The idea of a superhero who uses his brains as well as his brawn was not unusual. The idea that a superhero be a teenager was. Usually, teenagers in comics were sidekicks: a lesser-powered hero like Robin to Batman or the original Bucky to Captain America; a comic relief to the action; a supportive role; someone who needs rescuing; and/or the confidant used as an audience proxy, so the hero can explain what’s going on. Peter Parker, the first and best known alter-ego of Spider-Man was both the superpowered hero AND the awkward teenager trying to figure out this crazy world. Peter fought bizarre masked villains, sure, but he also dealt with puberty. He wasn’t from Metropolis, Gotham, Asgard, or Krypton, he was from…Queens.
Created by artist Steve Ditko and the ubiquitous Stan Lee, Spider-Man first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15, which may be related as to why the original comic to focus on Spider-Man would be The Amazing Spider-Man. Since then, Spidey has been the star of Spectacular Spider-Man, Astonishing Spider-Man, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, a number of comics based on other descriptions and alter-egos, several animated and live action TV shows, including a recurring segment on PBS’ Electric Company, (and yes, that is Morgan “Lucius Fox” Freeman in that video!) and many many films. There’s even a Japanese TV show version of Spider-man which is a bit unrelated to the standard Marvel plotlines, at least so far.
It’s notable that Stan Lee made the decision to have young Peter refer to himself as Spider-MAN, not Spider-BOY, which was a bit of a pattern breaker, suggesting that his heroic journey will last for a while and furthering the idea that he is his own hero, not a sidekick, whatever the more recent Tony Stark mentoring might suggest. Much like seemingly every major superhero or YA fiction protagonist, Peter Parker is an orphan, but he has the additional suffering of being on hand-if not being a factor- of the death of his beloved Uncle Ben. (Aunt May’s husband, not the fictional former Rice mascot.)
As we get into the multiverse, the Spider-verse, and the various reboots, rewrites, and revisions typical for superhero franchises but especially heavy in Spider-lore, we not only have multiple actors playing Spider-Man, but we also have different characters playing the role of Spider-Man. Peter Parker is joined by Peter B. Parker, Peter Parker clones and alternates, a body-swapped Doc Ock, fake Spider-men, elder gods resembling Spider-man, and other people who have been bitten by the same or different radioactive spider, the best known being Miles Morales. Of course, there’s also Venom, but that’s opening up another can of alien symbiotes.
If you’d like to show off your fandom, you can go from the oldest of old-school with this 80 year anniversary pin set to our newest items celebrating Spider-man: No Way Home, including this mix-and-match earring set of Spidey icons, and this gold base Spider-Man logo necklace. So, we encourage you to browse our selection of Spider-Man superhero jewelry and see what strikes you.
Thanks, and best wishes from your friendly neighborhood JewelryBrands!