Spider-Man does whatever a spider can. He spins a web, any size, catches thieves just like flies. He's got radioactive blood, can swing from a thread. At the scene of a crime, he arrives just in time. Action is his reward. Whenever there's a hang up, you'll find the Spider-Man.
Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15 in early September 1962. According to Stan Lee, his editor Martin Goodman was dead set against the idea of the character entirely, believing that far too many people disliked spiders and for months the comic strip remained unpublished.
Lee was finally able to convince Goodman to sign off on the idea due to the fact that the comic magazine, Amazing Fantasy was about to be cancelled and Goodman agreed that there was nothing to lose in allowing Spider-Man to make his first appearance in the final issue of Amazing Fantasy. It would not however be his last as this issue was the company's most popular and highest selling comic book and credit was given to the unusual and controversial hero within.
The rest as they say is history and so Spider-Man was quickly awarded his own comic book series titled, "The Amazing Spider-Man" in homage to the original magazine. This series was the longest continually published comic book series in publication until it's cancellation in 2012, surpassing both Action Comics and Detective Comics from DC with 700 issues.
As one of the most popular comic book characters in history, Spider-Man has grown in fame to starring in a variety of movies and TV shows, syndicated comic strips, and even a Broadway musical. He is most often identified as the mascot of Marvel Comics and their most recognizable icon. Spider-Man is regarded as being one of the most influential superheroes alongside Superman and Batman.
Orphaned at a young age, Peter Parker lived with his elderly aunt and uncle when he attended a science expo as a teenager. A spider was exposed to a massive quantity of radiation and bit Peter, bestowing upon him spider-like powers. Peter decided immediately to capitalize on his new powers and created a flashy costume and proceeded to become a minor television celebrity. However, his fame got to his head and cocky, he let a burglar run past him as he felt it wasn't his problem. Shortly afterwards, his Uncle Ben was murdered by a home intruder.
Enraged, Peter hunted down the man and recognizes him to his shock as the same burglar that he allowed to escape. Ever since that day Peter has understood that with great power comes great responsibility and since then he has humbly served as Spider-Man to atone for his failure.
As Peter Parker, he has dated a number of women including Gwen Stacy, Felicia Hardy (the Black Cat), and Mary Jane Watson over the years and is renowned for his large and varied rogues gallery as Spider-Man which ranges from Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin, Kraven the Hunter, the Rhino, the Chameleon, Scorpion, the Kingpin, and Venom.
The first screen appearance of Spider-Man was in Spider-Man, an animated TV series started in 1967, less than eight years after the character's creation. The series--especially the later episodes--were very low budget, but the iconic theme song is still remembered to this day (and gets a reference in the movie Spider-Man 2).
Spider-Man's next appearance (and first live action one) was on later episodes of the PBS kids show The Electric Company. Spider-Man was always played by Danny Seagren. The first episode with Spider-Man was narrated by Morgan Freeman.
A short-lived live action series called The Amazing Spider-Man aired on CBS for a few years, featuring Nick Hammond in the title role. The series was criticized by fans, but was relatively popular. It was cancelled when CBS feared it would become to associated with campy super-hero shows. Three of the episodes were released overseas as movies.
A Japanese live-action version of Spider-Man began in 1978 (called Spider-Man), though it was somewhat unfaithful. In just two years, it established a whopping 41 episodes plus a feature length film episode (that only played at Japanese film festivals and on television).
Spider-Man Strikes Back was a TV movie from the same continuity as The Amazing Spider-Man show and also featured Nick Hammond in the title role. In fact, it was made from two episodes of the show stuck back-to-back.
Spider-woman was an animated series based on the Marvel character Spider-woman, who was no relation to the Marvel character Spider-Man. However, due to Spider-Man's popularity, they gave the TV show's Spider-woman similar powers to Spider-Man and made Spider-Man a main character. Voiced by Paul Soles, Spider-Man appeared in numerous episodes including the very first one.
In an effort to translate more Marvel characters to screen, NBC and Marvel made another animated Spider-Man show. Shortly after, though, Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends was released. People preferred Spidey with his pals and the series was cancelled.
Released only a few months after the 1981 Spider-Man, this show proved far more popular. In its last season, the title was changed to The Amazing Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk for several episodes. Unsurprisingly, this was because the Incredible Hulk became a main character on the show. It is highly debated whether this and the 1981 Spider-Man show are in the same continuity.
