September 25, 2022

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Spider-Man Complete Chronology Update 15

An eventful period of Spider-Man when I was just getting into collecting comics regularly. Featuring Missing In Action, Gang War, Kraven's Last Hunt, Hobgoblin's identity revealed, the wedding of Peter and MJ and the 1st appearance of Venom!

I don’t have any big upfront ramblings for this update.  That’s not to say there weren’t some challenges, but I will address them in the bulk of the update text itself.

As noted in my excerpt for this post, the books in this update are from the point in time where I had really started collected comic books pretty heavily.  It was also an exciting time in the Spider-Verse with storylines like Missing In Action, Gang War, Kraven’s Last Hunt, Hobgoblin’s identity being revealed, the wedding of Peter and MJ and the first appearance of Venom.

Before we get started, I have just one issue to insert into the existing list.  I recently finally tracked down several issues of Power Pack that guest star Spider-Man.  The first was:

  1. Power Pack v1 006

Spidey’s appearance is mostly minor and inconsequential, but it does span several pages and I think would be too much to ignore and place in my cameos column.  Unlike his appearance in Power Pack 21 which essentially amounted to Spidey telling the kids to eat their vegetables.



With that out of the way, here’s what you paid no money to see: the continuation of the chronology post Spectacular Spider-Man 112:

