Based on today’s headline, any comic fan should be able to guess this is National Spider-Man Day.
Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Spider-Man first appeared in Amazing Fantasy issue 15. Other stories included were “The Bell Ringer!,” “Man in the Mummy Case!” and “There are Martians Among Us!”
Amazing Fantasy (1962) 15
When sales figures returned for what was the final issue of the title, Spider-Man proved a financial success. He returned in his own book, The Amazing Spider-Man in March of 1963. Lee and Ditko continued to chronicle his exploits to issue 38 when Ditko left. Lee remained scripter until issue 100.
Though the Fantastic Four were recruited to help bolster sales for the first issue, it quickly became apparent the guest stars were not needed. In little time Spider-Man became the flagship of the Marvel Universe.
By mid-decade Spider-Man was as recognizable and popular as Bob Dylan. In 1972 he received a second series, Marvel Team-Up. As the title may indicate, Spider-Man would join other heroes for one-and-dones or story arcs.
In 1976 a third book was devoted to the character, Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man. This one dealt more into the Web Head’s alter ego.
In 1985 Marvel Team-Up ceased publication. Web of Spider-Man replaced it, focused solely on Spider-Man.
Since then titles have popped up or ceased publication, but always sold well.
Spider-Man first appeared on television during Saturday mornings. Spider-Man ’67, as it’s become known, ran from 1967-70. Spidey shared television time with himself in the early 1980s when Spider-Man and Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends ran concurrently. Fox Kids studios would option a series in the 1990s running five seasons and 65 episodes. Spider-Man Unlimited followed.
A CGI series aired following the Spider-Man movie. Not until 2008 would he return in animated form. This time in The Spectacular Spider-Man beginning March 8. Ultimate Spider-Man followed on Disney XD in 2012.
The character’s two lone forays into live action on television were the Electric Company shorts and syndicated The Amazing Spider-Man starring Nicholas Hammond.
A Japanese version aired in 1978.
Spider-Man broke into Hollywood with a feature film in 2002. That was followed by two more before the franchise was rebooted in 2012. Spider-Man Homecoming, released in 2017, was a second retooling of the character on the silver screen. Most recently was Spider-Man: Far From Home.
In addition to the small and big screen appearances, Spider-Man has been featured in pretty much every medium there is to offer. His comic books continue to sell and his likeness is one of the best recognized in the world.