The next Spider-Man show was at Fox, not NBC or CBS. This was a rather faithful adaptation that worked hard to be somewhat aligned to current comic continuity. It lasted four years and had a second life with reruns.
As part of a tie-in with comics Heroes Reborn story arc, Spider-Man was replaced with Spider-Man Unlimited. Like in that decades comics, Spidey no longer wore his classic suit but instead that of the Scarlet Spider. It had fair ratings, but with the success of other shows like Pokemon it was cancelled. In an aggravating turn of events, what was to be the final season ended on a cliffhanger.
Marvel had been trying to make a Spider-Man movie for a long time. They had considered both an animated and a live action version, and James Cameron had once even been attached to direct. In the end it was Darkman and Evil Dead director Sam Raimi who got the Spider-Man movie made. The film featured Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire)'s transformation into Spidey and had Norman Osborn as the villain. The film was both a critical and financial success. It is often credited along with X-Men as launching the super-hero genre that became the staple of the early 21st century.
This computer animated show was a direct sequel to the live-action Spider-Man movie. It had a successful season, but was cancelled when Spider-Man 2 was announced. Since Spider-Man 2 would not acknowledge the continuity of the series, MTV dropped the show to avoid continuity. This incarnation of Spider-Man was voiced by Neil Patrick Harris.
A sequel to Spider-Man, this live-action blockbuster also featured Sam Raimi as director and Tobey Maguire in the title role. Since Norman Osborn had died at the end of the previous film, Doc Ock was this movie's villain. Spider-Man 2 got even better reviews than its predecessor and made almost as much money.
The final film in the Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire trilogy, this film featured three villains: Sandman, Harry Osborn, and Venom. While production was difficult due to Sony's insistence that Venom be included in the story, the film had the highest opening ever (at that time) and received generally positive reviews, though significantly less-so than its predecessors.
This reboot retold Spidey's origin story and was largely influenced by the Ultimate Spider-Man comic series. It got decent ratings and was highly praised by critics. It was said to be cancelled because CW was unhappy with its ratings, but it may have also had to due with Sony's TV rights for the character reverting back to Marvel.
Spider-Man appears briefly in "Frightful," a 2010 episode of Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes, but only in his human alter-ego of Peter Parker. Peter is hired by Johnny Storm (The Human Torch) to be a photographer, and Johnny never lets him say his name. It is assumed the character is still Spider-Man, though.
To coincide with a new Spider-Man movie universe, a new Spider-Man TV universe was created (this time on Disney XD). Even moreso than The Spectacular Spider-Man, this show was based on the Ultimate comics series. It takes a very light-hearted and kid-oriented approach to the material, and much of it is devoted to tying in to the success of the Avengers shows (Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes) and the Marvel Cinematic Universe (the Avengers universe). For example, Agent Phil Coulson was a regular character on Ultimate Spider-Man; that character first appeared in the movie Iron Man (in 2008), and only showed up in comics in 2010. Ultimate Spider-Man was followed by the show Hulk and the Agents of Smash, which was similar in tone and in the same continuity. Ultimate Spider-Man was very poorly received by fans, who felt it was meant only for small children, it maintained decent ratings, though, and got significantly more viewers than its predecessor, The Spectacular Spider-Man (though many from a different demographic). The plan was for Ultimate Spider-Man to be a lead in to a new Avengers show meant to replace Earth's Mightiest Heroes, called Avengers Assemble. However, after the fan outcry over Ultimate Spider-Man, Marvel decided to distance Avengers Assemble from Ultimate Spider-Man.
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes was a new Avengers series that premiered in 2010 and borrowed heavily from the Marvel Cinematic Universe in terms of both tone (light compared to X-Men series, but darker than previous Avengers shows) and story (lots of sub-plots and lots of villains). The Ultimate Spider-man series premiered at the same time as Earth's Mightiest Heroes second season (it had taken a one year hiatus). A month later, Earth's Mightiest Heroes aired a Spidey-centric cross-over episode ("Along Came a Spider") where Spider-man teams up with Captain America to fight Viper and the Serpent Society (other Avengers, like Iron Man and Thor, also appeared). Spider-man had previously been shown the episode before in a background photo.
