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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.
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    • 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.
  • Breakthrough Hit: Silk For Robbie Thompson. Before, he only did TV stuff, and the only comics experience was when he wrote several issues of The Human Target, and Silk was his first major credit for Marvel. Being that he was originally lesser-known, and Silk was unpopular with fans it was likely that Marvel just gave the title to him to avoid any major losses. The result was that Thompson was able to salvage the character by portraying her far better than Slott ever did, and she gained a sizable fanbase. Since then, he's gone on to be one of Marvel's most prominent writers.
  • Character-Specific Pages: Peter Benjamin Parker / Spider-Man
  • Creator's Favorite:
    • Stan Lee considered Spider-Man his favorite of his many heroes. J. Jonah Jameson was also one of his favorite characters, largely because he wrote him as a quasi-Author Avatar.
    • While Gerry Conway disagreed with Peter and MJ marrying in the mainstream continuity, he has said that he sees her as Peter's true love and that she is his favorite supporting character in Spider-Man comics.
    • J. M. DeMatteis, author of Kraven's Last Hunt also liked her and he said that while he originally planned the story before Peter's marriage and then incorporated it later, he felt that this was an addition that made the story deeper and more meaningful:
    J. M. DeMatteis: "MJ and Peter were a strong, and very real, couple. The marriage deepened Peter as a human being and deepened the Spider-Man books."
    • Though she evidently started as a Creator's Pest given the below point, Stan Lee has also said in the past that he considers MJ a good candidate for his favourite among the non-superhero characters he's created. Which makes some degree of sense given she's the most prominent supporting character in Spider-Man, which was always Stan's favourite of the franchises he created.
  • Creator's Pest:
    • Right from the time of Lee and Romita Sr. and later writers and editors, Mary Jane's popular and compelling character was seen as Spotlight-Stealing Squad from other supporting players and so on, despite her immense popularity with fans. Lee and Romita wrote her to be more unlikable, gave her an ugly haircut at one point, and even had her Put on a Bus and sent her out of state, but fan outcry brought her back just as they liked her. Later writers also sent her out of the comic for extended periods because as Peter's Official Couple, she tended to close the book and age up Peter.
    • Even before him, 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. Recent attempts have seen MJ become a supporting player in Iron Man comics until Nick Spencer's Spider-Man restored the old issues though who knows how long that will last.
    • MJ's marriage to Peter according to Dan Slott and Joe Quesada was something that was a headache with Marvel's executives and others because they saw Spider-Man not as a character in a story who should and could undergo Character Development but as their company mascot who should appeal to every generation and not be tied to any single point.
    • Matt Fraction who likes MJ as a character and her marriage to Spider-Man noted that writing MJ and interweaving her with a Spider-Man story wasn't easy for writers and editors:
    "I don’t know if Peter Parker was the best Marvel character to be married, and I understand both sides of the argument. When his marriage with MJ worked, it worked very well, but sometimes it seemed like people didn’t know what to do with MJ. Way too often MJ would be relegated to hostage or obstacle. Too seldom did she play the role of supporter, friend or nurturer."
  • Defictionalization: The newspaper strip in a 1977 story featured Kingpin attaching an electronic bracelet on Spider-Man. This inspired New Mexico district judge Jack Love to develop the real-world ankle bracelet.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • The original decision to marry Peter and MJ came out of a desire to get in on a huge public event and craze in The '80s as a result of a spontaneous burst of enthusiasm when Stan Lee and Jim Shooter only half-seriously agreed they might be okay with Spider-Man getting married. They decided to get in on and cash in on what many fans, few of whom had kept pace with the regular Spider-Man continuity on which Lee had little direct involvement for more than a decade, saw as Spider-Man's long overdue status-quo change. This decision polarized and split a number of former Spider-Man writers (Roger Stern, Gerry Conway) but was actually welcomed by editor Jim Salicrup, and staff writers such as J. M. DeMatteis and Peter David. At the time, Peter was in a relationship with the Black Cat and he and MJ were friends, after she had returned to the continuity after being Put on a Bus for 40 issues (her longest absence), and appearing semi-regularly at the timenote . This upset long term plans for some writers, but which, according to DeMatteis also provided Kraven's Last Hunt an emotional depth and meaning that it would not have otherwise had.
    • 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.
