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Amazing Spider-Man #50, Vol. 2. Art by J. Scott Campbell
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Amazing Fantasy Vol. 1 #15 (August, 1962)
Created by Stan Lee
Steve Ditko
Real name Peter Benjamin Parker
Status Active
Affiliations Avengers
Previous affiliations Daily Bugle
Notable aliases Spidey, Wall-Crawler, Webhead, Webslinger, Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man
Notable relatives Richard Parker (father, deceased), Mary Parker (mother, deceased), Benjamin Parker (uncle, deceased), May Reilly Parker (aunt), Mary Jane Watson-Parker (wife), May Parker (daughter, whereabouts unknown), Ben Reilly (clone, deceased), Kaine (clone), Spidercide (clone, deceased)
Notable powers Ability to stick to solid surfaces, super-strength, precognitive "Spider-Sense", enhanced speed, reflexes, and agility, "webbing" organically produced from his wrists in some variations.

Spider-Man is a fictional character (often incorrectly spelled Spiderman), the alter ego of Peter Benjamin Parker and a Marvel Comics superhero created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko who first appeared in Amazing Fantasy Vol. 1 #15 (August, 1962). He has since become one of the world's most popular superheroes.

Spider-Man cannot solve his emotional and personal problems with his super powers, though frequently his powers complicate his relationships, career as a photographer for the Daily Bugle, and responsibilities as a student. Even though he has many problems, he still fights crime, because he believes that "with great power comes great responsibility," a moral that serves as the theme of the Spider-Man story.

The character expanded the dramatic potential of the fantasy subgenre by proving that a series with a strong focus on a more human character and his personal struggles was a viable basis for a successful series. Since his creation, his popularity has led to most other superheroes being reworked with more complex personas.

Spider-Man is tremendously popular and is perhaps the most recognizable superhero alongside Superman and Batman. Through the years, he has appeared in a handful of animated series, a weekly comic strip and, recently, two very successful films.

Meanwhile, Marvel has published many comic book series featuring the character (most notably The Amazing Spider-Man). The character has grown from shy high school kid to troubled college student to married man, but the core of the character remains the same.

Creation of character

Various accounts of the character's creation have been given.
Amazing Fantasy #15 (1962), the first appearance and origin story of Spider-Man with cover art by Jack Kirby
Amazing Fantasy #15 (1962), the first appearance and origin story of Spider-Man with cover art by Jack Kirby

In the 1980s, Stan Lee said that the idea for the series sprang out of the apparent increased teenage interest in the new Marvel comics characters, so he decided to create a character that could cater to them specifically. One of the influences for the character came from the pulp magazine, The Spider, and perhaps from an earlier minor spider-themed character, the Tarantula from DC Comics. In the Spider-Man movie DVD extras, 1990s cartoon soapbox and Stan Lee's Mutants, Monsters and Marvels, Lee said he was inspired by seeing a fly climb up a wall. Originally, Lee assigned Jack Kirby to illustrate the story, but after seeing his designs, decided that Jack's style was "too 'larger than life'" for what he wanted. Lee turned to artist Steve Ditko, who found the concept particularly appealing and developed a visual motif that Lee found satisfactory.

Another version comes from Joe Simon and Steve Ditko, who say that the creation of Spider-Man was based on Simon's Silver Spider. They say that Lee got the original Simon sketches from Kirby and presented them to Ditko, who recognized Simon's work and used it as the basis for Spider-Man (Comic Book Artist/Alter Ego, Winter, 1999). Kirby stated in an interview in Will Eisner's Spirit Magazine that Lee had minimal involvement in the creation of the character.

When Martin Goodman was presented with the concept, he was resistant to the unorthodox ideas of a teenage hero with a troubled personal life, but allowed the character to be used as a cover story for a dying anthology title, Amazing Fantasy, since content mattered little for a title slated to be cancelled. The story was released in issue #15, and months later, the sales figures indicated that the cover story was unexpectedly popular. Goodman called for a regular series for the character to capitalize on this success.

