A Spider-Man For All Seasons - Mania.com


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A Spider-Man For All Seasons

A look back at 40 years of amazing adventures from the creators who made Spidey a hero

By Arnold T. Blumberg     September 05, 2002

None of us ever had the character to ourselves not really. From early in his illustrious crime-fighting career, there was a steadily increasing number of avid fans thrilling to his tragedy-tinged adventures. But sometimes, sitting alone with a stack of Spider-Man comics, it felt like his tales of web-spinning derring-do were just for the entertainment of one happy reader. You see, the Fantastic Four watched over the entire Earth and occasionally the cosmos; Captain America fought for his country and American ideals; the Hulk only cared about himself; but Spider-Man? He was out there swinging through the city streets and bashing the bad guys for you.

That's how it felt anyway, and it's that personal identification that so energized the Spider-Man saga and explains his Everyman appeal to this day. For four decades, he's quipped his way through countless battles, upheld the principles of personal responsibility and a greater sense of justice, conquered just about every medium on the planet, and become one of the most recognized pop culture icons of the 20th century and beyond. That's quite a legacy for a character that was almost nothing more than an afterthought way back in August 1962. When bookworm and wallflower Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spider-Man, first appeared in the pages of AMAZING FANTASY #15, one of many horror/sci-fi anthologies by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and other Marvel stalwarts, his first adventure was shoehorned in because the series was ending and no one expected anything to come of this creepy teen with a tragic origin. Boy were they wrong!


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