What is the difference between The Amazing Spider-Man and The Spectacular Spider-Man ?

Spider-Man, the Peter Parker iteration of the character, is not only Marvel’s most popular character, but also one of the most popular comic book superheroes ever. This New York-based superhero is popular among all age groups and his quirky, yet idealistic personality is something that people really like. Spider-Man is much more a human than a hero, and that trait is what makes him so likable. In today’s article, I am going to talk about the difference between two Spider-Man publications that actually defined the superhero throughout decades. 

The Amazing Spider-Man is generally considered to be the main Spider-Man title, focusing primarily on the character of Peter Parker. The Spectacular-Spiderman, on the other hand, is a title that features Spider-Man’s additional adventures and the influence of the people around him, on his life and his career. 

Today’s article is going to be all about two very important Spider-Man titles – The Amazing Spider-Man and The Spectacular Spider-Man. I am going to tell you everything you need to know about these two titles and then, finally, explain the chief difference behind them. Essentially, they are not that different one from another, but there are some elements you should know about. Let us begin!

The Amazing Spider-Man – Everything you need to know!

Spider-Man had previously debuted in the last issue of Amazing Fantasy in August 1962. The first issue of The Amazing Spider-Man was published in March 1963. The Spider-Man costume was created and designed by Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. 

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The Amazing Spider-Man is considered to be the central comic book of Spider-Man’s adventures. The majority of Spider-Man’s characters and villains have been introduced to this comic book series. Likewise, the majority of the significant events in the life of the Spider occurred in this comic book. 

Originally bimonthly, the series becomes monthly from its fourth issue. This rate of publication was maintained for a long time, although there were certain periods when the title sold well enough to allow it to become bimonthly, like from 1989 to 1993. 

From November to December 1995, the series was temporarily renamed The Amazing Scarlet Spider. In July 1997, like all other Marvel Comics series, The Amazing Spider-Man saw a #-1 as part of the Flashback Month, where the usual writers took a break from their ongoing plots to tell a story that had happened before the start of the series. 

In January 1999, the series restarted from #1 to mark the arrival of a new creative team and a change in the origins of the characters. In 2003, the series resumed its original numbering on the occasion of #500. 

In January 2008, the editor-in-chief Joe Quesada introduced major changes in the status quo of the Spider-Man universe (Peter Parker is no longer married to Mary Jane, Harry Osborn is alive again…). On this occasion, the title underwent significant editorial changes: the periodicity goes from monthly to quarterly and the creative team is replaced by a rotation of several writers and artists. This lasted from February 2008 to November 2010; a total of 102 issues were published. 

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The series ended temporarily in December 2012 with #700 and was replaced by The Superior Spider-Man from January 2013 until March 2014. The series returned in April 2014. 

Credit Marvel Comics

The Spectacular Spider-Man – Everything you need to know!

The first series with this title debuted in 1968. Stan Lee, the author of the Spider-Man stories published in The Amazing Spider-Man, decided to propose a new title with Spider-Man in a larger format and with a greater number of pages. 

Lee’s intentions were to produce a title with more adult content than the standard commonly released at the time. This series closed after only two issues due to poor sales response. 

In December 1976, a new series began to be published with the title Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man, when Roy Thomas decided to add it to the roster that already included The Amazing Spider-Man and Marvel Team-Up. 

From #134 the title became simply The Spectacular Spider-Man. The creative team consisted of Gerry Conway and Archie Goodwin (writers), and initially Sal Buscema as the principal artist. These authors were also joined by Frank Miller, Mike Zeck, Roger Stern, Rick Leonardi, Peter David, Ann Nocenti, J.M. DeMatteis, Bill Sienkiewicz, and John Byrne. 

This series ran until November 1998, when it ended after 263 issues and 14 annual specials (Annual), and one special from 1995 (Super Special). 

In 2003 there was the relaunch of the title, which was published for two years, printing 27 issues and several specials. 

Like its previous incarnations, this new series also aimed to present the most famous and bizarre enemies of Spider-Man, as well as to focus attention on Peter Parker and the less exploited supporting actors in the main series. In 2011, the special Spectacular Spider-Man #1000 was released, containing a crossover with the Punisher. 

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A fourth series debuted in August 2017, with a more personal cut, and will focus on the character’s life in New York, unlike recent stories that have seen the character go on more global adventures. 

Credit Marvel Comics

Differences between The Amazing Spider-Man and The Spectacular Spider-Man

Now that you know everything you need to know about these two titles, let us explain the differences between them, or, to be more precise, the main difference and its implications. 

Namely, both titles are, actually, important Spider-Man titles that form an essential part of the character mythos. But, the difference between them is much deeper than the title itself. Namely, these two titles are different points of view on the life and career of one character. 

The Amazing Spider-Man is considered to be the main Spider-Man title. It is an action-focused title that deals with Spider-Mans main adventures, including crossovers. These stories focus more on his crime-fighting career and on establishing the main mythos of Spider-Man’s stories. 

The Spectacular Spider-Man, on the other hand, is considered to be a secondary, even supplementary Spider-Man title. This title doesn’t focus on his career as much as his character, and not just his, but also on other characters like Aunt May, Mary Jane or Harry. This title explored other stories from the lore and focused more on expanding the mythos, rather than establishing it. 

And these are the main differences between these two titles. Until next time!