Real Name: Peter Parker
Occupation: Adventurer, Freelance Photographer, High School Teacher
Legal Status: Citizen of the United States with no criminal record
Other Aliases: None
Place of Birth: New York City
Marital Status: Married
Known Relatives: Richard Parker (father, deceased), Mary Parker (mother, deceased), Benjamin Parker (uncle, deceased), May Parker (aunt), Mary Jane Watson-Parker (wife), May (daughter, possibly deceased)
Group Affiliation: The Avengers, ally of the Fantastic Four
Base of Operations: New York City
First Appearance: Amazing Fantasy #15
History: Peter Parker was orphaned at the age of six when his parents were killed in an airplane crash overseas. He went to live with his uncle and aunt, Ben and May Parker, in Forest Hills, New York. Parker was extremely bright and became a high honors student at Midtown High School. Parker's shyness and scholastic interest often made him a social outcast. One evening, Parker attended a public exhibition demonstrating the safe handling of nuclear laboratory waste materials sponsored by the General Techtronics Corporation. During the demonstration, a small common house spider happened to be in the path of a particle accelerator's beam and was massively irradiated. The stricken spider fell on to Parker's hand, broke his skin with its fangs and died. His hand burning from the bite, Parker left the exhibition.
Parker made his way home and passed through an unfamiliar section of the city where he was accosted by a gang of hoodlums. Tossing the gang members aside, Parker was shocked by his own display of strength. As he fled from them, he ran into the path of a speeding car, and leaped to safety about thirty feet up onto a nearby wall. To his growing surprise, he discovered that he was able to stick to the wall with his fingertips. As he easily walked down a guy wire to the street below, he realized that he now possessed a superb sense of balance. Parker quickly associated these spider-like abilities with the bite from the irradiated spider.
Parker went home, where his Aunt May sent him on an errand
to deliver clothing to a charity driver located in a nearby
National Guard Armory. There he saw a wrestling match which
offered a prize for anyone who could remain in the ring at
least 3 minutes with a professional wrestler. Interested in
testing his new-found powers, Parker decided to accept the
wrestler's challenge. Wearing a mask to conceal his features
to avoid embarrassment in cast he lost, he easily defeated his
opponent. A television producer's talent agent spotted him and
promised him a segment on a network variety show. Parker,
calling himself the Amazing Spider-Man, accepted the offer and
decided to use it as a springboard to a show business career
as a spectacular stunt performer. Over the next several
evenings, Parker used equipment borrowed from his high school
to fabricate a fluid that imitated a spider's silk web, and
spinneret devices to project that fluid from his wrists in the
form of a web strand. He also silk-screened his original design
for a costume onto a body stocking and full-head mask. Thus
prepared, Peter Parker appeared as Spider-Man on national
television and was an immediate media sensation.
Just after the conclusion of the television show, a burglar, being pursued by a security guard, ran by Parker who impetuously allowed him to pass although he could have easily stopped him. When reprimanded by the guard, Parker arrogantly replied he was a professional performer and that chasing criminals was the guard's job. Parker promptly forgot the incident. A few days later, Parker returned home to find that his Uncle Ben had been murdered by a burglar. A police officer informed him that the burglar had been trailed to a nearby abandoned warehouse where the police had him trapped. Grief-stricken, Parker rushed to the warehouse to seek vengeance. At the warehouse Parker, as Spider-Man, easily captured the burglar and realized that he was the same person that he had allowed to run past him earlier that day in the TV studio. He realized that if he had acted responsibly earlier, he might have prevented the death of his uncle. Filled with remorse, he realized that with power comes responsibility, and he vowed to never shirk that responsibility again.
