Does Spider-Man have superhuman healing abilities, like Wolverine or Deadpool?

No, but his healing abilities are still amazing.

A question crossed my desk a few days ago: “I’m new to team Spider-Man and someone told me he had enhanced healing powers. Is this true? Can he heal as fast as Wolverine or Deadpool?”

From the Answer-Man’s Archive:

Until Wolverine’s debut in the Marvel Universe (in 1974), Spider-Man was the go-to hero in the Marvel Universe for fast-healing action. (While the Hulk’s power has later been dubbed regeneration, it the past, he appeared to be more invulnerable than regenerative.) However, unlike Wolverine or Deadpool or any of the current crop of super-healing heroes, Spider-Man’s abilities were far more subdued.

  • One of the first things to remember about Spider-Man is his extreme durability. Despite his very human appearance, he is capable of taking blows from opponents which would kill normal humans, easily. He has faced off against the Lizard, the Sandman, the Wrecker, Doctor Octopus, the Hulk, Morlun and even the herald of Galactus, Firelord!
Firelord wields the Power Cosmic, using it in the form of “cosmic flames” and has essentially been given the power of a living star. He has strength sufficient to lift 50 tons, and superhuman reflexes and durability, traits common to all heralds. He is immune to the rigors of space and can travel faster than the speed of light. His durability has allowed him to take punches from the likes of Thor and Drax while remaining conscious. He wields a cosmic staff that can be used to focus his energies. Firelord can reach extremely high temperatures, enough to effortlessly keep blazing underwater in the middle of the sea, as well as hot enough to hurt the likes of Thor and Silver Surfer. He can also absorb heat at will.
  • It was common practice for him to take a brutal beating at the hands of his enemies who often had superhuman strength greater than his own and be back in action in less than a day. The problem was he wasn’t very good at resting, his sense of responsibility kept him moving long past the point of good sense or good health.
  • He has fought against a variety of enemies whose physical powers dwarf his own. Thus if and when he gets hit, it is partially his athletic abilities to roll with the punch and his superhuman durability to suck up that damage. Possible one of the greatest beatdowns Spider-Man ever recovered from was facing his vampiric enemy Morlun.
Morlun is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character is a central foe of all the themed versions of Spider-Man, being one of their most powerful and dangerous adversaries. He is an entity from Earth-000 that hunts all the Spider-Totems from traveling to the many multiverses of Marvel Comics. He is best known as the temporary killer of the Earth-616 version of Spider-Man in the storyline “Spider-Man: The Other” and also the main antagonist of the “Spider-Verse” storyline where he and his estranged family attempt to kill all the versions of Spider-Man as prophesied by him.
  • After he suffered from such incredible injuries, he depended on his superhuman vitality to pick up the slack. He could heal from injuries which should take weeks for normal humans in hours. Peter Parker was not known for heading to hospitals for medical attention unless someone carried him there unconscious. In most cases, he just went home and slept it off!
  • Bullet wounds heal in about eight hours unless they hit something really important (like his heart). He can literally sleep them off, if they pass directly through his body. This was true even relatively early in his career.
  • If bullets remain lodged in his body, he may need medical attention but his vitality is such he could survive, get treated and still be on his feet and fighting in three days. Not Wolverine-level, most certainly, but I wouldn’t suggest Joe-SixPack try that. I wouldn’t recommend an MMA fighter try it for that matter. That is a level of healing far greater than the human norm.
  • He has also shown considerable resistance to diseases which affect normal Humans. He may catch a flu, get debilitated or even end up with pneumonia (usually through not taking are of himself or over-extending himself) but once he stops moving and rests, his superhuman constitution directs all of his considerable ability toward correcting the problem. There are clips of him recovering from a devastating bout of influenza, overnight.
  • He has recovered from second and third degree burns over half his body in less than two days after they were treated medically. Spider-Man’s superhuman vitality is far more subtle than the flashier healing powers of Wolverine and Family or Deadpool.
  • All things considered, with Spider-Man’s rogues gallery, each capable of dishing out a world of pain if they can lay a glove on him, his enhanced healing abilities are a godsend. He’s like an old-school Timex: takes a licking and keeps on ticking.
Does Spider-Man’s HMO cover Hulk-induced injuries? Probably not. Spider-healing’s gonna be working overtime tonight!

A version of this article was first published on the Science Fiction and Fantasy Stack Exchange. © Thaddeus Howze, 2016, All Rights Reserved

The Answer-Man’s Archives are a collection of my articles discussing superheroes and their powers in relationship to their respective universes. You can find other Archives on the Science Fiction and Fantasy Stack Exchange.

Thaddeus Howze is a writer, essayist, author and professional storyteller for mysterious beings who exist in non-Euclidean realms beyond our understanding. Since they insist on constant entertainment and can’t subscribe to cable, Thaddeus writes a variety of forms of speculative fiction to appease their hunger for new entertainment.

Thaddeus’ speculative fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies:Awesome Allshorts: Last Days and Lost Ways (Australia, 2014), The Future is Short(2014), Visions of Leaving Earth (2014), Mothership: Tales of Afrofuturism and Beyond (2014), Genesis Science Fiction (2013), Scraps (UK, 2012), and Possibilities (2012).

He has written two books: a collection called Hayward’s Reach (2011) and an e-book novella called Broken Glass (2013) featuring Clifford Engram, Paranormal Investigator.

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