Spider-Man Chronology ’79-’82: Indispensable Spider-Man Pt 5

Hello Again, True Believers!

The Indispensable Spider-Man returns once again this week, bringing you just the essential issues of the Spider-Man chronology between 1979 and 1982.

You’ll notice that we are compressing the number of years included per post.  The reason is twofold; first, because we look for good jumping on points/endings that delimit the era, such as new creative teams, new series launches or just the beginning of an important arc.  The number of years each post will span from here on out will be between 2-3.

Here’s the criteria we use to whittle down the reading list:

  • What are considered the best issues in the main Spider-Man chronology are central
  • Any issues that change the status quo for significant portion of time are included as well
  • Very important issues are marked with two asterisks (**), while issues that are part of those storylines, without the major event, are also included and marked with a diminutive one asterisk (*). Search for “**” in this below to further pare down the list.

Spider-Man Chronology from 1979-1982 : What You Need To Know

What makes the cut of the indispensable 1979-1982 Spider-Man Chronology

Actually, hardly any issues of this era makes the cut.  As Spider-Man’s main supporting cast get jettisoned (Harry, MJ) only to be replaced by more forgettable characters from Peter’s graduate studies.  There are three first appearances here that are important, however; Madame Web, Jack O’Lantern and the Black Cat.

Creators of the 1979-1982 Spider-Man Chronology era

Denny O’Neil takes over writing Amazing Spider-Man in this era, partnered with John Romita Jr, the son of the legendary Spider-Man artist, who begins a decades-long run drawing Spider-Man. Roger Stern has a run on Spectacular Spider-Man which precedes his lauded run on Amazing Spider-Man. Other names found in these issues are Mantlo, Pollard, Wolfman and Severin, among others.

Titles of the 1979-1982 Spider-Man Chronology era

Amazing Spider-Man and the Spectacular Spider-Man remain the core of the Spider-Man chronology. Marvel Team-Up is still published, but hardly a heavyweight in terms of lasting stories.

Events of the 1979-1982 Spider-Man Chronology era

No big events occur during this period, which is why the list is so slim.  There are some important character introductions, such as Madame Web, Roderick Kingsley (who eventually becomes the Hobgoblin) and Debra Whitman, who eventual becomes Peter’s girlfriend.  The Black Cat makes her second arc appearance which further fleshes out the character as she reveals her love for Spider-man.

Collections of the 1979-1982 Spider-Man Chronology era

We’ve hit a low point in terms of reprint accessibility.  Here are a few options:

spider-man chronology

Spider-Man Chronology in the Marvel Essentials Collection (Black and White Newsprint but Affordable)

Essential Spider-Man, Vol. 10
Essential Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Vol. 2 (Marvel Essentials)
Essential Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Vol. 3 (Marvel Essentials) (v. 3)

The Indispensable Spider-Man Chronology 1979-1982

OrderYearAgeIssueCreatorsDetails**
200.031979BronzeSpectacular Spider-Man #36 BUY ES-S2 Mantlo, Mooney1st Whitman, Peter starts graduate studies*
201.011980BronzeAmazing Spider-Man 1st series #201 BUY ES9 Wolfman, PollardPunisher, Last MJ appearance*
202.011980BronzeAmazing Spider-Man 1st series #202 BUY ES9 Wolfman, PollardPunisher*
204.011980BronzeAmazing Spider-Man 1st series #204 BUY ES9 Wolfman, PollardBest! Black Cat reveals love for Spider-Man**
205.011980BronzeAmazing Spider-Man 1st series #205 BUY ES9 Michelinie, PollardBest! Black Cat**
205.021980BronzeSpectacular Spider-Man #43 BUY ES-S2 Stern, Zeck1st Roderick Kingsley, Peter dates Whitman**
206.011980BronzeAmazing Spider-Man 1st series #206 BUY ES9 OB-RS1Stern, ByrneJonah escapes Jonas Harrow*
208.011980BronzeAmazing Spider-Man 1st series #208 BUY ES9 O'Neil, Romita Jr*
208.031980BronzeSpectacular Spider-Man #47 BUY ES-S2 OB-RS1Stern, Severin1st Lubensky*
208.041980BronzeSpectacular Spider-Man #48 BUY ES-S2 OB-RS1Stern, Severin*
209.011980BronzeAmazing Spider-Man 1st series #209 BUY ES9 O'Neil, WeissKraven, 1st Calypso, Spider-Woman*
210.011980BronzeAmazing Spider-Man 1st series #210 BUY ES9 O'Neil, Romita JrRevealed! by Madame Web, 1st Madame Web**
210.021980BronzeSpectacular Spider-Man #49 BUY ES-S2 OB-RS1Stern, Mooney*
210.031981BronzeSpectacular Spider-Man #50 BUY ES-S2 OB-RS1Stern, Romita Jr*
210.041981BronzeSpectacular Spider-Man #51 BUY ES-S2 OB-RS1Stern, SeverinMysterio*
212.011981BronzeAmazing Spider-Man 1st series #212 BUY ES10 O'Neil, Romita Jr1st Hydro-Man*
216.011981BronzeAmazing Spider-Man 1st series #216 BUY ES10 O'Neil, Romita JrMadame Web*
217.061981BronzeSpectacular Spider-Man #56 BUY ES-S3 OB-RS1Stern, ShooterJack O'Lantern, Vulture*
223.051981BronzeSpectacular Spider-Man #61 BUY ES-S3 OB-RS1Stern, Hannigan*

Please, help us make this list better by contributing your thoughts on what should be included. We would love to pared own this list even further, though we don’t want you to miss out on some great runs. Drop us a line in the comments for changes to this Spider-Man Chronology, which will be reflected in our larger Spider-Man Chronology list here:

Click Here For the complete Spider-Man Chronology

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