Fast and Easy History Minute: Spider-Man Origin
Spider-Man is one of my all-time favorite characters. If it wasn’t for him, I’m not even sure I’d be into comics today. With him being around for over 50 years—everyone and their grandmother knows who he is—this article is just going to focus on his origin and the early part of his crime fighting career—and how that might be adapted for his newest movie.
Spider-Man first appeared in Amazing Fantasy number 15; it was just a one-off story in an anthology series. He was created by Stan Lee (writer) and Steve Ditko (artist). Spider-Man didn’t get his own series until months later when the sale figures finally came back—at which point he got his first ongoing series, The Amazing Spider-Man.
Spider-Man’s alter-ego, Peter Parker, was a young teenager when he first got his powers. As everyone knows, he received his powers when he got bitten by a radioactive spider. Peter lived in Forest Hills Queens in New York City with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben.
This living arrangement was due to the death of his parents when he was very young—a theme that would play a major factor in his life and the choices he would make. If it wasn’t for his aunt and uncle instilling in him the values they did, there’s a good chance that even with the powers he may not have ended up as Spider-Man. He could’ve even became a villain under a different set of circumstances.
After Peter got his powers he decided to go into show business so he could make some money to take care of his aunt and uncle. After one of his shows—a wrestling event if you go by his most well-known origin—there was a robbery.
With his powers he could have stopped the robber easily, but decided to let the burglar go because it wasn’t his “job” to stop him. And as the story goes, that burglar ended up murdering Uncle Ben, which set Peter on the path to becoming a superhero.
In what little spare time Peter had after school and being a superhero, he took up a part-time job at The Daily Bugle taking pictures of Spider-Man (how convenient). J. Jonah Jameson, the head honcho at The Daily Bugle, hates Spider-Man with a passion.
Even going so far as declaring him a menace—which of course makes life that much more difficult for Spider-Man. JJJ hatred for Spider-Man was so overwhelming that Peter even tied to join the Fantastic Four at one point—until he found out he wouldn’t get paid for it, that is.
While in high school, Peter fell in love with Gwen Stacy (not Mary Jane Watson as many assume). Mary Jane didn’t become Peter’s main squeeze until after the tragic death of Gwen at the hands of the Green Goblin.
It was actually a while after this tragedy when Peter and Mary met. This was due to the persistence of both of their aunts. But once they did finally meet, well, Mary Jane said it best: “Tiger, you hit the jackpot.”
Some of Spider-Man’s first villains were the Chameleon, (he could disguise himself to look and sound like anybody) The Vulture, (he created a harness with wings which gave him the ability to fly—and like a true villain, he used this ability for robberies) and Doctor Octopus, (a doctor with four metal arms fused to his back that can be controlled with his mind). These are just a few names among many other great enemies that round out one of the best rogue galleries in comics.
As I stated before, I’m a huge Spider-Man fan. So I’ve liked a good bit of the previous movies featuring the web slinger. Now, I’m not saying they all were necessarily good, they do have their flaws (*cough* most of Spider-Man 3 *cough*). But with Spidey being back home where he belongs (in the Marvel Universe) I have real high hopes that this will be the best film to date featuring the wall-crawler. We got to see a little bit of him in Captain America Civil War, which was very fun. So hopefully this new franchise does right by Spider-Man and his legions of fans.
If you liked this, then you should check out these other superhero pieces.