Although somewhat underappreciated and nearly forgotten now, Mark Millar’s introductory story arc on the Marvel Knights Spider-Man series is a genuinely gripping and action packed success. After Spider-Man defeats the Green Goblin, he's shocked to learn that someone has kidnapped his Aunt May in order to taunt him.

Here’s the problem: only the Goblin knows who this mysterious villain is, which leaves Spidey twisting in the wind. From there, Spider-Man must deduce who this villain is on his own, all while he contends with the likes of the Vulture, Electro, a new Venom, and Doctor Octopus.

The Marvel Knights line was intended to be a bit more brutal than Marvel's standard fare. This Spider-Man arc provided the sheer personal violence and fisticuffs that was necessary. Aided by strong artwork from Terry Dodson and Frank Cho, Millar proved that Peter Parker could get his hands dirty when he needed to.