With Ben Parker dead, Peter and his Aunt May had no regular source of income besides social security. Peter attempted to pursue his show business career, but was unable to do so because of a newspaper campaign launched on him by J. Jonah Jameson, influential publisher of the Daily Bugle. Parker began to use his powers to fight crime and earned a living for him and his aunt by selling photographs of himself in action using an early wind-up motorized camera that was once his Uncle Ben's to the Daily Bugle. Although Jameson's attempts to negatively influence the public's perceptions of Spider-Man have waned because of positive word-of-mouth support of Spider-Man's activities, Spider-Man remains a controversial figure. He has faced and thwarted a vast array of costumed criminals in the New York City area, including the Kingpin, the Vulture, Electro, the Sandman, Mysterio, Dr. Octopus, the Hobgoblin, the Lizard, Jack O'Lantern, the Enforcers, The Scorpion, Silvermane, The Rose, Kraven the Hunter, the Puma, the Rhino, the Tinkerer, the Shocker and many others.
In his private life, Parker entered the graduate program at Empire State University, dividing his time as a crime-fighter, student and photographer. Eventually, he moved into his own apartment with his best friend, Harry Osborn, who unbeknownst to Peter was the son of his greatest foe, the Green Goblin. Parker briefly dated Betty Brant of the Daily Bugle, but the greatest love of his life was Gwen Stacy, who was murdered by the Green Goblin after discovering Peter's true identity. Her murder greatly affected his emotions as a crime fighter. The Green Goblin was subsequently killed in a resulting battle, and Parker went on to date Mary Jane Watson, the niece of Anna Watson, a friend of his Aunt May. Early on, Mary Jane discovered Peter was Spider-Man and kept this discovery from him for a while before revealing it to him.
Despite his reputation as a loner, Spider-Man briefly tried to join the Fantastic Four but was turned away from becoming a member. However, he greatly impressed them and worked with them several times in numerous adventures. He also worked several times with the Avengers and was with them when the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and several other heroes were taken to "Battle-World" created by the Beyonder to learn the nature of good and evil. During these "Secret Wars," Peter's Spider-Man costume was damaged and he tried using the alien technology on the Beyonder's planet to repair it. The device he activated instead replaced it with an alien "symbiote" which transformed into a black version of Spider-Man's costume. Peter enjoyed the costume because of its shapeshifting abilities and how it provided him with an seemingly endless supply of webbing, but when Mr. Fantastic realized it was a living thing, Peter rejected it. The symbiote meanwhile latched on to Peter's rival, reporter Eddie Brock, transforming him into Venom, one of Spider-man's newest foes to date.
Parker eventually married Mary Jane Watson, and became a provisional member of the Avengers. They moved into a loft in the building that Harry Osborn and his family lived in, but eventually, Harry's father, Norman Osborn, returned, having moved overseas since faking his death. Osborn increased his mental terrorism on Peter and fought Peter as Spiderman in his identity as the Green Goblin. One of his most elaborate ruses to date was a partnership with the Jackal to convince Peter was a clone and thereby destroy his self-esteem and confidence. Peter's clone, Ben Reilly, who Peter had encountered years before returned, learned that he was the true Peter Parker and took over being Spider-Man. Peter willingly discarded heroics to live a happy life with Mary Jane and have a child with her, but Osborn became increasingly erratic and irrational as he tried to destroy Peter's happiness. He masterminded the disappearance of Peter's daughter, May, who was born stillborn and replaced his Aunt May with an actress who died. Peter eventually saw through enough of Osborn's fabrications and took over being Spider-Man again after Ben Reilly died.
Parker soon returned to his post graduate studies at ESU, but Spider-Man was soon framed for a crime he didn't commit by the Trapster. He created and discarded four alternate identities as Dusk, Hornet, Prodigy, and Ricochet to prove his innocence and faced the Trapster who confessed, publicly exonerating Spider-Man, at which point Parker resumed his identity as Spider-Man. His Aunt May soon turned up alive, and even discovered his identity as Spider-Man, but Mary Jane was becoming frustrated by Peter's dual identity. Peter promised to give up being Spider-Man, but she soon caught him sneaking out to indulge in heroics and walked out on him. Before Peter could reconcile their strained marriage, she was seemingly killed in a plane crash that was actually masterminded by millionaire Jonathan Craine, who had been stalking her prior to her airplane flight. Spider-Man soon found and rescued Mary Jane, but she left him to live on the West Coast and discern her feelings for him.
