Peter Benjamin Parker
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, the Amazing Spider-Man, the Sensational Spider-Man, the Spectacular Spider-Man, "Tiger," Spidey, Webhead, Webslinger, Wall-crawler, "Little Man"; formerly "the Amazing Octo-Spidey", Bag-Man, "Bookworm," Captain Universe, Dusk, Hornet, Mad Dog #336, Man-Spider, Prodigy, "Puny Parker," Ricochet, Scarlet Spider, Spider-Hulk, Spider-Phoenix
Place of Birth
Forest Hills, New York
Amazing Fantasy #15 (1962)
Amazing Fantasy #15 (1962)
To help his Aunt May with finances, Peter took a freelance job at the Daily Bugle selling pictures of himself as Spider-Man to publisher J. Jonah Jameson. Despite Spider-Man rescuing his son, astronaut John Jameson, from a malfunctioning space capsule, Jonah used his newspaper to publicly condemn Spider-Man as a menace. Unlike heroes like the Fantastic Four or the Avengers, Spider-Man was mistrusted and feared by the public. At school, his popularity was no greater, as "Puny Parker" frequently clashed with bully Flash Thompson and his followers. Flash's girlfriend, Liz Allan, often complicated matters, harboring a crush on "Petey" and making Flash jealous.
Spider-Man soon found himself facing a rogue's gallery of powerful thieves, gangsters, and megalomaniacs including the Chameleon, the Tinkerer, the Vulture (Adrian Toomes), Doctor Octopus (Otto Octavius), the Sandman, Doctor Doom, and Electro. In Florida, he befriended Dr. Curtis Connors after administering an antidote to reverse his transformation into the terrible Lizard. Though he had many enemies, he also shared adventures with the Fantastic Four (including rival the Human Torch), the Avengers, the X-Men and Daredevil. At the Daily Bugle, he discovered a friend and his first love, Jameson's secretary, Betty Brant. Even more villains clashed with Spider-Man including the Green Goblin, the Big Man and the Enforcers, Mysterio (Quentin Beck), and Kraven the Hunter. Dating Betty became awkward after her brother, Bennett, was murdered in a clash between Doctor Octopus and Spider-Man. Betty at first held Spider-Man responsible. Though she later recanted, the thought of Spider-Man reminded her of losing her brother. At home, Aunt May suffered a heart attack, causing Spider-Man to abandon a fight with the Green Goblin. For a while after, the public viewed Spider-Man as a coward, before he made a comeback. May's fragile health and poor finances, however, remain a lingering concern. Frustrated by their defeats at the hand of Spider-Man, six of his top villains gathered forces under Doctor Octopus to form the Sinister Six. Through wits and determination, Spider-Man defeated the group one at a time.
Peter Parker’s confidence gradually increased. At the same time, his relationship with Betty crumbled as handsome reporter Ned Leeds stole her heart. Jameson took his campaign against Spider-Man to a new level, sponsoring the creation of the deranged Scorpion, under Dr. Farley Stillwell. Though the Scorpion turned on Jameson, the publisher persisted with attacks against Spider-Man, and rented the first of a series of robotic Spider Slayers invented by Dr. Spencer Smythe. Spider-Man was able to use his technical know-how to defeat the Slayer. While Aunt May persisted with attempts to introduce Peter to Mary Jane Watson, the niece of neighbor Anna Watson, Spider-Man tackled organized crime led by the Crime Master and the Green Goblin. Tired of the Bugle's harassment, Peter tried selling pictures for the Daily Globe but gave up when the Globe's editor proved too nosy.
While Aunt May convalesced, Peter relaxed and befriended Harry and Gwen. Soon after, the Green Goblin negated Spider-Man's spider-sense, and kidnapped him. There, the Goblin revealed himself to be Harry's father, Norman. The two battled, but Spider-Man triumphed knocking the Goblin into live wires and chemicals. Norman was left with partial amnesia, blocking his memories of being Goblin and of Spider-Man's identity.