A further version was theorized by Will Murray in Comic Book Marketplace #44. Noting the pattern of the launches of several Marvel characters at the time, including Thor, Ant-Man and a solo Human Torch feature, and also the production numbers for individual strips, he speculated that Spider-Man was originally conceived for the series Tales of Suspense (since this title, unlike the other anthologies, did not get a superhero feature until early 1963 and in the interim saw a series of fill-in issues), which was drawn by Kirby. However Goodman's scepticism about the feature and the attempt to revitalize Amazing Fantasy led to Spider-Man appearing there drawn by Ditko. Although another issue of Amazing Fantasy was in production, the title was cancelled to clear a space in the distribution schedule for another, non-fantasy, series.

Character history

Peter Benjamin Parker was born to Richard Parker and his wife Mary Fitzpatrick-Parker, both of whom were agents of the CIA and later of S.H.I.E.L.D. (a fictional secret agency). Their last assignment was the infiltration as double-agents of the organization of Albert Malik, who had taken on the name of Red Skull in the absence of the original. Malik found out about their plans and arranged a plane-crash that resulted in their deaths.

After his parents' death, the infant Peter Parker was left in the care of his Uncle Ben and Aunt May (Richard's older brother Benjamin Parker and his wife May Reilly-Parker), who lived in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Queens, New York City. Though Peter was always loved by the aging couple, he was unpopular among those of his own age. Over time he grew to be a lonely, timid teenager. The exceptionally bright Peter showed more interest in his studies, especially science, than in any kind of social life. He was often the target of jokes by more popular fellow students like Flash Thompson, the high-school's star athlete. In addition, Aunt May made him wear non-prescription glasses to protect his eyes, since she was worried that his constant reading would have a negative effect on his eyesight. When these glasses were broken in a schoolyard fight with Flash Thompson, he didn't bother to get new ones, since they were never really needed in the first place and only made him look awkward. (Note: In virtually all retellings of his origin, Peter's eyesight really was poor and somehow got fixed by the Spider bite, but this is not the case for the original comic book series.)

When he was 15 years old, Parker attended a science exhibit where he was bitten by a spider which had been irradiated. The spider bite gave Parker an array of spider-like powers. In addition to his physical powers, Spider-Man used mechanical web shooters of his own design to spin webs in a variety of ways. In current Spider-Man continuity, he produces his webs from organic spinnerets in his wrists and no longer requires the mechanical web shooters.

Upon the discovery of his powers, Parker designed a costume and adopted the identity of Spider-Man in order to win money as an entertainer. Debuting as a wrestler, Spider-Man quickly hired an agent and began making lucrative television appearances. One night, after a show, Spider-Man refused to help stop a thief that ran past him in the hallway, insisting that he was only going to look out for "number one." But his beloved Uncle Ben was later killed by the same thug he had allowed to escape. Realizing that stopping the thug when he had been given the chance would have prevented his uncle's murder, Spider-Man devoted himself to fighting injustice, driven by the realization that "with great power there must also come great responsibility".

Spider-Man consistently tries to do the right thing, but is viewed with suspicion by many authority figures. He is often considered little more than a lawbreaker himself, thanks largely to a smear campaign by J. Jonah Jameson, publisher of the daily newspaper the Daily Bugle. Ironically, Parker works as a freelance photographer for Jameson, selling photographs of himself as Spider-Man.
Spider-Man #1. Art by Todd McFarlane
Spider-Man #1. Art by Todd McFarlane

As originally conceived by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Peter Parker was something of an everyman character. However, as with many characters spanning a lengthy publishing history and handled by multiple creators, Spider-Man's history is somewhat convoluted. He continued working as a freelance photographer for the Daily Bugle and living with his elderly and somewhat fragile Aunt May until he graduated from high school. He enrolled in the fictional Empire State University where he befriended Harry Osborn, who was in fact the son of his arch-enemy the Green Goblin, and Gwen Stacy, with whom he would have a lengthy romance before she was killed by the original Green Goblin.

After a lengthy on-again off-again relationship with semi-criminal Black Cat, Parker eventually wed long-time girlfriend, Mary Jane Watson, an occasional fashion model and actress. Later, the stresses of Parker's dual identity, combined with Mary Jane's tempestuous career, the apparent loss of their daughter, May, and capricious editorial mandates led to a separation, but they later reconciled.

Currently, Parker works as a science teacher for his old high school. Recently, an altercation with former classmate turned superhuman Charlie Weiderman led to the arson of both his apartment and his aunt May's house. Thanks to Spider-Man's membership in the latest incarnation of the Marvel Universe superhero team the Avengers, he, Mary Jane and Aunt May were able to move into Tony Stark's Avengers Tower, although it is unlikely this arrangement will last for long.

