Your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man certainly is one of the most popular Marvel superheroes, but considering the fact that he is just a teen with spider-like abilities, one surely ponders over his actual powers when compared to some other Marvel superheroes, right? Sure, he’s resourceful and has fought many strong opponents, but is he really that strong? Let us see!
Spider-Man is definitely not the weakest Avenger, or the weakest superhero. There are weaker superheroes than him, but when compared to some powerhouse names, he is also not among the strongest.
Marvel Comics is a comic book publishing company founded in 1939 under the name Timely Comics. Timely Comics changed its name to Marvel Comics in 1961. Along with its chief rival, DC Comics, Marvel Comics is the biggest and most important mainstream comic book publisher in the United States.
Marvel has, along with DC Comics, contributed to the development of American comics, specializing in the superhero genre. Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, and Jack Kirby are just some of the pivotal writers who’ve helped shape the style and universes of Marvel Comics. Throughout the years, Marvel has created several pivotal superhero characters and has launched successful franchises such as the Avengers, X-Men, and Guardians of the Galaxy, all of which have been adapted into movies, TV shows, and video games. Some of the most famous Marvel Comics heroes are Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, Wolverine, Professor X, Storm, Cyclops, Jean Grey; but, the franchise also includes famous supervillains such as Thanos, Apocalypse, Galactus, Loki, Magneto, the Mandarin, Doctor Octopus, the Green Goblin, Venom, and others.
Now that we’ve given you a short introduction, let us discuss the topic of this article in more detail.
Who is Spider-Man?
Spider-Man is the superhero alter-ego of Peter Parker, a character appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. He is a superhero from New York City and one of the most popular comic book characters in history. He was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, making his debut in Amazing Fantasy #15 (1962). Since then, Spider-Man has appeared in numerous solo volumes, but also as part of other series and teams, most notably the Avengers.
Although not the only one to don the costume of Spider-Man – the most notable successors being Miles Morales and Doctor Octopus himself – Peter Parker is definitely the most famous Spider-Man, which is why we are going to talk about him in this article.
Peter Parker was born in New York to Richard and Mary Parker, but was raised by his uncle Ben and aunt May Parker, due to his parents dying in a plane crash. The comic books dealt a lot with the issues of adolescence, growing up and Peter’s constant financial struggles. The life of an average teenager changed when he was accidentally bit by a radioactive spider, which gave him superhuman abilities, including, but not limited to shooting web from his body or climbing walls. Realising that he has become a superhero of sorts, Peter Parker designed a suit for himself and became Spider-Man, your friendly neighbourhood superhero.
Spider-Man mostly operates out of Queens and, along with fighting regular criminals, he battles against a gallery of famous rogues including Vulture, Scorpion, Rhino, Lizard, Mr. Negative, Venom, Green Goblin and his nemesis, Doctor Octopus. Spider-Man also has to battle against the negative propaganda advocated publicly by J. Johan Jameson, the publisher of the Daily Bugle, who leads an active smear campaign against Spider-Man, despite all the good he does for the city.
Ironically, it is J. Jonah Jameson who employs Peter Parker, not knowing his superhero identity, as a photojournalist for the Bugle; Parker made a career by constantly bringing in great photographs of Spider-Man. Peter Parker’s private life is also examined in the comics, especially the impact of Uncle Ben’s death and his love relationships with Mary Jane Watson and Gwen Stacy.
Usually a standalone hero, Spider-Man has been a member of the Avengers since the 2010s. Spider-Man’s membership (or rather his failed attempts to join the group before the 2010s) in the team was a running gag in the comics, as well as his relationship and friendship with Deadpool.
Due to his popularity, Spider-Man was featured in practically all of the derivative materials. He has had several animated shows, three movie series (portrayed by Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland respectively), animated movies and video games for several consoles.
Spider-Man’s Powers and Abilities
Before we actually compare Spider-Man to other heroes, we have to see what powers and ability he possesses. Despite all of his feats, Spider-Man is unusually often perceived as a very weak superhero; despite that Nick Fury classifies him as a level 8 superhero, along with the likes of Captain Marvel and Captain America.
His most pronounced human abilities are his intelligence and his resourcefulness, but this is all augmented by his superhuman abilities gained from being bitten by a radioactive spider. Thus, Peter Parker gained a lot of spider-like abilities, such as wall crawling, the ability to shoot webs from his body, an enhanced immune system and his famous Spider-Sense, used to detect approaching danger. But, along with that, he has gained superhuman strength, speed, stamina, agility and durability, along with a very specific healing factor that is always helpful in his fight against crime.
His strength has been the topic of much debate, since he’s usually perceived as weak (he also has a very slim body type). Yet, Spider-Man can – without any additional enhancements – lift an amazing 10 tons! This has been proven in comics repeatedly, especially in some stories where he was – with enhancements – able to lift an incredible 130 tons! So, if you were ever doubting Spider-Man’s strength, just remember that he was able to support a building from crashing down on him.
Now, let us see his official numbers, as per the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z (2010):
|Score for Spider-Man|
As for his weaknesses, his most pronounced ones are the disruption of his Spider-Sense, which can happen by any means, and the chemical ethyl chloride, currently known as chloroethane (CH3CH2Cl), which is a possible side-effect of gaining superpowers.
As you can see, Spider-Man’s numbers and stats aren’t really that great when compared to some other Marvel heroes, but the human arachnid has constantly proven to be not only great at his job, but also exceptionally strong. We shall now compare him to some other Marvel heroes, mostly members of the Avengers.
