A number of incidents recounted in Peter Parker's life prior to becoming Spider-Man are cited to have occurred in specific decades relative to the era of publication. However, the Earth-616 universe operates on a Sliding Timescale. These events could not have occurred in the times they appeared due to the fact that it would drastically age the character. All historically specific references to Peter's past are Topical References. The passage of time is a rough estimate based on the Sliding Timescale.
Peter Parker was born in Queens to CIA agents Richard and Mary Parker. Peter was conceived while his parents were on a mission in Bombay, India. Present at his birth were his Uncle Ben and Aunt May, and when Ben jokingly said "always liked the name 'Ben,' myself," Richard gave Peter the middle name "Benjamin."  Richard and Mary often left Peter in the care of his Uncle Ben and Aunt May after he was born. When Richard and Mary were later assigned on a mission to Algeria, they left Peter in the care of his aunt and uncle while they were away. Their assignments with the CIA a secret, Richard and Mary died in a plane crash. They were later framed for acts of treason against the United States by the communist Red Skull. Ben and May decided to raise Peter as their own, keeping the accusations surrounding his parents a secret from him for many years.[note 1]
Raising young Peter was daunting at first, but soon Aunt May and Uncle Ben came to love the boy as though he was their own child. Because she was afraid of eye strain, Peter's Aunt May had Peter wear glasses from a young age. Peter became aware that his parents were dead at a young age. One night when Peter awoke crying in the middle of the night, May came to his side and vowed to always be there for him. For whatever reasons it took a number of years for May and Ben to become Peter's legal guardians. On that very day, Peter was almost run down by a car while playing in the street had May not pulled him to safety. May spanked young Peter, and now aware that they weren't his parents told May that he hated her. May assured Peter that no matter what she would always be there, assuaging his fears that everyone he cares about will eventually abandon him. Peter quickly became a reclusive child, but very bright and found a love for reading and a love of science. Not long after this, Peter's Aunt May explained to Peter what fear was and it's benefits to living creatures. Peter grew up fairly happy early on in his life, with trips to the beach with his aunt, and kite flying lessons with his uncle. Peter particularly bonded with his Uncle Ben, taking on his knack for bad jokes and silly pranks, and found a love for action films just like his uncle. One night Peter was sent out to get some ice cream and was taunted by his peers. On the way home there was a black out, and while Peter was scared, he was found by his Uncle Ben who escorted him home, using a pocket flashlight to guide the way. At a very early age, Peter was taken by his uncle to see the New York Mets play. Peter quickly found a love for baseball and got into the game. When the Mets lost the game, Uncle Ben told Peter that losing is part of life. The pair made it an annual tradition to go out and see a Mets game, and each year they went out the Mets lost.[note 2] Peter also spent time helping Aunt May with her gardening.
In elementary school he attempted to make friends, only to be bullied by his peers because he was not athletic and wore glasses. Peter did have a fierce sense of loyalty. One day when some kids ruined the family groceries on a rainy day, Peter confronted them but was beaten up for his troubles. In the aftermath of the fight his Uncle Ben imparted Peter with the first of many bits of wisdom Peter would eventually live by implicitly: that the greatest power one could possess was their intelligence and courage. One of his earliest and constant bullies was Carl King who bullied Peter from kindergarten and for years to come. It didn't help that his Aunt May began thinking Peter was fragile and grew more overprotective of him as he grew older. Still despite this fact, Peter still managed to gain friends such as Liz Allan, Seymour O'Reilly, Jason Ionello, Sally Avril, Sean "Tiny" McKeever, and Charlie Murphy. They remained good friends all the way through to Junior High. One day, Peter's Uncle Ben told Peter that he should spend the day outside. It was on this day that he first crossed paths with his future tormentor Eugene "Flash" Thompson, who bullied those around him. Seeing how the other children feared and respected Flash, and his natural athletic ability Peter envied Thompson, unaware that Flash came from an abusive home. Not longer after this, May and Ben took Peter to an open house of a science facility owned by Oscorp where Peter was inspired to pursue a career in science by its owner, Norman Osborn. After being frightened by a spider, Peter's uncle taught the boy not to fear the arachnids as they were relatively harmless. During another trip out to watch the Mets play, Peter was knocked unconscious while trying to catch a home run and was struck in the head by the ball. The Mets' mascot attempted first aid on Peter, frightening him when he came too.
