July 21, 2017

Amazing Fantasy 15Real Name: Peter Parker

First Appearance: Amazing Fantasy #15 (August, 1962)

Powers: Super Strength and Agility. Has a “Spider Sense”.

Affiliation: Avengers

Enemies: Has the ‘whose who’ of enemies. Most great enemies were introduced in Spider-Man Comics. Doctor Octopus, Vulture, Sandman, Electro, Mysterio, Green Goblin, Kraven the Hunter, Scorpion, Venom, Carnage and the list goes on.

Love Interests: Gwen Stacey, Mary Jane Watson

Did You Know: Peter Parker’s parent were field operative in the C.I.A.

Spider-Man has gone through many suit changes over the years, but he always reverts back to the classic red and blue.

A Little History

Alright, you should know that my brother and I are only what I would call, ‘Average’ Spider-Man fans. We, like many before us, grew up watching the ultra cheesy, but at the same time, classic Spider-Man cartoon from the 60’s.

Spider-Man was and is immensely popular with kids, teenagers, and adults.  Literally, he was an average guy (like most of us), trying to find his way through life.

Actually, he was a less than average guy.  He bumbled his way through school, was picked on daily and to top it off, was very awkward around girls.

This guy couldn’t get a girl even if it was an arranged marriage.

Now, you’re probably thinking, I am that way.  I can’t get a date.

Don’t worry, I was too.

Think about the life Peter Parker lives for half a second.  You have all the above problems plus you are out saving the world every night.  As a consequence, you have zero life.  If there were ever a definition of “This Sucks” then this would be it.

So you want to know how an average man acquire such power?

It was by accident.

Visiting a science demonstration, Peter was bitten by a radioactive spide.  Upon receiving said bite, he was given his spider-like powers.

Initially, Peter used the powers to make money.  There was an instance where he had the opportunity to stop a thief from stealing somebody’s money and he chose not to help.  Little did our hero know, but later on that night, his uncle would be shot dead.

Spiderman 1To throw some salt on his proverbial wounds, Peter found out that his uncle’s killer was none other than the thief he could have stopped.

If you must know just one influential Spider-Man story, I must point you to Amazing Spider-Man 121 and 122, written in June and July of 1973 (Issues #121 and 122).

Every comic book fan knows these titles.  Just lean over and ask your girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife what happened in these titles.  If they can’t answer you, they are not the fans they claim to be and you should get rid of them.

Inside of these great issues, Peter Parker would lose his girlfriend, Gwen Stacey. His greatest enemy, The Green Goblin, would see to her death (issue 121).  In the very next issue (122) Spider-Man would seek and take his revenge, killing the Green Goblin.  These issues sent the comic world into shock.

It was made to be Earth-Shattering news.  How could Spider-Man (spoiler alert) directly be involved with killing his girlfriend?

If I were alive at the time, I probably would have cried myself to sleep that night.

Spider-Man is a trend-setter and was a part of one of the most controversial revelations in comic lore.

You’ll notice (and maybe you won’t) that each comic book is stamped in the corner by the Comics Code Authority.  The premise for this is that the stamp shows that the comics are clean of drugs, sex, etc…

In an act of rebellion against the Comics Code, the writers of Spider-Man purposely created a 3-part series (Amazing Spider-Man #95-97) that dealt with the surging drug issues in the United States.  Because of the blatant references to drugs, these issues did not receive the stamp of approval.

While this may not sound like a big deal now, this was a kick in the teeth to the comics code.

How could one of the most successful titles in comic history deliberately disobey its guidelines?

Spider-Man has gone through multiple suit changes over the course of his history.

Secret Wars 8My opinion (fanboys, take it easy if you disagree) is that the Symbiote Suit is without a doubt, the most iconic suit he has (next to the classic Red and Blue of course).

This suit revitalized the Spider-Man franchise and gave us perhaps his most popular enemy, Venom (Eddie Brock).

In the 1980’s, Marvel created a story arc called the Secret Wars.  Within the Secret Wars, Spider-Man took a thrashing, so much so that he befriended Martha Stewart and her sewing machine.  He found a machine he thought was a fabric replicator.  The machine would produce a black sphere which would take over Peter Parker making his powers stronger.

As we would learn this wound up being an Alien Symbiote.

Long story short, Peter ended up removing the Symbiote from his body, resulting in it bonding with Eddie Brock, who would go on to become Venom.

If you have watched any of the Marvel Movies that have come out over the years, you may or may not be aware of how lucky we are that Spider-Man is in the Civil War movie.

Peter plays an intricate part in Civil War.

First and foremost, his identity has remained a secret for most of his comic book life, so when Tony Stark (Ironman) convinced him to joined the pro-registration side and unmask, the world was in shock.  Many of the heroes standing against registration started to look at this and wonder “If Spider-Man can show the world, why shouldn’t we?”

Thankfully, for the fans of Captain America’s side, Peter would eventually join his fight.

Over the years, Spider-Man has been a part of some of the most iconic and well-written storylines in history.

He remains a constant in the Marvel Universe and probably will for the rest of Marvel’s existence.

Scott’s Notes:

  1. Bitten by a radioactive spider in a science demonstration
  2. Received spider-like powers due to bite
  3. One of the most relatable and likable characters in comics
  4. Average teenager with average problems
  5. Gwen Stacey dies in issue 121
  6. Green Goblin dies in issue 122
  7. Tackled the drug issue in issues 95-97
  8. Costume change to a black costume
  9. Unmasked in Civil War
  10. Bandwagon jumper

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