  1. Amazing Spider-Man 275 – Not a direct reference but recaps Sin-Eater storyline.
  2. Amazing Spider-Man 276 – Immediately after Amazing Spider-Man 275. Flash Thompson framed as Hobgoblin.
  3. Spectacular Spider-Man 113 – Direct reference to Amazing Spider-Man 275 as Spider-Man interrogates a stooge about the Hobgoblin working for The Rose. Feels like it should be before Hobgoblin frames Flash.
  4. Amazing Spider-Man 277 – Loose tie in to the Daredevil Born Again storyline.
  5. Web of Spider-Man 014 – Direct reference to Amazing Spider-Man 265 being a “few weeks ago”.
  6. Web of Spider-Man 015 – Immediately after Web Of Spider-Man 14. Direct reference to Amazing Spider-Man 265, 273. Direct reference to Andre not joining Foreigners network in “current issues of Spectacular Spider-Man”. Peter sells the gold notebook. MJ has Peter’s apartment completely renovated so he doesn’t get evicted.
  7. Spectacular Spider-Man 114 – Peter’s apartment is robbed, appears to be after it has been renovated.
  8. Amazing Spider-Man – Hooky 01 – Is mostly context free. Peter and Aunt May appear to be reconciled, so needs to be after that period.
  9. Amazing Spider-Man 278
  10. Spectacular Spider-Man 115 – Has to be after Peter sells the gold notebook as it ends up in the Foreigner’s hands. After Flash arrested as the Hobgoblin.
  11. Spectacular Spider-Man 116 – Immediately after Spectacular Spider-Man 115. Why is this Spidey’s “last costume”?  It’s almost like this was written to appear after the Missing In Action storyline as they mention it on the cover and in the story, but at this point Peter still has both suits.
  12. Marvel Fanfare v1 27 [Spider-Man story only] – Completely out of context. Spider-Man is wearing his red and blue suit.  Says he just spent a few days in Florida with Mary Jane which almost seems like they should be back together.
  13. Web of Spider-Man 016 – Peter says he fixed the “big tear” in his costume. One assumes it is from his fight with Sabertooth in Spectacular Spider-Man 115.  It’s the big reveal of Now magazine…though Spectacular Spider-Man 115 already casually spoiled it. Direct reference to Spectacular Spider-Man Annual 5.  Direct reference to Spectacular Spider-Man 108.  Here and Spectacular Spider-Man 115, Joy Mercado seems to be suspicious that Peter is Spider-Man.  Missing In Action really begins here.
  14. Web of Spider-Man 017 – Immediately after Web Of Spider-Man 16.  Missing In Action (Part One).
  15. Spectacular Spider-Man 117 – Missing In Action.  New costume for Black Cat.
  16. Amazing Spider-Man 279 – Missing In Action.
  17. Web of Spider-Man 018 – Missing In Action (Conclusion). Peter is pushed onto the subway tracks and his Spider-Sense doesn’t warn him. First Venom cameo.
  18. Web of Spider-Man 019 [P1-P6] – Spidey says end of Web Of Spider-Man 18 (getting pushed onto subway tracks) was just a few minutes ago. 1st appearance of Solo. Later in the story Peter says that Flash is an escaped criminal…which doesn’t happen until Amazing Spider-Man 281. So need to split up this issue after Spidey tests his Spider-Sense. Also references Spectacular Spider-Man 113 with Aunt May being held prisoner in her own house and tenants moving out because of the incident. May asks Nathan to move out too.
  19. Spectacular Spider-Man 118 – Prologue is a flashback and overlaps with Amazing Spider-Man 279.
  20. Amazing Spider-Man 280 – Seems to be just after Missing In Action. Silver Sable’s Spider-Man ad is in “today’s Daily Bugle”. First real proof that Roderick Kingsley is at least in league with the Hobgoblin. Ned leaves Betty.
  21. Amazing Spider-Man 281 – Immediately after Amazing Spider-Man 280. Jack O’Lantern breaks Flash out of prison.
  22. Amazing Spider-Man 282 – Day after Flash’s prison break in Amazing Spider-Man 281. Direct reference to Web Of Spider-Man 15, Spectacular Spider-Man 117.
  23. Spectacular Spider-Man 119 – Spidey still has a concussion from his fight with Rhino and the Sinister Syndicate in Amazing Spider-Man 280-281. Has to be after Flash escapes prison in Amazing Spider-Man 281. Not a direct reference but Peter asks if MJ is mad at him for running off on her to look for Flash in Amazing Spider-Man 282. Peter makes a comment that “Sandman’s okay these days”, so has to be after Amazing Spider-Man 281. Spidey’s arm is still sore from Amazing Spider-Man 280-281.
  24. Vision and the Scarlet Witch 011 – Peter is working for Now Magazine. Peter references trying to give up being Spider-Man, which was a common thread in Amazing Spider-Man at the time. Direct reference to Amazing Spider-Man 266.
  25. Web of Spider-Man Annual 02 (1986) – Story 2 is mostly a dream so not going to worry too much about it. There is a weird discrepancy where in Peter’s dream, he thinks Flash Thompson is the Hobgoblin. But after he wakes up he calls “someone” who says Flash has been out of town.
  26. Web of Spider-Man 019 [P7-P22] – Peter getting ready to go to Europe on assignment.
  27. Web of Spider-Man 020 – Peter heads to Europe on assignment.
  28. Web of Spider-Man 021 – Peter still in Europe.  Not long after the end of Web Of Spider-Man 20.  Direct reference to Sin-Eater storyline in Spectacular Spider-Man 107-110.  This is an odd issue.  The majority of it is a flashback to almost immediately before Peter leaves for Europe.  He mentions Aunt May’s tenants moving out and Mary Jane paying to renovate his apartment.
