As discussed in part three of this series, in his 50+ years of continuity, it has only been the last decade or so that Spider-Man has been a full fledged Avenger. He was always too much of a loner or often times viewed as a criminal. It never stopped the Avengers from trying to recruit him though.
After the break, we’ll look at a bunch of cameos from our webbed wonder in the main Avengers book that didn’t make it into the Spider-Man Complete Chronology.
Avengers 221 (July 1982) – I contemplated putting this appearance in the main chronology because it is a couple of pages and not just your usual panel or two that these cameos tend to be. If you want to insert it into your readings it would occur around the time of Amazing Spider-Man 228-230 and Spectacular Spider-Man 67-68. And who knows, maybe by the time I make it to those issues in the Complete Chronology I will decide to include them there.
As it is, the Avengers are looking for some new blood. Thor decides to attempt to recruit Spider-Man. Spidey is flattered but not sure how he’ll work on a team.
Avengers 329-333 (February-June 1991) – As you can imagine, it is common practice for these team books to shake up the roster now and then. Even the Fantastic Four changes things up occasionally, though they are more of a family unit, so changes are minimal. But the various Avengers and X-Men teams have members coming and going constantly. Much like the issue above, it’s almost ten years later and time for something new. In this case moving the Avengers out from beneath a US charter to one from the UN. Also, the team adds a handful of reserve Avengers including Spider-Man. What does this mean exactly? Well, in Spider-Man’s case it appears to mean a lot of just hanging around in the background.
See what I mean? Yes, that is a lot of individual panels where Spider-Man appears, but they are spread out over a handful of issues and what does he do? He spins a web and gets knocked back by a forcefield…and that’s about it. The rest he is just hanging around.
Oh, and Tom did a great write up on Rage for his Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes if you are wondering who the guy in the yellow mask is that appears in many of the panels above.
Avengers (v3) 1 (February 1998) – The Avengers have just returned from the Heroes Reborn universe where they became the playthings of Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld for a year. The good times don’t last long (do they ever in comics?) and the Avengers put out a call to all their full time and reserve members.
Spider-Man makes a short appearance to basically say, “Hey, I have 5 montly books already, I don’t really have time to appear in a team book.” (Little does he know what is to come in the not too distant future.) And Cap says, “No sweat Spidey. See you in the next crossover event.”