I have not see AMS 2 as of writing this article, so I apologize if I didn’t direct this list more toward plot points there. Spider-Man is Marvel’s crown jewel, so there are literally thousands of Spidey stories out there to continue your journey. I chose my favorite five that you can find in collected form on Amazon with just a few clicks of a mouse.
1. Kraven’s Last Hunt
Amazing Spider-Man #293-294, Spectacular Spider-Man #131-132 and Web of Spider-Man #31-32
To me, this is unquestionably the greatest Spider-Man story of all-time. It features a dying Kraven (who is not even a primary villain) taking Spider-Man’s life apart in a final ditch effort to finally bag his prey all leading to a shocking finale. This is “The Killing Joke” of Spider-Man stories.
2. The Death of Gwen Stacey
Amazing Spider-Man #121-122
I really hope this didn’t happen in the film, but I have a bad feeling where that stands. In the comics, this changed everything. Not just in Spidey’s books, but in comics in general. No one was safe after this. Peter never really recovers from Gwen’s death and it continues to affect his mindset today.
3. Ultimate Spider-Man Omnibus Vol. 1 HC
Ult. Spider-Man 1-39, 1/2
The Ultimate line is a separate Marvel Universe that began in the early 2000s and though the rest of the line has gone through ups and downs, the Spider-Man book has been written by the same author (Brian Michael Bendis) for the entirety of the run (over 200 issues) and the quality has remained extremely high. You can find this meaty tome used on Amazon for $35 and it’ll keep you entertained for quite a while.
4. “Birth of Venom,”
Secret Wars #8; Amazing Spider-Man #252-259, #298-300 & #315-317; Fantastic Four #274 and Web of Spider-Man #1
Whether you want to admit it or not, Venom is Spider-Man’s most popular villain. It should be the Green Goblin, and is among a lot of Spidey fans, but Venom has been hysterically popular since his introduction. This trade paperback tells the origin of the symbiote, how it left Peter to bond with his rival Eddie Brock and become the psychotic toothy villain of lore.
5. “A Death in the Family,”
Peter Parker: Spider-Man (Volume 2) #44-47
This one is a bit of a wild card, but it’s a four-issue arc that really is a sequel to the death of Gwen Stacey, because Peter and Norman talk about it, and talk about it at length. It’s extremely emotional and you see just how scarred Peter is still from the death of his first love even years later.