  29. Web of Spider-Man 022 – Immediately after Web Of Spider-Man 21.
  30. Web of Spider-Man 023 [P1-P10] – Needs to be just after Web Of Spider-Man 22 as Peter is on a plane back from Europe.  Joy doesn’t think Peter is Spider-Man, just that they have a deal to share the profits from his pictures.  There is a page from Amazing Spider-Man 280 that is almost reproduced exactly and the heart of many continuity issues.  The page in Amazing Spider-Man 280 references the Missing In Action storyline while this one does not.  This version makes it seem like Peter is happy to be back from England, though he references his red and blue suit biting the dust.  Which is totally random unless this is in reference to Missing In Action.  Plus the ad Sable placed in the Bugle that Peter reads was the day before Missing In Action.  There is then a direct reference to see Amazing Spider-Man 281 (though it should be 280) for the story. A gap follows and the story picks up “Days later”.  So we can split the issue nicely after page 10 (because we need to cram some stuff in prior to Peter’s Atlantic City trip with Aunt May)…ignoring page 10 altogether wouldn’t be a bad thing.
  31. Marvel Fanfare v1 32 [Spider-Man story only] – Direct reference to Marvel Team-Up 121.  Not much to this, but seems to be after Spider-Man first meets X-Factor in Amazing Spider-Man 282.
  32. Marvel Fanfare v1 42 [Spider-Man story only] – Spidey in his black suit.  Mrs. Muggins is threatening to evict him (because of the fire in his apartment?) and he wrote her a rubber check (different from the $1000 check he did write her?).  Bugle has tired of printing Spider-Man pictures. After Kate Cushing has started working there.  Features a horrible looking rendition of Betty Leeds.
  33. Spectacular Spider-Man Annual 06
  34. Amazing Spider-Man Annual 1986 (#20) – In the far off future of…2015.  🙂
  35. Amazing Spider-Man 283 – Spectacular Spider-Man 118 was “yesterday”….but not really sure there is a way for this to make any sense. References Peter’s European trip in Web Of Spider-Man 20-23.
  36. Spectacular Spider-Man 130 – Editor’s note that this issue takes place before Ned revealed as Hobgoblin in Amazing Spider-Man 289.
  37. Spectacular Spider-Man 121
  38. Web of Spider-Man 023 [P11-P24]
  39. Web of Spider-Man 024 – Not a direct reference but hoodlum boarding house attack from Spectacular Spider-Man 113 is once again referenced.  Nathan hasn’t moved out of May’s place yet because he can’t afford it…though he seems to be up and walking around the casino.  🙂  Direct references to Web Of Spider-Man 18, Spectacular Spider Man Annuals 5 and 6.  Second Venom “cameo”.  Hobgoblin shows up to fight Spider-Man in Atlantic City.  During the fight, Spidey makes no reference to Flash.  There are also several allusions to the upcoming Gang War storyline that starts in Amazing Spider-Man 284.
  40. Power Pack v1 029 – Where does Peter learn Power Pack’s identity?  Doesn’t seem to occur in Power Pack 6 but seems like he knows in the cameo in Power Pack 21.
  41. Spectacular Spider-Man 122 – Direct reference to Amazing Spider-Man 267, which should probably be Spectacular Spider-Man Annual 5 instead.
  42. Amazing Spider-Man 284 – Gang War Part 1.  Direct reference to and picks up pretty much immediately after Spectacular Spider-Man 122. Direct reference to Spectacular Spider-Man 107-110, Web Of Spider-Man 11, 18.  (Hobgoblin at full health here makes the placement of SSM130 seem odd.  Especially if not aware that there was more than one Hobgoblin running around.)  Not a direct reference but Peter mentions his battle with Firelord from Amazing Spider-Man 269-270.
  43. Amazing Spider-Man 285 – Gang War Part 2.
  44. Amazing Spider-Man 286 – Gang War Part 3. Immediately after AMZ285.  Richard Fisk revealed as The Rose.
  45. Spectacular Spider-Man 123 – An unofficial part of Gang War as this issues villain Blaze is prominently shown in a recap spread in Amazing Spider-Man 288, so has to be before that. Pretty clear here that something is not quite right about Captain Keating. Death of Blaze with Spider-Man getting the blame.
  46. Amazing Spider-Man 287 – Gang War Part 4. Direct reference to Spectacular Spider-Man 107-110. Amazing Spider-Man 286 was “a couple of days ago”, which plays nicely with Spectacular Spider-Man 123 being placed in the middle of this story-line.
  47. Amazing Spider-Man 288 – Gang War Part 5.  Editor’s note that Gang War takes place before Spider-Man vs Wolverine.   Has to be after MJ met Black Cat in Spectacular Spider-Man 123 to which there is a direct reference.
  48. Web of Spider-Man 025 – Has absolutely no context outside of Spidey wearing his black costume.
  49. Spectacular Spider-Man 125 – Spidey tries to head to Denver to take pictures of Spider-Woman for JJJ, but doesn’t get around to it for a couple of days because of “everything that’s been happening” over in Web of Spider-Man and Amazing Spider-Man.
  50. Spectacular Spider-Man 126 – Immediately after Spectacular Spider-Man 125.
  51. Web of Spider-Man 028 – Peter tells a story in flashback, but it can’t be that long ago as he is in his black suit.

