Who wants to see a teen-age superhero? The answer to which of course turned out to be millions of young readers, but at that time when comic book shelves were full of scientists and adult superhero teams the decision to create a comic book starring a high school kid was a bit of a risk. Peter Parker was to be no kid sidekick but a hero in his own right. He was not a millionaire playboy or a super soldier but just a guy with the same kind of problems we all face, well maybe a few extra ones. Stan Lee created a character that most of his readers could really relate to and what also cannot be understated is the importance of Steve Ditko’s costume design which was eye-catching and iconic.\
The most startling change was in 1984 when Spider-Man and slew of other heroes and villains were whisked away to fight in the Secret Wars for a godlike being called The Beyonder. His traditional red and blue suit was damaged and when he attempted to have it repaired by one of the mysterious machines provided he unknowingly exchanged his costume for a shape-shifting alien symbiote that would eventually become one of his greatest enemies.
Peter David and artist Rick Leonardi re-imagined a futuristic wall-crawler taking place in the year 2099 where brilliant geneticist Miguel O’Hara, while trying to replicate the powers of the original Spider-Man, has a lab accident that once again results in the creation of another super powered crime fighter. You’ve got to love science!
Now of course Spidey’s look and even story structure has had many more adjustments over the years whether in the numerous comic book titles bearing his name or in his eventual leap to the big screen but his first foray off the pages of his comic was in the late sixties…
Actor Paul Soles did excellent work providing both Peter Parker and Spider-Man’s with distinctive voices and until J.K. Simmons came along in the Sam Raimi trilogy Paul Kligman was the definitive J. Jonah Jameson. The show did suffer from budgetary problems and at times lifted entire animated sections from Rocket Robin Hood but it was still a fantastically fun show and a major part of my childhood. Though even as a kid I occasionally wondered what the hell Spider-Man’s web lines were attached to as he swung above the New York Skyline.
The Amazing Spider-Man (1977-1979)
Worse is that they couldn’t even get his powers right. In the comics his Spider-Sense warns him of danger while in this show when arriving at a murder scene Peter receives a flashback of the crime being committed the night before. So basically this Spider-Man has some bullshit psychic abilities. Despite the show having surprisingly decent ratings it was cancelled by CBS because they were starting to be labeled the “Super Hero Network” as they had such shows as The Incredible Hulk and Wonder Woman as well as other failed attempts like Captain America and Doctor Strange. Why this bothered them when it was making them money is beyond me. True fans of Spider-Man were certainly not saddened by this early cancellation of this incarnation.
Everything is better with giant robots.
He may not be the Green Goblin, but I’m not complaining.
“Spider-Man, where are you coming from?”
Back to the drawing board.
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
When Titans Clash!
A perfect storm of suck.
The Spectacular Spider-Man (2008-2009)
Costume manufactured by Cirque du Soleil
But I’m sorry, this is not the Rhino.
“It’s time to play the music. It’s time light the lights.”
Hit or Myth?
Rogue’s Gallery or Village People?