Powers and abilities

The irradiated spider's bite caused a variety of physiological mutations in Peter Parker's body that mirror the characteristics of a spider.

He has superhuman physical strength (Marvel biographies have stated that he can now lift about 15 tons due to his mutation in the Avengers Disassembled story arc in Spectacular Spider-Man), however, his strength is not as advanced as that of the Thing or the Hulk. Because of his strength, his legs have developed to the point where he can jump the width of a city block, or almost five stories straight up.

His bodily tissues are substantially more durable and resistant to impact or trauma than an ordinary human, making it difficult to injure him (although he is not bulletproof). His recovery time from injury is faster than that of an ordinary human, but it is far inferior to that of the X-Man, Wolverine, and he is unable to regenerate any body parts more than a normal human could. In newer versions of the story, his vision also lost its myopia as a result of the spider bite.

Spider-Man also gained the ability to adhere to any smooth surface, allowing to him to support more than his own weight while on a vertical surface or upside down. He can also grip any solid object with any part of his body as long as it can accommodate the mass of the object. For instance, if he wanted to catch a ball, all he would really need is one fingertip to make contact. It has been theorized that his body can consciously attract the basic molecules of a solid object when pressed against it. Another idea is that this ability is similar to static electricity. In the live-action movies, Peter is shown to have barbed hairs or bristles, similar to those of real spiders, that extend or retract through his skin. However, the superhero has had trouble keeping his grip on heavily lubricated surfaces.

Spider-Man's agility and reflexes are far beyond a range attainable by human beings. His reflexes are instantaneous, allowing him to dodge single bullets provided they are fired at a reasonable distance from a low caliber gun that is not automatic. His agility is such that he can perform gymnastic feats no Olympic gymnast could dream of duplicating. Few characters in the Marvel Universe can match Spider-Man's agility, with some exceptions such as Nightcrawler of the X-Men.

Quite apart from his physical abilities, Peter has always been brilliant with prodigious aptitude in the physical sciences. In the comics, he is an expert in chemistry and physics, but later pursues a graduate degree in biochemistry from Empire State University. In the recent films, he maintains his superb intellect with a mastery of physics and a degree from Columbia University. He is described as "brilliant but lazy" by one of his physics professors, Dr. Curt Connors, in Spider-Man 2.

Another trick used in his fights is provoking and ridiculing his enemies until their wrath causes a mistake.


Spider-Man's most subtle power is his spider-sense. A form of clairvoyance or sixth sense, it unconsciously activates and alerts him to any threat to himself, manifesting as a tingling at the back of his skull. It is neither panic nor fear; one novel described the sensation as being close to the initial shock you feel while driving when you look up into your rearview mirror and see a police car right behind you, but you have done nothing wrong. While it cannot tell him of the exact nature of the threat, Spider-Man can judge the severity of it by the intensity of the tingling. For instance, if an enemy passes by Spider-Man with no intention of interacting with him, the spider-sense would give a low signal indicating that he should be alert for a possible danger. On the other hand, if there is an immediate lethal physical danger to Parker such as a sniper is taking aim and about to fire for a kill shot, the spider-sense's tingling would take on an almost painful intensity to indicate a need to take extreme evasive action without hesitation.

The spider-sense not only alerts Spider-Man to threats to his physical safety, but it also warns him to threats to his privacy such as being observed while changing identities. Spider-Man also uses the spider-sense as a means to time his evasive maneuvers to the point where he can avoid multiple gunshots or machine gun fire. When combined with his superhuman reflexes and agility, this makes him an extremely difficult target who is almost impossible to shoot in combat. Extremely skilled martial artists taking Spider-Man on hand to hand often have better luck wounding him, although he is formidable in close quarters as well.

Although his spider-sense has saved his life innumerable times, Spider-Man has learned the hard way that it can be beaten. For instance, the Green Goblin once secretly attacked him with a gas that temporarily suppressed this perceptive ability, allowing the supervillain to shadow him and learn his secret identity. The illusions of Mysterio have sometimes been effective enough to fool Spider-Man's spider-sense in addition to all his other senses. Additionally, the alien symbiotes Venom and Carnage are not recognized by the spider-sense. This is believed to have been caused by the symbiotes bonding with Peter Parker. The spider-sense recognizes both Venom and has offshoot Carnage as a part of Parker's physical body. For instance if Peter were to slap or punch himself his spider-sense would not perceive the act as a threat and would not activate. The Ben Reilly clone did not suffer from this problem as he never bonded with the symbiote and when he battled Venom as the Scarlet Spider his spider sense was quite active and helped him quite easily defeat him along with the aid of his impact webbing and stingers. The abilty to avoid Parker's spider-sense gives some supervillains an edge that Spider-Man often has trouble countering.

