Trivia / Spider-Man

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Comics Trivia

  • Accidentally Correct Writing: For years Captain Ersatz parodies of Spider-Man have mocked his wrist-mounted web shooters by placing organic spinnerets in an analogous space they would be on a spider like the base of the spine or even inside the butt. Turns out there are actually some species of spiders that spin silk from the ends of their limbs.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: The infamous "With great power comes great responsibility" quote from one of the early issues is usually attributed to Uncle Ben. While it wasn't long before it was retconned to be from him, the actual first appearance of the quote was in a narration box.
    • Not only that, the exact quote is "with great power, there must also come great responsibility". Like matata hakuna, this was likely changed so that it was more marketable as a motto.
    • It wasn't even a motto in the original comics until somewhere in the 1990's. It was just a phrase that appeared once, but, through the film, became so well-known that Peter has taken to quoting it.
      • The 1990's cartoon ended up DRILLING this into our heads. By contrast, in The Spectacular Spider-Man we went through practically a whole season before it showed up.
  • Creator's Favorite: Jim Starlin did not create Spider-Man, but he's expressed fondness of him and inserts him into most of his cosmic-based stories, even though Spidey is generally considered a "street-level" hero.
  • Creator's Pest: Mary Jane Watson's presence as the title character's wife is often blamed for problems in the book's narrative by editors, despite her immense popularity with fans.
    • In the years of the Romita-Lee run, Mary-Jane Watson upset the original plans by Lee and Romita to have her serve as a Foil to Gwen Stacy, but the latter being Peter's true love. The problem was that Mary-Jane was so popular and charismatic (due to being a warm, funny, and lighthearted character in a time when Peter's superhero life was intense and his social life was demanding) that it made Gwen Stacy look plain. Aspects of MJ's design, namely her hair-style and some of her attitude was transferred to Gwen in an attempt to make fans like her, while storylines dealing with Gwen and her father became prominent. The end result is that it merely reinforced MJ's appeal as someone who had far less baggage while making Gwen a too-serious character for fans to get behind the "romance" and that led to Gerry Conway writing The Night Gwen Stacy Died.
    • The most vocal being Joe Quesada who was the mastermind behind the infamous One More Day storyline, and has called MJ "unrealistic" due to being a actress/model married to an Every Man. A complaint that would make sense had it not been for the Art Evolution, where Peter evolved from a slightly plain, thin ordinary looking young man in Steve Ditko's run, to a rather handsome and muscular character in John Romita's run (which is the default Peter Parker look in comics since then) and if all of Peter's other love interests and crushes, weren't, as the Chameleon noted "stunningly attractive women".
    • Previous attempts to get MJ out of the book included editors demanding MJ die and then when that didn't stick that she and Peter be separated at the beginning of J. Michael Straczynski 's run. In large part due to fan demand, the Reset Button was hit on these storylines, and even a version of One More Day was undone by Stan Lee in the newspaper comic continuity, where the two are still married and MJ still gets a lot of screen time.
  • Executive Meddling: The 1990's Clone Saga, and the One More Day retcon.
    • Also, the infamous title reboot of 1999. Because sales had not recovered after the Clone Saga, Marvel decided to reboot the numbering of Amazing and Peter Parker, while cancelling Spectacular and Sensational. Howard Mackie was to continue writing Peter Parker, but he also got to take over Amazing from Tom DeFalco. Each of the four titles were still working through a year's worth of stories (including Norman Osborn's takeover of The Daily Bugle and the mysteries of the fifth Green Goblin and new Mad Jack), but that was all abruptly changed, halted, or outright dropped in favor of the "Gather of the Five" and "Final Chapter" storylines to close out the old numbering. Aunt May's return during the latter story and her not knowing Peter's secret were also deliberately mandated by editorial.
  • Reality Subtext:
    • Carlie Cooper is named for Joe Quesada's daughter.
    • David Michelinie, who created Venom, stated in interviews that Venom was meant to be a woman, who lost her husband and baby during a Spider-Man related incident, but editor Jim Salicrup didn't think readers would see a woman as a physical threat to Spidey. The original She-Venom costume was recycled for Earth X's storylines, with May Parker's variation of Venom resembling a Black Widow spider.
    • One of the better examples is the wedding of Mary Jane and Peter Parker, done because Stan Lee wanted to marry them in the daily newspaper comic strip. Of course, that didn't stop Tom Brevoort from claiming that One More Day was actually a "fix" to this form of "meddling".
