Peter Parker is Spider-Man, ask anyone who has no knowledge of comics and they will tell you this. Much like Clark Kent being Superman and Bruce Wayne being Batman in the eyes of the (very) casual fan, Spidey's secret identity is common knowledge. But today I'd like to bring 5 examples of Spider-Men who are NOT Peter Parker to your attention (and a special bonus one at the end!).
As Spider-Man of the year 2099, Miguel was a scientist for Alchemax (the biggest company in Nueva York). After experimenting on himself to get rid of the addictive drug Rapture, he imbued himself with spider-like abilities. Along with Peter's traditional powers, Miguel is also gifted with taloned fingers and sharp fangs which contain venom. He also develops spinnerets in his arms which he uses to create webs, which is different to Peter, who has to create his webbing with a chemical formula. Miguel can also see much better than the average man due to his accelerated vision. This allows him to see across vast distances with perfect accuracy. It can also be used as a pseudo spider-sense as he is able to see attacks coming from much further away. Miguel had his own comic series set in 2099 and recently became stuck in our time during the Necessary Evil storyline.
The original Scarlet Spider. Ben Reilly was a clone of Peter Parker who was introduced in the (admittedly very messy!) clone saga. Ben spent years away from Peter after their first meeting and only returned when he heard that Aunt May was ill. Upon his return, Ben and Peter begin to work together and Ben is dubbed The Scarlet Spider by the press. As an initially reluctant hero, Ben soon rediscovers his passion for saving lives and when Peter's powers begin to fade, Ben briefly takes over the role of Spider-Man. His name is a combination of Uncle Ben and Aunt May's maiden name. The Clone Saga is ultimately put to bed when Peter returns and Ben sacrifices himself to save Peter. This ultimately reveals that Ben is the clone and Peter was the original. His death is one of the few comic book deaths that actually sticks.
The Ultimate Spider-Man. After his world's Peter Parker is killed in battle with the Green Goblin, Miles is inspired to take up the mantle. He gets his powers while Peter is still alive but, as a 13 year-old he is initially reluctant to use them. His "Uncle Ben moment" was witnessing Peter's death, which gave him the inspiration he needed to step up and carry on Peter's legacy. Much was made of Miles taking over the mantle due to the fact that he is mixed race, half-hispanic, half African-American and at first, many were skeptical of this. Since then, Miles has become a popular hero in his own right and this is partly down to how different he is to Peter. He will soon be starring in the Spider-Man comics after the Marvel Universes combine due to Secret Wars.
Kaine is another clone of Peter Parker and the second Scarlet Spider. Initially, he is portrayed as a villain, but after the Spider-Island event, Kaine is cured of his cellular degeneration and becomes a perfect clone. From then on, he escapes New York and tries to live quietly in Houston, but the superhero life is never far away and he is forced to protect Houston with "all of the power, none of the responsibility". He particularly bonds with Aracely, a mysterious young girl who he saves from human traffickers, and decides to stay in Houston to protect her.
Yes, I know this is slightly cheating! Otto Octavius coins the title of the Superior Spider-Man after successfully cheating death and swapping his brain into Peter Parker's body. So in the eyes of the world, he is Peter (which is why this is cheating!). Just before Peter dies, he floods Otto's brain with memories of his time as Spider-Man and sends him the message that "With great power, there must also come, great responsibility!". Otto decides to improve on Peter's methods and be a better Spider-Man. He builds spider-bots to patrol the city and inform him of any crimes and he also hires his own spider-army. Ultimately, it is revealed that his methods were incapable of preventing the rise of the Goblin Nation and Otto takes the decision to allow Peter to resume his life.
Now, I know what you're thinking, only 2 of those examples are not really Peter Parker. But all 5 have a unique personality and take different approaches to being Spider-Man. All 5 of these Spider-Men have encountered Peter, and his influence on them is hugely important to their character. It goes to show that Peter's legacy will live on and also how truly inspirational he is as a character! All are certainly worthy of the mantle of Spider-Man, though some did require gentle persuasion from Peter to reach their heroic potential.
Who is your favourite OTHER Spider-Man?
Special Bonus Spidey!