The phrase "My spider-sense is tingling" has since become an often parodied ironic catch phrase in American pop culture.

In comics, the activation of the spider-sense is shown by wavy lines emanating from (half or all of) Peter's head.

Ben Reilly as Spider-Man, showing his version of the costume.
Ben Reilly as Spider-Man, showing his version of the costume.

Although the details and proportions have changed somewhat over the years, with a few notable exceptions, Spider-Man's costume has remained fairly consistent. The standard costume is a form-fitting fabric covering his entire body. From the waist down, it is dark blue (or sometimes even black, depending on the colorist), except for mid-calf boots with a black web pattern on a red background. From the waist up, the fabric is the red-and-black web pattern, except for his back, sides, and insides of his upper arms, which are dark blue. There is a large red spider outline on his back, and a smaller black spider emblem on his chest. The mask has large white eyes rimmed with black, that allow him to see but hide his eyes. He is sometimes depicted with "under-arm webbing" connecting his arms to his torso.

Several alterations occurred when Ben Reilly replaced Peter Parker in the role. He placed more emphasis on the spider on the chest, making it large enough to cover the entire torso. Instead of a large red spider on his back, the web pattern and spider emblem were repeated there. The gloves had web-shooters on the outside, and the web design on the boots and gloves was partially replaced with dark blue.
The Black Spider-Man costume
The Black Spider-Man costume

The most significant alteration to Spider-Man's costume came about in the mid-1980s, after his return from the Secret Wars. He appeared in an almost all-black costume, with a large white spider emblem on the chest and back, and with built-in webshooters on the back of his hands. The costume turned out to be a living symbiotic creature, capable of generating its own webbing and improving most of Spider-Man's abilities. Spider-Man rejected the symbiote after finding out it was alive. He did, however, wear a non-living version of the black costume until the new occupant of the living costume, Venom, frightened Mary Jane so badly that she could no longer stand to see Peter in the non-living black costume.


Although he is usually of limited financial means, Spider-Man has developed personal equipment that plays an important role in his superhero career.


Spider-Man's web-shooters are one of the character's most distinguishing traits. They are wrist mounted devices that fire a fibrous adhesive very similar to material spiders use to construct webs. The trigger rests high in the palm and requires two taps to activate, so Peter can't accidentally fire the shooter if he makes a fist or his hand hits the trigger.

The default setting has the adhesive threaded through a special mesh to take on a spider web like design. The substance dries almost immediately into a strong material that can support very heavy loads: into the one-ton range. Typical uses of his webs include creating long swing lines which he uses to travel through the cavernous chasms between the Manhattan high-rises. He can change the setting to a wide spray to ensnare criminals, and to form protective shields or nets. He can also form crude objects with a heavy application. In addition, when Spider-Man desires it, he can fire the web fluid as a straight liquid when he needs to use the substance's maximum adhesive strength. However, the default meshed spray generally allows for sufficient strength while being more versatile in its use and easier to remove when desired. The substance is formulated to dissolve after one hour which is generally sufficient time for Spider-Man's needs while ensuring the webs he makes do not cause undue litter. In addition, Parker can modify the fluid formulation to suit particular specialized needs when called for (this explains why the webbing sometimes conducts electricity, but can also be used as an insulator). The web-shooters can also be used to expel other liquids, using interchangeable cartridges, but are seldom used to do this.

In some versions of the character (such as the popular Spider-Man movie series), the character generates webs organically from his own altered spider-like biology, instead of mechanical web shooters.

Lately, Spider-Man and Captain America crossed paths with a villain called the Queen. During this encounter, the Queen transformed Spider-Man into a human-sized spider. The end of the situation saw the Queen presumably dead and Spider-Man reverting back to human form. The transformation, however, seemed to give Spider-Man organic web glands in his wrists. For now (until Marvel decides to change this), Spider-Man is able to produce webbing without the aid of his web-shooters.