    • According to Dan Slott, Spider-Man's status as Marvel's corporate icon and mascot ensures that even the EIC doesn't have full control over Spider-Man's story and direction. He notes that the decision to keep Spider-Man single was based on a consensus among Marvel's top executives after the hoopla over Spider-Man's Wedding (which was indeed an event which brought new public focus to the titles) died out, and a number of editors before Joe Quesada was tasked with getting it done. He also points out that Spider-Man's mascot status makes it all but impossible for Peter Parker to really grow past being young and single in the 616 Continuity for the future. YMMV on this as Dan Slott is somewhat of an unreliable narrator.
  • Fan Nickname: Many of Cindy's detractors sarcastically referred to her "pheromone abilities" (which basically make Peter uncontrollably want to have sex with her whenever he's around her) as Cindy having "The Power of Date-Rape" or "My date rape sense is tingling."
  • Milestone Celebration:
    • "The Wedding!" Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21 (September 1987), was published near-exactly 25 years after the character's first appearance and origin in Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962).
    • Sam Raimi's Spider-Man debuted in America in May 2002, in the 40th Anniversary year of Spider-Man, and three months shy of the exact date in August 1962.
    • Brian Michael Bendis' crossover event Spider-Men where Peter Parker of 616 (i.e. Prime), met Miles Morales for the first time was planned as an event to celebrate Spider-Man's 50th year anniversary in 2012. In that same year, the first Andrew Garfield film, The Amazing Spider-Man was released.
  • Name's the Same: There are two Spider-Man villains with the moniker of Fusion. The first is a radioactive entity that was created when two brothers, Hubert and Pinky Fusser, were fused together by a radiation experiment gone wrong. The second] was a man with [[MasterOfIllsuion illusion powers who blamed Spider-Man for the death of his son.
  • Post-Script Season: Black Cat's ongoing was not meant to be a long-term thing. It was one of Marvel's many "unofficial" miniseries, intending to only last 12 issues before being "cancelled". Its popularity led it to continue past that and then be relaunched.
  • 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.
  • At the end of Venom Inc., Eddie Brock tells Felicia Hardy to stop being some sort of criminal mastermind, that being a hero suited her better. Hardy's Face–Heel Turn was never popular with fans at all and many blamed Dan Slott for ruining the character.
  • 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: See See here.
  • The Wiki Rule: The Spider-Man Wiki.
  • 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 and likewise after failing to save Gwen Stacy, failing his other love interest made him too much of a Failure Hero. 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.
    • Matt Fraction admitted that "To Have and to Hold" his Annual for Sensational Spider-Man that was essentially a celebration of Peter's marriage was "dirty pool" because he knew One More Day was coming. Fraction claimed that he wasn't entirely sure that if Spider-Man should or shouldn't be married but he wrote that story in the hope of trying to write Spider-Man as a married hero, to prove that it could work and still be a great story.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants:
    • When Roger Stern started writing the Hobgoblin arc, he did so without a clear idea on who was his alter ego. He wanted a replacement for the Green Goblin, one who could stick around and to that end he created a mystery in imitation of the original reveal. It was only a little while later after tossing in some Red Herring that he decided on Roderick Kingsley but he kept the mystery going on and decided to leave Spider-Man without completing it. He told editors Tom Defalco his plans but also said that he and other writers could change it if they wished. The result was that everyone decided that what made the Hobgoblin was his mystery and so they kept spinning wheels and tossing new wrinkles until readers got tired and ten years later, Stern returned to provide his version of it.
    • Spider-Man's marriage to MJ was a result of this. According to Jim Shooter, the entire wedding was a spur-on-the-moment improvisation when during a joint convention where Stan Lee and then EIC Shooter attended together (Shooter was invited by Lee because the latter wasn't up on happenings in Marvel continuity at the same time and he didn't want to answer questions about current Spider-Man titles that he didn't know), some random fan asked Stan Lee if he planned to have Spider-Man get married in the newspaper strip. Lee said that he was okay with the idea, and he then turned to Shooter, and being put on the spot, Shooter shrugged and said he would too, and on account of the huge cheers in the crowd, both Lee and Shooter immediately hashed a plan for the event which had been picked by the press. This despite the fact that, as Shooter knew well, MJ had only recently returned to the current continuity after being Put on a Bus for a significant time and that she and Peter were best friends but not dating at the time. Shooter immediately went ahead and got Spider-Man editors and writers to make it coincide with the event, and even when Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz came up with a Plan B where MJ stands Peter up, Shooter insisted they go ahead with it, since the die had been cast and the press had made a big deal of it, and he didn't want the publicity and effort gone into promotion (including getting a real-life fashion designer to create MJ's wedding dress) to just yank along with public expectations.
    • 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.

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