The worst things that ever happened to Spider-Man

Spider-Man, one of the most popular comic book characters ever, sure has some rotten luck. The majority of his villains don't want to just beat him up, they want to completely destroy his life. There's just something about Peter Parker that makes people want to leave him emotionally ruined. Here are a few of the most heinous examples of the old Parker luck in action.

Convinced He Was A Clone

For a while, Peter wasn't really sure if he was the Peter or not. During a fight with the Jackal, Spider-man got knocked out. When he woke up, there were two Spider-Men! Instead of teaming up for double the spider power, they decided to fight each other. Peter defeated the clone, proved himself real, and then forgot about the whole thing. That is, until the clone showed up a few years later claiming to be the real Spider-Man! Turns out, it was just the Green Goblin messing with Spidey. It was a randomly mean thing to do, especially considering that the Green Goblin didn't actually gain anything from doing this. Apparently, he mixed up "taking over the world" with "slightly confusing people for a few months."

Pregnant Wife Poisoned

During the whole clone fiasco, Peter retired as Spider-Man. He figured he'd settle down and let the supposedly real Spider-Man be the hero. Peter was married to Mary Jane, and they decided to start a family. Unfortunately, while she was pregnant with their first child, the Green Goblin once again decided to get involved. He hired a woman to pose as a waitress at Mary Jane's favorite coffee shop, and then as a nurse at the nearby hospital. She poisoned Mary Jane, which caused her to go into early labor. It was heavily implied at the time that this mysterious woman faked a miscarriage and kidnapped the actual baby. Sounds kind of complicated, right? Well, it was, and the writers just kind of gave up on it and dropped the subplot without resolving it. For all we know, there's a spider-baby out there right now just sitting around doing nothing. It's a real waste of a super-powered baby.

Marriage Wiped Out By The Devil

For some reason, Mephisto (Marvel's version of the devil) decided that he hated the fact that Spider-Man was married to Mary Jane. When Aunt May was shot by a stray sniper bullet, he offered to save her in exchange for the ability to wipe out the marriage. It's not really clear why he needed Peter's permission to do this, but it was nice of him to ask first. Also, there's nothing stopping them from getting married again in the future…so Mephisto didn't really gain anything. But before wiping out the marriage, he did reveal the daughter that Spider-Man and Mary Jane would have one day had, which was a real gut punch for the couple. Then comic-safe Satan erased their memory of it, so once again, nothing was really gained from his plot. Or maybe Mephisto wanted to hurt Spidey in the wallet: Mary Jane has always been more successful than Peter, financially speaking, so a divorce would have worked out in Peter's favor. Unfortunately, the courts don't recognize "marriage dissolved by the devil" so Peter isn't even eligible for alimony.

Tricked Into Thinking His Parents Were Still Alive

Peter's parents died when he was very young—or so he thought! During the early '90s, his parents reappeared, claiming to have been in a foreign prison this whole time. Obviously, Peter was overjoyed to have them back in his life again. They lived with him for a few years until it was revealed that they were actually just robot duplicates, created by the Chameleon and Green Goblin simply to torment Spider-Man. He ended up having a brief mental breakdown after this incident, but can you really blame the guy? This was another example of a bad guy messing with him just to mess with him. At some point, shouldn't the villains start committing actual crimes?

Buried Alive

After defeating the villain Kraven the Hunter one too many times, Spider-Man was dealt one of his most crushing defeats. Kraven tranquilized Spider-Man during a fight, and then buried him alive in a grave. He spent two weeks underground before finally digging himself out. Kraven pretended to be Spider-Man during this time, brutalizing petty criminals. He finally killed himself before he could be brought to justice, leaving a bunch of questions unanswered. For example, who paid for the burial plot and grave stone? Also, who chiseled out a grave marker with "Here lies Spider-Man" and didn't ask any questions? It was a professional looking job, and chiseling isn't exactly a common hobby. It seems like a waste of money to go through all that for something that's only going to be used for two weeks and then never seen again.

His Body Was Stolen

After discovering that he was dying, Doc Ock launched a complicated scheme to switch bodies with Spider-Man. Surprisingly, it actually worked, and then Ock lived as Peter Parker for over a year. Parker had to sit back in his own mind and watch as Ock used his body to do horrible things, like murder a guy and also eat tons of carbs late in the day. Ock also earned a doctorate in Peter's name, along with starting a highly profitable tech company with Peter listed as the owner. So, in some ways it was pretty helpful. Sure, Ock made everyone think Spider-Man was a violent jerk, but at least now Peter gets to introduce himself as "Dr. Peter Parker." His robot duplicate mother would've been so proud.

Sins Past

Spider-Man thought that the worst thing Norman Osborn had ever done was throw his girlfriend, Gwen Stacy, off a bridge, killing her. As it turns out, that was just the beginning. Years after her death, two super powered twins, a man and a woman, attacked Spider-Man. Shockingly, they both bore a strong resemblance to Gwen Stacy! It was revealed that Gwen had cheated on Peter with Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin's alter ego. She had gotten pregnant and fled to Paris to give birth. Not only was the love of Spider-Man's life unfaithful to him, but the result of the affair literally tried to kill him. Not only was this devastating, it was also super creepy. Everyone had to picture the Green Goblin hooking up with Gwen Stacy, and that's an image that's stayed burned in our heads ever since.