Spider tracers

Spider-Man has also developed small electronic "spider-tracers" which allow him to track objects or individuals. The outer casing is shaped like a spider and is designed to cling to a target without attracting attention. While he originally threw his tracers at a target in the hopes that at least one hits, he later developed a wrist launcher which ejects tracers above the wrist while the web is fired from below to allow for more precise and reliable applications of the tracers.

Spider-Man originally used a small receiver device to follow the tracers. However, he eventually learned that he could tune the tracer signal frequency to his own spider-sense for more convenient use, but the receiver is still used as a back-up and long-range measure.

Other equipment

Spider-Man keeps his regular field equipment in a specially designed utility belt that contains his web fluid cartridges and his tracers.

It also carries his camera, which has an extended rear metal plate that allows him to use his web to position it without interfering with its functions. The camera also has an automatic shutter mechanism linked to an internal motion detector so it will take a picture whenever Spider-Man moves in front of the camera lens.

Finally, the belt contains a strong light called a Spider Signal that creates an image of his mask when activated. He typically uses it not only for a light source, but as a way of unnerving opponents and to call attention.

In addition, the Human Torch once helped Spider-Man build a car called the Spider-Mobile which had a paint job and modifications that follow his spider motif. Unfortunately, Spider-Man had never learned to drive a car and he crashed the car into the Hudson river soon after receiving it.

Amazing Spider-Man #500, featuring Spider-Man along with his wife, Mary Jane Watson, surrounded by many of his numerous villains. Art by J. Scott Campbell.
Amazing Spider-Man #500, featuring Spider-Man along with his wife, Mary Jane Watson, surrounded by many of his numerous villains. Art by J. Scott Campbell.

Spider-Man has one of the best-known rogues galleries (list of enemies) in comics. His most infamous supervillains include:

* Alistair Smythe
* Beetle-reformed
* Black Cat - reformed
* Carnage
* Carrion
* Chameleon
* Doctor Octopus
* Electro
* Green Goblin
* Hammerhead
* Hobgoblin
* Hydro-Man
* Jackal
* Jack O'Lantern
* Kingpin
* Kraven the Hunter
* Lizard
* Morbius
* Mysterio
* Rhino
* Sandman - once reformed; again a villain
* Scorpion
* Shocker
* Silvermane
* Spider-Slayers
* Tombstone
* Venom
* Vulture

Supporting cast

Spider-Man also has one of the best-known supporting casts in comics. Among the most famous of his friends and acquaintances are:

* Mary Jane Watson
* Aunt May
* Uncle Ben
* Gwen Stacy
* Flash Thompson
* Liz Allan
* Harry Osborn
* Norman Osborn
* J. Jonah Jameson
* John Jameson
* Joseph "Robbie" Robertson
* Betty Brant
* Ned Leeds
* Glory Grant
* Curt Connors
* Felicia Hardy/Black Cat
* May Day Parker/Spider-Girl
* Ben Reilly
* Frederick Foswell
* Robert Bruce Banner/Hulk
* Matthew Murdock/Daredevil
* Jonathan (Johnny) Storm/Human Torch II
* Dr. Stephen Strange
* Stephen Grant Rogers/Captain America
* Logan/Wolverine

Comics that feature Spider-Man

On-going titles

Spider-Man first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15. After that, he was given his own series. Many followed, but currently these are his related titles:

* The Amazing Spider-Man, currently written by J. Michael Straczynski, creator of the television series Babylon 5 Started at Issue 30 Vol.2
* Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man set to debut in October, 2005. Written by Peter David and penciled by Mike Wieringo.
* Marvel Adventures Spider-Man, currently written by Sean McKeever, set during Spider-Man's high school years.
* Marvel Knights Spider-Man, currently written by Reginald Hudlin
* Spider-Man Unlimited, showcasing Spider-Man in stories by new writing talent
* Ultimate Spider-Man, currently written by Brian Michael Bendis and pencilled by Mark Bagley, set in the Ultimate Marvel Universe

Finished series

He also has had a number of series that are since cancelled or have been given new names:

* Marvel Team-Up, a series that featured Spider-Man paired with a different Marvel Comics super-hero each month. That original version was replaced by Web of Spider-Man in 1985. The current version features Spider-Man heavily, but not in every issue.

