Ever since he came swinging onto the scene in August of 1962, the amazing Spider-Man has been one of Marvel’s most beloved heroes.
Spidey’s been everywhere, done everything and has an extremely storied history within the superhero community of the Marvel Universe.
From his special bond with Wolverine (and Michael Jackson) to his secret Japanese substitute, we’ve listed the coolest Spider-Man facts all web-heads should know…
1. Peter’s Parents Were S.H.I.E.L.D Agents
In Marvel comics, Peter’s parents are widely known as two of the most mysterious parents. They are, however, known to Nick Fury, as they were actually S.H.I.E.L.D agents, who died in a plane crash, shortly after Peter’s birth. Bonus Spider-Man fact? Believe it or not, his parents once saved the life of Wolverine!
2. Michael Jackson Wanted to be Spider-Man
The King of Pop was such a huge fan of the web-slinger, he tried to buy the Marvel company in the ‘90s, but the deal didn’t fall through, due to the asking price of $1 billion.
That’s not all, Michael Jackson wanted to play Spider-Man, and even approached Stan Lee several times about buying the film rights. Just imagine Spidey doing the moonwalk…
3. He Wasn’t The First ‘Spider’
One of the key inspirations for Spider-Man according to Marvel creator, Stan Lee, was billionaire Richard Wentworth, a.k.a. ‘The Spider’, who wasn’t enhanced, and actually acted more like Batman than Spider-Man.
‘The Spider’ was a pulp hero and crime fighter in the ‘30s and ‘40s, who was created by Harry Steeger and appeared in a series of pulp magazines.
3. Peter’s Sperm Killed Mary Jane
Yep, you read that right. This might just be the most disturbing Marvel trivia yet. But did you know that Spidey’s, erm, sperm killed his lover, MJ?
As some already knew, Peter’s long dead wife died of cancer. In the 2006 “Reign” storyline however, it’s revealed that it was Spidey’s radioactive sperm which triggered the illness.
Turns out he’s a killer in bed. Ouch?
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4. He’s Been a Part of the Fantastic Four
If Peter’s resume wasn’t impressive enough, the list of groups he’s worked for certainly is. Beyond the Avengers, he’s been part of the Future Foundation, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Heroes for Hire and about half a dozen other groups. Most of which are Avengers or Defenders offshoots. Now, that’s a comic fact you never knew until today!
5. Spider-Man Made Marvel Bankrupt
Ask any comic-book fan what one of the worst arcs was, and they might point out the dreaded “Clone Saga.”
This convoluted arc about Peter not being the ‘real’ Peter, 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.
6. Spidey Has a Unique X-Men Connection
The Avengers and the X-Men rarely get along, sometimes going as far as battling each other in the comics. But Spider-Man has something of a special relationship with the X-Men.
He’s long-time pals with Wolverine, but he also empathizes with the way mutants are excluded, which few other Avengers can relate to.
We’ve not seen their worlds collide on the big screen yet, but Spidey and Wolverine have somewhat of a unique bond in the comics.
7. Doctor Octopus ‘Lived’ Inside Spidey’s Head
One of the most significant arcs in Spider-Man history is “The Superior Spider-Man”, where for a time, the mind of Doc Ock inhabited Peter’s body.
It was temporary, but in this span of time, Ock as Peter established his own company ‘Parker Industries,’ (which he ran until an Ock duplicate broke it) and led the life of a more mature, grown-up Parker.
When he realized that Peter’s consciousness still lived within his body, Otto sacrificed himself, allowing Peter to be the true Superior Spider-Man.
8. Every Spider-Man Has Dated His On-Screen Partner
Here’s one of the more interesting Spider-Man facts…
Have you realized that every Spider-Man actor has dated his on-screen love interest? Tobey Maguire dated Kirstin Dunst (Mary Jane)…Andrew Garfield dated Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy)…Tom Holland is now dating Zendaya (MJ).
We think it’s safe to say that playing the role of Peter Parker is every guy’s dream…
9. His First Nemesis Was the Chameleon
Non-comic readers know Spider-Man’s iconic Marvel villains like Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus. But Spidey’s first comic adversary, was The Chameleon, who appeared in “The Amazing Spider-Man #1” in 1963.
He’s basically a wizard with disguises, and is also related to popular Spider-Man villain, Kraven the Hunter.
10. Peter Has Exposed His Own Identity
For the longest time, Spider-Man’s identity was one of the well-kept secrets of New York. Aside from his super-friends, no one knew who he was. In the comics, the web-head revealed himself to be Peter Parker at a press conference in front of the whole world.
