It’s that time of year when we’re all after the perfect gift(s) and in my world that would include anything Spider-Man! The web-slinger’s already festive with his red and blue color scheme and the character epitomizes the hard work we’ve all put in to make our holidays that much brighter. Much of the items I’ve listed below I either own, read, or asked to get this Christmas. None of the bad stuff, all of the good! This guide contains something for every type of Spidey fan.
For the toy lover, to whom money is no object
I own the two versions above and can attest the quality is very high and the articulation even higher. These are big toys (running 10 inches or so tall), which might make displaying tricky, but together they look fantastic. Spidey’s webs are stylized and varied, while the symbiote hands for Venom are highly detailed. There’s a lot of detail on these figures that make it easy to appreciate. Just look at these teeth!
The Square Enix toys definitely have an armored look that’s very different from the comic books, which might sour some people’s tastes, but it’s not hard to admit they look quite cool. They also come with their own custom (and sturdy) stands.
To outdo themselves, Square Enix has come up with two (sort of) new toys to go with Spider-Man and Venom: Carnage and Symbiote Spider-Man. Truth be told, these are the same molds as the ones shown above and simply recolored, but if you want to flesh out your symbiote Square Enix collection you’ve gotta get these.
For the preorder giver
This Spider-Man action figure is 1:12 scale and recently announced for release late next summer. It might be a ways away, but it has an all new body developed specifically for this figure and has 30 points of articulation. It also has silk screened details and includes multiple interchangeable parts and accessories.
This Spidey figure is the one that folks need if they love to bend and position their toys like a madman. It’s made by the same folks who made the recent Deadpool figure that’s been getting rave reviews. It has over 30+ points of articulation and comes with interchangeable eyes. How cool is that? One of Spidey’s most memorable design elements is his expressive eyes which you can now mimic in action figure form! I own well over 20 Spider-Man action figures and can tell you this is something you can’t get anywhere else.
For the Todd McFarlane fan who has everything
Then there’s the new symbiote Spider-Man from the Marvel Legends Sandman line soon to be released in January 2017. This is the Todd McFarlane sculpt complete with big eyes. There’s a nice review of it at Marvelousnews.com which gives it high praise.
The surprise gift that’s really a preorder so you’re in line to get it first gif
Okay this is a long shot gift as it’s not even out till November 2017, but how cool is this? This is an Ashley Wood inspired toy that showcases Spider-Man and his Spider-Man robot! Peter Parker stands 10 inches with his robot coming in at a robust 15 inches. It’s pricey, it’s not for awhile, but if you preorder this now you’re sure to get it sooner than others!
For the Lego fan
These are four of our favorite sets that came out just this year. Each one offers a little something different (like a 5 headed Symbiote monster…thing) and are sure to make your little tyke happy. Hey, we don’t judge, we know adults like us want this too! We’re partial to the bridge scene (mostly so we can live out Gwen Stacey’s untimely demise which forever changed Spider-Man…yes, we’re morbid like that) as it offers up a whole scene, plenty of villains, and Aunt May too!
For the music enthusiast
Back in the ’70s the record company Lifesong Records created a musical of Spider-Man’s life; it starts from his origin story all the way to the death of Gwen Stacy and it’s even narrated by Stan Lee. It’s a slice of the ’70s for sure, but it’s also cooky and fun in old school way. It’s the Spider-Man gift for the music fan who already has everything.
There are plenty of comic book guides for Spider-Man, but here are a few collections we recommend for very specific audiences.
For the comic enthusiast who wants to start from scratch
Although some might think Amazing Spider-Man #1 in 1963 is the character’s first appearance, but it’s actually 1962’s Amazing Fantasy #15 when he got his first start. Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, the character was such a huge success he got his own series. This book collects everything you need to get started and then some running at 1,088 pages. That means it’s very big (and tough to read laying down), but you can’t beat how much content it has.
Spider-Man agrees it’s pretty thick.
I’ve had this in my collection for years and find myself going back and flipping through just for a good source of nostalgic feels. It collects Amazing Fantasy #15, Amazing Spider-Man #1-38, Spider-Man Annual (1964) 1-2, Strange Tales Annual #2 and Fantastic Four Annual #1.
For the person who grew up in the early ’90s and forgets how so-bad-it’s-good the Clone Saga was
To be fair this series isn’t great, though it did end up being *the* Spider-Man series of my teenage years. There’s a poetic nature to this series; it’s melodramatic and overly complicated sure, but it added to the mythos of the character in so many ways. We even wrote an extensive series breakdown; if you can write thousands of words in articles on the subject it’s probably worth checking out, right? That said, chances are if you gift this to someone they’ll love it, love to hate it, or love to hate how others hate it.
For the comic enthusiast who knows the character and also loved Captain America: Civil War
Not only does Marvel’s Civil War include a whole lot of other characters, but it also deeply involves Spider-Man; here Spidey makes a choice that changed his life forever (well, until the next gift idea below), and it’s worth a look to compare/contrast how close it is to the recent movie.
For the reader who wants to read from his first (and more recent) major reboot
Amazing Spider-Man #546: Brand New Day is a post Civil War Spider-Man who has much of his life rebooted. This series gets Peter Parker back to the core of who he is and removes his wife from the equation. He’s back to dating, which is one of the major elements that was focused on in the original run.
For the reader who wants to be a completist when it comes to his new modern form
This is where it all starts for writer Dan Slott’s recent genius run on the character. He’s written Spider-Man comics before this, but it really gets cooking here. Amazing Spider-Man Big Time not only nets Peter a stable girlfriend, but it’s when he becomes a full card-carrying Avenger! Not only are the stories very good, but this leads into the fantastic Superior Spider-Man run.
For the comic book reader who wants something a little different, but still in the 616 universe
Which leads us to this fine series! Superior Spider-Man was one of the best Spider-Man stories in decades (our reviews can attest to that) and it changed the character more than ever. Peter Parker is no longer Spider-Man, and instead Doctor Octopus is inside his body pretending to be Spider-Man in a most superior way. We’ll say no more to avoid the twists and turns of the story, but it’s a series you shouldn’t miss especially since it seems to be still influencing Spider-Man stories to this day.
For the comic book reader who wants to catch up to the current timeline post Secret Wars
After last summer’s Secret Wars event, Spider-Man endured a few major changes, not least of which — becoming CEO of his own global company that rivals Tony Stark’s in size. Dan Slott has been writing Spider-Man for years now, but this might be the biggest life change for the character since Doctor Octopus took over his body, and it’s certainly the biggest shift for Peter Parker. Also, the 3rd volume in this series comes out at the start of December so you know the person you gift this to will be nearly caught up for the holidays.
For the reader who wants an elseworlds story that has a beginning, middle, and end
Spider-Man Noir is a lot of fun, and based on its scarcity in paperback form quite popular. President Franklin D. Roosevelt is in the White House and Spider-Man is going full detective mode complete with trenchcoat living in a nihilistic world of Film Noir. It’s very cool and different. You can get all four issues on Comixology (links above) and it’s highly recommended.