Spider-Man
Spider-Man (Ultimate Marvel) on the promotional art of Ultimate Spider-Man comic book series.
Poster art by Joe Quesada.
Publication information
First appearanceUltimate Spider-Man #1 (September 2000)
Created byBrian Michael Bendis
Mark Bagley
Based on Spider-Man
by
In-story information
Alter egoPeter Benjamin Parker
Place of originUltimate Marvel (Earth-1610)
Team affiliationsDaily Bugle
Ultimates
PartnershipsMary Jane Watson
Kitty Pryde
Notable aliasesWebhead, Wall-crawler, Spidey, Spider-Boy, Punk in a Onesie
Abilities
  • Superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability, agility, reflexes, coordination, and balance
  • Clinging to solid surfaces
  • Accelerated healing
  • Genius-level intellect
  • Proficient scientist
  • Utilizes wrist-mounted webshooters
  • Precognitive spider-sense
  • Master hand-to-hand combatant and acrobat

Spider-Man (Peter Parker) is a superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. He is a modernized, alternate universe counterpart of Spider-Man who is in his youth, a superhero first created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in 1962. The Ultimate version of the character originated in Ultimate Marvel, a line of comic books created in 2000 that is set in a parallel universe with a narrative continuity separate and independent from the main continuity of Marvel Comics stories that began in the 1960s.

Ultimate Spider-Man, the first and flagship title of the Ultimate line, was created by the writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Mark Bagley, and debuted in September 2000, which featured the first appearance of the Ultimate version of the character. Based on the original Spider-Man who debuted in 1962, he was bitten by a radioactive genetically-mutated spider, which gave him superhuman spider-like abilities which led him to become the superhero Spider-Man, and fight crime after the tragedy of his late Uncle Ben. The biggest difference is that this version of Parker is killed at the age of 16, being Spider-Man for a span of almost a year before being replaced by the 13-year-old Miles Morales. However following the Secret Wars storyline, Miles and his family were retconned into the history of the prime universe and Peter who had been resurrected had resumed his superhero role. To differentiate him from other incarnations, Peter Parker from this universe is commonly dubbed Ultimate Spider-Man.

Fictional character biography

At around the age of six, Peter Parker was orphaned after the death of his parents in a plane crash and was raised by his father's brother, Ben Parker, and his wife May. Nine years later, Peter grew to be an exceptionally bright teen and a high school genius, being particularly skilled in physics and chemistry. However, he was also an introverted outcast among his peers and was frequently bullied and tormented by Fred "Flash" Thompson and Kenny "King Kong" McFarlane. On a school field trip to the scientific corporation Oscorp, he was bitten by a genetically-mutated spider, which gave him spider-like superhuman abilities. The head of Oscorp, Norman Osborn, discovered this and experimented with the same mutagen injected within the spider's bloodstream on himself, but the experiment went awry, mutating him into a monstrous, green-coloured and hulking goblin-like creature later known as the Green Goblin.

After discovering his new abilities, Peter used his powers for personal gain, like his standard counterpart, to financially support his family as a professional wrestler and to become popular by becoming the school's top basketball player thanks to his enhanced spider-powers. However, he began to selfishly utilise his abilities and started to act irresponsibly, which adversely affected his studies and behavior, all of which worried his aunt and uncle. Peter was later fired from his job as a wrestler under suspicions that he was responsible for a recent robbery, much to his chagrin and disappointment. Later that night, as he was walking to his house, he encountered an armed robber escaping from a nearby convenience store, but refused to stop him out of spite and continued to walk home. After returning home and having a heated argument with his aunt and uncle over his failing grades and increasingly reckless nature, Peter ran away from home out of anger. After regretting his argument with his aunt and uncle, he returned home intending to apologise and reveal his spider-powers to them, but upon arriving, he saw a police car and an ambulance parked outside his house, and to his horror, he discovered that Uncle Ben had been murdered by an armed thief. Fueled with rage and a thirst for vengeance, a masked Peter hunted down his uncle's killer. After cornering the criminal within an abandoned warehouse, Peter managed to subdue him and found out, to his shock, that the killer was the same robber whom he refused to stop earlier that night. He then handed over the killer to the arriving police. Guilt-ridden, Peter vowed to follow his uncle's motto, "with great power comes great responsibility", and became the masked vigilante Spider-Man in order to utilise his spider-powers for a noble purpose and to atone for his uncle's death.[1]

