After Batman's greatest incarnations did you really expect anything else? First came DC's most popular live-action character and now Marvel receives its fair share.
He is one of the most popular and beloved characters in not just comics but all of media. Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man has been swinging to all our hearts ever since the legendary Stan Lee created him back in 1962. Spider-Man has made several appearances in various forms of media especially Film and TV. Here are the top 7 greatest incarnations of Spider-Man:
7) Danny Seagren – Spidey Super Stories (TV Skits)
There is nothing like the original, as many would say. Although not nearly as popular, authentic or, quite frankly, nearly as good, Danny Seagren’s Spider Man was the first ever live-action adaption of the iconic Marvel character.
Unlike all other portrayals of Spider-Man on film and TV, Spidey Super stories neither featured villains from the comics nor did they have a Spider-Man that could speak, instead he only talked through word ballons. The series was never meant to be true to its comic-book origins or give any fan service, it merely utilized a well-known character to project positive, anti-crime messages to children. Always sporting his costume and mask, Seagren never appeared as Peter Parker because he was a professional puppeteer, not an actor.
Despite all of that, he has the honor of being the first to ever do it. It’s a shame he isn’t well respected and recognized for it as much as he should be.
6) Paul Soles – Spider-Man (1967 Animated Series)
“Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can.” Now those are lyrics that any living person would recognize. Paul Soles voiced the first ever adaption of Spider-Man on film or TV in this 3 season animated series. Today, the series is well known on the Internet for hilarious memes and trolls developed specially by Reddit users. It’s easy to recognize screen stills of Peter in his signature yellow shirt and red tie, reading a book and of Spider-Man being his fabulous self.
For the theme song and our current obsession with these memes, Paul Soles gets a well-deserved spot on our list.
5) Andrew Garfield- The Amazing Spider-Man & The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Sony’s second attempt at bringing Spider-Man to the silver screen starred Andrew Garfield as our favorite wall-crawler. Garfield, who always dreamed of being Spider-Man in real life, put his heart and soul into the character to deliver a charming performance. However, the two movies are nothing special, a little above average at best. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t bad movies at all. However, what did they add to the Spider-Man world rather than being two random movies? Marvel got the rights to the live-action version of Spider-Man and Sony could no longer do anything with the storylines shown in the two movies, leaving a lot of questions and unsatisfied fans.
The most amazing things about the Amazing Spider-Man movies were Gwen Stacy’s live-action appearance played by the lovely Emma Stone, first ever portrayals of Lizard, Electro and Rhino and a focus on Peter’s mysterious parents. Andrew was a great Spider-Man who was helpless to production companies and average filmmaking.
4) Josh Keaton- The Spectacular Spider-Man
Arguably one of the best recent superhero animated series, Josh Keaton was a spectacular version of Spidey in the Spectacular Spider-Man. Two well written seasons were executed in a different animation style and highlighted Peter as much as Spider-Man. A nerdy, insecure, high school kid who put on a mask and became a confident, humorous, crime-fighting web-slinger who tackled all his enemies. Keaton’s voice smoothly assisted this well-balanced, flawed, fun and humanistic character.
3) Tom Holland- Marvel Cinematic Universe
An appearance in Captain America: Civil War, a solo movie in Spider-Man: Homecoming and upcoming appearances in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4, Tom Holland has already solidified his position as one of the most significant portrayals of Spider-Man ever. No other live-action adaption had the privilege to share the big screen with other Marvel heroes. Holland can possibly became the greatest Spider-Man ever, given a few more successful solo films in the future. For Spider-Man’s adaptions on film and TV, sky is the limit.
2) Christopher Daniel Barnes – Spider-Man (1994)
Reading the title Spider-Man 1994 would surely send any 90’s kids to an emotional roller coaster! Those were the days! Kicking back on your couch to watch superhero cartoons like X-Men, Batman and Spider-Man. Spider-Man was undoubtedly one of the finest animated shows ever made.
Christopher Daniel Barnes brought Spider-Man and Peter Parker to life in 5 serialized seasons with a couple centralized storylines spread throughout a season. Featuring iconic antagonists such as Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio and Vulture, the series became an instant favorite for adults and kids alike. Nostalgia hits us all hard if we encounter anything related to this classic series.
1) Tobey McGuire – Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy
Tobey McGuire is Spider-Man and you can’t tell me otherwise. After several mediocre and unpopular attempts at a live-action version of Spider-Man, Sony and Sam Raimi finally nailed it with their 2002 movie simply titled: Spider-Man. The movie would follow up with two sequels and starred Tobey McGuire as the titular lead.
The casting was perfection because Tobey and Peter are a match made in heaven! Nerdy, shy and hilarious under the mask, Tobey fit right into Spidey's shoes. It just felt right and today everyone growing up during that time will tell you how the Spider-Man movies were their absolute favorites. Along with McGuire's phenomenal performance came the villainous Dr. Octapus and Green Goblin which are easily contenders for the best Marvel villains ever, even after the formation of the MCU. Whilst the third movie was a bunch of bullocks (oh god now I'm recalling emo Peter), the first two are considered cinematic masterpieces. In my opinion, up to this point, Tobey McGuire has left behind a legacy which makes him the best Spider-Man in film and TV.
1) Drake Bell - Ultimate Spider-Man (Animated Series)
2) Nicholas Hammond- The Amazing Spider-Man (TV Series)