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5 Facts About Spider Man

Since his debut in 1962, Spider-Man has been one of the most popular superheroes in the world, and with appearances in countless comics, cartoons, three different film franchises, and even a live-action Japanese television show that would help to define the Power Rangers (really!), he's also one of the most well known.

As easy as it might be to think you know everything about Marvel's flagship web-slinger, though, there are plenty of misconceptions about Peter Parker's amazing, spectacular, and sensational alter-ego.

If, however, you think Stan's the only one responsible for the thrills of those early adventures, you're mistaken. Most fans are aware that Lee pioneered the "Marvel Style" of writing, in which he'd collaborate with an artist on a loose plot, then add in the dialogue after everything else was done. What's a little less well-known, however, is that his sicbo relationship with artist and Spidey co-creator Steve Ditko was one of the first to deteriorate.

According to Sean Howe's Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, the latter chunk of Ditko's 38-issue run — including the legendary "Final Chapter," in #33 which gave the world the iconic image of Spider-Man fighting his way out from under a massive heap of fallen machinery — was produced without Ditko and Lee speaking to each other at all.

If you think you've seen Kirby's designs, however, you've either encountered a legitimately lost piece of comics history or you've been taken in by a hoax. In 2012, a design for "Jack Kirby's Spiderman" began floating around. It was an interesting look at what a Kirby Spidey might've been, but it turned out to be a fake.

Rather than an original, it was a copy of a shot of Giant Man from the pages of Tales to Astonish, with some elements that Lee and Ditko had discussed in interviews added in and a couple of spidery touches thrown in for good measure.

While Peter Parker has certainly been the primary identity for Spider-Man since his debut in 1962, he's definitely not the only one. For a while in the '90s, Spider-Man was instead Ben Reilly, a clone of Peter (made by a villain called the Jackal) who was tricked into thinking he was the genuine article right around the time Peter lost his powers.

He dyed his hair blonde, got a job at a coffee shop, and took over the role with a new costume for the entirety of 1996 before eventually dissolving into a pile of dust. Like most comic book deaths, that one proved to be temporary, although Ben hasn't been Spider-Man since.


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