In his first year as Spider-Man, Peter encountered the Green Goblin, who later disappeared into the river below the Brooklyn Bridge, following his defeat.[2] Peter Parker later got a job as a web designer for the Daily Bugle upon being hired by J. Jonah Jameson, the snarky and cynical editor of the Daily Bugle, who disliked Spider-Man and constantly ran defamatory smear campaigns against the vigilante.[3] Later, he confessed his identity to his classmate, crush and childhood friend: Mary Jane Watson and they formed a close romantic relationship.[4] Peter Parker later met Gwen Stacy, which initially put pressure on Spider-Man's current relationship with Mary Jane Watson. This issue was later resolved and the three became good friends.[5]

Writer Brian Michael Bendis signing a copy of Ultimate Spider-Man #1, featuring the character's first appearance, at Midtown Comics in Manhattan.

After being defeated by Spider-Man in a sudden reappearance, the Green Goblin was apprehended and incarcerated in the Triskelion alongside Doctor Octopus, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, and Sandman. They escaped from the Triskelion and formed the Ultimate Six. When the Green Goblin threatened to harm Aunt May, Spider-Man reluctantly allied with the Ultimate Six and they attacked the White House. When Captain America confirmed that Aunt May is safe, Spider-Man assisted the Ultimates in fighting the Ultimate Six.[6]

In a later encounter with Nick Fury, Spider-Man learned that Nick Fury learned his secret identity upon finding evidence including footage of the spider that bit Peter Parker and the fact that Doctor Octopus was ranting in his cell about Peter Parker being Spider-Man.[7]

During the "Ultimatum" storyline, Peter and those in his life survived the Ultimatum Wave caused by Magneto where Peter became Spider-Man to help save the drowning civilians.[8] While Spider-Man was doing heroic acts, J. Jonah Jameson started publishing his heroic acts. While working with the Hulk, Spider-Man found the body of Daredevil, who became one of the casualties of the Ultimatum Wave. When the two of them arrived at the ruins of the Sanctum Sanctorum, Spider-Man and the Hulk found a rift open where Dormammu and different demons were emerging at the time when Doctor Strange was possessed by Nightmare. When the Hulk caused an explosion during the fight, Spider-Man was caught in the explosion.[9] Following the death of Magneto, the Ultimates found Spider-Man unconscious while searching for survivors.[10]

As Spider-Man was no longer having problems with the police following the Ultimatum Wave incident, Peter Parker had to take a temporary job at the Burger Frog when the Daily Bugle was temporarily shut down during the Ultimatum Wave incident.[11]

During "The Death of Spider-Man" storyline, Spider-Man found that Norman Osborn had reformed the Ultimate Six with Vulture replacing Spider-Man. While searching for them following Doctor Octopus' death, Spider-Man threw himself in front of Captain America when he was targeted by Punisher and got shot. Upon dressing the wound, Spider-Man fought the Ultimate Six where they injured him further. Before Electro could attack Spider-Man, Aunt May shot him enough for him to discharge energy that knocked out Kraven the Hunter, Sandman, and Vulture. Spider-Man and the Green Goblin continued their fight which led to them mortally wounding each other. Before dying, Peter was surrounded by Aunt May, Mary Jane, the Human Torch, and Gwen Stacy as he quoted that he saved them where he was unable to save Uncle Ben. While Mary Jane cradled Spider-Man's lifeless body, she, Aunt May, and the Human Torch cried uncontrollably while Norman Osborn's dead body was seen with a smirk where he died knowing that he won.[12]

During the "Ultimate Fallout" storyline, the public became aware of Peter Parker being Spider-Man as the Daily Bugle was the first to print the news about Spider-Man's death. When it came to his funeral, Tony Stark paid for the funeral while Captain America approached Aunt May, remorseful over the fact that he blamed himself for Spider-Man's death. Thor claimed that he saw Peter Parker's spirit in Valhalla. At the same time, an Afro-Latino boy named Miles Morales, who had developed powers before Peter even died and was now feeling guilty that he could have helped the latter, used a copy of the Spider-Man costume to defeat Kangaroo. Nick Fury even blamed himself for Spider-Man's death when he visited Mary Jane, who threatened to expose him.[13]

