I can remember being a Spider-Man fan since I was about 4 years old. I paged through the comics before I could even read them, but still felt like I understood what was going on. The classic 1960s cartoon was still being replayed on TV every weekday mornings, I had the Mego Toys 7-inch action figure, and at one point, a Spider-Man bedsheet set (thanks, Mom). One day in 1977, I was at a bookstore called Waldenbooks at our local mall with my mom, and came across this:
I begged her to buy this compilation that included Spidey’s origin story in Amazing Fantasy #15 (a title name that thoroughly confused me as a kid) as well as the first six issues of The Amazing Spider-Man in a small paperback book. All of the stories were written by Stan Lee and beautifully penciled by Spider-Man co-creator, Steve Ditko. Needless to say, I was hooked on Spider-Man from that day forward, with varying degrees of attention over the years.
Fast forward to the present day, and through continuous attacks on my bank account by the Hasbro toy company via their Marvel Legends line, I’ve compiled a collection of my favorite Spider-Man characters. I lean more heavily towards the classic characters that were part of the Spider-Man canon from the 60s and a little into the 90s (I wasn’t a big Venom fan). A few more classic villains have been added since (Rhino & Lizard), but here’s the bulk of what’s currently on display, all of which was first inspired by that little “pocket book” I got in 1977.