Spider-man – “It’s the fugitive who ran past me!The one I didn’t stop when I had the chance!”
All heroes have some sort of origin which explains where they came from and sets up where they're headed.Over the years these origins get tweaked here and there, but the general idea behind them remains the same and they become as lasting and iconic as the hero themselves.Spider-man’s origin in issue 15 of Amazing Fantasy is no exception and stands as the greatest origin of all comic-book heroes.Sure Batman’s is pretty good and everyone can recite Superman’s, but for Marvel’s wall-crawler his origin isn’t just there to explain the reasons as to why he can stick to walls, or fight crime, but to instil an important message about power and responsibility.
When Bruce Wayne’s parents were killed, the mind of an 8 year old boy splintered and as he watched the events unfold he started to develop the basis for Batman.He trained and developed his body physically and mentally, so that he could become the best of the best to avenge his parents and bring justice to his corrupt city.When Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider he decided, like most people would, to use his new found power to work in his favour and instead get the respect he deserved.Tired of being picked on and cast out for being a good student, Parker was now in a position to have power over those that bullied him.His decision to exploit this brought instant reward with people offering to put Spider-man on television and movies, and faced with a similar situation it’s hard to see anyone choosing a different path.
The choice however saw him forgetting who he really was and resulted in him standing idly by, instead of stopping a thief from getting away, which would have been easy for a person with as much power as he had.His reason for this was that he’d had enough of people pushing him around and dictating what he should do, but if he had of acted then it would have stopped the thief from committing his next crime, which was murdering Peter’s Uncle Ben during a burglary.It was a harsh lesson for Peter to learn, that if you have so much power you should act responsibly with it, instead of using it for your own selfish gain.
The story from Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, not only introduced the world to The Amazing Spider-man but it also showed that there was more going on between the pages of comic-books.Material contained on the printed page of comics was considered at the time juvenile, and dismissed as trashy and forgettable, but this was far from it.Spidey’s origin was meaningful, packed a powerful punch that has kept him going for almost 50 years, and it still stands up today. Look at the reality shows on television now that offer young impressionable minds a chance to gain power and fame practically overnight, and it’s not a million miles away from Pete’s situation, where the sense that these things take time and experience is not necessarily included from the start.Lee and Ditko not only crafted a tale to launch a costumed crime-fighters career but they presented a story which still remains relevant to this day.Amazing, fantastical and the greatest origin of any hero, Spider-man spun a web, which did then and will still now, capture the imagination of generations to come.
ORIGINAL MATERIAL: *Stan Lee’s immortal lines from this issue that have become synonymous with Spidey, are, “With great power there must also come – great responsibility!”
*The webshooters which Spidey uses to spin his webs are created thanks to Peter’s scientific mind.Fans of the films will notice the difference between the comic and film, being that in the movie franchise Spider-man can spin his own webs as a result of the spider bite, but in the comics he makes devices to produce the webbing.
*Spider-man is Marvel’s most recognisable character and since the early days of 1962 has become known the world over.The final words in Spider-man’s origin are as follows, “And so a legend is born and a new name is added to the roster of those who make the world of fantasy the most exciting realm of all!”Little did Stan Lee know at the time, how true this would actually be.