Behind the Counter: Who is Who…Spider-man

Spider-man

Spider-man from wikipedia

Peter Parker is a mild mannered teenager. He lives in New York with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben who he loves dearly. Peter suffers from everything that the typical teenage boy does: spots, struggling with girls and fitting in. Peter is a science whiz kid. He suffers from being a geek in front of jock Flash Thompson who continually beats Peter up. When he goes to watch a new experiment in radiation, a spider falls down into the beam. The same spider bites Peter making him faint. When he wakes up he is lost in the middle of a street. Before he realises, a car is about to hit him. His senses alert him just in time. After this, Peter realises that the spider has given him amazing abilities: he has spider sense, the proportional strength of a spider and unbelievable agility. Using his intelligence, Peter fashions web shooters and web fluid. Peter decides that he will use his new found powers to become a celebrity. He goes on a talk show, creating a costume to hide his identity. A wrestling promoter sees Peter’s ability and signs him up. One day, after a match, Peter lets a mugger go by, believing that he had no responsibility to stop him. When he returns home he discovers that his Uncle Ben has been shot dead by a robber. Determined to avenger his uncle, Peter goes out to try to find him and bring him to justice. Peter finds the mugger to discover that it was the same man that he let go by. Peter learns the moral Uncle Ben taught him, that with great power comes great responsibility. He vows to never let the same thing happen again and become the superhero Spider-man.

Spider-man would go onto fight some of the most spectacular villains. From Doctor Octopus (a scientist who has four artificial tentacles fastened to his body) to the Green Goblin, to the Lizard. Peter has to struggle with many different worries. He has to be a crime fighter, be a good student, try and provide for the family and look after his elderly, sickly aunt. Peter begins his working life taking photographs for the Daily Bugle. The Daily Bugle is run by J Jonah Jameson who despises Spider-man and is not too keen on Peter.

Jameson from Wikipedia

When Peter graduates from high school, he first of all suffers at college. His new group of friends (Gwen Stacy, Harry Osborn) think that Peter thinks he is better then they are because he got to Empire State University through a scholarship. Yet it is in fact because Pete is worried about his Aunt May who is terribly sickly as well as taking down new threat The Master Planner. Pete manages to solve all these problems and becomes best friends with Harry.

Pete has had many girlfriends. From Betty Brant to Gwen to Mary Jane Watson to Felicia Hardy Carlie Cooper. Pete was about to tell Gwen his secret identity but her father, Captain Stacy, was killed by Doc Ock. Spidey heard his final words ‘Look after Gwen Peter’ revealing that he always knew that Pete and Spidey were one in the same. After this however, Gwen hated Spidey, blaming him for the death of her father. In the coming months, The Green Goblin (Norman Osborn, Harry’s father) would learn the true identity of Spider-man. In a fight to the death, the Green Goblin kills Gwen that would lead to his eventual supposed death. After this, Pete vowed to never go out with another person again due to the dangers.

Mary Jane is the niece of Anna Watson (May’s best friend). May and Anna desperately try and set Pete and MJ up on a blind date that either by fate or through Peter’s doing he continually misses till finally she arrives at his door with the trademark saying ‘Face it Tiger you have just hit the jackpot’. It would take Peter a while to get over Gwen but they finally begin to go out.

Gwen from Wikipedia

Before MJ began dating Peter, she was briefly going out with Harry Osborn. MJ dumps Harry but he cannot take the rejection. Harry turns to using illegal drugs to get over the pain, leading to him to hallucinate. He discovers the truth about his father and decides to take up the mantle of his father as the new Green Goblin. Harry would redeem himself by saving Pete before dying.

The Green Goblin from Wikipedia

MJ and Pete have an on again off again relationship. Whilst they were off, Peter dated Felicia Hardy. Hardy was also the thief The Black Cat before turning into an anti hero. When Pete reveals his identity to her, she laughs at Pete’s real identity and dumps him.

Pete at the Daily Bugle later has a rival known as Eddie Brock. Nothing seems to go right for Eddie with him seeing Spider-man as messing up everything he did. Whilst fighting the Secret War, Pete bonds with an alien costume to give him the black suit. Pete begins to discover that the longer he has the alien suit on, the more it takes over him. Pete discovers it is a symbiote and wants to get it off. The only way to get it off is through sonic sounds. Eddie, enraged by what happened to Spider-man, hunts him down. He is coated in symbiote. The symbiote and Eddie totally bound, combining the hatred for Spider-man to become Venom. Venom has all the same powers as Spider-man and is much stronger. The Venom symbiote would spawn another known as Carnage. Cletus Cassidy, a mass murdering lunatic would bound with the Carnage symbiote. Carnage being such a threat led to Venom and Spidey joining forces.

The symbiote from Wikipedia

Pete and MJ would eventually marry with MJ falling pregnant. Pete discovers that there have been many clones of him with one taking the name Ben Reily. Reily takes over for Pete for a while known as the Scarlet Spider so Pete can retire and have a happy family. Yet MJ miscarries leading to Pete returning and taking the sole place as Spider-man once more. For some time Pete and MJ would break up to later come back together. Both MJ and May discover that Pete is Spider-man.

Pete would take a job as a high school teacher where he meets Ezekiel. Ezekiel, like Pete has the powers of the spider. Pete discovers that he comes from a long line of people with the power: his bite was fate not chance. Ezekiel applauds Pete for using his powers for good unlike himself. Pete would go onto fight Morlun (one of his greatest enemies) who is determined to kill the blood line of spiders. For some time it would seem he achieves killing Pete before Pete is reborn.

Morlun from Wikipedia

Peter becomes a member of The Avengers and sides with Tony Stark in the Civil War to the extent that he unmasks. However he realises that he has made a mistake and moves allegiances to join with Captain America. As the war continues, Aunt May is shot and is close to death. Pete and MJ go to Mempisto to plead for her life. He makes a compromise: their marriage is removed from history and Aunt May lives or May dies and their marriage remains. MJ sacrifices the love of her life for Pete’s aunt. Pete has forgotten that he was ever married to Mary Jane, the love of his life. His best friend Harry is back from the dead and he is no longer a teacher. Everyone has forgotten that Spider-man unmask

Essential Reading

Essential Spider-man Vol 1

Essential Spider-man Vol 2

Essential Spider-man Vol 3

Essential Spider-man Vol 4

Essential Spider-man Vol 5

Essential Spider-man Vol 6

Spider-man JMS Ultimate Collection Vol 1

Spider-man JMS Ultimate Collection Vol 2

Spider-man JMS Ultimate Collection Vol 3

Civil War

Spider-man One More Day

Other Media

Spider-man trilogy (films)

Spider-man (90’s TV Show)

Spectacular Spider-man (TV Show)

GS Reporter: Luke Halsall

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