Spider-Man has been a perennial favorite and one of the most constant comic book characters over the years. Peter Parker has had some dark periods in terms of stories, but it's hard to find a Marvel fan who doesn't love the web-slinger.
Spider-Man debuted on the big screen in 2002 with a groundbreaking presentation at the time. Peter returned in 2004 to an even better sequel, then when the third movie was released, we all let out a collective, "seriously?!" The franchise was rebooted and we all thought Spider-Man was going to disappear cinematically, yet our hopes were revived when it was announced that Spider-Man would join in the Civil War.
With the upcoming performance by Tom Holland as the newest version of Peter Parker in Avengers: Civil War, I thought we'd take some time to look at the character that we've grown to love over the years.
1. The radiation didn't matter
His origin story is widely known, even for those who have never cracked open a comic book: a bite from a radioactive spider gave him supernatural arachnoid powers. J. Michael Straczynski who had a run on the comic The Amazing Spider-Man introduced Ezekiel, a character with seemingly all of Spider-Man's powers, but it wasn't the radiation that gave him the powers.
The spider itself was already magically filled with powers. This concept poses the idea that Spider-Man is actually a totem, destined to battle other totems (hence, all the animal-themed enemies: Rhino, Vulture, Doctor Octopus, etc). Straczynski leaves it up to the reader to interpret the story, but it's interesting to imagine that Spider-Man is actually part of a larger magical destiny.
2. He's actually quite the ladies man
Even though the franchise always seems to go out of its way to portray Peter Parker as a geeky, weak young man - his comic book relations paint a rather different picture. Over his time in the comics, he's found comfort with a bevy of beautiful women. Betty Brant, Gwen Stacy, Mary Jane Watson, Liz Allen and even Black Cat have all been known to have gotten involved with Peter. The relationships don't stop there considering that Ms. Marvel and Gwen Stacy's grown daughter were both interested in him as well.
3. He could be Jewish
Spider-Man's religion has never actually been addressed by Marvel, yet it's assumed that Peter is actually Jewish. His speech throughout the years has been littered with Yiddish phrases, which suggests that his background is at least Jewish. Whether or not he is actually a practicing Jew is another matter altogether. It's strange that Marvel never really delved into stories about Spider-Man's background, when they've never shied away from referencing Daredevil's Catholicism.
4. He has a clone
The '90s were a weird time for comic book fans, dark and often convoluted, yet it happened and we try to move past it. In the 'Clone Saga' (a plot thread from the '70s) Spider-Man discovered that he wasn't actually the 'real' Peter Parker, but a clone and the original Peter had been living his life elsewhere as Ben Reilly. The storyline got even stranger when a pregnant Mary Jane surfaces, and it ultimately it's discovered that Ben was the actual clone.
5. He's died.... more than once
After the fiasco of the clones Marvel came up with a fairly ingenious way to recover from their brush with bankruptcy: a new universe, the 'Ultimates'. The Ultimate Universe modernized several characters and rebooted their stories. The comic series was a smash hit. During the Ultimate Spider-Man comic series, Spider-Man is actually killed after fighting Green Goblin. Through the fight he is mortally wounded and his identity is revealed to the world, yet it's been revealed recently that he is actually alive and well. He has also died at the hand of The Other, and Morlun.