spider-Verse.

Hailing from Earth-8311, Peter Porker’s origin story is pretty wild. He was actually a spider named Peter who lived in May Porker’s basement. May was a scientist who wanted to create the first atomic-powered hair dryer. She irradiates herself in an accident, and, in a state of delusion, bites Peter, who transforms into Spider-Ham.

One of Peter Porker’s special abilities is Spider-Nonsense, which makes him “cartoon-ier” as the level of danger against him increases. He’s also weirdly strong.

4. Spider-Punk

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Oi! Oi! Oi! It’s Spider-Punk!

Hobart Brown is a guitar-slinging, spike-wearing Spider-Man from Earth-138. He’s originally a homeless teen until he’s irradiated by Norman Osborn and his company’s toxic waste dumping. When Hobart becomes Spider-Man, he leads an uprising against Osborn and manages to kill him with his guitar (doesn’t get more punk than guitar murder).

Spider-Punk is strangely one of the more heroic Spider-Men, and he leads a version of the Avengers in his universe called the Spider-Band. His team includes Multiverse Captain America called Captain Anarchy, Iron Heart-parallel character RiotHeart, and Daredevil-parallel Daredevil Drummer of Philly. We’ll also get to see Spider-Punk’s big screen debut in Across the Spider-Verse.

3. Miles-Morales

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Miles Morales is the most important Spider-Man of the modern era, and he’s tasked with taking the mantle after the Ultimate Universe’s Peter Parker dies. Morales was bitten by a spider when he was much younger than Parker, and he initially didn’t want anything to do with his abilities.

He’s incredibly popular and even starred in his own video game, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. A more teen-friendly Spider-Man, Miles lives in Brooklyn, and appreciates graffiti art and hip-hop. He also has his own take on Uncle Ben’s famous “With great power comes great responsibility” speech by adding, “What would Peter Parker do?” Unlike Parker, his powers include bio-electrokinesis, which can stun enemies, as well as a camouflaging ability that makes him practically invisible.

He burst onto the mainstream stage thanks to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and he is set to return in Across the Spider-Verse.

2. Symbiote Spider-Man

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Before Marvel made the Multiverse a common word, Symbiote Spider-Man was the best alternate Spider-Man. He’s also the coolest Spider-Man to people who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s.

Just like the ring in Lord of the Rings, the symbiote was too good to be true. It gave Peter amazing powers, but it also made Venom, one of Spider-Man’s most iconic enemies, which led to Carnage. The first appearance of Symbiote Spider-Man happened when the alien costume attached itself to Parker during the Secret Wars saga. It was later revealed that it was actually part of a group of parasitic symbiotes. The symbiote that would become Venom wanted to commit to a host instead of take advantage of it, and the other symbiotes trapped it in a containment object on a planet that becomes part of The Beyonder’s Battleworld. That’s where it meets Parker. Eventually, it wanted to bond with him, and Spider-Man used soundwaves to separate from it.

The symbiote then finds crestfallen journalist Eddie Brock, who blames Spider-Man for all his problems. That’s where the story of Symbiote Spider-Man ends, and Venom’s story begins. However, there is an alternate universe in which Peter reclaimed the costume from Eddie on Earth-28242, which is chronicled in the comic, Symbiote Spider-Man.

1. Spider-Gwen

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What? Spider-Gwen as the number one alternate Spider-Man? Is it blasphemy?

Spider-Gwen is number one for a reason; she’ll be heavily featured in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, and she’s probably going to get her own movie as well.

She’s one of the better Spider-People. Spider-Gwen is from Earth-65, where she is raised by a single parent and is bitten by a radioactive spider. A retired superhero named Janet van Dyne gave her old costume to Gwen, and her first couple tries as a superhero were more about her looking good than fighting crime.

Her father, George Stacy, tells Gwen that she could easily help people, and she listens. Also, the non-powered Parker, who’s bullied constantly, looks up to Spider-Gwen and wants to be just like her. However, he runs an experiment and accidentally turns himself into a huge lizard. Gwen has to fight him, and she gives it her all—so much so that he dies from his injuries when he returns to normal. Because no one knew about Parker being a lizard, Spider-Gwen is blamed for his death. This makes her want to redeem herself, so she commits to crime fighting. This parallels the Earth-616 Parker’s motivation in the main Spider-Verse when the Green Goblin dropped Gwen from a building, and the recoil from Spider-Man’s webbing broke her neck.