10 Best Spider-Man Christmas Stories

01
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Intro

spider man christmas
Marvel Comics

Despite the sliding timeline of the Marvel Universe – which stops anybody from aging too much – its heroes still find the time to celebrate annual holidays. Similar to how Bart Simpson has enjoyed many a Christmas, without ever leaving the fourth grade, Spider-Man has also unwrapped more presents than his in-universe age might suggest. And some of those stories have been pretty good – here is the cream of the crop of Spidey festive tales.

02
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10. “Creatures Stirring” (Spectacular Spider-Man #173)

spider man doctor octopus christmas
Marvel Comics

Once upon a time, Doctor Octopus almost married Peter Parker's doddering Aunt May (which makes Superior Spider-Man all the more creepy, come to think of it). It was a somewhat goofy, one-off story, but one which actually received a follow-up years later. Christmas 1991 was when Otto decided to drop by the Parker family homestead for a catch up, only for Spider-Man to – obviously – assume he's up to no good, and lay the smackdown. But that isn't exactly “goodwill to all men”, is it? May certainly doesn't think so.

03
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9. “War Of The Reptile-Men!” (Amazing Spider-Man #166)

spider man reptile men christmas
Marvel Comics

Admittedly, not the most festive-sounding name for a story – unless you celebrate round at David Icke's house – but it does have a bit of Christmas cheer at its heart. Nominally the second part of a plot where Spidey faces the half-human, half-dinosaur villain Stegron, the battle ends up taking in Dr Curt Connors as well: Stegron's former lab partner, and now a similarly-afflicted bad guy called The Lizard! Can the web head get Stegron in chain, Connors back to his family to trim the tree, with enough time to swing by his friends' Christmas party...?

04
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8. “Frost” (Amazing Spider-Man #700.1-.5)

amazing spider man frost klaus janson
Marvel Comics

Released in the midst of Superior Spider-Man, where Peter Parker's mind was hi-jacked by Doctor Octopus, this out-of-continuity tale from superstar artist Klaus Janson and David “I Created Rambo, Y'Know” Morrell is a welcome return to the original web head. It's a simple story – as a snow storm like no other strikes New York, Spidey finds himself having to race through a blizzard to save his Aunt May – but well told.

05
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7. “'Twas The Night Before Christmas...” (Amazing Spider-Man #420)

spider man x man nate grey
Marvel Comics

The meat of the plot in this issue isn't particularly important (some nonsense about The Tarantula, his followers, and a rival bunch of baddies). What is, is the unexpectedly heart-warming team up between Peter Parker and X-Man: the alternate reality mutant with crazy psychic powers. Bumping into each other in the snow-slicked streets of New York, they agree to skip the requisite punch-up and instead open up to each other, leading to X-Man giving Pete a present he'll never forget. 

06
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6. “You Never Make A Sound” (Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #112)

peter parker spectacular spider man santa claus gun
Marvel Comics

From the cover image of a Santa Claus in sun glasses, wielding a handgun, you know you're in for a particular kind of Christmas treat with this story. A department store Santa takes it upon himself to try and rob Peter Parker's neighbors on Christmas Eve, which goes about as well as you'd expect a portly older gentleman in a cumbersome costume attempting to burgle the homes of a superhero's friends would go.

07
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5. “Down And Out In Forest Hills” (Amazing Spider-Man #314)

amazing spider man 314 todd mcfarlane
Marvel Comcis

This one comes from the nineties Spidey dream team of writer David Micheline and artist Todd McFarlane. As if the old Parker luck isn't bad enough the rest of the year, “Down And Out In Forest Hills” sees both Peter and Mary Jane kicked out of their apartment on Christmas Eve, before finding unexpected solace in an old friend...and an unexpected team mate as he foils a robbery, courtesy of a jolly fat man in a red suit. And no, Matt Murdock hasn't simply let himself go.

08
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4. “Merry Christmas Mr Storm” (Spider-Man Holiday Special)

spider man holiday special human torch
Marvel Comics

A running theme through Ben Reilly's tenure as Spider-Man was his inability to live up to the character Peter Parker was, both on and off the page. That gets addressed directly in a story from the 1995 Spider-Man Holiday Special, which sees him accidentally drop in on a festive tradition which has apparently been going on for years: erstwhile buddies Spidey and Human Torch, from the Fantastic Four, meet up at the Statue Of Liberty and exchange Christmas gifts. A warm, human story about a couple of superheroes at wintertime. 

09
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3. “Snow Day” (Peter Parker: Spider-Man #37)

peter parker spider man snow day
Marvel Comics

Less Christmas cheer from the web head in this one, but no shortage of laughs. From writer Paul Jenkins and artist Mark Buckingham's perennially-underrated run on Peter Parker: Spider-Man, “Snow Day” sees our hero dealing with a head cold, the snow storm of the century, kids tossing snowballs in his face, and Aunt May expecting him to cross town and clear her driveway...and that's all before The Vulture shows up. Small, hilarious and smart, with a slightly different view on the holiday season.

10
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2. “T'was The Fight Before Christmas” (Spider-Man's Tangled Web #21)

spider man tangled web christmas darwyn cooke
Marvel Comcis

The penultimate issue of the cult series which allowed all-star creative teams tell off-beat, unusual Spider-Man stories is a real gift: it's one of the few stories writer/artist Darwyn Cooke has told in the Marvel Universe! His screwball sense of humor and clear, stylish artwork work brilliantly in a tale about late Christmas shopping, mind-control, impostors, and the commercialization of the holidays. And, inexplicably, a gaggle of Japanese orphans that somehow end up in Peter Parker's care.

11
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1. “Have Yourself a Sandman Little Christmas!” (Marvel Team Up #1)

marvel team up spider man human torch christmas
Marvel Comics

The Marvel Team-Up title is a well-known one to most comic book fans (its does-what-it-says-on-the-tin premise meant seeing heroes who rarely crossed paths duking it out), but less commented upon is that it started with a Christmas special! And one of the best that Spidey has ever appeared in, no less. Johnny Storm, the Fantastic Four's Human Torch shows up again to help take down a souped-up Sandman.

The Christmassy part comes at the end, when the dueling super-people proffer a truce, and Sandman's motivations for striking during the Christmas period become clear. Story, art and sentiment-wise, it's classic Marvel all over, and a more festive Spider-Man comic you will not find.

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Your Citation
Baker, Thomas. "10 Best Spider-Man Christmas Stories." ThoughtCo, Aug. 23, 2016, thoughtco.com/best-spiderman-christmas-stories-3111728. Baker, Thomas. (2016, August 23). 10 Best Spider-Man Christmas Stories. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/best-spiderman-christmas-stories-3111728 Baker, Thomas. "10 Best Spider-Man Christmas Stories." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/best-spiderman-christmas-stories-3111728 (accessed January 22, 2018).