|Me and Spidey - second and third from front|
And so in anticipation of the movie the Archive presents a crash course in all things Spidey.
Spider-Man was created by writer Stan Lee and artists Steve Dikto and he first appeared way back in 1962 in issue 15 of Amazing Fantasy. Spider-Man was very much a child of the Sixties and what made him so refreshing was that unlike Batman and Superman, he was an ordinary Joe which made him easier to identify with and readers of the time made Spidey and his weedy alter ego Peter Parker instant superstars. Peter Parker was a teenager and the star of the strip when teenagers in most other superhero titles were relegated to the role of sidekick.
"With great power there must also come great responsibility." The line, used so effectively in the original Spider-Man movies actually comes from the first ever Spider-Man comic strip story.
Spider got his own title in 1963 with issue 1 of The Amazing Spider-Man and was an immediate success, especially with the counter culture who considered Spidey to be anti-establishment. A 1965 Esquire poll of college campuses found that college students ranked Spider-Man and fellow Marvel hero the Hulk alongside Bob Dylan and Che Guevara as their favorite revolutionary icons
It wasn't too long before Spidey made the transition to the small screen and the 1967 animated series is considered a classic. Although produced on a small budget the cartoon series would run until 1970 and is still repeated across the world. The show would eventually transform into Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends but rights problems soon ended the show in 1983. In 1994 a new Spider-Man cartoon his the screens. Titles simply Spider-Man this show was darker than previous shows and featured a revamped version of the original theme this time performed by Joe Perry.
There was also a Spider live action TV series - it played on primetime when I was a kid and it was popular with us fantasy starved kids but it soon vanished from screens. The effects were not so special and the low budget was painfully visible. The series is fondly remembered though and until Ramini's Spider movie there was talk of bringing the series back.
THREE MUST READ SPIDEY STORIES:
The original Clone Saga - Marvel's Clone Saga of the mid 90's was one of the worse comic book events in history, but the original Clone Saga from the 1970's should not be ignored. The story is about the Jackal – originally Miles Warren, Peter Parker’s biology professor at ESU – who we learn had a secret obsession with Gwen Stacy and blames Spider-Man for her death. Out of his pain he clones both Gwen and Peter, leading to a rather tormenting series of events for the wall crawler.
The Wedding - Spider marries Mary Jane, the marriage lasting twenty years, and comic book fans were served a wonderful celebration story. MJ ponders becoming domesticated, giving up her life of parties and rich boys to become the wife of a superhero while Peter reflects on Gwen Stacy's death and how his being Spider-Man directly contributed to it.
The Amazing Spider-Man opens next month