Spider-Man is a superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.
In Spider-Man’s first story, in Marvel Comics’ Amazing Fantasy, no. 15 (1962), American teenager Peter Parker, a poor 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 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 was a radical departure from the established conventions of the comic-book superhero: he was a teenage character who was not relegated to sidekick status beside an older, more-experienced hero. In addition to enhanced speed and strength, Parker also possessed a precognitive “spider sense” that alerted him to approaching dangers. Using his inborn scientific talents, Parker synthesized a unique adhesive “web fluid” and built a pair of wrist-mounted web-shooters that enabled him to shape the webbing into various useful forms. He also designed and sewed the web-festooned red-and-blue costume that quickly became Spider-Man’s most visible trademark.
Stan Lee’s publisher originally thought that the character of Spider-Man was a terrible idea – It seems as though the incredible wall-crawler has had quite the history. Sure, we know that Stan Lee and Steve Ditko created the fan-favorite Marvel hero, but he was not always the popular icon he is today. Many secrets lay hidden in this character’s contested origin.
In numerous interviews, Stan Lee has claimed that his inspiration for the character came from seeing a fly climb up a wall. Although, he jokes in his autobiography that, after telling the story so many times, he is unsure himself if it is actually true.
In 1967, five years after Spider-Man’s creation, he was popular enough to merit a Saturday morning cartoon series. It lasted three seasons. The most enduring thing about it was a catchy theme song.
In 1974, spider-Man made his live-action TV debut when he began appearing in episodes of “The Electric Company,” an educational children’s show that aired on PBS. Marvel launched a new aimed-at-kids Spider-Man series, Spidey Super Stories, in conjunction with the guest spots.
Films about the Spider-Man – He was featured in a trilogy of live-action films directed by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire as the titular superhero. The first Spider-Man film of the trilogy was released on May 3, 2002, followed by Spider-Man 2 (2004) and Spider-Man 3 (2007). A third sequel was originally scheduled to be released in 2011 – however, Sony later decided to reboot the franchise with a new director and cast. The reboot, titled The Amazing Spider-Man, was released on July 3, 2012, directed by Marc Webb and starring Andrew Garfield as the new Spider-Man. It was followed by The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014). In 2015, Sony and Disney made a deal for Spider-Man to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tom Holland made his debut as Spider-Man in the MCU film Captain America: Civil War (2016), before later starring in his standalone film Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), directed by Jon Watts. Holland reprised his role as Spider-Man in Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019), and Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) – Maguire and Garfield reprise their roles as past Spider-Men in the latter film. Jake Johnson voiced an alternate universe version of Spider-Man in the animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Chris Pine also voiced another version of Peter Parker in the film.
A tokusatsu series featuring Spider-Man was produced by Toei and aired in Japan. It is commonly referred to by its Japanese pronunciation “Supaidā-Man”.
As one of Marvel’s most (if not the most) recognizable characters, his impact on pop culture and comics at large has been huge, to say the least. Stan Lee himself commented on Ditko’s decision to have Spider-Man’s costume covering him from head-to-toe, stating that this meant anyone could see themselves as the titular hero.
In 1981, skyscraper-safety activist Dan Goodwin, wearing a Spider-Man suit, scaled the Sears Tower in Chicago, Illinois, the Renaissance Tower in Dallas, Texas, and the John Hancock Center in Chicago.
Alain Robert, nicknamed “Spider-Man”, is a rock and urban climber who has scaled more than 70 tall buildings using his hands and feet, without using additional devices. He sometimes wears a Spider-Man suit during his climbs. In May 2003, he was paid approximately $18,000 to climb the 95-metre (312 ft) Lloyd’s building to promote the premiere of the movie Spider-Man on the British television channel Sky Movies.
“The Human Spider”, alias Bill Strother, scaled the Lamar Building in Augusta, Georgia in 1921.
In Argentina, criminals that climb buildings and trespass into private property through the open balconies are said to use the “Spider-Man method” (in Spanish, “el Hombre Araña”).