Spider-Man eventually became a full-time member of the Avengers, and Mary Jane returned to his life. To make ends meet, Parker turned to teaching at Midtown High School, his old alma mater. After the destruction of Aunt May's home, where he Peter and Mary Jane had been living, they all went to live in Avengers Tower owned by Tony Stark. Stark had grown fond of Peter, viewing him as a protégé. Spider-Man soon clashed with nearly immortal Morlun, who threatened to kill Mary Jane. Suffering from a mysterious terminal illness, Spider-Man managed to kill Morlun before dying himself, but Ezekial, his previous mentor, had taught him how to embrace his totemistic spider powers from the spider-god, Ananse, and he subsequently returned to life healed and restored to life with enhanced abilities and the ability to create webbing without his web-shooters.
To date, Spider-Man considers himself the protector of New York ,much as how
protects Gotham City, New Jersey. Alongside the Avengers, he has followed them
into facing both human, cosmic and interdimensional menaces.
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 165 lbs.
Strength Level: Spider-Man possesses superhuman strength enabling him to lift (press) around 20 tons under optimal conditions.
Know Superhuman Powers: Spider-Man possesses superhuman strength, reflexes, and equilibrium; the ability to cause parts of his body to stick with great tenacity to most surfaces; and a subconscious premonitional "danger" sense. The irradiated Common House Spider (Achaearanea tepidariorum) which bit Peter Parker was apparently already mutated from prior exposure to certain frequencies of radiation and received a final lethal dose during Parker's attendance of the exhibition. The radioactive, complex mutagenic enzymes in the spider's blood that were transferred at the time of the bite triggered numerous body-wide mutagenic changes within Parker.
Spider-Man's overall metabolic efficiency has been greatly increased, and the composition of his skeleton, inter-connected tissues, and nervous system have all been enhanced. His reflexes are faster than an average human by about an increased factor of 18 (he is often able to dodge bullets, if he is far enough away). Spider-Man is extraordinarily limber and his tendons and connective tissues are twice as elastic as the average human being's, despite their enhanced strength. He has developed a unique fighting style that makes full use of his agility, strength, and equilibrium.
Spider-Man apparently has the ability to mentally control the flux of inter-atomic attraction between molecular boundary layers. The ability to affect the attraction between surfaces is limited to Spider-Man's body (especially concentrated in his hands and feet) and another object, with an upper limit of several tons per finger.
Spider-Man possesses an extrasensory or "spider-sense" which warns him of potential immediate danger by a tingling sensation in the back of his skull. The precise nature of this sense is unknown. It appears to be a simultaneous clairvoyant response to a wide variety of phenomena (everything from falling safes to speeding bullets to thrown punches), which has given several hundredths of a second's warning, which is sufficient time for his reflexes to allow him to avoid injury. The sense also can create a general response on the order of several minutes: he cannot discern the nature of the threat by the sensation. He can, however, discern the severity of the danger by the strength of his response to it. Spider-Man's fighting style incorporates the advantage that his "spider-sense" provides him. Spider-Man can use his spider-sense to detect signals transmitted by his "spider-tracer" devices.
Spider-Man has since undergone a second possibly mystical mutation increasing his all of his previous strength, reflexes, endurance and resistance to injury levels. He now has a healing factor that allows him to recover within several minutes from any injury. The length of recovery time seems related to the severity of his injuries. Among these new heightened abilities, he can now produce silk from glands at the front of his forearms which have many of the same properties to the artificial webbing of his web-shooters except that that are more durable and take up to a week to degrade into inert gas. The silk is projected through spinnerets at the base of each wrist with a central web spigot orifice used for web-slinging and and drag lines, supplemented by several radial minor spigots to specialized glands for conjuring several forms, such as netting or swathing. The strength, tenacity and dexterity of his new organic webbing is limited to his health and nutrition. He can create webbing almost indefinitely in his prime of health, but as it declines, he tends to produce lesser quality webbing and his body tends to stop producing it, but these effects are not cumulative and heals itself as his health returns.
