Our favorite superhero Spider-Man celebrated its 58th anniversary this August. At this point in comic book history, there is very little we do not know about Spider-Man. After eight films and more than six decades worth of material on the wall-crawler, it is safe to say that most people in the world have an encyclopedic knowledge of the superhero.
Spider-man first appeared in the August 1962 comic book "Amazing Fantasy #15" by Marvel Comics.
American teenager Peter Parker, a poor and sickly orphan, is bitten by a radioactive spider. As a result of the bite, he gains superhuman strength; speed, and agility along with the ability to cling on to walls.
Writer Stan Lee and illustrator Steve Ditko created Spider-Man as a filler story for a canceled anthology series. At the time, a teenage lead hero was unheard of in comic books.
However, young readers responded powerfully to Peter Parker, prompting an ongoing title and ultimately a media empire, including video games, several animated and one live-action television series, a live-action film franchise, and a Broadway musical.
Spider-Man has been one of the most popular and commercially successful superheroes. Often considered to be Marvel's flagship character and company mascot, he has appeared in many animations and movies.
And what we do know is sometimes a misconception, as varying movie and comic storylines have skewed our perception of one of the most famously infamous superhero alter-egos of all time.
The series featured Peter Parker, a high school student who frequently suffered the same rejection, inadequacy, and loneliness that most young readers could easily relate to. Spider-Man was one of the first teen superheroes who was not a sidekick. He had to learn how to deal with growing up while possessing super powers.
Marvel publisher Martin Goodman was not initially receptive to the idea of a teen hero taking centre stage, nor did he want to accept Spider-Man's neuroses, romantic deficiencies, and chronic concerns about money.
Goodman also thought that the audience would be repelled by the character's spider motif. Fortunately, Lee's instincts prevailed. Spider-Man's debut in "Amazing Fantasy" was an immediate and resounding success.
From the beginning, Spider-Man's behaviour deviated significantly from the prevailing superheroic norms. Instead of selflessly dedicating his superhuman gifts to crime fighting or the general betterment of humankind, the newly empowered Spider-Man cashes in on his talents by becoming a television celebrity.
After his first performance in front of the cameras, he refuses to stop a robber from stealing the television station's studio box-office receipts. Spider-Man's world abruptly collapses a few days later when a burglar murders his uncle, Ben Parker, leaving Peter's Aunt May - his only surviving guardian, a widow.
The grief-stricken Spider-Man tracks down Uncle Ben's killer, only to make the horrible discovery that the murderer is the same robber he had allowed to escape from the television studio. And this is how the hero was born.
Unlike some teen heroes, such as Bucky and Robin, Spider-Man never had any adult mentors like Captain America and Batman to teach him to be a superhero. He had to teach himself that "with great power comes great responsibility" - a quote from the late Uncle Ben he would cherish forever.
Marvel has featured Spider-Man in several comic book series such as "The Amazing Spider-Man", "Spectacular Spider-Man" and "Sensational Spider-Man" over the years.
Peter Parker has transitioned from a shy high school student to a troubled but outgoing college student and finally to a married high school teacher. But his most associated adult role is that of being a single freelance photographer.
He has also been a member of both "New Avengers" and "Fantastic Four". Spider-Man has had a lot of nicknames over the years such as "Spidey", "web-slinger", "wall-crawler", or "web-head".
He is also called "arachnid" by some villains and calls himself "Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man".
Unknown facts about Spider-Man
Peter's Parents Were CIA Agents
Up until 1968, there was no mention of what had happened to Peter's parents - Richard and Mary Parker, or who his parents even were to begin with. That is until "Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5" when it was revealed that Peter's parents were both CIA agents who were sent on a secret mission and killed in a plane crash.
It added intrigue and mystery to the origin of Peter Parker, and eventually tied into the larger Marvel Universe.
The Red Skull was responsible for his parents' deaths
Parker's parents were actually undercover agents in an evil organisation run by the third Red Skull - Albert Malik.
In "Amazing Spider-Man 2", this entire subplot was axed with the cancellation of the trilogy and Spider-Man's subsequent inclusion in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In the comics, as in the film, Parker's parents were killed in a plane crash, but where the two differ is that the official story in the comics has Red Skull's assassin, The Finisher, sabotaging their plane and causing the crash in the first place.
The radioactive spider did not only bite Peter
Between comic books, animated series, and two film series, we have seen Parker get bitten by the famous radioactive spider more times than necessary.
Though the way it happened has varied depending on the medium, the result is always the same; a nerdy high school-aged Parker turns into Spider-Man. But as it turns out, many of us do not know the whole story.
After the radioactive spider bites Parker , it does not merely crawl away and live a life of quiet solitude. Rather, it bites someone else.
Moments after feasting on Parker's hand, the spider moves onto another high school student standing nearby; Cindy Moon.
In Cindy's case, after her powers began to manifest, a man named Ezekiel Sims took her away and trained her, after which she became the superhero known as "Silk".