The Avengers invited Spider-Man to join their ranks, but after facing the Hulk, he declined the offer, preferring the freedom of working alone. Meanwhile, Peter could no longer evade meeting Mary Jane. Assuming the worst, Peter was stunned to discover she was both gorgeous and vivacious. Their first date involved riding into the city on Pete's new motorcycle take pictures of the Rhino. After another battle with the Lizard and new foe, the Shocker, Peter moved into Harry's apartment, rent free. Despite his new found independence, happiness eluded him. Worn out by Jameson's editorials, the public's fear of him, Aunt May's fragile health, slipping grades, and floundering love life, Peter decided to become Spider-Man no more. While Peter enjoyed time studying, and being with friends and family, crime escalated as the Kingpin's initiated his master plan to oversee the criminal underworld. After Peter rescued a watchman resembling Uncle Ben from two robbers, he renewed his vow to never let an innocent come to harm because he failed to act. Subsequently, Spider-Man battled the Kingpin, Doctor Octopus (who became Aunt May's boarder), a new Vulture, a new Spider Slayer, and Mysterio. He and the Human Torch went to Hollywood where they tackled Mysterio and the Wizard.
Though Peter dated MJ on occasion, he soon fell for the more serious-minded Gwen, causing tension between Harry and himself. Peter met Gwen's father, retired police Captain George Stacy, who studied Spider-Man, and questioned Peter about his first-hand experience. The Kingpin brainwashed Capt. Stacy (using Norman Osborn's equipment) into stealing police records. After Peter published pictures exposing Stacy, the Kingpin kidnapped George and Gwen. Spider-Man and Osborn rescued the two, but the Kingpin escaped. The Kingpin next focused on stealing a legendary stone tablet but Spider-Man retrieved it, and left it with Capt. Stacy. The Shocker stole it back, and Dr. Connors was forced by Man Mountain Marko to translate it for an aged gangster, Silvermane. Connors revealed a formula for a youth potion. Silvermane drank the liquid, and became a young man again. Tragically, he could not stop the de-aging process, and shrank so small, he ultimately disappeared. Meanwhile, the stress on Dr. Connors triggered a transformation again. After a fierce melee across the city, with unwelcome help from the Human Torch, Spider-Man rescued Connors.
Gwen blamed Spider-Man for her father's death. Peter's conscience, already tormented by the ever present need to lie to Gwen, became even more troubled. Yet their love prevailed through life's challenges - including Harry's drug addiction, and Spider-Man's aborted attempt to remove his own powers, that instead resulted in him being transformed into a six armed freak. In the end, it was death which separated the two lovers. The Green Goblin kidnapped Gwen, and dropped her off the Brooklyn Bridge. Spider-Man tried, but failed to save her. In the vicious battle which followed, Norman was accidentally impaled by his own Goblin Glider. His apparent death was secretly observed by his son, Harry, who swore his own revenge on Spider-Man. Harry soon succumbed to the Osborn Legacy, kidnapping those whom Peter loved most, only barely being stopped from finishing the work that Norman Osborn had started.
Meanwhile Peter and Gwen's college Professor, Miles Warren, had begun his own deadly schemes as the Jackal. Miles blamed Spider-Man for the death of Gwen, whom he had himself fallen in love with. The climax of the Jackal's plan was his creation of a Spider-Man clone, but at the conclusion of the final battle, both the Jackal and the clone were killed. With their departure, Peter's life returned to normality, as much as it ever could for a college student who was secretly a costumed super-hero.
In the meantime, Peter and Mary Jane realized that their relationship had become far more than just friendship. So much so that, shortly before his college graduation, Peter proposed to Mary Jane. But she had seen too much pain in her own family, and she turned him down. She left New York to pursue her modeling career in Florida, and Peter Parker moved on to post-graduate studies. It was a time for new challenges, and new friends. But one thing would never change; the ever-present responsibility he faced as Spider-Man.
Entering his post-graduate studies, Peter's close college friends began to find their own lives. Liz Allan was dating (later to marry) a recovering Harry Osborn. Flash Thompson was looking for a life after football and the army, with his girlfriend Sha Shan. Betty Brant had married Bugle reporter Ned Leeds. Even Peter's Aunt May had found romance with Nathan Lubensky, fellow occupant of the convalescent home she had moved into. With his friends all in cozy couples, Mary Jane's departure was all the more unsettling. But it was not long before Peter began dating again. He enjoyed several dates with Cissy Ironwood. Also, departmental secretary Deborah Whitman was attracted to Peter, but failed to win his heart. Dawn Starr, undergraduate student, pretended to date Peter though actually wanting to sneak a look at an upcoming exam. Amy Powell tried to use Peter to make her fiancé Lance Bannon jealous.