After production troubles forced the cancellation of a sequel to Spider-Man 3, Sony decided to reboot the franchise. After (500) Days of Summer director Mark Webb told the producer a compelling idea for a story, he was contracted to helm the new picture. The movie retells Spidey's origin story with Andrew Garfield in the title role and has Lizard as the villain.
Spider-Man was first treated to the silver screen in 2002 with Tobey Maguire playing Peter Parker and Spider-Man. It tells the origin story of Peter, getting his new powers from a radioactive spider, losing his Uncle Ben, and getting his first villain, Green Goblin. Norman Osborn was the father to Peter's best friend, Harry, and always knew Peter would grow up to be a very intelligent scientist. But when his military contracts threatened to drop his company Norman hurried the testing of a chemical that would enhance human abilities, when everything went wrong an alter ago of the Green Goblin was born.
Peter was just getting used to being Spider-Man and even found a job with J. Jonah Jameson taking pictures of himself saving the day. Green Goblin doesn't keep the peace though, after getting his offer to work with Spider-Man refused, and discovers the true identity of Spider-Man. With this new information, Goblin attacks Peter's Aunt May leaving her in the hospital. While in the hospital Mary Jane, Peter's crush, and Peter reveal their feelings to one another and are seen by Harry. Harry reports his broken heart for Mary Jane to his father.
With this new information the Green Goblin kidnaps Mary Jane and when Spider-Man shows up, gives him a superheroes worst choice. In one hand Goblin holds Mary Jane, in another a tram car full of children and he drops both at the same time. Spider-Man moves quickly and is able to just barely save them all only to be attacked by Goblin. In the battle Spider-Man accidentally kills the Green Goblin shortly after unmasking him. As Spider-Man returns Norman Osborn's body to his mansion Harry sees him and assumes Spider-Man killed him. Despite the losses suffered Peter knows he must stay as Spider-Man and keep it secret.
With the success of the first film a second film was released in 2004 with the same actors in the major roles. We catch up with Peter struggling with the balance between being Spider-Man and fighting crime and being a student living on his own. He loses his job as a pizza delivery man and doesn't have enough money to pay rent let alone keep up his studies. Even his relationship with his best friend Harry Osborn and his love, Mary Jane. Even Peter's Aunt May is struggling without Uncle Ben and may have her house foreclosed on.
Harry's take over of Oscorp, his fathers business, has been going well and he has a new scientist among his ranks, Otto Octavius. Otto has been working to perfect fusion power that would be contained by specially designed robotic arms with their own artificial intelligence. During a display of Otto's work something goes wrong and as the experiment goes further sideways Otto refuses to stop it thinking he can stabilize it. The fusion experiments kills Otto's wife, fries the inhibitor chip on the arms, and fuses the arms onto his spine. Otto is hurried to the hospital where surgeons attempt to remove the arms only to awaken Otto who kills the doctors and escapes.
Doctor Octopus, Doc Ock, begins robbing banks to continue to finance his work in secret. During one robbery he takes Aunt May hostage, who is trying to save her house from the bank, as Spider-Man confronts Doc Ock. During the battle Spider-Man is able to save Aunt May as Doc Ock escapes but Spider-Man's powers have started to become unreliable. A few days later Peter is asked to cover a party for a renowned astronaut who Peter also learns is now engaged to Mary Jane.
With so much going wrong in Peter's life and even his powers as Spider-Man betraying him Peter gives up being Spider-Man to regain his life. Now with the time to focus on just Peter's life everything seems to pick up for him. But crime has risen and while passing by a burning building Peter rushes in to save a baby only to learn that another man passed away in the same fire. Peter sits down with Aunt May, who is having a garage sale to save her home, and after talking with a neighborhood boy who loves Spider-Man, learns that sometimes one must sacrifice to help others.
With Spider-Man back on the streets takes on the new menace, Doc Ock. The two battle is out around the city before he knocked unconscious and taken to Harry who made a deal with Doc Ock for Spider-Man's life. After realizing his best friend was Spider-Man all along Harry tells Peter where Doc Ock is, and that he has Mary Jane. Spider-Man confronts Doc Ock once and for all eventually awakening the real Dr. Otto who sacrifices himself to save his new experiment from destroying New York.