Comparing Spider-Man to other Marvel superheroes
In this section, we are going to compare Spider-Man’s powers with some other Marvel superheroes, focusing mainly on members of the Avengers, to see whether Spider-Man really is the weakest Avenger or not.
Captain America is the superhero identity of one Steven Rogers, one of the best-known superheroes in the history of comics. Steven Rogers was a frail, young soldier who was given the Super Soldier Serum, thus becoming a near perfect soldier, as part of an American plan to win in World War II. Rogers then became Captain America, the “First Avenger”. He is a regular member of the Avengers and the leader of the group, alongside Iron Man. Nick Fury classifies him as a level 8 superhero. Let us see his official stats:
Outcome: Draw (they’re both very similar, with Captain America compensating the lack of intelligence and strength with his fighting skills)
Anthony “Tony” Stark, better known as Iron Man, is one of Marvel’s most famous characters. The billionaire genius who used his resources to create an armoured suit to fight crime, both terrestrial and cosmic, has become one of the best-known comic book characters. He is likewise an important member of the Avegers and their leader, alongside Captain America. Nick Fury classifies him as a level 9 superhero. Let us see the comparison (the higher values represent Iron Man’s enhanced powers while wearing the suit):
Outcome: Iron Man (but only in his suit; Spider-Man’s superpowers are an integral part of him, while Iron Man is just a normal guy without his suit – with the suit, he would easily beat Spider-Man, but without it, he would be powerless)
When physicist Bruce Banner was exposed to gamma radiation, the green-skinned monster Hulk was created. The Hulk became a part of dr. Banner, a literal alter ego and a second personality, embodying the destructive side of the usually reserved Bruce Banner. Luckily for the world, the Hulk is usually a good guy who uses his superhuman abilities to help the Avengers, a member of which he usually is. Nick Fury classified him as a level 10+, while the numbers state the following:
Outcome: Hulk (this is really a straightforward thing, as Spider-Man, like most Marvel characters, doesn’t stand a chance against the Hulk, although he could slap dr. Banner around, if that’s some consolation)
The Asgardian Thos is one of the most powerful Avengers in the whole Marvel universe. As the son of Odin, he inherited a lot of ancient Asgardian powers, which augment his regular divine powers. With the help of his hammer, Mjolnir, Thos can be a respectable foe for anyone, which is why it’s good that he’s there to protect the universe from evil. Nick Fury hasn’t provided a classification for him (although we can assume it’s either 10 or 10+), but the numbers are as follows:
Outcome: Thor (same as with the Hulk, since Spider-Man can’t really match up against a god, but this time there’s not even an alter ego to slap around)
Probably the most famous mutant in the Marvel universe, Wolverine is regularly portrayed either as a superhero or an antihero, but almost always on the side of good, despite his unorthodox methods. Primarily an X-Man, he was also a member of the Avengers on several occasions. According to Nick Fury, he is a level 9 superhero, with his numbers looking like this:
Outcome: Wolverine (although they’re not that far apart, Wolverine would still beat Spider-Man in a fight, due to his experience and mutant abilities)
Natalia Romanova, alias Black Widow, was initially a Russian spy and an antagonist of Iron Man, before she became a superhero and a member of the Avengers. She has no inherent superpowers, but has been trained to perfection and has enhanced human abilities. Nick Fury classified her as a level 7 superhero, while her numbers look like this:
Outcome: Spider-Man (although she might be a better fighter than Spider-Man, Black Widow wouldn’t stand a chance against his powers)
Black Panther is the traditional protector of the Kingdom of Wakanda, a superhero name currently held by Wakanda’s ruler T’Challa. As a member of the Avengers, Black Panther is known for his enhanced abilities (gained through traditional Wakandan rituals), as well as his reliance on science. Nick Fury doesn’t give a classification for him (we assume it could be either a 7 or an 8), but the numbers are as follows:
Outcome: Spider-Man (these two are pretty close, but we believe that Spider-Man would have more success with his spider-like abilities in this fight)
Doctor Stephen Strange is the most famous wizard from the Marvel universe. After losing his surgical abilities in a car crash, doctor Strange travelled the world and met the Ancient One, who taught him magic and whom he succeeded as the Sorcerer Supreme, the primary protector of Earth against magical threats. Nick Fury doesn’t give a classification for him (the full extent of his powers could even bring him to a level 10 or 10+), but we have the numbers:
Outcome: Doctor Strange (but only because he knows magic)
Wanda Maximoff, also known as Scarlet Witch, is actually a mutant, an X-Man, who – from being a supervillain – later became a super hero and fought alongside Professor X’s team and the Avengers. Like Doctor strange, her main power is manipulation of magic. Nick Fury never classified her (and neither can we, her powers tend to vary), but her numbers are:
Outcome: Draw (we’d even give Spider-Man the point here were Scarlet Witch not a sorceress; still, Spider-Man does better in all other fields, which means that he could stand a chance against her, unlike against Doctor Strange)
And this is it, actually. We could’ve added more names to the list, but we think you get the picture. Spider-Man is certainly not the weakest Avenger and certainly not one of the weakest superheroes. Even this brief comparison shows that he only loses to those with superhuman or supernatural abilities, while he is either on par or better than regular humans with enhanced abilities. The point? Never underestimate your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man!
And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!