Whether it’s through comic books, TV cartoons or movies, everyone knows who Spider-Man is. He’s the web-slinging superhero alter-ego of Peter Parker, who protects New York City from many nefarious criminals. But do you know his true origin story?
Way back in 1962, Marvel put out an issue of its Amazing Fantasy series that introduced the character known as “Spider-Man.” This super rare comic is incredibly hard to find nowadays, and is highly coveted by collectors and fans around the world.
Here at Screenbid, we’re auctioning off an actual issue of Amazing Fantasy #15 featuring Spider-Man’s origin story. To help celebrate this event, we’re here to tell you five things you (probably) don’t know about the original Spider-Man story.
1. The Origin Story is Pretty Consistent With What You Know
While many superhero origin stories get tweaked and re-written over the years in comics or movies, Spidey’s background in 1962 is nearly identical to the one you probably know today. Peter Parker, lonely high school student, lives at home with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben. On a field trip, he is bitten by a radioactive spider, which gives him incredible superpowers.
Later on, his Uncle Ben is killed by a burglar. When Peter tracks down the criminal as Spider-Man, he finds out the man was a thief that he let escape while backstage at a TV show appearance. He realizes that if he had used his powers to stop the criminal, his uncle would still be alive. This realization leads him to become a superhero.
This origin story is pretty consistent throughout Spider-Man’s history, and is hardly indistinguishable from the various iterations told through the years. Considering how much comic book writers love to mess and tweak with origin stories, that’s pretty surprising.
2. Spider-Man Couldn’t Shoot Webs
One of the aspects of the Spider-Man character that constantly changes his how he actually shoots his webs. In some versions of the hero, he is naturally able to shoot them out of his wrists like a spider. In others, he has to create an actual fluid and use a mechanism on his wrist to shoot the webs.
In Amazing Fantasy #15, Spidey could not naturally shoot webs. After Peter competes as Spider-Man in a wrestling match to win $100, he comes home and makes his own costume as well as a sticky web solution and jets for his wrists to shoot them. So at least in the original telling of the Spider-Man story, he wasn’t as closely related to his eight-legged relatives.
3. No Mary Jane
When you think about Spider-Man, there’s one other character that you immediately think of as well: Mary Jane Watson. MJ is Peter’s high school crush and eventual girlfriend who often plays a major role in his adventures throughout the comics.
But in Amazing Fantasy #15, Mary Jane is not present. Instead, Peter is rejected by an unnamed girl and later on bullied by someone named Elizabeth Allen. MJ would not appear in a Spider-Man comic until Amazing Spiderman #15, which came out in 1964.
4. Spider-Man Fights a Wrestler Named ‘Hogan’
Today, we know Hulk Hogan as one of the most famous professional wrestlers of all time. But back in 1962, he was just a nine-year-old boy and his influence on wrestling was nearly two decades away.
So it’s somewhat crazy that the wrestler that Spider-Man has to fight to $100 is also named “Hogan” in Amazing Fantasy #15. But his first name is not “Hulk,” but rather “Crusher.”
Hulk Hogan would actually partner with Marvel in 1984 to promote himself and the Incredible Hulk comics, although the relation between him and Crusher Hogan was never established.
5. There Were Three Other Stories in the Comic That Didn’t Include Spider-Man
Amazing Fantasy #15 is best known for introducing Spider-Man. But his origin story wasn’t the only thing inside the comic. There were three other stories told in Amazing Fantasy #15. One is about a man who is in charge of ringing a warning bell on an island when a volcano begins to erupt. Another is about a mummy who tries to convince a criminal to stand inside a sarcophagus while being chased by the police. And the third is about a small town that discovers a crashed UFO and realizes that there are martians hiding in community.
Obviously none of these stories were intended to be turned into the epic series’ that Spider-Man became. But they’d probably be pretty darn good episodes of The Twilight Zone.
So now that you know some fun facts about the first comic to ever feature Spider-Man, you’ll probably want to get a copy of it for yourself! You can bid on a copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 featuring Spider-Man right here. We’re also auctioning off a Spider-Man poster signed by Stan Lee as well as the actual Spidey suit worn by Tom Holland in Spider-Man: Homecoming, which came out earlier this year. Both of those items can be viewed here.