Almost Unbelievable, But True: This Is How Spider-Man’s Career Began Among Marvel Superheroes!

MOVIE NEWS – In 1962, it seemed that only Stan Lee saw the potential of Spider-Man as the iconic superhero of Marvel comics…



It now seems impossible that Spider-Man, one of the most iconic characters of Marvel, could have been rejected by Stan Lee’s publisher and never published. But in fact, the character’s career got off to a rough start.

In the 1960s, Stan Lee, the prolific writer and publisher of Marvel Comics, had already achieved success with titles such as the Fantastic Four.

According to legend, Lee was inspired by the sight of an insect crawling up a wall. The idea of ​​a superhero who can cling to surfaces was formulated in him. However, this hero would not be the typical, towering, immaculate adult. But he is a teenager with everyday problems. All this was a revolutionary idea at the time.

Lee was enthusiastic about his creation and presented the idea to Martin Goodman, his boss at Marvel. Goodman did not share Lee’s enthusiasm. “That’s the worst idea I’ve ever heard,” Goodman told Lee. According to Goodman, people hated spiders. Moreover, a teenager with personal problems would never make a convincing superhero. According to him, the teenagers were only meant to be sidekicks, not protagonists. This outright rejection could have spelled the end of Spider-Man.


Convince Marvel


However, Stan Lee could not be beaten. He was determined to prove that his creation had potential. He found a way to introduce Spider-Man. Using his editorial skills, he managed to sneak his story into the latest issue of a declining magazine, Amazing Fantasy. Lee’s logic was simple: the magazine was destined to be discontinued, so it didn’t matter much what was published in the final issue. But what a historic last number it was!

So Lee, alongside the great (and woefully under-recognized) artist Steve Ditko, brought Spider-Man to life in Amazing Fantasy #15, the cover of which was published in August 1962.

By the way, the cover was drawn by the indispensable Jack Kirby. It depicted Spider-Man swinging over New York City with a man in distress under his arm. An iconic image that has been repeated and paid homage to endlessly. The protagonist of the story is Peter Parker. An average teenager from a working-class neighbourhood in Queens who gained superpowers after being bitten by a radioactive spider. Unlike other heroes, Peter Parker faced real problems such as bullying, lack of money, and the loss of his beloved Uncle Ben. A true working-class hero.

The comic ended with a moral lesson that became the character’s trademark: “With great power comes… great responsibility!



Marvel / Pókember / Spider-Man



A more or less unexpected success


Despite Marvel’s own bets, Amazing Fantasy 15 was a resounding success. Readers immediately connected with Peter Parker. The idea of ​​a superhero dealing with the same issues as them was novel and refreshing. Fan mail flooded the Marvel office, demanding more Spider-Man stories. Martin Goodman, seeing the sales numbers, rushed back to Lee’s office and said, “Stan, you know, your character, Spider-Man, that we loved so much, why don’t we do a series with him?” Goodman went from being a sceptic to an enthusiastic supporter of the character.

Thus was born The Amazing Spider-Man, which first appeared in March 1963 and has been in print ever since

Spider-Man’s success was immediate and lasting. Stan Lee has always claimed that Spider-Man is his favourite character because he is the most human. “He’s the most like me, nothing goes perfectly for him. He has a lot of problems and makes mistakes, and I can relate to that,” Lee told the Chicago Tribune in 1996.


Everyone loves Spider-Man


Spider-Man not only conquered the world of comics but also expanded into other media. In the 1970s, a live-action TV series starring Nicholas Hammond was launched. At the same time, several animated series. However, Spider-Man reached new heights only in 2002 with the film directed by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire. The film was not only a box office success but also set a new standard for superhero films.

It grossed over $800 million worldwide and proved that Spider-Man could be just as successful in cinema as he was in comic books.

Raimi’s trilogy was followed by reboots starring Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland, who both presented their own interpretations of the character. In 2018, the animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse received critical acclaim and an Academy Award, further cementing Spider-Man’s status as a cultural icon.

Source: University of Oregon, New York Post

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