With the huge success of both Spider-Man movies a third and fourth were slated with only the third one being produced. Peter Parker's life is much different now, everything seems much more secure and he even plans to propose to Mary Jane who now knows Peter and Spider-Man are the same but everything isn't peaceful around the city. Harry Osborn wants vengeance for his father's death and takes up the Green Goblin persona to seek revenge on Peter and Spider-Man. Flint Marko is an escaped convict on the run and falls into a pit of sand inside a particle accelerator which fuses him with the sand, turning him into the Sandman. And while on a date, Peter and Mary Jane don't notice a small symbiote attaching itself to Peter's moped from a downed meteorite.
During a fight with the new Green Goblin, Harry manages to hit his head and suffers from amnesia, forgetting his hatred for Spider-Man/Peter and becoming friends again. At a festival Spider-Man spots Sandman robbing an armored car but it unable to stop him because of his powers to shift just like sand. After the battle Spider-Man is told who Sandman is and learns it was Flint Marko who killed Uncle Ben the first night Peter became Spider-Man.
Peter now wants revenge from Flint and waits for him to rob again. While sleeping one night the symbiote fuses itself to Spider-Man's suit changing the costume to black but also enhancing Spider-Man's powers. But it isn't al positive changes, Peter's arrogant and vengeful personality traits also become enhanced. The changes begin to push Mary Jane away and she seeks help from Harry. Peter continues his rampage, he attacks Harry, disfiguring his face and turning him back to the Goblin's power. Peter exposes a fellow photographer, Eddie Brock, by proving his photos were fakes.
After accidentally hurting Mary Jane while trying to make her jealous at a club, Peter finally realizes the symbiote suit is changing him. He runs to a church bell tower and eventually is able to rip the suit off of his body but sends the symbiote falling below where Eddie Brock is passing by. Eddie is taken over by the symbiote and enthralled with rage to kill Peter Parker turns Eddie into Venom. Venom seeks out Sandman and the two partner up to kill Spider-Man.
Sandman and Venom kidnap Mary Jane and hold her hostage for Spider-Man. Spider-Man fights alone against the two but after Harry Osborn learns the truth of how his father died, it was an accident not Peter's fault, he dawns the Green Goblin suit and joins Spider-Man in his fight. The two are able to free Eddie from Venom's grasp and destroy the symbiote that overtook him as well as subdue Sandman. Sandman admits to Peter that he never intended to kill Uncle Ben and that the gun went off accidentally. Sandman dissipates and floats off with the wind, the rescued Mary Jane and Peter sit next to Harry who is dying.
A reboot to the Spider-Man movie series to came out in July, 2012. The original Spider-Man 4 was planned for 2011 but the director of the first three films, Sam Raimi, withdrew from the film causing its eventual cancellation.
Sony soon announced a new director, Marc Webb, as well as a complete new cast will be in the new film and it will reset the Spider-Man story starting with Peter Parker in high school. As of right now Andrew Garfield is cast as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Emma Stone will play Gwen Stacy, and Rhys Ifans will be the main villain, The Lizard. Martin Sheen will be playing Uncle Ben and Sally Field as Aunt May.
Filming began on December 6, 2010 and is being shot in 3D. The film will focus on Peter Parker as he develops and copes with his powers throughout high school. Peter is shown to have his parents taken from him and left to live with his aunt and uncle. The film seems to follow the typical Spider-Man origin story and show him coming to terms with his father's past.
The film follows high school aged Peter Parker living with his Uncle Ben and Aunt May since the strange and hurried disappearance of his parents. Peter finds an old briefcase that his Dad left behind and had long been in the basement, the papers inside soon lead Peter to his father's old workplace (Oscorp) and his dad's old work partner, Dr. Curt Conners. Conners reveals that he worked on splicing two animals genes together with Peter's father but the equation he needed was lost when Parker disappeared.
Peter gives Conners the equation he memorized from his Dad's old papers and continues to contact Conners in hopes of getting something from the life his Dad left behind. While visiting Oscorp, Peter is bitten by one of the experiments, a genetically altered spider. The spider bite alters Peter's DNA and gives him all new powers like super strength and incredible grip. Combined with Peter's knowledge he is able to transform himself into Spider-Man, a masked hero.
