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. He’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
Peter’s parents are widely known as two of the most mysterious parents in the comics. They would however be known to Nick Fury as they were actually S.H.I.E.L.D agents, who died in a plane crash thanks to Red Skull, shortly after Peter’s birth. Believe it or not, they once saved the life of Wolverine!
2. Spider-Man’s Many Girlfriends
Everyone knows about Mary Jane Watson and Gwen Stacy. If you’re a Spider-fan you might already know of Liz Allen, his very first high-school crush. Let’s not forget his on-again-off-again romantic interest with master burglar, Black Cat, too! Peter’s first wasn’t Gwen as many assume, but Betty Brant, who died when a fight with Doc Ock turned ugly.
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 acted more like Batman than Spider-Man. The Spider was a pulp hero and crime fighter in the 30’s and 40’s who was created by Harry Steeger and appeared in a series of pulp magazines.
4. Spider-Man had Different Names
What else inspired Stan Lee to create the legendary Spider-Man? After seeing a fly crawl up a wall at Marvel’s offices, the Marvel icon started scratching up ideas for his next big hero. Believe it or not, your friendly neighbourhood hero started off with a variety of different names including “Stick-to-Wall Man”, “Insect-Man”, “Fly-Man”, and “Mosquito-Man”.
5. Michael Jackson loved Spider-Man
The King of Pop was such a huge fan of the web-slinger, he even tried to buy the Marvel company in the 90’s 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. Damn it, Spidey would have looked cool doing the moonwalk.
6. Spidey’s Unique X-Men Connection
The Avengers and the X-Men rarely get along, sometimes going as far as fighting each other. But Spider-Man has something of a special relationship with the X-Men, being long-time pals with Wolverine but also empathising with the way mutants are excluded which few other Avengers can relate. We may not see their worlds collide on the big screen but Spidey and Wolverine have somewhat of a unique bond in the comics.
7. 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 which are Avengers or Defenders offshoots.
8. He Made Marvel go Bankrupt
Ask any comic-book fan what one of the worst arcs were 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.
9. He has a Costume Designed by Iron Man
Spider-Man has quite the wardrobe, but none of his outfits are perhaps more recognizable than the Iron Spider costume. Given to him by Tony Stark during a short run as his protégé, the Iron Spider was a Stark-ified upgrade of the red and blue suit, which he ditched during Civil War. The elaborate costume impressed fans thanks to its three protruding spider legs and different colors. Peter only wears it when Nick Fury gives him permission or when in an emergency. In fact, there was an Easter Egg for it in Spider Man: Homecoming.
10. Doctor Octopus Spent Time Inside his 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 (aka Otto) 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.
11. Peter Has Exposed His 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. When the web-head revealed himself to be Peter Parker at a press conference in front of the whole world, in the Civil War arc, his boss J.J.J. was so shocked at the revelation 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 said. No biggie, right? *panic mode on*
12. Peter has Worked Many Jobs
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 protégé for Tony Stark.
13. His Sperm Killed Mary Jane
Yep, you read that right. This might just be the most disturbing Marvel trivia yet. Did you know that Spidey’s, erm, sperm killed his lover, MJ? As many 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. Deep.
14. The Alternative Japanese Spider Man
While we’ve seen many different Spider-Man actors over the years, practically a whole different universe is the 1970’s, 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. I wonder if Peter Parker knows he exists…
15f. 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 neighbourhood of Queens so who knows, maybe Aunt May celebrates Hanukkah.
Are there any cool facts about Spider-Man that wowed you? Let us know in the comments!
Want more from the Spidey-universe? Check out our list of the greatest and most hidden Easter Eggs in all Spider-Man movies!