In this “Civil War” arc, his boss J.J.J. was so shocked at the revelation, that he fell off his chair and passed out. “My name is Peter Parker and I’ve been Spider-Man since I was 15 years-old,” he revealed.
11. Tom Holland Predicted He Would Play Spider-Man…Alongside Jake Gyllenhaal
This may be one of the wildest Spider-Man facts! A resurfaced video from years ago sees Tom Holland express his interest in playing Spider-Man one day.
Then-16-year-old Tom is asked if he’d like to ever play a superhero. He replies, “What kind of superhero would I want to play? Maybe Spider-Man, in like ten years time, maybe.”
In another interview, Tom even answers, “Jake Gyllenhaal,” after being asked, “If you could be in a movie with 3 actors alive or dead who would you pick?”
Gyllenhaal would later play Mysterio in Far From Home alongside Tom. #Mindblown
12. Peter Has Worked Many Jobs
Here’s yet another of our fun Spider-Man facts! Throughout his career as a professional superhero, Peter has been more than a freelance photographer.
His resume also includes being engineer at Horizon Labs, a guidance counselor at the Jean Grey School, a science teacher, and of course, a protégé for Tony Stark.
13. There’s a ‘Star Wars’ Easter Egg in ‘Homecoming’
Star Wars and Marvel are connected in more ways than you think! As a cool Marvel Easter Egg in Spider-Man: Homecoming, there are several toys and action figures from Star Wars which can be spotted in Peter’s bedroom. That’s not all. You may recall seeing Ned holding a LEGO Death Star model, too.
14. Red Skull Killed Peter’s Parents
Many Spider-Man fans know that in comic lore, Peter’s parents died in a plane crash. What some don’t realize though, is that this was thanks to Red Skull.
In the comics, the Parkers spend time spying on Albert Malik, who has taken up the Red Skull mantle as a successor to the original. When Malik discovers them, he arranges for the plane crash that kills them.
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15. There’s a Japanese Spider-Man
While we’ve seen many different Spider-Man actors over the years, a practically whole different universe is the 1970s, Japanese take on the hero. Instead of being a freelancer, Takuya Yamashiro is a motorcyclist, enhanced by the genes and suit of a spider-themed alien.
He has a special motorbike, car, and even a spaceship that turns into a giant robot to fight evil with. We want to know if Peter Parker knows he exists?
16. Spider-Man Might be Jewish
Ever wondered about Spider-Man’s nationality? Peter Parker has been one of the more subdued when it comes to personal faith, however, he is rather well-versed in spouting Yiddish.
His aunt’s Forest Hills home happens to be a predominantly Jewish neighborhood of Queens, so who knows, maybe Aunt May celebrates Hanukkah.
17. ‘Far From Home’ References Captain America
In Spider-Man: Far From Home, there is some fun homage to none other than Captain America!
In what is yet another Easter Egg in Spider-Man movies, Happy sneaks Peter’s classmates into a safe room during Mysterio’s drone attack, where he throws a shield at one of the ambushing threats, shouting, “Argh…how does Cap do that?”
The shield obviously drops to the floor, because, well, Happy doesn’t have Super Soldier Serum. Still fun!
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18. Stan Lee’s Idea Was Inspired by a Fly
“Wow, suppose a person has the power to stick to the wall like an insect.” This is how Stan Lee reacted to seeing a fly crawling on the wall of his office one day, and it’s from that tiny, everyday moment that Spider-Man was born.
Lee thought of a superhero name that would suit the idea, rejecting the likes of ‘Mosquito Man’ and ‘Insect Man’, before landing on our beloved Spidey.
19. Sam Raimi’s Film Posters Were Recalled After 9/11
Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man film was released just over six months following the September 11th attacks in America. Many may not know that this timing impacted the promotion of the film.
Initial posters for the film featured a close-up of Spider-Man with the World Trade Center’s twin towers reflected in his eyes. These posters were recalled following the attacks.
20. Spider-Man Fought With the Transformers
Fans are used to crossover team-ups between superheroes and their various squads. But most don’t think of the Transformers as being part of the Marvel empire.
In the comics, Spider-Man actually teams up with the Transformers. Specifically, in the “Prisoners Of War!” issue of Transformers comics, Spidey joins forces with the Autobots to help save Sparkplug from Megatron. (Might make for a fun film, no?)
21. Peter Turned Into a Spider…And Birthed Himself
As recalled in detail over at ScreenRant, “The Spectacular Spider-Man Vol. 2 #16” sees Peter infected by the mysterious villain ‘Queen,’ and gradually transform into a real spider. The spider is then revealed to be pregnant, with…Peter.
