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Everything you wanted to know about Spider-man

entertainment Updated: May 18, 2007 12:26 IST
Highlight Story

• The Spiderman comics debuted in 1962

• Spider-man’s alter ego, Peter Parker, got his super powers when he was bitten by a radioactive spider during an experiment in his high-school science lab. His powers include the ability to climb walls, spin a web, uncommon agility, super strength and an extra-ordinary and strong sense – which is referred to as his “spider sense” – of danger.

• Peter Parker is an orphan and lives with his aunt May

• Peter did not start out as a super-hero. When he realised his powerful abilities, he wanted to appear on television as a costumed hero. On his way to the studio, a burglar ran past him and Peter did not try to stop him, telling the pursuing cops that it was not his problem. However, when he returned home that night, he discovered that his beloved Uncle Ben had been killed, mugged by the same robber Peter had let go earlier in the day. From that time onwards, Peter Parker decided to fight crime and thus, Spider-man was born.

• After high-school, Peter became a photographer with the Daily Bugle, whose editor J Jonah Jameson loathes Spider-man and wages a personal war against him

• In the comics, Peter dates several women, including his Daily Bugle colleague Betty Brant and his university class-mate Gwen Stacey, before finally settling down in married life with Mary Jane Watson, a Broadway starlet. They have a daughter, May.

• Spider-man gets his black costume on another world. A being of immense power - known as the Beyonder - teleported all super-heroes (including X-Men, Avengers, the Fantastic Four and Spiderman) and villains (Dr Doom, Dr Octopus, Magneto and several others) onto a planet, not unlike the earth. The purpose? A death-match between two teams - comprising of heroes and villains in each. Spidey's costume was torn apart in one of the battles and when he tinkered with a costume dispenser, a black costume spread all over his body. The costume responded to his mental commands and provided enhanced webbing. It was much later, back on earth, that Dr Reed Richards (of the Fantastic Four) analysed Spidey's costume and concluded that it was a living, sentient alien being which wanted to bond symbiotically with Spider-man.

• Spider-man battles not just numerous super-villains, but other super-heroes as well. The Incredible Hulk, the Thing and the Torch (both from the Fantastic Four), Daredevil and Iron Man are just some of those whom he has skirmishes with.

• Spider-man also has his life plagued by several super villains, many of whom have already been encountered in the films. Some of them are:

o Electro

o The Green Goblin (seen in the films)

o Kingpin

o Mysterio

o Lizard Man

o The Vulture

o Doctor Octopus (seen in the films)

o Venom (seen in the films)

o Carnage

o Rhino

o Carrion

o Hydro-man

o Hobgoblin

o Sandman (seen in the films)

• Several of Spider-man’s foes have actually been created or spawned or facilitated into being by his others foes.

o After the death of the original Green Goblin, Norman Osborn, the costume and persona of the Goblin was assumed by his son, Harry, who was also Peter’s best friend. In the comics, Harry Osborn – as the Green Goblin – dies due to the deadly serum that caused him to become the Green Goblin in the first place.

o When Spider-man’s black costume is revealed to actually be a sentient alien symbiote, he tries to destroy it. The alien sloughs off Peter Parker’s body and incorporates itself with vindictive reporter Eddie Brock, who has a personal vendetta against Spider-man. Brock becomes Venom, who discovers that Peter and Spider-man are the same person.

o The alien symbiote, that formed the costume of Venom, left behind a trace of itself, which melded with the body of serial-killer Cletus Kasidy, who became the Carnage, perhaps the most sadistic and brutal villain of all.