* The Sensational Spider-Man, cancelled with issue #33 in 1998, at the same time Spectacular Spider-Man was cancelled and Amazing Spider-Man and Peter Parker: Spider-Man were relaunched.
* The Spectacular Spider-Man, this series was originally called Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man at its debut in 1976 but was renamed in 1988 with issue #134 and cancelled with issue #263 (1998). A 2003 relaunch of the title (replacing Peter Parker: Spider-Man) was cancelled at issue #27 (2005) and replaced by Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man.
* Spider-Man, a series created in 1991 specifically for creator Todd McFarlane, later renamed Peter Parker: Spider-Man at the end of the Clone Saga. Renumbered and relaunched after #98 in 1998 and cancelled with volume 2 #58 in 2002, replaced by the relaunched Spectacular Spider-Man in 2003.
* Spider-Man: Chapter One a retcon miniseries which retold Spider-Man's earliest adventures. Ran for 13 issues from 1998-1999.
* Spider-Man's Tangled Web an anthology series where new, alternative and Vertigo comics creators were given a shot at telling stories featuring the character. Ran for 22 issues from 2001- 2003. The title was replaced by the Marvel Knights Spider-Man series in 2004.
* Untold Tales of Spider-Man, a retcon series which told new stories set in Spider-man's early super-hero career, lasted 26 issues and two Annuals from 1995 - 1997.
* Web of Spider-Man, created in 1985 and cancelled in 1995 with issue #129 to make way for The Sensational Spider-Man.

Other Spider-Men

In the comics, others have used the Spider-Man identity. These include:

* Ben Reilly, a clone of Parker, who also fought crime as the Scarlet Spider
* May "Mayday" Parker a.k.a. Spider-Girl, the daughter of Peter Parker, set in an alternate reality
* Miguel O'Hara, the Spider-Man of Marvel 2099
* Yu Komori (絨閈����Komori Y笛) in Spider-Man: The Manga
* Peter Parquagh in the 1602 miniseries
* Peter Porker a.k.a. Spider-Ham (a pig in a funny animal version of the Marvel Universe.)
* Pavitr Prabhakar in the Indian adaptation of Spider-Man, Spider-Man: India.

* Note: with the exception of Ben Reilly, these characters all exist in alternate versions of the Marvel Universe.


Title Sequence of the various Spider-Man animated television shows.
Title Sequence of the various Spider-Man animated television shows.

Spider-Man has been adapted to television numerous times, through a short-lived live-action television series and several animated cartoon series.

* The first, animated series was simply titled Spider-Man, and ran on ABC from 1967 to 1970. The show's first season was produced by Grantray-Lawrence Animation, which soon went bankrupt. In 1968, animator Ralph Bakshi took over. Bakshi's episodes, which suffered from extremely low budgets, were stylized and featured dark ominous settings and pervasive background music. One episode reused complete background animation, characters, and storyline from an episode of Rocket Robin Hood. The series may be best remembered for its theme song. Spider-Man was voiced by Paul Soles. [1]

* Spider-Man was also an occasional character in the 1970s children's educational show The Electric Company which presented brief tales using a combination of animation and live action called the Spidey Super Stories. In addition, in the educational spirit of the series, Spider-Man communicates only in word balloons for the viewer to read. Comic book adaptations of these stories were included in a companion kids-oriented comic book, Spidey Super Stories, published by Marvel.[2]

* In 1977, a short-lived live action television series was produced called The Amazing Spider-Man, starring Nicholas Hammond in the title role. Although the series earned good ratings, fans complained about its low-budget production values and its writing, which neither followed the comics' spirit nor provided adventures that were distinctively appropriate for the character. It also suffered from a sporadic broadcast schedule. The CBS Television Network cancelled it, along with Wonder Woman, to avoid being called "the superhero network." Several episodes from this series were released as full-length motion pictures outside the U.S. Three movies were released overseas, including Spider-Man (the original TV-movie pilot from 1977), Spider-Man Strikes Back (1978), and The Dragon's Challenge (1981).

* In 1978, a Spider-Man tokusatsu series was produced for Japanese television by Toei Company Ltd., but apart from Spider-Man's costume it was not based on the original source. It also had little-to-nothing to do with the Manga Spider-Man from 1970.