Parker is not the first Spider-Man
One of the key inspirations for Spider-Man according to Stan Lee was billionaire Richard Wentworth, also known as "The Spider", who was not enhanced and acted more like Batman than Spider-Man.
The Spider was a pulp hero and crime fighter in the 30's and 40's who was created by Harry Steeger and appeared in a series of pulp magazines.
He made Marvel go bankrupt
Ask any comic-book fan about one of the worst arcs and they might point out the dreaded "Clone Saga".
This convoluted arc about Parker not being the "real" Parker, an army of Spider-clones, a pregnant Mary Jane and a Lady Octopus was so damaging for Marvel that by 1996, a third of Marvel's employees were let go and the company had to file for bankruptcy due to declining sales.
The company was soon saved by selling Spidey's license to Sony, leading to a range of highly successful Spider-Man movies.
Stan Lee created the character by watching a fly
Everyone's favorite wisecracking neighborhood web-head was originally just a fly on the wall.
After hitting it big with his creation of the Fantastic Four in 1961, Stan Lee spent the next year racking his brain for the next big thing. And then a fly flew in.
After seeing the winged insect crawl up a wall at Marvel's offices, the comics legend immediately thought what the company needed at that very moment was a guy who could stick to vertical surfaces. So he came up with the next amazing superhero: Stick-to-Wall Man.
Even though a name like that is pure gold, Lee tried out a few others like Insect-Man, Fly-Man, and Mosquito-Man until he finally hit the bug on the head with the most dramatic of all, Spider-Man.
He has died three times
Like all good superheroes worth their weight on the web, Spider-Man has also died. A few times, in fact, though never for long. The first death came during 2005's "The Other" story arc when he was beaten senseless by the villain Morlun, who, at one point, ripped out Spidey's eye and ate it.
In the alternate world of 2011's "Ultimate Spider-Man #160", Parker got killed by Green Goblin and was replaced by Miles Morales.
And proving that the New Millennium has been a particularly deadly time for Spidey, 2012's "Amazing Spider-Man #700" features him dying in battle with Doc Ock, only for the villain to possess the web-slinger's body and take over the mantle for over a year in an attempt to prove that he is a superior Spider-Man.
Parker teamed up with Superman, Batman, Transformers, SNL, and Obama
Living in New York, it's no surprise that Spider-Man has run into pretty much every Marvel character ever.
Like the time he went blind and needed Daredevil's help, or the time he ate some hot dogs with Loki, or when he had a "yo-mama-off" with Deadpool. Of course, even better are the crossovers you never saw coming.
In "Transformers #3" J Jonah Jameson sends Parker into the field to snap some shots of the Decepticons and Autobots battling in Oregon. Spider-Man naturally saves the day by wrapping Megatron up in webbing.
In "Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man", the super duo awkwardly fights and then teams up to take out the combined powers of Lex Luthor and Doctor Octopus.
Never one to be left out, Batman shared a similar experience when he and the web-head took on a Carnage and Joker team-up.
Finally, there's the time when Spider-Man met President Barack Obama back in 2008. On an assignment covering his inauguration, Parker's alter ego swooped in to save the day when two Obamas surprisingly showed up in the ceremony.
The enemies of Spider-Man
Spider-Man has had a number of enemies he must defeat over the years. Like Spider-man, most of his enemies gain powers as the result of scientific accidents or experiments gone wrong.
Here are some of his most notorious enemies
Green Goblin (Norman Osborn) is a rich industrialist and the founder of Oscorp Technologies. He was Spider-Man's first enemy and got his power while creating the super soldier formula.
Brilliant physicist Otto Octavius becomes Doc Ock after he chemically bonded to his octo-harness in a radioactive fallout. Octavius kidnaps his medical staff and Spidey rudely interrupts the hostage situation.
The Chameleon is an antagonistic Russian super-spy, a master of disguise, and a brilliant actor. He is the half-brother of Kraven the Hunter, and the two have often teamed up against their common adversary: Spider-Man.
Venom is a major character in Marvel Comics, most commonly serving as a major character and an antagonist in the Spider-Man comics, and also as the titular protagonist of the Venom comic book series.
The name has belonged to several different hosts over the years, which means that Venom is indeed the identity of this particular alien Symbiote, which itself is named Venom as it considered itself the venom for Spider-Man.
MacDonald "Mac" Gargan, also known as the Scorpion, is a supervillain in Marvel Comics. He most commonly serves as a dangerous enemy to Spider-Man and Iron Fist.
He later became a member of the Thunderbolts, and was exposed to a Symbiote and became the third Venom, as well as the first villain, to take on the Spider-Man mantle during his time in the Dark Avengers.
Super powers of Spider-Man
Spider-related powers have been a part of the Marvel universe since 1962, when Spider-Man first debuted.
The most common include wall-crawling, enhanced strength, speed, reflexes, durability, stamina, healing, and agility, as well as an early warning system officially dubbed the "Spider-Sense" power by Parker.
● Communication With Spiders
● Organic Webbing
● Man-Spider Transformation
● Venom Blast
● Super-Agility And Speed
● Sense Of Humor And Intimidation