Spider-Man: Chapter One

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Spider-Man: Chapter One
Cover to Spider-Man: Chapter One #1. Art by John Byrne. This image is a homage to Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko's August 1962 cover for Amazing Fantasy #15, which was the first appearance of Spider-Man.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
FormatLimited series
Publication dateDecember 1998 â€“ October 1999
No. of issues13 (#1-6, 0, and 7-12)
Main character(s)Spider-Man
Creative team
Written byJohn Byrne
Artist(s)John Byrne
Al Milgrom (#10, 12)
Letterer(s)John Byrne
Colorist(s)John Kalisz (#1-2)
Joe Andreani (#3)
Steve Buccellato (#4-5)
Christie Scheele (#6-7)
Mark McNabb (#8-10)
Mark Bernardo (#9-10)
Joe Rosas (#11-12)
Editor(s)Ralph Macchio

Spider-Man: Chapter One is a comic book miniseries starring Spider-Man published by Marvel Comics for 13 issues (#1-12, with a #0 issue (May 1999) added between issues #6 (April 1999) and 7 (May 1999)) from December 1998 to October 1999. The entire miniseries was written and drawn by John Byrne.

Plot summary[edit]

Spider-Man: Chapter One is a modern-day adaptation of many, but not all, of these issues that chronicle the early days of Spider-Man's superhero career:

  • Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962 (the final issue of the series));
  • The Amazing Spider-Man #1-15 (March, May, July and September-December 1963 and January-August 1964);
  • The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 (1964);
  • The Amazing Spider-Man #16-20 (September-December 1964 and January 1965).


The miniseries was a modest success. Some comics fans objected to Byrne's perceived tampering with the classic Spider-Man stories produced by his creators Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and complained that the original 1960s stories did not require any updating at all. The editorial intention of the miniseries, however, was to be a re-telling of the character's early stories designed to draw in new readers. Byrne would soon be drawing the re-launch of The Amazing Spider-Man title with writer Howard Mackie.

Spider-Man: Chapter One, though not a sales record-breaker (possibly because it was sold only through the direct market, which limited its exposure to potential new readers), finished out its run as planned, even adding a #0 issue (May 1999) between issues #6 (April 1999) and 7 (May 1999). Byrne was later asked to do a Spider-Man: Chapter Two sequel miniseries, but refused the offer.

Since Byrne left the Spider-Man titles, his successors have shied away from making any references to the miniseries, and according to Official Index to the Marvel Universe #1-14 (January 2009-February 2010), it is now Marvel's stance that the original stories have regained their canonical status. Spider-Man: Chapter One also brought controversy over the former ongoing series Untold Tales of Spider-Man (#1-25 (September 1995-October 1997; also including two Annuals (Annual '96 and Annual '97), a #-1 issue (July 1997) that occurred between #22 (June 1997) and 23 (August 1997) and a one-shot issue called Untold Tales of Spider-Man: Strange Encounter (February 1999)), where the stories presented were brand-new stories set in the early days of Spider-Man's superhero career, taking place in between the original stories by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Spider-Man: Chapter One ignores the continuity of Untold Tales of Spider-Man entirely.

Similar versions[edit]

Spider-Man's early adventures would be retold again in Ultimate Spider-Man, a series Marvel launched in 2000. This series sidestepped the canon/non-canon continuity question by setting its stories in an entirely new universe.

Yet another re-telling of the early Spider-Man stories came in 2004 with the launch of Marvel Age Spider-Man (later re-titled Marvel Adventures Spider-Man). This title, which is aimed at younger readers, also retells many of Lee and Ditko's stories (as Spider-Man: Chapter One did), though the contemporary-set series is clearly meant to be set outside mainstream Marvel continuity.

Collected editions[edit]

A trade paperback collecting the entire series was published in January 2012 (ISBN 0-7851-5848-0).


The villains' costumes were later used for their mainstream counterparts in a two-part story called "Another Return of the Sinister Six", which was chronicled in The Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 2) #12 (December 1999; Part 1) and Peter Parker: Spider-Man (vol. 2) #12 (December 1999; Part 2).

Hulk: Chapter One[edit]

In Hulk Annual 1999, writer John Byrne revised the Hulk's origin, similar to what was done in Spider-Man: Chapter One. In the revised origin, the gamma bomb that was being tested is now a gamma laser, and a Skrull was responsible for Rick Jones' presence on the base during the test. The Skrull also disguised himself as Igor Rasminsky (Drenkov in the original stories), a fellow scientist working on the project. The contemporary setting removes the Cold War context of the original story and serves as a tie-in to the miniseries Marvel: The Lost Generation, created by Roger Stern and Byrne.[1]

The storyline is currently designated as set on Earth-98121, and is not part of the mainstream Marvel Universe (Earth-616).


  1. ^ Marvel: The Lost Generation #12-1 (March 2000-February 2001).

External links[edit]

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