Peter Benjamin Parker was born to C.I.A. agents Richard and Mary Parker, who were killed when Peter was very young. After the death of his parents, Peter was raised by his Uncle Ben and Aunt May in a modest house in Forest Hills, New York. While still in High School, Peter attended a science exhibition about radiology where he was bitten by a radioactive spider, granting him the proportionate strength and agility of a spider as well as a ” Spider-Sense” that warns him of nearby danger. In order to test his new abilities – and earn some cash, Peter participated in a wrestling challenge against Crusher Hogan. He easily won the challenge and also gained the attention of the media. Afterwards while backstage, Peter saw a burglar run past him but did nothing to stop him as it wasn’t his problem. Later that night when Peter arrived home, he was told by a policeman that his Uncle Ben had been murdered by someone who broke into their house. The cop mentioned they had tracked the killer to a warehouse. In his anger Peter put on his wrestling costume and went after the murderer himself. After arriving at the warehouse and easily defeating Uncle Ben’s killer, Peter saw that it was the same burglar he didn’t stop at the arena… thus learning that “with great power comes great responsibility”.
Peter Parker originally decided to use his powers to make money but after Uncle Ben’s death he decided to use his powers for good. In many ways, this makes Spider-Man less of the ‘boy scout’ character people think; the fact that he used his powers to have fun in the first place is something people can relate to. Initially, Peter Parker is shy and timid, but the Spider-Man alter-ego was a form of liberation and heroism, and he used it to gain confidence. However, he found the moral urge later, though some of his confidence and liberation remains, making him a sarcastic wise-guy.
He has a extremely powerful moral urge for good which is so strong that it made him stop working for the Pro-Registration side despite having his mentor and friends on said side.
He also has a very compassionate disposition that it can be said that he isn’t just the most compassionate in the Marvel Universe but also one of the most compassionate period.
One thing he is well known for is his humor something that has been known to greatly irritate his enemies and has sometimes even let him win the fight. Furthermore The combination of moral obligation, compassion, and humor makes him one of the most trustworthy, good people to hang out with.
The time between Spider-Man capturing the burglar that killed Uncle Ben and him becoming a superhero was told over 30 years after his origin when the Amazing Fantasy series was continued in 1995 by writer Kurt Busiek (#16-18, Dec. 1995 – Mar. 1996). After catching the burglar that killed Ben, Peter had given up being Spider-Man as it reminded him of his irresponsible behavior that ultimately led to his uncle’s death. Even though Maxie Shiffman, the agent he had hired when he was a costumed wrestler, was putting out ads to track down Spider-Man, Peter didn’t want anything to do with that life. Ben had been the only earner in the family and after his death Peter and his Aunt May were struggling for money. A salesman tried to con May into buying furniture that Ben had apparently left a deposit on before his death. Although the salesman had seemed genuine at the time, Peter caught Mr. Vale pulling the same stunt on an old widower when he was swinging through the city in his Spider-Man costume to clear his head. Spider-Man followed Mr. Vale to a warehouse where he discovered a whole gang of organized criminals led by The Undertaker. Spider-Man challenged the gang and soon had them rounded up for the police. Chronologically this was the first time Spider-Man had been threatened with a gun. More significantly, during the fight he discovered his Spider-Sense for the first time. Capturing these criminals lead Peter to believe that this is how he has to make up for Uncle Ben’s death, by using his powers to help others.
Spider-Man became a force for good, from stopping muggings to rescuing workers at a construction site. These heroic activities also gained him positive media attention but he still didn’t want to get back in show business. Even after Shiffman told him they could make millions, Peter chose responsibility over money. His heroism had also earned Spider-Man a certain fan named Flash Thompson. Spider-Man soon encountered another teenager with superpowers of her own and he and Joey Pulaski became friends. However it turned out that Joey was working for The Kingpin and the friends inevitably clashed, resulting in Joey’s defeat and arrest. Although portrayed as just a misguided kid, chronologically Joey Pulaski was the first super powered being Spider-Man had encountered.
After defeating Joey Spider-Man’s fame rose further. One day after seeing his aunt continue to struggle with the household finances, Peter finally decided he had to bring in some money. He contacted Maxie Shiffman who booked him an interview on a TV show. Spider-Man was given the slot of astronaut John Jameson much to the vexation of his father, publicist J. Jonah Jameson. As the host began to introducing the show’s guests he was attacked by the super powered villain Supercharger, who announced he will kill everyone in the audience to prove how dangerous super powered beings were. Spider-Man had never encountered a super villain before and thought real super heroes should deal with this. He attempted to call The Fantastic Four but after Supercharger attacked someone in the audience, Spider-Man stepped in and defeated his first super villain. “because that’s what super heroes do”.