* In 1980, with the creation of the animation studio Marvel Productions Ltd., Marvel endeavored to translate more of their comic characters to television. To garner the attention of the major networks, Marvel first created a new syndicated Spider-Man cartoon that was partially based on the old 60s show. The strategy worked, and NBC became interested in having their own Spider-Man cartoon.

* Towards this end the cartoon series Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends was created for NBC featuring Spider-Man, Iceman of the X-Men, and a new character, Firestar. Actor Dan Gilvezan gave voice to this incarnation of the wall-crawler. This series also featured a number of Marvel guest stars, and shared many of its character designs with the solo Spider-Man show produced just before it.

* In 1994, Spider-Man: The Animated Series was made for the Fox Network, (to accompany their X-Men series) with Christopher Daniel Barnes providing the webslinger's voice. This series had a bigger budget and used a novel system of one large story arc per season developed by John Semper. As a result each of the individual 65 episodes (starting with season 2) were called "chapters." This series more closely reflected the comic book as it focused on the personal conflict Peter Parker felt as Spider-Man, instead of following the action-oriented shows that preceded it. [3]

* In 1999, an animated series named Spider-Man Unlimited was developed for Fox (intended to be an Expanded Universe final season of the 1994 show) in which Spider-Man is transported to an animated Counter-Earth. Here Spidey was voiced by Rino Romano. [4]

* In 2003, another television series adaptation, Spider-Man: The New Animated Series this time using computer animation was produced by Mainframe Entertainment and broadcast on MTV; it featured characters and continuity from the 2002 Spider-Man film, as well as the character Kingpin as depicted in the Daredevil movie. Spider-Man was voiced by Neil Patrick Harris.

French film poster for the 1977 Spider-Man TV-movie, released theatrically outside the United States.
French film poster for the 1977 Spider-Man TV-movie, released theatrically outside the United States.
Movie Poster for Spider-Man 2.
Movie Poster for Spider-Man 2.


On May 3, 2002, the film Spider-Man was released. It was directed by Sam Raimi and starred actor Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker. The film featured a number of impressive CGI effects to bring Spider-Man to life. Though the film adaptation took a number of liberties with the character's history and powers, most notably giving him organic web-shooters rather than mechanical, it was essentially true to the character and was widely embraced by the viewing public. Earning more than $403 million at U.S. box offices, it was the highest-grossing movie of the year while also opening up at a record $114.8 million. Spider-Man went on to become the sixth highest-grossing film in North American history and is ranked 11th worldwide with a total take of more than $821 million internationally.

Spider-Man 2 was 2004's second-most financially successful movie and 15th-most financially successful movie of all time. It premiered in more North American movie theaters (4,152) than any previous movie. Its first-day gross ($40.5 million) surpassed its predecessor's $39.4 million record. The only higher single-day movie gross was Shrek 2's $44.8 million in the first weekend of its May 2004 release, and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith's $50 million on the first day of its May 2005 release.

Spider-Man 2 was the first motion picture released in the Sony UMD format for the PlayStation Portable, being included for free with the first one million PSP systems released in the United States.

Video games

Main article: Spider-Man (games)
Capcom fighting game version
Capcom fighting game version

Spider-Man first appeared in video game form in 1982, in the Parker Brothers game Spider-Man for the Atari 2600. [5] Subsequently, Spider-Man games were created by Acclaim, Sega, Paragon Software Corporation, LJN, and Activision for various video game consoles over the years. Spider-Man has also been featured as a character in several fighting games made by Capcom, beginning with Marvel Super-Heroes and continuing in the Marvel vs. Capcom series.

Two three-dimensional Spider-Man games (Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro) were developed for the PlayStation by Neversoft, using a similar engine to their Tony Hawk's Pro Skater games (Spider-Man was also a secret character in the second installation of THPS). The first title also appeared on Sega Dreamcast, N64 and PC. Both games were successful.

In tandem with the 2002 release of Spider-Man the movie, Activision released Spider-Man, the first Spider-Man game for all the major video game console systems, including Nintendo GameCube, Xbox, PlayStation 2 and PC, as well as a portable version for the Game Boy Advance.

Most recently, the 2004 video game Spider-Man 2 by Activision was released along with the Spider-Man 2 movie, also for GameCube, Xbox and PlayStation 2, a version was made specifically for PC, plus a handheld versions for both Game Boy Advance and the N-Gage. Like the movie, it opened to critical and commercial success.