Sometime later, under unknown circumstances, Peter awoke in an abandoned laboratory and made his way back to New York City where he reunited with Mary Jane. To investigate if he was still dead, they went to his grave to find that somebody dug his body out of his grave. Not wanting to surprise Aunt May, Peter went to retrieve his web-shooters from Miles Morales' apartment, only for Miles to enter his room. Both of them fought over the part of telling Aunt May, which led to a short scuffle ending with Peter knocking Miles out and making off with his web-shooters. After the also-resurrected Green Goblin ambushed Miles in Queens, Peter came to his aid, finally clad in his old costume. Peter's intervention on Green Goblin attempting to kill Miles surprised those who witnessed his return. It was discovered that the OZ Formula that affected Peter and Osborn had apparently given them virtual immortality. After Green Goblin was defeated, Detective Maria Hill shot him and immolated his body for good measure. Peter officially retired as Spider-Man and gave his web-shooters to Miles, as well as his blessing to uphold the Spider-Man mantle. Bidding farewell to Aunt May and Gwen, Peter and Mary Jane left New York to find out how he came back to life.[14]

Following the Secret Wars storyline, the Ultimate Universe was restored and Peter Parker resumed the mantle of Spider-Man, as Miles now resided in the prime universe. After helping the Ultimates fight and detained the Green Goblin, Peter Parker attended a party that welcomed Kenny McFarland home from the army.[15]

Other versions

In November 2023, writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Marco Chechetto announced they would be relaunching the Ultimate Universe under the new designation of Earth-6160. Following the events of Ultimate Invasion, the Maker created a new universe completely devoid of superheroes, having gone back in time and personally prevented the origins of several famous heroes. One such hero was Peter Parker, whose spider bite at the Oscorp Research Facility was prevented by the Maker.

Years later, following a terrorist attack that killed hundreds of civilians (most notably the Aunt May and Norman Osborn of this world), an older Peter, now married to Mary Jane Watson with two children named Richard and May, is visited by a hologram of Tony Stark, who presents Peter with the same spider the Maker had captured nearly twenty years earlier. Providing him with a synthetic stealth suit, Stark's message encourages Peter to let the spider bite him and transform him into the hero he could've been before the Maker took that away from him.

Powers, abilities and equipment

Powers and abilities

After being bitten by a genetically-modified spider, the resulting aftermath led to the unseen side-effect of the spider-venom slowly killing Peter, before the effect eventually wore away and subsequently led him to develop arachnid-like superpowers. So far, Spider-Man has been established as possessing:

After being bitten by the spider, Peter Parker created mechanical devices named "web-shooters", which produced a strong, web-like adhesive substance (much like his mainstream counterpart), by using his father's scientific notes, since the bite did not give him the ability to spin any webs.

Van der Waals force abilities

Spider-Man gained the ability to adhere to any solid surface using his hands and feet because of van der Waals force, which depend on the interactions between his body and surfaces. His ability to stick to objects is seemingly unconscious – e.g., he accidentally pulled off pieces of plaster when having a heated argument with his aunt and uncle. He does not seem to have the ability to stick any part of him to walls other than his hands and feet, but it has not been officially revealed. Many characters find this ability of his disgusting, most namely Wolverine of the X-Men.

Spider-sense

Spider-Man's most subtle power is his spider-sense. A form of precognition or sixth sense, it unconsciously activates and alerts him to any threat to himself, manifesting as an inexplicable tingle in the base of his skull. While it cannot tell him of the exact nature of the threat, it is vaguely directional and Spider-Man can judge the severity of the threat by the intensity of the tingling.

The spider-sense not only alerts Spider-Man to threats to his physical safety, but also helps him in web-swinging across the city and warns him to threats to his privacy, such as being observed while changing identities. Spider-Man also uses the spider-sense as a means to time his evasive maneuvers to the point where he can easily avoid gunfire. When combined with his superhuman reflexes and agility, this makes him an extremely difficult target to shoot in combat and formidable in close quarters.

Unlike in the official continuity, Peter can be sneaked up on as long as whoever is sneaking up on him means no harm. This is revealed when the Black Cat sneaks up on him from behind and covers his eyes. He rarely refers to it as a "Spider-Sense", although he has referred to it as such on occasion.

Wavy lines emanating from Peter's head often show the activation of the spider-sense; sometimes the whole panel is completely red-tinted (as it is in the first time he uses it). Also, Venom has shown the ability to overload Spider-Man’s Spider-Sense, or avoid it completely, like in normal mainstream continuity.