Peter’s first super-villain confrontation was with a communist spy called the Chameleon who could disguise himself as anyone. He attempted to disguise himself as Spider-Man and steal some important documents but he was defeated by the debuting hero, restoring his good name. Peter went on to get a job at the Daily Bugle as a photographer, selling photos to J. Jonah Jameson even though they were usually used against him. He eventually fought his second super villain, The Vulture. Due to his inexperience, Spider-Man was defeated but when the villain got cocky, Spider-Man used a gadget of his own to defeat The Vulture. Spider-Man then had his first confrontation with his most dangerous villain yet, the tentacled madman known as Doctor Octopus. Spider-Man was defeated by the more powerful Doctor Octopus in their initial encounter which caused Peter to doubt himself for the first time. He was encouraged by a speech given by the Human Torch to keep on fighting. Spider-Man managed to defeat the villain by knocking him out with one punch to the jaw, since Ock’s powers came only from his tentacles. He would follow up this victory by fighting the shape shifting Sandman, the lethal Lizard, who is actually Peter’s mentor and friend Curt Connors, the Enforcers, Electro, Mysterio, Kraven the Hunter, Doctor Doom, and his soon to-be arch-nemesis the Green Goblin.
After being defeated on two more occasions by Spider-Man, Doctor Octopus became more determined to defeat his foe and formed the Sinister Six, a group consisting of five other villains who all share the same grudge against the young hero. Ock had each villain face Spider-Man individually so that every member could reap the glory of Spider-Man’s death, but he secretly devised this plan to ensure the other villains’ defeat each time. After rendering Spider-Man tired, Otto lured him to a fight by kidnapping Aunt May and Betty Brant. Despite everything, Spider-Man came out victorious and saved the two hostages. On his high school graduation, Spider-Man battled the Molten Man, who would turn out to be the stepbrother of Liz Allen. During his early career, Spider-Man would frequently team up with other heroes such as Daredevil, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and the Human Torch in particular. Peter and Betty broke up after her brother was killed. She couldn’t bear the thought of losing another loved one as she feared that Peter would die while taking pictures of Spider-Man. She later settled in with Ned Leeds.
After suffering numerous defeats at the hands of Spider-Man, the Green Goblin vowed to destroy his foe once and for all. Using a special gas that blocks Peter’s Spider-Sense, the Goblin followed Peter around and discovered his secret identity. Now knowing Peter was Spider-Man, the Green Goblin kidnapped him, and although he has the chance to kill Peter, the Goblin instead revealed his own secret identity. He was Norman Osborn, a ruthless businessman who was also Harry’s father. Norman released Spider-Man from his restraints to defeat him in combat and prove his superiority. The Web-Slinger managed to defeat him and knocked him into some chemicals, resulting in Norman having amnesia and no recollection of both his and Peter’s alternate egos.
Spider-Man also fought the Rhino, Shocker, and the Scorpion. At one point, Peter felt that he was unable to carry the burden of being Spider-Man any longer and considered retiring from super-heroics. When the Kingpin of Crime made his move to take over the city, Peter knew that it was still his responsibility to protect the innocent and so he defeated this crime-lord and returned to crime fighting.
At the end of the Silver Age, Norman Osborn’s memories began to flood back. He decided to hurt Peter as much as possible as the Green Goblin. He kidnapped Gwen Stacy and held her hostage at the Brooklyn Bridge. Spider-Man went to save Gwen and, despite being ill at the time, managed to defeat the Goblin. The Goblin threw Gwen off the bridge and, although Peter caught her by attaching a web line to her leg as she fell, the drop caused her neck to snap. As Spider-Man held Gwen’s dead body, he vowed to kill the Goblin. He tracked him down to one of his warehouses. He brutally pummeled the Goblin in a fit of rage but managed to stop himself from committing murder. In one last attempt to achieve victory, Norman sent his Goblin Glider to impale Spider-Man from behind. Peter ducks and the Goblin is apparently killed from being impaled by his own glider. Mary Jane consoled Peter on the death of Gwen and the two started to date. Peter eventually proposed to her, but she refused and ended up breaking up with him. At this time Miles Warren, a college professor obsessed with Gwen became the deranged villain known as the Jackal. He hired the Punisher to kill Spider-Man and he also made copies of both Gwen and Peter. The Peter copy escaped and Gwen’s copy eventually went back to Miles. Harry Osborn followed in the footsteps of his father and became the next Green Goblin. He blamed Peter for his father’s death. Harry later lost his memory after a fight with Spider-Man. Harry’s psychologist, Bart Hamilton attempted to take up the mantle of the Goblin himself but was killed by his own bomb while fighting Peter.