Sometimes, comics don’t have to make a whole lot of sense, but even in Marvel lore, this one’s pretty weird.
22. He’s Obama’s Favorite Superhero
Spider-Man meets politics? Former U.S. President Barack Obama has never been shy about his opinions on pop culture and entertainment. He has spoken at times about his favorite superheroes – with Batman and Spider-Man atop the list. Obama even appeared in a special issue of the comics in 2009.
23. The Spider That Bit Peter Bit Cindy Moon
We’re all familiar with the origin story of Peter Parker being bitten by an enhanced spider. Those who haven’t read the comics deeply, however, won’t know that in one version of this story, the same spider bit someone else.
That someone was Cindy Moon, who gained Spider-Man-like powers and ultimately became Silk – a powerful superhero in her own right.
24. The Lunch Tray Scene Was Real
Remember the famous scene in Spider-Man when Peter Parker saves Mary Jane from a fall, launches his lunch tray, and then secures the tray and catches his lunch on it?
The scene is one of many depicting Peter’s discovery of his Spidey powers. But it’s also something Tobey Maguire actually did! It supposedly required 156 takes. Without any special effects, just “sticky glue stuff to stick his hand to the tray”.
25. Spider-Man Has A Pesticide Kryptonite
We all know that Spider-Man is pretty tough to kill. Insect strength blown up to human scale will do that for you. But Spider-Man does share some insect vulnerability.
Specifically, he has a sort of kryptonite in the form of ethyl chloride, a sort of pesticide not used so much as “bug spray,” but to treat bug bites and burns.
26. Leonardo DiCaprio Was Almost Spider-Man
Here’s one of the more surprising Spider-Man facts which has flown under the radar. It’s believed that a young Leonardo DiCaprio once circled the role of Peter Parker.
This iteration would have been part of a James Cameron Spider-Man film that was discussed in the ‘90s (and which supposedly influenced Raimi’s 2002 film a few years later).
27. He’s a Secret Character In ‘Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2’
Here’s a fun fact about Spider-Man! In the video game Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, players have the chance to play a range of real-life skaters like Tony Hawk and Bon Burnquist.
Well, the game also has a few special characters that can only be unlocked via achievement, and one is Spider-Man. Once you complete the game, you can skate around as Spidey!
28. Arnold Schwarzenegger Was James Cameron’s Doc Ock
As mentioned, James Cameron once toyed with making a Spider-Man film – one he’s called the greatest film he never made. And while Leo DiCaprio might have played Peter Parker in the film, he wasn’t the only big-name actor in the mix.
Various reports have indicated that Arnold Schwarzenegger would have been involved, likely as ‘Doc Ock’ himself! No wonder Cameron sees this as the one that got away.
29. Shailene Woodley Was Mary Jane In ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’
Unlike Sam Raimi’s trilogy which had Mary Jane Watson as Peter Parker’s romantic partner, the Marc Webb films focused instead on Gwen Stacy.
Even so, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 originally included scenes in which Mary Jane appeared, and was played by Shailene Woodley.
The plan was for MJ to have a role in subsequent films, but she was ultimately cut in editing – and The Amazing Spider-Man 3 never happened.
30. Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine Nearly Made a Cameo
With 2000’s X-Men having already come out by the time 2002’s Spider-Man was gearing up for the big screen, it might not shock you to learn this fun Spider-Man fact!
There was talk of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine character making an appearance! Jackman revealed in 2013 that the cameo likely would have been something of a gag – like the ones he’s since delivered in other Marvel films.
31. Peter’s First Love Was Betty Brant
Spider-Man has had many love interests over the course of his films, such as Mary Jane, MJ, Gwen Stacy and even Liz Allen.
In the comics, however, Peter’s first love is actually Betty Brant, a Daily Bugle secretary. She’s actually appeared in both the Raimi trilogy (Elizabeth Banks) and the MCU (Angourie Rice), but never as a romantic partner.
32. ‘Homecoming’ Made Fun of Deadpool
If there’s one fact about Deadpool we all know, it’s that he likes to tease other heroes in the Marvel Universe. But this time around, a Spider-Man movie (Homecoming) made fun of Wade Wilson, instead.
While playing “f**k, marry, kill” between the Avengers with friends, Peter Parker’s love interest, Liz, reveals that she’s attracted to Spider-Man.
Her friends then point out that she has no clue what he looks like underneath his mask – he may even be covering up severe burns, a nod to Deadpool whose superhero costume covers up his scars.
Are there any cool facts about Spider-Man that wowed you? What trivia have we left out about Marvel’s beloved hero? Let us know in the comments!
This article was originally published in January 2018.
There are sections of this article that were written by Angela Stephanou.