We interrupt this chronology update to bring you a special report: “The Problems With Webslingers: Tales Of Spider-Man 17-18″.

My chronology, like the comics themselves, is rife with continuity errors.  It is the nature of the beast.  When attempting to compile a list like this you often have to decide what is the lesser of two evils.  There is no real right or wrong.  I just try to find a solution that I am the most comfortable with, even though I know it has it’s problems.

Continuity inserts can be some of the worst causes of this.  What I mean by “continuity insert” is a book or series of books that are essentially flashbacks and tell tales from a time period in the characters past.  Think Untold Tales of Spider-Man.  These types of books usually fall into two categories: those written by someone who does a lot of research and seamlessly weaves the story around existing continuity (like Untold scribe Kurt Busiek)…and those… that do not.

There are several examples throughout my chronology where I have had to “let it go” with regards to inserts that made no sense with respect to the continuity they were dealing with.  For example, a Spider-Man/Human Torch issue that ends with Spider-Man infuriating J. Jonah Jameson by doing donuts in the Spider-Mobile on the wall outside Jameson’s high rise office.  It’s a funny ending, but the Spider-Mobile never had the ability to stick to walls while it belonged to Spider-Man and it was not until much later when the Terrible Tinkerer came into possession of the vehicle and turned it into a weapon against Spidey that it was able to.  But…I let it go.

However when it came to these two issues of Webslingers, there were just too many continuity problems for me to let go and place in the middle of a complete chronological run.  Let’s look at them shall we:

  • Issue 17 opens with an editor’s note saying this story takes place between Amazing Spider-Man 288 and 289.  Ok, no big deal so far.  This must have something to do with the Hobgoblin.  No?  That’s weird.  Let’s move on.
  • Spider-Man is in his red and blue suit and mentions how he has been flipping back and forth between that and his black one…which makes no sense in current continuity as the red and blues were destroyed in the Missing In Action story-line.  So maybe we can ignore the editors note and place this prior to MIA?  Or not…
  • Peter is thinking about marrying his girlfriend Mary Jane.  So unless we are pushing this story back to like the 1970’s (which we can’t for many reasons) then this needs to occur just before Peter proposes to Mary Jane in Amazing Spider-Man 290.  So maybe that Amazing 288-289 time-frame has merit…except…at that time in continuity Peter wasn’t even dating MJ and was back together and living with the Black Cat.  He does kiss MJ in Spider-Man Vs Wolverine, which is also between Amazing 288 and 289, so if placed after that maybe it’s not as bad.  And we know that Spider-Man brought back the fake “Die Spinne” version of his red and blue suit with him from Berlin, so maybe it is that suit he is wearing…though we see post Amazing 300 it still has “Die Spinne” on the back, which it does not here.  Besides the fact that he would never wear anything but the black suit between Spider-Man Vs Wolverine and Amazing 300 when he went permanently back to the red and blues.
  • The story does have to be after Amazing 280-281 where Spidey and Silver Sable fought the Sinister Syndicate and Sandman reformed.  Which of course is after the Missing In Action storyline, so again, the red and blue suit is a head scratcher.
  • The final straw for me though came when it was revealed that Doctor Octopus was the main villain.  During the continuity of that time period Doc Ock was terrified of Spider-Man.  So, if placed around where suggested, you would read stories leading up to and after this where Doc was afraid of Spider-Man, and then two issues where he was perfectly fine right in the middle.

Story and art wise there is nothing wrong with these two issues and they are worth your time to read.  But given all the problems with them I’ve declared them out of continuity.  So I would treat them almost like What If? issues, which I routinely list because I like them, but can easily be skipped.

