10 Best Spider-Man Comic Book Covers From The 70s

The 1970s were the decade that forced Peter Parker and his closest friends to come of age. The stories told in amazing spider man were getting darker and the tragedies of Spider-Man’s life were piling up. At the end of Stan Lee’s original run on the show, Gerry Conway stepped in as a new writer.

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During Conway’s time on the book, Gwen Stacy and Norman Osborn met their ends, Peter and Mary Jane’s romance began, and clones were officially introduced into the Spider-Man mythos. Incredible artists like Ross Andru and Gil Kane have left their mark on Spider-Man, both in the comics and on the covers. Some of the best Spider-Man comic book covers of all time can be found in the 70s.

ten Amazing Spider-Man #100 By John Romita Sr.

amazing spider man #100 was an excellent comic that explored Spidey’s first decade of publishing. After Peter took a serum that made his body grow four extra arms, he had flashbacks. He remembered things like the spider bite, Uncle Ben’s death, his joining the Daily Bugle crew, and more.

The cover, depicting Spider-Man and his legendary cast of villains and loved ones, was illustrated by John Romita and will be honored multiple times. Although its incredible initial run on amazing spider man ended with issue #58, Romita would frequently return to the series to illustrate centennial/anniversary issues or provide beautiful covers such as this.

9 Spider-Man’s “turning point” in ASM #121 by John Romita Sr.

amazing spider man #121, aptly titled “Turning Point,” was truly a turning point in Peter Parker’s life. After regaining his memories as the Green Goblin, Norman Osborn plotted his revenge on Spider-Man. Peter’s loved ones were the goblin’s targets.

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As the cover suggests, one of Peter’s closest friends and family members was in danger. Illustrated by John Romita Sr., Spider-Man races to save an unknown victim while most of his supporting cast are displayed in front of him. Ultimately, Gwen Stacy died, Peter’s world was shattered, and Spider-Man stories matured in the years that followed.

8 The Punisher first appeared in ASM #129 by Gil Kane

Fans got their money’s worth in 1974 with the release of amazing spider man #129. The Jackal and the Punisher debuted in this issue. The Jackal would, of course, become one of Spidey’s deadliest enemies, creating too many clones to count. Plus, the Punisher would go on to become one of Marvel’s greatest anti-heroes.

From page one, fans knew the Punisher wasn’t just a villain, but a hunter with a code. He tried to kill Spider-Man because he thought he deserved it. The cover, beautifully designed by Gil Kane, is just as iconic as the characters who appeared on it. Punisher aims his rifle, catching a Spider-Man who falls into the crosshairs.

seven Spider-Man fought his clone in ASM #149 by Gil Kane

Shortly after his death in ASM #121, Gwen Stacy is back. The Jackal, in what is now known as “The Original Clone Saga”, created clones of Peter Parker and Gwen in an effort to ruin Spider-Man’s life. The Jackal would successfully complicate Peter’s life for years to come with the creation of Ben Reilly, Kaine, and countless other clones.

The creations of clones all started in amazing spider man #149 when Peter fought his first clone. The fight is depicted on the cover, illustrated by Gil Kane. The Spider-Men fight as the Jackal sneers in the background.

6 Spidey Vs. A Mysterious Green Goblin in ASM #178 by Ross Andru

amazing spider man #178 looked like a classic Lee/Ditko comic. Aunt May needed surgery, but only Peter could approve of it. As Mary Jane rushes into town to find him, Peter has his hands full battling a mysterious new Green Goblin. The mystery of this new goblin was revealed a few issues later when Harry Osborn returned.

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The issue’s cover captures the story and stakes inside perfectly: MJ comforts a hospitalized May while Spidey is forced to battle the Goblin outside. Ross Andru was one of the finest Spider-Man artists capable of illustrating explosive fight scenes and emotional drama simultaneously.

5 The first issue of Peter Parker, the spectacular Spider-Man by Sal Buscema

Spider-Man’s comic adventures continued in an all-new ongoing series titled Peter Parker, the spectacular Spider-Man. Both Spectacular and Surprising were monthly titles, each exploring different aspects of Peter’s life. Great Spider-Man stories have come out of the Spectacular series, especially those involving Black Cat years later.

The cover of issue 1 was bright, colorful and exciting. The tarantula leaps towards Spider-Man, attempting to stab him with the darts on its toes. There’s nothing too unique about Sal Buscema’s cover art, but it’s a classic Spidey cover that kicked off an incredibly successful secondary series.

4 Spider-Man fought Morbius in Paul Gulacy’s spectacular Spider-Man #8

Morbius the Living Vampire was first introduced in amazing spider man #101. He was a horrifying new villain who has since appeared in many amazing Marvel comics. He came back in Peter Parker, the spectacular Spider-Man #7-8, but her appearance on the cover of issue #8 was truly stunning.

Illustrated by Paul Gulacy, Spider-Man battles Morbius on the cover. The two fight on an emergency exit, backlit by the moon. Gulacy’s style makes this cover look more like a Golden Age horror comic than a Spidey comic. The gothic imagery makes this one of the most unique covers of the Spectacular series.

3 Spider-Man remembers his past in ASM #181 by Gil Kane

While Gil Kane’s inner work on amazing spider man was spectacular, his collection of covers was equally impressive. The cover of issue 181 is quite simple, but still memorable. Spider-Man kneels before a tombstone, shouting to the sky as floating heads of Lizard, Doctor Doom, Doc Ock, and Kingpin loom over their heads.

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The villains were colored in soft blues and greens, making Spidey’s bright red costume stand out even more. The issue was about Spider-Man’s past failures. Peter thought back to his origins, the people who depended on him and the decisions he had made. The cover’s dark and mysterious art style mirrors the story inside.

2 The Black Cat debuted in ASM #194 by Al Milgrom

Felicia Hardy, aka The Black Cat, was created by Marv Wolfman, Keith Pollard and Dave Cockrum. However, comic book fans first saw the character illustrated by Al Milgrom when they picked up the cover of amazing spider man #194. Black Cat was originally a burglar cat who developed a fascination with Spider-Man.

Black Cat and Spider-Man would eventually form a romantic relationship, and Black Cat would become one of Spidey’s closest allies. On the cover, Black Cat looms over Spidey, illuminated by a yellow spotlight. It’s a startling first image for a character who would play a major role in Peter Parker’s life.

1 Peter mourned Aunt May in ASM #196 by Keith Pollard

Some of the best Spider-Man comic book covers feature the character in graveyards, perhaps because death is so integral to the character. Uncle Ben’s death inspired Peter to become a hero, while Gwen’s death set in motion events that would change his life forever. The cover of ASM #196, illustrated by Keith Pollard, shows Peter standing at Aunt May’s grave.

The cover is haunting, with Peter’s shadow on the tombstone and a vibrant red outline of Spider-Man behind it. Aunt May is an integral part of Peter’s supporting cast. She’s “died” several times in the comics, but always manages to come back.

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Angela C. Hale