These women had one thing in common - Peter Parker. But when Felicia Hardy, crossed Spider-Man's path, things were different. Felicia was beautiful, talented, and determined. She was also an unrepentant burglar who had a romantic fascination with her web-slinging hero. Spider-Man persuaded Felicia to turn away from crime, and the two of them became lovers - and crime-fighting partners. Felicia urged Peter to spend more and more time in costume. The glamorous Black Cat could never bear to see her super-hero living the squalid life of post-grad student. Becoming Spider-Man was made easier since Aunt May had recovered enough to return home and open the Parker residence as a boarding home for retired people, aided by Nathan. Aided by the Black Cat, Spider-Man faced Doc Ock and the Owl - a battle which nearly cost Felicia her life. Peter was brought crashing down to earth. He realized that without super-powers, Felicia was just like the others from his past, who had so often paid the price for Peter being Spider-Man.
When Mary Jane returned from Florida she found Peter and the Black Cat in a shaky and tempestuous relationship. Felicia could not bear the thought of Peter not allowing her to accompany him into battle, and she embarked on a secret search for super-powers at any price. Tricked by the Kingpin, and twisted in her own deceit, the Black Cat and Spider-Man finally parted ways. In contrast, Mary Jane was determined not to let lies come between her and Peter Parker. She finally told Peter that she had known for some time about his secret identity. With Spider-Man's secret finally out in the open, Peter and Mary Jane's relationship found new depth.
As Spider-Man, Peter faced the death of his good friend Police Captain Jean DeWolff at the hands of the Sin-Eater. He watched Flash Thompson be taken for a criminal, and Ned Leeds killed, both for their involvement with the Hobgoblin. But things were different now - he had Mary Jane by his side. Peter proposed for a second time, and was accepted. As newlyweds, Peter and Mary Jane shared happiness, but faced many perils also. Mary Jane was menaced by both Kraven the Hunter, and by Venom, both of whom knew Peter's identity. Mary Jane loved Peter, and had deep respect for his sense of responsibility. But she was unprepared for the loneliness, the fear for his life, and the nagging doubt that perhaps Peter needed Spider-Man far more than he needed her. During this time, Spider-Man gained the cosmic powers of Captain Universe making him virtually indestructible, able to fly, shoot cosmic energy blasts, and possess unimaginable strength. This temporary augmentation allowed Spider-Man to defend himself against a new assortment of foes (including Graviton, Magneto, Titania, and Dragon Man), as villains attempted to aid each other by targeting each others' enemies. At the opposite extreme, Spider-Man temporarily lost all of his powers under the trickery of the Chameleon, but was aided by the Black Cat in restoring his abilities. Spider-Man, along with the Hulk, Ghost Rider, and Wolverine briefly formed an unofficial ad-hoc Fantastic Four team, while the real Fantastic Four were captured by Skrulls. The group quickly disbanded.
Amongst the daily battles with New York's villains, and the challenges of keeping his marriage alive, Peter soon faced the inexplicable return of his parents, Mary and Richard Parker. Long since believed dead, they claimed to have lost their memory of the intervening years. Aunt May was not ready to accept them, but Peter finally believed them to be what they claimed to be, even showing them his identity as Spider-Man. But Peter's heart had over-ridden his instincts. The pair were eventually revealed as robot agents of the Chameleon, part of a plan prompted by Harry Osborn, recently returned as the Green Goblin. Spider-Man was filled with anger at this deeply personal attack. It seemed to him that those he loved were fated to die, while the evil in his life would always return to haunt him.
