The Amazing Spider-Man (comic strip)

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The Amazing Spider-Man
Author(s)Stan Lee
Illustrator(s)John Romita Sr. (1977–1981)
Fred Kida (1981–1986)
Larry Lieber (1986–2018)
Current status/scheduleOngoing
Launch dateJanuary 3, 1977
Syndicate(s)Register and Tribune Syndicate (1977–1985)
Cowles Media Company (1986)
King Features Syndicate (1987–present)
Publisher(s)Marvel Comics

The Amazing Spider-Man is a daily comic strip featuring the character Spider-Man.[1] It is a dramatic, soap opera style strip with story arcs which typically run for 8 to 12 weeks. While the strip uses many of the same characters as the Spider-Man comic book, the storylines are nearly all originals and do not share the same continuity. A consistently popular strip, it has been published since 1977.


A Spider-Man comic strip was first proposed in 1970. Two weeks' worth of strips were written by Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee and illustrated by John Romita Sr., but the series was never picked up.[2] These strips later saw publication of a sort in the program for the 1975 Mighty Marvel Comic Convention.[3]

Years later Spider-Man publisher Marvel Comics tried again, and the daily newspaper comic strip The Amazing Spider-Man debuted on January 3, 1977.[4] Produced by Marvel and syndicated by the Register and Tribune Syndicate through 1985, Cowles Media Company in 1986, and King Features Syndicate since,[5] the comic strip was successful in an era with few serialized adventure strips. The strip slowly grew in circulation and as of 2018 is still being published. Initially the creative team was again Lee and Romita.[6] After four years Romita left the strip, but to date Stan Lee remains the writer of the strip's entire run.[2] Though renowned for his use of the Marvel method, Lee writes full scripts for the comic strip.[2]

Stan Lee's brother, Larry Lieber, briefly illustrated the strip but found he could not keep up with the schedule, and in August 1981 Fred Kida took on the assignment.[2] Unlike most artists who worked on The Amazing Spider-Man, Kida found that drawing Spider-Man in daily strip form did not present any challenges, but he finally left in July 1986, later commenting that he found the strip's violence to be excessive.[2] After a brief stint by Dan Barry, Lee asked his brother if he wanted to give it another try. This time Larry Lieber was able to keep up with the schedule, and has drawn the daily strip every since.[2] The Amazing Spider-Man has also employed inkers and separate artists for the Sunday version of the strip. Since 1997, Alex Saviuk has inked the daily strips and penciled the Sunday strips.[2] In addition, numerous ghost artists have contributed to the strip over the years.[2]

Story arcs in the newspaper strip vary in length (one storyline ran for seven months), but most run for 8 to 12 weeks.[2] While the strip mostly features the same characters as the comic book, the storylines are nearly all originals and do not share the same continuity. As of 2010, there have only been three story arcs featured in both the strip and the comic book: "The Wedding!" (1987), "The Mutant Agenda" (1993-94), and "Spider-Man: Brand New Day" (2008).[2] In the case of "Brand New Day", reader reaction to the continuity change ("Brand New Day" establishes that the marriage between lead characters Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson never happened) was so negative that Lee opted to reveal the entire story had been a bad dream.[2] Many characters of the strip have never appeared in other media, including the Rattler, the Protector, and Carole Jennings.[2]

Guest stars in the newspaper strip include Wolverine, Daredevil, and Doctor Strange. Villains include Doctor Doom, Kraven the Hunter, the Rhino and Mysterio. One storyline featuring the Sandman referenced the events of Spider-Man 3.


Pocket Books released two paperbacks reprinting stories from the strip, with color added, in 1980.[3]

In 1991 the story arc "The Wedding!" was reprinted in a trade paperback which also includes the comic book version of the story.[3]

Panini Publishing UK published The Daily Adventures of the Amazing Spider-Man in the United Kingdom in 2007. The black-and-white trade paperback collection reprints the first two years of the newspaper strip.[7]

Marvel has published two hardcover volumes of newspaper strips, reprinting stories from 1977-1980. The first, Spider-Man Newspaper Strips Volume 1, was published in 2009, reprinting stories by Stan Lee and John Romita Sr.[3] Spider-Man Newspaper Strips Volume 2 was published in 2011, reprinting stories by Lee, Romita, and Larry Lieber.[8] In 2014, both volumes were later published in softcover editions.

In 2015, Marvel and IDW began co-publishing hardcover reprints of the strip from the beginning in a series called The Amazing Spider-Man: The Ultimate Newspaper Comics Collection! Each volume is subtitled for the years covered in the individual book. Volume One runs from 1977-1979; Volume Two from 1979-1981; Volume Three from 1981-1982; Volume Four from 1983-1984.

The comic strip world is designated its own universe with Marvel's multiverse, Earth-77013, and is featured in the "Spider-Verse" comic storyline.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Cassell, Dewey (October 2010). "One Day at a Time: The Amazing Spider-Man Newspaper Strips". Back Issue!. TwoMorrows Publishing (44): 63–67.
  3. ^ a b c d Cassell, Dewey (October 2010). "A Collector's Challenge - Finding the Strips". Back Issue!. TwoMorrows Publishing (44): 67.
  4. ^ Saffel, "An Adventure Each Day", p. 116: "On Monday January 3, 1977, The Amazing Spider-Man comic strip made its debut in newspapers nationwide, reuniting writer Stan Lee and artist John Romita."
  5. ^ Bails, Jerry; Ware, Hames. "Lieber, Larry". Who's Who of American Comic Books 1928-1999. Archived from the original on April 1, 2012. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
  6. ^ Keefe, Jim; Mietus, John (n.d.). "Interview: John Romita". Keefe Studios. Archived from the original on April 2, 2013. Retrieved September 13, 2010.
  7. ^ Lee, Stan; Romita Sr., John (2007). The Daily Adventures of the Amazing Spider-Man. Modena, Italy: Panini Comics. ISBN 978-1905239320.
  8. ^ Lee, Stan; Romita Sr., John; Lieber, Larry (2011). Spider-Man Newspaper Strips Volume 2. Marvel Comics. p. 312. ISBN 9780785149422.
  9. ^ Slott, Dan (w), Grummett, Tom (p), Palmer, Tom (i). Spider-Verse 1 (January 2015)

External links[edit]