And now back to your regularly scheduled program…

  1. Spider-Man vs Wolverine 01 – Spidey says he is a college kid with a part time job at the Bugle. Whoops. Death of Ned Leeds. Spidey gets the Die Spinne costume while in Berlin. Peter kisses MJ, even though they are just friends.  More “just friends” at the end.  No sign of Felicia.
  2. What If – Spider-Man vs. Wolverine 01 – What if Spider-Man stayed in Berlin after Spider-Man Vs Wolverine?
  3. Amazing Spider-Man 289 – Has to be after Spider-Man Vs Wolverine.  Ned’s body is brought back to the US.  Ned’s funeral. Betty seems to be losing her mind.  Ned revealed as being Hobgoblin, murdered by Foreigners men who were hired by Jack O’Lantern.  First Jason Macedale as Hobgoblin.  Flash cleared of being Hobgoblin.  Felcia is still living with Peter and they are pretty obviously dating.  She made him 3 black Spider-Man suits while he was in Berlin (for Spider-Man Vs Wolverine).  No sign of Die Spinne suit, but he did bring it back with him.  Peter finally decides to not quit being Spider-Man…for now.
  4. Web of Spider-Man 029 – Overlaps with Amazing Spider-Man 289. Direct reference to Spider-Man Vs Wolverine, Amazing Spider-Man 284-288.
  5. Web of Spider-Man 030 – Editor’s note that this takes place after Amazing Spider-Man 289 and Web Of Spider-Man 29, but before Spectacular Spider-Man 128 and Amazing Spider-Man 290.  Story starts with Spider-Man returning to the scene of his fight with Hobgoblin in Amazing Spider-Man 289 to…look for clues about the identity of the new Hobgoblin…but Kingpin already told him Hobgoblin’s identity prior to that fight.  Direct reference to Spider-Man Vs Wolverine, Amazing Spider-Man 289.  Origin of the Rose and Ned Leeds Hobgoblin.
  6. Spectacular Spider-Man 127
  7. Spectacular Spider-Man 128 – New costume for Black Cat who is still living and sleeping with Peter.  Has to be after and direct reference to Amazing Spider-Man 289.  Direct reference to Amazing Spider-Man 287.  Jonah has hired Silver Sable to capture Spider-Man. Peter overhears Black Cat talking to Foreigner.
  8. Spectacular Spider-Man 129 – Immediately after Spectacular Spider-Man 128. Sable calls off the Spider-Hunt. Keating revealed by Black Cat as Blaze’s killer. Learn that Foreigner had Keating killed and took his place.
  9. Amazing Spider-Man 290 – Peter proposes to MJ.  Probably after Felicia has moved out.  🙂
  10. Amazing Spider-Man 291 – Immediately after Amazing Spider-Man 290 and MJ says no.  Direct references to Web Of Spider-Man 18, 24 and Amazing Spider-Man Annual 19.  Peter leaves for Pittsburgh to meet MJ.
  11. Amazing Spider-Man 292 – Continues from Amazing Spider-Man 291 with Spider-Man in Pittsburgh.  Direct reference to Amazing Spider-Man Annual 19.  MJ agrees to marry Peter.
  12. Amazing Spider-Man Annual 1987 (#21) – Wedding of Peter and MJ.  Die Spinne suit appearance.  Betty’s still crazy.  Direct reference to Amazing Spider-Man 289.  The last page technically takes place after Spectacular Spider-Man Annual 7, but no real reason to split this issue up.
  13. Spectacular Spider-Man Annual 07 – The honeymoon. Direct reference to Amazing Spider-Man 273, Spectacular Spider-Man 111 and Amazing Spider-Man Annual 21.
  14. Marvel Comics Presents 099 [Spider-Man story only] – After Peter and MJ are married.  Spidey in the black suit.
  15. Web of Spider-Man 031 – Kraven’s Last Hunt Part 1.
  16. Amazing Spider-Man 293 – Kraven’s Last Hunt Part 2.  Continues from Web Of Spider-Man 31.
  17. Spectacular Spider-Man 131 – Kraven’s Last Hunt Part 3.  Continues from Amazing Spider-Man 293.  Been “a couple of weeks” since Kraven took over as Spider-Man.
  18. Web of Spider-Man 032 – Kraven’s Last Hunt Part 4.  Continues from Spectacular Spider-Man 131.
  19. Amazing Spider-Man 294 – Kraven’s Last Hunt Part 5.  Continues from Web Of Spider-Man 32.  Death of Kraven.
  20. Spectacular Spider-Man 132 – Kraven’s Last Hunt Part 6. Continues from Amazing Spider-Man 294.