2005 will see another version of Spider-Man 2, this time for Sony's new handheld, the PlayStation Portable; to debut in the first quarter of the year along with the system.

Coming out in September 2005 will be Ultimate Spider-man. This one will be cel shaded and features both Spider-man and Venom(comics) as playable characters. It is based off the new spider-man comics.The game is avalible on Gamecube, Playstation 2,Xbox,Playstation portable,and Nintendo DS.

Real life

Spider-man imitators in real life include :

* "Spider Dan" Goodwin, who in 1981, climbed the glass of the Sears Tower and the John Hancock Center in Chicago using suction cups.
* Alain Robert nicknamed Spiderman, rock and urban climber who has scaled more than 70 tall buildings using his hands and feet, without using additional devices. He sometimes wears a Spider-Man suit during his climbs. In May 2003, he was paid approximately $18,000 to climb the 312-foot, Lloyd's of London, to promote the premiere of the movie Spider-Man on the British television channel, Sky Movies.

Spider-Man in music

The theme song to the 1960s cartoon rendition of Spider-Man (called "Spider-Man") has been covered by:

* Moxy Fr端vous in the 1993 album Bargainville.
* The Ramones as a hidden track in the vinyl version of their 1995 album Adios Amigos!.
* Aerosmith for the soundtrack of the resurrected animated television show which ran from 1994-1998.
* Michael Buble for the soundtrack of the 2004 sequel.
* The Hyannis Sound on their Aged 10 Years album.
* Remixed by Norwegian group Ugress on their 2002 album Resound.
* Somewhat unfaithfully by Tenacious D at concerts.
* Apollo 440 for the original Spider-Man game created for PlayStation, Sega Dreamcast, N64 and PC by Neversoft.
* The punk band The Distillers have also recorded their own unique version for the Spider-Man 2 console game.

In addition, the 1994 Veruca Salt album American Thighs has a track entitled Spiderman '79. It is unlikely that this song is about the comic book character, however.

Spider-Man and the Comics Code

In 1971, Spider-Man was the first comic to challenge the rigid Comics Code. Prior, it was totally forbidden to show any use of drugs, even in a totally negative context. However, Amazing Spider-Man #96-98 featured a story arc which showed the negative effects of drug abuse. Most noteably, Harry Osborn started taking pills and became seriously ill, so ill that - when Spider-Man fought Norman Osborn, aka Green Goblin - Peter vanquished Norman by simply showing him his sick son. The three comics were sold without the Comics Code approval, but met with such critical acclaim that the de-facto censorship was undercut.

Spider-Man in pop culture

On Halloween 2004, an estimated 2.15 million U.S. children dressed up as Spider-Man, making it the year's most popular costume.

In the political sphere, David Chick used a Spider-Man outfit to obtain publicity for fathers' rights. See [6].

See also

* Trouble
* Spider-Man (film)
* Spider-Ham

External links

* - Official webpage
* - Official Marvel Store UK
* - Marvel Picture Store
* Official Spider-Man movie webpage
* Complete Spiderman Collectible Catalog
* - Unofficial Spider-Man webpage
* Spider-Man Online, Unofficial Spider-Man webpage
* Superhero Hype! - Premier Spider-Man movie news site
* Spidey Kicks Butt! - Essays and commentary on the Amazing Spider-Man
* BBC article on the Indian Spider-Man
* The 1981 Spider-Man Cartoon @ Toon Zone
* Spider-Man: The Animated Series @ Toon Zone
* Spider-Man: The New Animated Series @ Toon Zone
* DRG4's Spider-Man: The Animated Series Page

Sam Raimi's Movies:
Spider-Man Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man Spider-Man 2 Spider-Man 3
(2002) (2004) (2007)
Television Series:

Spider-Man (1960)
Spidey Super Stories
The Amazing Spider-Man (TV series)
Tokusatsu (Japanese)
Spider-Man (1980)
Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends
Spider-Man: The Animated Series
Spider-Man Unlimited
Spider-Man: The New Animated Series
Comic Series:

The Amazing Fantasy
The Amazing Spider-Man
Marvel 2099 (Spider-Man 2099)
Ultimate Marvel (Ultimate Spider-Man)
Marvel Knights Spider-Man
Spider-Man's Tangled Web
Spider-Man: India
Video Games


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