Scientific aptitude and knowledge

Apart from his physical abilities, Peter is an intellectually-gifted scientific teen genius and has a prodigious aptitude in the physical sciences, with a high IQ level of around 150. He has a facility for chemistry and physics, and while he is depicted as less intellectually-skilled than his mainstream counterpart, he is still considered to be exceptionally bright and intelligent in his own right, impressing the likes of Tony Stark and Reed Richards. He designed his self-devised web-shooters, but the adhesive formula was one his father had been working on, which he managed to crack and is usually depicted as the brightest student in his class. Spending years throughout his fighting experience, he's able to perform martial arts and hand-to-hand combat skills that are most reliable to his spider powers.

Equipment

Although he is of limited financial means, Spider-Man has developed personal equipment that plays an important role in his superhero career.

Web-shooters

Spider-Man's web-shooters are the character's most distinguishing trait.[according to whom?] They are wrist-mounted devices that fire a fibrous adhesive very similar to the material spiders use to construct webs. The trigger rests high in the palm but does not require a double tapping from the middle and ring fingers to activate, unlike in the official continuity. It requires only one tap, but somehow he has found a way not to hit it when making a fist.[original research?]

His late father worked on the formula for the webbing itself. After fighting crime for a whole night, Peter finally solved the formula and used it to create his own webs. At this stage, Peter does not seem to be able to shoot different types of webbing, only one, though neither did the main Marvel continuity Parker for the first few years of his career. He has, on the other hand, shown the ability to not stick to his own webbing and have approximately enough webbing to fill up a living room.

In other media

Television

Film

Video games

Miscellaneous

An amalgamated incarnation of Spider-Man based on his Ultimate and mainstream counterparts appears in an interactive attraction built in Niagara Falls as part of "Marvel Superhero Adventure City". His appearance is based on the Ultimate version, but he is more experienced like his mainstream counterpart.[19][20][21]

Reception

Brian Michael Bendis' modernized re-imagining of Peter Parker/Spider-Man has been met with a widely positive response from fans and critics, with many considering the Ultimate Marvel version of Spider-Man to be the one of best modern interpretations of Spider-Man and has even influenced other non-comic Spider-Man adaptations in the television, video game and cinematic mediums. Many critics and fans praised Ultimate Peter Parker/Spider-Man as a fresh, unique and distinctively contemporary, but familiar and faithful twist on the classic Spider-Man mythos, being called as a well-rounded and likable, but also vulnerable, humanly flawed and struggling everyman teen hero, with a commendable character-arc from being a selfish, angry teen who irresponsibly uses his super-powers for his own personal gain to a more heroic and altruistic figure as Spider-Man and accepting his new life as a solo teen superhero and the consequences and negative side-effects that comes from it, his relatable struggles, internal conflicts, the constant mental self-doubts about his responsibilities as a superhero and his struggles with said responsibility and the realistic depiction of how being a super-hero would negatively affect an individual's life and his relations with his close ones, similar to Stan Lee and Steve Ditko's original depiction of Spider-Man in the early 1960s Spider-Man comic-books.

References

  1. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #1–5. Marvel Comics.
  2. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #7. Marvel Comics.
  3. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #8. Marvel Comics.
  4. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #13. Marvel Comics.
  5. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #14. Marvel Comics.
  6. ^ Ultimate Six #1–7. Marvel Comics.
  7. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #100. Marvel Comics.
  8. ^ Ultimatum #1. Marvel Comics.
  9. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #131–133. Marvel Comics.
  10. ^ Ultimatum #6. Marvel Comics.
  11. ^ Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1. Marvel Comics.
  12. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #156–160. Marvel Comics.
  13. ^ Ultimate Fallout #1–6. Marvel Comics.
  14. ^ Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #1–7. Marvel Comics.
  15. ^ Spider-Men II #5. Marvel Comics
  16. ^ "Disney XD Orders More Spider-Man & Avengers — With Some New Bad Guys". Deadline. June 1, 2015. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  17. ^ "Avengers Assemble and Ultimate Spider-Man Renewed and Re-Titled". IGN. June 1, 2015. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  18. ^ Weintraub, Steve (December 11, 2017). "Here's How Peter Parker Factors into 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse'". Collider. Archived from the original on December 11, 2017. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  19. ^ http://www.blacklightattractions.com/images/Spiderman/UltimateRide/index.htm Archived 2018-08-19 at the Wayback Machine August 18, 2018
  20. ^ Spider-Man the Ultimate ride footage https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7xcz57dEgF0 August 18, 2018
  21. ^ The New Version of the ride https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vpH5Q5yLu9w August 18, 2018