Secret Wars and the Symbiote
The Beyonder transported Spider-Man along with other heroes and villains to Battleworld to take place in the Secret Wars, an intergalactic battle between the world’s greatest heroes and villains. During the battle, Spider-Man’s suit was badly damaged and he needed a new one. Peter came upon a strange machine that produced a black substance which slithered over him and covered his entire body. This new black and white costume, similar to Arachne’s costume, replaced his old costume. Once the heroes won the battle, they were all transported back to Earth and Spider-Man kept on wearing the suit because it enhanced his strength, speed, and agility. He would start experiencing odd signs of fatigue and became even more concerned when he discovered that the suit produced organic webbing. He took the suit to Reed Richards who told him that it’s actually a living alien symbiote, which can only survive by bonding to a host and draining their life-force away. Reed used a sonic emitter to separate Peter from the suit. Spider-Man was now without a costume and Johnny Storm, as part of a practical joke, gave Peter an old Fantastic Four costume with a paper bag for a mask and dubbed him the Bombastic Bag-Man. Admiring the black suit’s design, Spider-Man’s then-girlfriend and crime-fighting partner the Black Cat made him a cloth version of the black costume which he would start using for a time. The symbiote made its way back to Peter and attempted to permanently bond with him, but Peter used the sounds of a church bell to seemingly destroy the suit. It survived and found a host in Eddie Brock to become one of Spider-Man’s deadliest and most recurring foes, Venom.
The reporter Eddie Brock had accused the Sin-Eater as one man. He then became very angry with Spider-Man, when the webslinger unmasked Sin-Eater and it turned out to be a different person. This caused Brock professional humiliation and the loss of his job. When Eddie bonded with the symbiote and became Venom, Eddie launched several attacks on Peter’s life, even scaring MJ. Peter stopped wearing the black suit following MJ’s request. Eddie’s symbiote had an offspring which bonded with Cletus Kasady, a psychotic murderer, to become Carnage. Venom and Spider-Man were forced to team-up to defeat this new foe. Some time later, Peter and Eddie formed a truce, promising never to interfere with each others lives ever again.
Death of Harry Osborn
Harry Osborn’s memories of being the Green Goblin came flooding back and he attempted to ruin Peter’s life one more time. Before destroying a building that contained Peter, MJ and his son Normie, Harry regained his sanity and managed to save them. Immediately after doing so, he died from being poisoned by the Goblin Formula.
After Harry’s death, Peter decided to retire from super-heroics. After Carnage formed a team of other psychopaths and went on a bloody rampage around New York, Spider-Man was forced to team-up with his old foe Venom again. The two of them, along with other heroes, managed to stop them.
The Clone Saga
In the Clone Saga, a controversial story arc, the long lost Jackal-made copy of Peter Parker returns. For years he was believed to have died after his initial encounter with the real Peter Parker. The clone, who is now calling himself Ben Reilly spent years traveling the world as he knew there was no place for him in New York City again. When his aunt May was believed to be dying, Ben returned to New York and eventually met Peter Parker. At first the two fought and Peter saw Ben as a thread, but later on the two of them worked together, with Ben even taken over as Spider-man for some time when it was believed that Peter had lost his powers. It was also during this time that aunt May seemingly died of old age. Before she passed away, she told Peter that she had known about him being Spider-man for some time now. Years later, it would be revealed that it was not aunt May that had died, but a stand in that was the work of Norman Osborn. Peter remained out of super-heroin for some time, untill his powers seemingly returned and he and the Scarlet Spider fought side by side for some time. The story arc lasted for two years and ended with the death of Ben Reilly at the hands of a returning Norman Osborn who was revealed to be alive and has been pulling strings from the moment he was believed to have died. On that day, Peter felt to have lost a brother. Although Norman Osborn was defeated, it was far from the last thing that was heard from him. With his powers fully returned, Peter resumed his work as the Amazing Spider-Man once again.
The Identity Crisis
After this saga, the Identity Crisis story takes place in which Spider-Man is accused by a returned Norman Osborn of murder and a bounty is put on his head. This is done by Norman Osborn, whom had cleared his name as a criminal when he proclaimed that he was not really the Green Goblin, but was set up by this criminal. He had taken over the Daily Bugle and put a price on Spider-Man’s head in the newspaper. This lead to a variate of bounty-hunters to attack Spider-Man. Feeling it to dangerous for himself and his loved ones to remain the hero he is, Peter retires from being Spider-Man and forms four different identities which he uses to keep on helping people and in the meantime clear his name. Eventually Peter’s name was cleared and he returned to being Spider-Man.
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