From his first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15, SpiderMan has grown to be one of the most loved superheroes ever created, appearing in a range of products, from comic books to movies.
The birth of SpiderMan
When we first met SpiderMan in Amazing Fantasy #15, he was just plain Peter Parker, an unpopular high school student. He was lonely and more interested in books than saving anything or anyone. However, due to the timely interference of a radioactive spider, Peter Parker gains the agility and strength of a spider. Armed with this newfound power, Peter Parker sews himself a red body suit (thank goodness for home economics), constructs a crude webbing device, and joins the professional wrestling circuit to make some money. Alas, Peter Parker is far more into making money with his new skills that helping anyone. When he lets some thieves get away, they end up killing his uncle, setting the stage for the guilt that will drive SpiderMan through the rest of his career.
SpiderMan: the comic books
SpiderMan was written to be a one-time affair. His appearance in Amazing Fantasy, however, resurrected sagging sale, in fact, SpiderMan proved to be one of Marvels most profitable superheroes. Far from being a one-time affair, Spider-Man can now be found in an endless array of comic books series, from The Amazing Spider-Man, to Spectacular SpiderMan, Sensational SpiderMan, and even Ultimate SpiderMan (not to be confused, of course, with Spide-Man Unlimited).
SpiderMan: the franchise
SpiderMan is more than just comic books. His popularity has led Marvel to create a media franchise for Spider-Man, with his story appearing in television cartoons, video games, and even movies. The recent feature films to focus on SpiderMan star Tobey Maguire as SpiderMan and Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson. The first movie, released in 2002, focuses on the start of SpiderMans career, with a genetically modified spider taking the place of the original radioactive spider. With his newfound powers, Spider-Man finds himself face to face with the Green Goblin, played by Willem Dafoe. Propelled by the success of the first movie, SpiderMan returned in 2004 in SpiderMan 2 to face off against Doctor Octopus, a multi-tentacled experiment gone wrong. SpiderMan 3 is scheduled for release in 2007. This time he is set to face his biggest enemy yet, himself in his black venom alien suit.
Building your SpiderMan comic book collection
While SpiderMan has been very successful away from comic books, to truly enjoy him, to truly be a fan, you have to go back to the comic books. This can be difficult, however; finding all of SpiderMans comics would be a Herculean task. If you need to locate older copies of Spider-Man comics, be sure to look on popular online auction sites. However, you should be prepared to pay for the pleasure of owning an early SpiderMan comic: SpiderMan is not just for kids anymore. Early editions of The Amazing SpiderMan can go for thousands of dollars! But you may be able to get by with slightly later versions of The Amazing SpiderMan, which only go for a few hundred dollars.
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