  21. What If V2 017 ..Kraven The Hunter Had Killed Spider-Man? – Continuity error, Watcher says Peter is wearing the suit he got during Secret Wars, but unless this is quite a different What If continuity, he is wearing the cloth version of that suit.  Narration makes mention of Spidey fighting in Inferno and joining the Avengers.  Technically spoilers, but incredibly minor.
  22. X-Men/Spider-Man 02 – Has to be after (possibly immediately after) Kraven’s Last Hunt. Spider-Man in his black suit.
  23. Web of Spider-Man 033 – Mad Dog Ward Part 1.  Direct reference to Spectacular Spider-Man 132 and has to be after Kraven’s Last Hunt.
  24. Amazing Spider-Man 295 – Mad Dog Ward Part 2.  Continues from Web Of Spider-Man 33.
  25. Spectacular Spider-Man 133 – Mad Dog Ward Part 3.  Continues from Amaing Spider-Man 295.
  26. Web of Spider-Man 034
  27. Amazing Spider-Man 296
  28. Amazing Spider-Man 297 – New web shooters.  Continues story from Amazing Spider-Man 296, but not immediately after.
  29. Web of Spider-Man 035
  30. Web of Spider-Man 036 – Same day as Web Of Spider-Man 35.  First appearnce of Tombstone.  Epilogue says it is continued in Spectacular Spider-Man 137.
  31. Spectacular Spider-Man 134
  32. Spectacular Spider-Man 135 – Immediately after Spectacular Spider-Man 134.
  33. Spectacular Spider-Man 136 – Continues the day after Spectacular Spider-Man 135. Death of Sin-Eater.
  34. Spectacular Spider-Man 137 – Direct reference and a few days after Web Of Spider-Man 36. Spidey in black suit here. Direct references to Web Of Spider-Man 35, Amazing Spider-Man 297 and 299.  The last of which is a bit of an issue.  No way to shoehorn this in-between AMZ299-300.  And after 300, Peter is wearing his red and blues.
  35. Web of Spider-Man 037
  36. Web of Spider-Man 038 – Black suit, going away party at Peter’s apartment, drunk Spider-Man.
  37. Amazing Spider-Man 298 – Venom cameo.
  38. Amazing Spider-Man 299 – Amazing Spider-Man 298 was “last night”.  Direct reference to Spectacular Spider-Man 128.  Venom cameo, first full reveal.  Peter returns to ESU as referenced in Spectacular Spider-Man 137, but not sure how to combine the two.
  39. Amazing Spider-Man 300 – Shortly after Amazing Spider-Man 299.  First full Venom appearance.  Peter and MJ move into Bedford Towers.  Spider-Man burns his black costume and starts wearing the Die Spinne suit from Spider-Man Vs Wolverine.
  40. What If V2 004 ..The Alien Costume Had Possesed Spider-Man? – Probably makes more sense to read immediately after the Alien Costume Saga, but if worried about such things, it would contain spoilers for Peter/MJ marriage and Venom’s creation.
  41. What If V2 020 ..The Amazing Spider-Man Had Not Married Mary Jane? – Has to be after Kraven’s last Hunt and first Venom appearance.
  42. What If V2 021 ..The Amazing Spider-Man Had Married The Black Cat? – Continues from What If? 21.

Venom: Dark Origin is a 2008 mini-series that is mostly skippable from a Spider-Man point of view. It tells the origin of Eddie Brock, his bonding with the symbiote suit and the first appearances of Venom. Spider-Man mostly just cameos throughout except issue 5. Pretty faithful but modernized retelling of Brock/Venom’s side of Sin Eater storyline, Web Of Spider-Man 18 and Amazing Spider-Man 299-300.

  1. Venom – Dark Origin 01 – Spider-Man cameo.
  2. Venom – Dark Origin 02 – Spider-Man cameo.
  3. Venom – Dark Origin 03 – Spider-Man cameo.
  4. Venom – Dark Origin 04 – Recreation of Web Of Spider-Man 18’s Venom cameo. Also contains a very extended version of the Venom cameo at the end of Amazing Spider-Man 299.
  5. Venom – Dark Origin 05 – Mostly a retelling of Amazing Spider-Man 300.

Be on the lookout for further updates coming soon.  And you will always be able to find the Complete Chronology in it’s permanent home under Spotlight Features in the menu under the Gabbing Geek banner.

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