A darkness began to fill Spider-Man's heart, like never before. Still brooding over the Chameleon's invasion of his life, and Harry's death after a twisted attack on both the Osborn and Parker families, Peter was then faced with Aunt May's serious heart attack. May hospitalized, and not expected to recover. Peter's frustration at life's injustices boiled over into violence. Encountering the recently reformed and powerless Scorpion, Spider-Man cruelly beat his former foe close to death - ignoring his victim's pleas for mercy. Calling himself "the Spider", it seemed that Peter was even beyond Mary Jane's powers to heal him. In the end, his salvation came at the hands of Judas Traveller, a psychologist with most unusual methods. Peter's recovery from his dark madness coincided with the return of a figure from Peter's distant past - his clone, created by the Jackal. The clone had survived, and had wandered the U.S. using the adopted name "Ben Reilly". Learning that Aunt May was very ill, the clone returned to New York, just in time to see her pass away. He adopted a costumed identity as the "Scarlet Spider", and portrayed himself as Peter's long-lost cousin. Peter and Ben became friends, even almost brothers. The Jackal himself had also survived. Deceived at the hands of Norman Osborn, the Jackal declared that in fact Ben was the original, and Peter the clone. Though Peter took the revelation badly, Ben subsequently took over the role of Spider-Man, leaving Peter and pregnant Mary Jane free to enjoy a "normal" life. Peter returned to his scientific career, though hampered by having never completed his doctorate. He and MJ also tried moving to Portland, until they realized that New York was where they truly belonged. But all too soon, their new world was shattered when Norman Osborn burst back into their lives. He also had survived his apparent death, and was the mastermind behind all of the Jackal's schemes. Norman killed Ben, revealing him to be the clone after all. But Norman's schemes went even deeper and deadlier than ever - he apparently caused Mary Jane to miscarry the baby and held Peter's Aunt May hostage. The woman believed to have been Aunt May that had died was a genetically modified actress, part of a subtle plot which was never carried to fruition.
Reunited at last, Peter, Mary Jane, and Aunt May moved into a luxurious apartment. With the Green Goblin defeated in battle, driven more deeply insane by a mystical ceremony, Peter promise Mary Jane that he would give up being Spider-Man and concentrate on their family. He took a job at Tri Corp Research while Mary Jane returned to modeling. But after various emergencies and the appearance of a new Spider-Man (actually Mattie Franklin), Peter could not seem to keep his word.
While Mary Jane was being increasingly threatened by an anonymous stalker, Peter was secretly breaking his promise and returning to web-slinging. Mary Jane, preoccupied with modeling, was distraught feeling a space grow between her and Peter. After catching Peter still active as Spider-Man, MJ vanished when a plane she had boarded exploded. Peter was devastated. Aunt May returned to her home in Forest Hills, while Peter returned to his bachelor lifestyle moving in with Randy Robertson. He socialized with Randy, Glory Grant (now a couple), and Gwen's cousin Jill Stacy while his attractive neighbor, Caryn intrigued him. But with Peter still emotionally adrift, Norman picked the perfect time to drug Peter and incite him to becoming his heir. But even lost and confused as he was, Peter proved that his could resist Osborn's brainwashing attempt. Meanwhile, Mary Jane was not dead, but had been kidnapped by her stalker. Spider-Man managed to rescue Mary Jane, only to discover that she needed time away from him. Mary Jane left for the West Coast, leaving Peter to struggle with a loss almost as traumatic as her apparent death. While Peter turned to his Aunt May for support, May discovered Peter's greatest secret, visiting unannounced, and finding him asleep in costume after his grueling victory against Morlun. After coming to terms with the truth, May quickly became Spider-Man's strongest supporter, and the two became closer than ever. At May's suggestion, Peter returned to Midtown High, now more rundown that Peter remembered it, to teach science part-time. With renewed hopes, Peter and Mary Jane agreed to try once to make things work between them. After their time apart, Peter earnestly assured Mary Jane that he truly needs her in his life.
The mysterious Ezekiel, who shared similar spider-like abilities, made Peter question the source of his powers, implying a mystical reason the spider chose to bite him. Ezekiel had stolen his powers through an arcane ceremony and needed to sacrifice Spider-Man to keep them. When his ritual joined their minds, however, Ezekiel realized Spider-Man was the worthy hero and sacrificed himself.
Osborn also revealed Spider-Man's identity to the Scorpion, and had him kidnap Aunt May. Osborn had been publicly revealed as the Green Goblin and jailed after murdering journalist Terri Kidder. He knew big businesses had been conspiring for decades to create super-villains and, as a potential whistle-blower, was an easy target in prison. Osborn wanted Peter to break him out in return for May's freedom, but when Peter did, a battle erupted with the Sinister Twelve, including Gargan himself - now the new Venom after bonding with the alien symbiote. Spider-Man, with the help of other super-heroes, was able to defeat the Sinister Twelve and save his Aunt May. Around this time, Spider-Man met the Queen who had powers allowing her to control the world's insects, eventually causing Spider-Man to mutate into a giant spider. She planned to detonate a bomb that would kill everyone except those with the "insect" gene but Peter returned to his human form and stopped her, augmented with enhanced powers including silk glands within his forearms.
