5 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Spider-Man

Spider-Man is a modern myth, with many iterations and variations that it’s hard to keep track of. Everyone knows his story and origin, but a lot of the time the fine details fall through the cracks. Since Spider-Man: Homecoming just released to rave reviews, lets explore the things that even some die-hard comic fans get wrong about old web-head.

5. “So You’re The… Spiderling?”

Amazing SM.png
Source: Marvel Unlimited. Amazing Spider-Man #359. Art by Chris Marrinan, Keith Williams & Bob Sharen. ©MARVEL 1992

Probably the most common mistake is the most reasonable, yet the most unacceptable to comic book fans. There’s Superman, Batman, so it should be Spiderman too, right?

Wrong!

Spider-Man is and always will be hyphenated. This was done by co-creator Stan Lee as an attempt to differentiate Spider-Man from the popular heroes from Marvel’s rival DC Comics, listed above. He even first appeared as ‘Spider Man’! As Chandler succinctly put it on an episode of Friends, “It’s not his last name. He’s not Phil Spiderman. He’s a Spider-Man.”

4. “With Great Power…”

Uncle Ben.png
Source: Marvel Unlimited. Amazing Fantasy #15. Art by Steve Ditko. ©MARVEL 1962

Possibly one of the most famous quotes of all time, known to fans of the comics, movies, animated series and even people who don’t care about Spidey, is Uncle Ben’s famous words: “With great power comes great responsibility.”

However, that’s not actually what Uncle Ben said. In fact, Uncle Ben didn’t say it at all. The words first appeared in Spider-Man’s debut in Amazing Fantasy #15 as part of the issue’s closing speech by the narrator Stan Lee, and the phrase is actually “…With great power, there must also come — great responsibility!”

It’s not a collective misremembering though, so don’t go throwing it up on Mandela Effect memes. The words (as you remember them) were popularized in Sam Raimi’s popular 2002 film Spider-Man spoken by – you guessed it – Uncle Ben.

3. “Face It, Tiger…”

Wedding.png
Source: Marvel Unlimited. Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21. Art by Paul Ryan, Vince Colletta & Bob Sharen. ©MARVEL 1987

Pop quiz! Who was Spider-Man’s first girlfriend?

I know, I know. The Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy was iconic. But Peter didn’t actually meet Mary Jane Watson until college. Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man duology wasn’t quite correct either: It wasn’t Gwen Stacy. It was actually the secretary of the Daily Bugle, Betty Brant.

Peter and Betty’s relationship was short-lived, as she feared he still had feelings for his former crush Liz Allan. Peter then went on to date Gwen Stacy, followed by Mary Jane Watson (and a number of costumed heroes and minor civilians) before again dating and eventually marrying MJ.

2. “Everyone’s Got A Gimmick Now!”

Spider-Gwen.png
Source: Marvel Unlimited. Spider-Gwen Annual #1. Art by Robbi Rodriguez. ©MARVEL 2016

Speaking of Gwen Stacy, one of the most popular characters to come out of Marvel’s stable in a long, long time is the web-slinging alt-universe re-imagining of Peter’s longtime flame. What was her name again?

If you said Spider-Gwen, you are actually incorrect. After being bitten by a radioactive spider, Earth-65 Gwen Stacy became a hero and fought crime under the mantle of Spider-Woman. The name of the comic (and the character’s fan nickname) is Spider-Gwen in an effort to differentiate her from another beloved and mostly unrelated character, Jessica Drew – better known as Earth-616’s Spider-Woman.

1. “…Does Whatever A Spider Can!”

Spidey Strength.png
Source: Marvel Unlimited. Amazing Spider-Man #16. Art by Alex Ross. ©MARVEL 2016

What are Spider-Man’s powers?  Well, he’s really strong and acrobatic, he has Spidey-sense, he can shoot webs from his wrists and he has little scopulae hairs that help him crawl on walls… Right?

Well, he is really acrobatic, and he is really strong (“He’s got radioactive blood!”). However, Peter Parker’s webs came straight from web-shooters he built and designed himself. Unlike the infamous film trilogy, they do not (usually) come directly from his wrists. His so-called ‘Spidey-sense’ isn’t so-called that at all, either: The actual term is ‘spider-sense’.

Also, while he can climb on walls, the comics are also different from how the films depicted it. According to The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, Peter is “able to enhance the flux of inter-atomic attractive forces on surfaces he touches, increasing the coefficient of friction between that surface and himself”. Makes sense.

How many did you know? Let us know!

 

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Author: Jesse "The Clairvoyant" Rolufs

Film star. Chemical engineer. Dancer. Comedian. I am none of these things. What I am, however, is a huge geek hailing from the frigid wastes of western Canada. I couldn’t even tell you when it started - I’m told the first words out of my mouth were “I swing my +2 DEX war axe and attack the dragon.” My name is Jesse (also known as “The Clairvoyant”) and I am a big nerd when it comes to video games, board games, movies, anime, TV, RPGs - and I am possibly the one of the world leading experts on comic books, the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Joss Whedon. You can find me on twitter as @JesseRolufs. Don’t be afraid to check out my informative Joss Whedon-themed podcast @whedoncast, and my hilarious bargain-bin-movie-bashing podcast @BlindBuy!

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