After the sudden death of his Uncle Ben, partially due to Peter's inaction, Peter realigns his focus on catching Ben's killer and stopping crime all over New York. Despite some friction from the NYPD, Spider-Man quickly gains the favor of the city and becomes their hero. Meanwhile Conners, under pressure from Oscorp executives to find a cure for a sick Norman Osbourne, develops a lizard DNA that could regrow his missing arm.
The experiment goes wrong and soon Conners is going back and forth between the doctor he is as a human and the monster he is as a lizard. The experiment goes further out of control and eventually it is up to Spider-Man to stop the Lizard from spreading his compound all over the city. Spider-Man manages to defeat the Lizard, with the help of Gwen Stacey's police chief father (Captain George Stacy), and spread the cure.
With the Lizard captured, and Spider-Man having promised Gwen's dying father not to involve her, Spider-Man goes on becoming the hero of New York City. However, he breaks his promise to Captain Stacy within 48 fucking hours of his death!
Spider-Man fist appeared outside of comics on television. The most beloved of which were a series of animated TV shows starting in the late 1960s.
In 1978-79 a live action series called The Amazing Spider-Man began its short lived run. It started as a television movie before turning into a TV show and despite being cancelled after one season it paved the way for more popular live action series like The Incredible Hulk.
The longest running and most popular of which aired during the 1990s which was on for five seasons for sixty-five episodes and was called Spider Man: The Animated Series. This focused on a college aged Peter Parker who is already Spider-Man and already works for the Daily Bugle. It portrayed most of Spider-Man's most infamous villains and love interests.
In 2008, The Spectacular Spider-Man debuted and was met by critical and viewer acclaim. It sets Peter Parker in high school only just having his powers taking some of its tone and sources from the original Spider-Man comic from Stan Lee and Steve Dikto. The next animated Spider-Man show will be Ultimate Spider-Man and will possibly be set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Drake Bell, Josh Keaton, and Vincent Martella will all provide the voice of Peter Parker/ Spider-Man.
Spider-Man is best known for his sarcasm and biting sense of humor. During most battles you can hear Spider-Man give out a few "one-liners" and cracking jokes. He is also endowed with the powers of a spider and literally possesses the "proportionate strength and abilities" of a human sized spider such as the ability to cling to most surfaces and climb walls as well as superhuman strength, agility, perfect balance and equilibrium, and blindingly fast reflexes.
His most unique ability is his "spider-sense" which functions as a clairvoyant sixth sense or an incredibly keen awareness of his surroundings that enables him to react to danger to his person. Perhaps his least understood ability, it has nevertheless saved his life and secret identity numerous times. His "spider-sense" acts as a tingling sensation in the back of his skull and it's strength indicates the proximity and how grave the threat it is. Even though he is not fast enough to dodge a bullet in motion, Spider-Man can detect BEFORE a gunman is about to pull the trigger and start evading before he has a chance to actually shoot.
Over the years, Spider-Man has learned to use this precognitive ability to navigate without his sight and even unconsciously relies on it for the best placement of his web-lines. As Spider-Man hides his identity zealously, his "spider-sense" also views potential threats towards him and will react even if someone might discover it by accident or deliberate spying on him if he is in the process of changing his clothes.
In all of his incarnations, Spider-Man is also distinctive for his ability to weave webs. He travels by shooting a webline and swinging on it through the air. Depending on his incarnation, Spider-Man either wears a pair of artificial web-shooters mounted on his wrists or he possesses organic webbing that he produces naturally.
In all of them, this webbing is shot from his wrist and he makes a distinctive hand sign with his thumb, little and index finger extended with the middle and ring finger pressed down to his palm. This hand sign is a safety measure as it prevents him from inadvertently hitting the triggers of his artificial web-shooters when he clenches his fists to punch his opponents or in the case of his organic webs, it uses certain muscles in his arm that enable him to discharge his webbing. In either case, it has become a distinct part of Spider-Man's image and character.
Peter Parker on the other hand tends to be much more shy and reserved than his flamboyant alter ego Spider-Man. He is known for his intelligence especially with sciences and physics. He has a terrible inferiority complex and was profoundly impressed upon his failure to use his powers to stop a burglar directly caused the death of his Uncle Ben. He will always blame himself for his failure to act and this consistently drives him into a self-imposed penance of using his powers responsibly. Over the years, he has developed his motto, "With great power, comes great responsibility."
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