After a breakout at the Raft Security Prison, Spider-Man joined the Avengers (newly formed in the aftermath of the Scarlet Witch's attack on her own team). An old classmate of Peter's named Charlie Weiderman went on an insane rampage after his experiments covered him in Vibranium, and burned down the Parker's home in Forest Hills. Peter moved into Tony Stark's tower with Aunt May and Mary Jane. For this and various other reasons, Spider-Man's secret identity was shared with many of the world's heroes including the Avengers and the Fantastic Four, providing him with an venue to communicate among his peers.
Morlun returned again, viciously beating Spider-Man, removing an eye, and hospitalizing him. Mary Jane tried to stop Morlun from finishing off her husband. But when Morlun threatened to kill her, Spider-Man gave the last of his energy to protect her. With stingers that burst from his wrists, Spider-Man slayed Morlun. Spider-Man then apparently died; however, a new Peter Parker emerged from the old corpse, now more fully embracing his "other" self - his spider personae. Retaining his stingers, he discovered other new abilities including night vision, greater control of his skin adhesive properties, and enhanced sensory perceptions, such as being able to sense the vibrations traveling through his webline. Tony Stark looking at Peter as his protégé, gave Spider-Man a new technologically advanced costume with a red and gold color scheme as a gift.
In the aftermath of a tragedy in Stamford, Connecticut, in which a band of televised heroes were unable to prevent the villain Nitro from killing an entire elementary school full of children and parts of the surrounding community, the U.S. government propelled forward the Superhuman Registration Act requiring the superhero community to register themselves as living weapons of mass destruction, and reveal their identities to the government. The act was supported by Tony Stark, who became the leader of the Pro-Registration side. The superheroic community was split between registering or refusing and becoming an outlaw. Leading the opposition to the act was Captain America, in defense of heroes' right to privacy. To support Iron Man, and perhaps obtain the ever-elusive respect from the public by compliance with the Act, Spider-Man made the difficult decision (with support from May and Mary Jane) to reveal his identity to the world during a press conference. As Spider-Man now faces the danger of public exposure to his family and loved ones, and the prospect of having to capture his renegade friends in what has become an all-out Civil War in the superpowered community, Peter regretted his decision. After witnessing a prison in the Negative Zone for super humans who refused to register, Parker fled Avengers Tower with his family, clashing with Iron Man during his exit. He aided Captain America and the forces opposing registration, culminating in a major battle during the jailbreak of the heroes imprisoned in the Negative Zone, Captain America's surrender, and the end of the Civil War. Spider-Man has remained a member of the unsanctioned Avengers team in the aftermath. Since Spider-Man's identity is now public knowledge, the Kingpin arranged a sniper to slay the Parker family. Though Mary Jane was spared, Parker was unable to prevent his aunt from getting shot. May was left in a coma on the verge of death. The anguish of yet another loved one injured because of his life as Spider-Man embittered the hero. He resumed wearing his black cloth costume, reflective of the dark times while his Aunt May was precariously close to death. Spider-Man confronted the Kingpin in Ryker's Island prison, and, while unmasked, beat him within an inch of his life, vowing to come back and kill him if Aunt May died.
With time running out, Peter tried several avenues, from the technological to the mystical, to save May's life. At a dead-end, Mephisto appeared to Peter and Mary Jane offering to prevent May’s death, but at the cost of their holy bond of matrimony. Mephisto also negotiated to arrange for the world to forget Spider-Man's secret identity, so that May and Peter’s other friends and associates would no longer be in danger. After spending one more day together, Mary Jane selflessly took the initiative and agreed to the bargain, knowing Peter would never forgive himself if he rejected a chance to save May. She had faith that their love would be strong enough to reunite them. Peter awoke in a world where his marriage never took place. Living back with Aunt May, alive and well, in his old Forest Hills home, Peter attended a party welcoming home from rehab his old friend Harry Osborn - whose death had been part of an elaborate hoax by his father. Spider-Man has also returned to using web-shooters, rather than his own self-generated organic webbing, for reasons that have not yet been disclosed.