  • Science Marches On: Now that we know more about the dangers of radiation, modern versions of the story typically have the spider be genetically engineered rather than radioactive. The radiation, still the source of his powers in the main continuity (well, that or magic), has caused some complications as well. For example, it caused some complications for Mary Jane when she became pregnant with his kid. At one point, Aunt May needed a blood transfusion, and Peter donated his blood... only for his aunt to become incredibly ill from it soon after, because he hadn't taken into account the fact that his blood is radioactive.
  • Take a Third Option: In his beloved late 1970s/early 1980s run, Roger Stern wanted to expand Spider-Man's Rogues Gallery with some new villains. However, fans continued to clamor for the villains created by Lee, Ditko and Romita. Eventually, Stern decided to meet them halfway by creating the Hobgoblin as a Legacy Character to the Green Goblin. This worked particularly well since the Green Goblin identity was largely defunct at the time (Norman Osborn had not yet been retconned as Not Quite Dead, Bart Hamilton was also dead, and Harry Osborn had abandoned the Goblin identity).
  • Trolling Creator: As CBR has put it, Marvel Needs To Undo One More Day Or Stop Trolling Spider-Man Fans
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The Green Goblin was originally imagined by Stan Lee as a supernatural villain, a demon trapped inside a Egyptian-like sarcophagus and accidentally freed by a movie crew. Steve Ditko, however, decided to make him a human villain instead. Rumors after Ditko's departure, claimed that he reportedly wanted the Green Goblin to be a Stranger Behind the Mask, but this has been debunked by Ditko and by other researchers who note the Foreshadowing in the comics about Norman Osborn being a villainous figure, and that the Marvel Method as per Lee's own comments, indicated that Ditko entirely handled the plotting and setup by that time.
    • Stan Lee has gone on record as saying if Gwen Stacy hadn't been killed off, most like she would've ended up married to Peter. Some stories, like House Of M, have toyed with this idea. However, readers of earlier comics note that their relationship at the time of her death was rocky. She blamed Spider-Man for the death of her father, George Stacy, and Peter delayed confessing his Secret Identity to her. The main reason why Gerry Conway killed her was that he couldn't find a plausible resolution to their story without Character Derailment and he felt that killing her off would make a better story.
    • Originally J. Michael Stracyzinski's retcon for Brand New Day would have dialed the clock to the Romita-Lee-Conway era but before Gwen's death. While Joe Quesada was okay with bringing Gwen back from the dead in Brand New Day, it was decided against because on account of Marvel's Shared Universe it would have altered the continuity of multiple titles.
    • Young Allies offered Anya Corazon a potential chance to shine. It had a cast with the potential to create a very interesting character dynamics, and which Anya shone through as the most down to Earth, and easiest to relate to character. But it was killed by poorly written out enemies, an uninteresting and almost generic story arc, and a refusal by Sean McKeever to give the team any sort of cohesion in spite of their common purpose and motivations.
      • It really seemed the team was finally coming together by the 5th issue or so, but by then the series was canceled. The Young Allies have been popping up here and there however, most recently in Spider-Island.
  • Word of Gay: Mysterio, in some of the spin-off novels.
  • Writer Revolt: In 2000, Howard Mackie and John Byrne were ordered to kill off Mary Jane in order to make Peter single again, but they didn't support this decision. Byrne had previously stated he disliked Peter being married on the grounds it aged him, but he pointed out that making him a widower wouldn't make it credible to portray him as the young single guy Marvel so badly wanted him to be. So, when Mary Jane was to be killed off in a mid-air plane explosion, Byrne included an out (a shot of the plane's emergency exit door coming off). As for Mackie, Peter spent the immediate aftermath of this story doubting Mary Jane was dead (on the grounds that Death Is Cheap was so prominent in his life, especially with Norman Osborn and Aunt May then-recent returns). Unsurprisingly, Mary Jane was eventually brought back, which was part of Mackie's final story.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: During Danny Fingeroth's time as editor, he came up with an ongoing plotline of Spider-Man's parents being alive all along (which began in ASM #365 and ended in ASM #388). However, he gave the story to writer David Michelinie, and couldn't or wouldn't tell him where the plotline was going. Fingeroth didn't even know if the parents were real or fake in some way. While the other titles' writers had to step around all this very carefully, the burden was on Michelinie most of all to treat the situation ambiguously until it was finally decided that they were robot spies all along.
    • Post-Clone Saga, J.M. DeMatteis introduced a new Jack O'Lantern (dubbed Mad Jack) and teased the mystery of his identity. DeMatteis admitted he didn't have an identity in mind when he created and began writing the character. His time on the Spectacular title abruptly ended before any explanation could be given, though later stories confirmed him to be Danny Berkhart (a minor villain who briefly assumed the role of Mysterio in the '70s).
  • The franchise holds a Guinness World Record for having Spider-Man appear in more video games than any other comic book character.

PS1 Game Trivia