Spider-Man has also acquired a secondary mutation in the form of an ejectable stinger fired from his spinnerets which carry a polyamine venom capable of causing direct trauma and flaccid paralysis via interference with nerve impulse transmission. A typical sting can paralyze a normal adult human for several hours, but it has proved fatal in one known instance with Morlun. Theoretically, Spider-Man may be able to mentally control the dosage of poison in each sting, but this is uncertain. The stingers seem capable of even piercing the skin of individuals with certain degrees of imperviousness. Spider-Man has subconsciously extended stingers in response to stress, but he is still leaning greater control over them.
Spider-Man also has increased sensory awareness beyond even his "spider-sense." He has exceptional night vision and increased sensory awareness via tactile interpretation of vibratory patterns perceived through his web-lines and superhuman awareness of air movements across his body hairs. He can detect the proximity and direction of movements in his direction from the displaced air currents of those bodies to his presence.
Weaponry: Spider-Man formerly used web-shooters which were twin devices worn on his wrists which can shoot thin strands of a special “web fluid” at high pressure. The web fluid is a shear-thinning liquid (virtually solid until a shearing force is applied to it, rendering it fluid) whose exact formula is as yet unknown, but is related to nylon. On contact with air, the long-chain polymer knits and forms an extremely tough, flexible fiber with extraordinary adhesive properties. The web fluid’s adhesive quality diminishes rapidly with exposure to air. (Where it does not make contact with air, such as the attachment disk of the web-shooter, it remains very adhesive.) After about two hours, certain imbibed ether causes the solid form of the web fluid to dissolve into a powder. Because the fluid almost instantly sublimates from solid to liquid when under shear pressure, and is not adhesive in its anaerobic liquid/solid phase transition point, there is no clogging of the web-shooter’s parts.
The spinneret mechanism in the web-shooter is machined from stainless steel, except for the turbine component, which is machined out of a block of teflon and the two turbine bearings, which are made of amber and artificial sapphire. The wristlet and web fluid cartridges are mainly nickel-plated annealed brass. Spider-Man’s web cartridge belt is made out of brass and light leather and holds up to 30 cartridges. The cartridges are pressurized to 300 pounds per square inch and sealed with a bronze cap which is silver soldered closed. The wristlets have sharp steel nipples, which pierce the bronze cap when the cartridges are tightly wedged into their positions. The hand wound solenoid needle valve is actuated by a palm switch that is protected by a band of spring steel, which requires a 65 pound pressure to trigger. The switch is situated high on the palm to avoid most unwanted firings. A small battery compartment is protected by a rubber seal. The effect of the very small turbine pump vanes is to compress or shear the web fluid and then force it, under pressure, through the spinneret holes which cold-draws it (stretches it: the process wherein nylon gains a four-fold increase in tensile strength), then extrudes it through the air where it solidifies. As the web fluid exits the spinneret holes, it is attracted to itself electro-statically and thus can form complex shapes. The spinneret holes have three sets of adjustable, staggered openings around the turbine which permit a single web line, a more complex spun web line and a thick stream. The web line’s tensile strength is estimated to be 120 pounds per square millimeter of cross section. The 300 pounds per square inch of pressure in each cartridge is sufficient to force a stream of the complex web pattern an estimated 60 feet (significantly farther if shot in a ballistic parabolic arc).
Comments: Spider-Man was played by actor Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man (2005) and by Nicholas Hammond in the 1978 TV-Series. Andrew Garfield will play Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man (2012).
Spider-Man has numerous counterparts in various other realities, most notably in the Ultimate Universe.
Last updated: 08/15/11
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