At the age of twelve, Peter had befriended a boy named Tommy Monks. Already afraid of heights, Peter was convinced to climb up a tree and fell from it breaking his arm. The injury caused May to become even more protective of Peter, despite Ben's attempts to get her to ease up on the boy. Peter was naturally bright and won science fair awards and made good grades. Ben attempted to encourage Peter by telling him how proud his father would have been. This made Peter sullen and depressed, and when Ben got the boy to confide in him, was surprised to learn that Peter wanted his Uncle Ben to be proud of him. Peter continued to excel in his classes during his junior high years. Peter was still bullied by Carl King, who regularly stole his lunch money, dunked his head in the toilet, and other torments. King had Peter convinced that these torments were what he deserved and that nobody would help him. Peter also developed a love for comic books, particularly ones about monsters and science fiction. However, when Peter was plagued with nightmares about the various creatures in the books he read, his Aunt May had the comics taken away. Unaware by all at the time, Peter was being tormented by the dream demon known as Nightmare. May was less strict about comic books when Peter came across his Uncle Ben's old collection of comic books from the 1940s. Peter quickly fell in love with the stories about heroes like Captain America, the android Human Torch, the Sub-Mariner and others. He romanticized about becoming a super-hero himself and wished someday he could be one. This fantasy started gaining traction when his Aunt May was knocked over by a boy on a skateboard and twisted the ankle. Wishing he had some way to stop the boy, Peter went home and sketched a design for what would eventually become the Web-Shooters that he would use in later years.[note 3]
At the age of 13, Peter began attending Midtown High School, where the student body was joined by Flash Thompson. Peter soon found his circle of friends quickly shun him for the more charismatic Flash, who became yet another tormentor. Flash also began dating Liz Allan. Following him was his long-time tormentor, Carl King, who continued to bully Peter in high school. Peter found a brief reprieve with the arrival of Charlie Weiderman, who soon became a target for bullies. Peter was relieved in the freedom this allowed him. Peter also went out of his way to humiliate Charlie in gym class, but instantly felt guilty. Peter attempted to make friends with Weiderman and found that they both had an interest in science. But Peter soon discovered that Charlie had a darker side when Charlie attempted to make his own Super-Soldier Serum, but this attempt landed him in the hospital after he tried ingesting it himself. Still, Peter tried to be a friend to Charlie, even as the relentless bullying continued. When some of their classmates tried to bar Charlie's path, he attempted to pull a knife on them. When the altercation was broken up, Peter claimed ownership of the knife with a concocted story about it being his uncle's favorite knife and he wished to sharpen it. To Peter's surprise his Uncle Ben went along with the story, and due to his good record Peter did not get into much trouble, although his Uncle Ben demanded to know what the truth was. Later when Charlie slashed the tires on his tormentor's bicycles, he ran to the Parker home for protection. Although Ben forced the bullies to go away, he told Charlie he was no longer welcome at their home and forbade Peter from hanging out with Weiderman in the future. This soon proved to be a moot point as the Weiderman family soon moved away. Peter eventually found himself the one bullied by his peers once again shortly after Charlie left. Not everyone was out to get Peter Parker, as Peter soon learned when he was saved from some bullies by C.J. Vogel, the class clown.
It was about this time that Peter Parker read about scientist Reed Richards' space mission, that eventually led to the birth of the Fantastic Four.[note 4] Not long after this, Peter won the school science fair, beating out Laurie Lynton an obese girl who had an unrequited crush on Parker. In the 10th Grade, one of Peter's favorite teachers was his science teacher Daphne Smith, partially for her often explosive and loud science demonstrations. Another science teacher of Peter's was Raymond Warren who encouraged Peter to pursue his education in science. That fall, Peter was helping his aunt and uncle with their yard work. Unknown to Peter at the time this was the first time he was seen by Mary Jane Watson, the niece of his Aunt May's friend Anna Watson. It was about this time; Peter began to realize that his aunt and uncle were much older than the parents of his classmates and began to worry about their mortality. Uncle Ben assured Peter that both sides of the family came from "hearty stock" and both he and Peter's Aunt May would live for a long time still. Tragically, this prediction proved to be very wrong. Three days before he was murdered, Ben Parker took his nephew Peter out to see the Mets one last time. Peter was uninterested after years of losses, but much to his surprise, the Mets actually won the game and Peter rediscovered his love of baseball.
When Peter was fifteen years old, he was interested in a scientific exhibition on radioactivity at General Techtronics Laboratories East. When none of his fellow students were interested in going with him, Peter went on his own.[note 5] Unknown to Peter, he was being followed by his tormentor Carl King who sought to bully him some more that day. During the experiment that day, a lone spider lowered into the path of radioactive energy that was being transmitted by the particle accelerator being demonstrated. This radioactive spider ended up on Peter's hand and bit him. Peter quickly realized that the spider had been radiated, and quickly excused himself from the room when he began to feel ill as a result of the bite. Unknown to Peter at the time, the spider also bit Cindy Moon another student that was attending the demonstration, a woman that would play an important role in Peter's future many years later.[note 6] Also unknown to Peter was the fact that he was still being watched by Carl King, who witnessed everything that happened next...
As Peter rushed outside, he was also witnessed by Flash and Liz Allan, who both had a laugh at his condition. Peter was also confronted by two bullies from his school; Peter was surprised when he was able to take a punch. When Peter tried to hit back, the bully dodged the blow, and Peter struck a lamp post, causing it to fall over, much to his surprise. Walking out into traffic, Peter was almost run down by a car, but he managed to make a leap across the street and was further surprised when he was able to cling to the wall as well. As he climbed to the top of the building the only witness was a child. Peter soon discovered that the spider's bite had granted him with the proportionate strength, speed and agility of a spider.
By most accounts, Peter Parker's powers were the source of the radioactivity combining with the spider DNA, giving him his spider powers. However, Peter's spider powers originate from a far greater source. The Great Weaver, a totemic deity of the spider, selected Peter to be his avatar in reality-616.[note 7]
Having been marginalized by his peers for years, Peter decided to use his newfound powers for personal gain and the hope of achieving fame and fortune. The opportunity presented itself when he learned of a cash prize for anyone who could last for three minutes in the ring with wrestler Crusher Hogan.[note 8] Putting on some ragged clothing and a stocking around his head to disguise himself, Peter went into the ring with Crusher Hogan and easily lasted in the ring more than three minutes, winning the money. Yet again, Peter was unaware that he was once again being watched by Carl King. After the match, Peter was offered to be represented by booking agent Maxie Shiffman who claimed he could land Peter on television.[note 9]
In order to sensationalize himself, Peter designed a colorful costume and applied the designs for his web-shooters, creating his own adhesive formula to create webs. With that the Amazing Spider-Man was born, and became a television sensation, appearing on television and making a sizable amounts of money.[note 10] On the way to his first show, Peter had saved a man falling from a window who was trying to catch a glimpse of him swinging by, performing his first (albeit unplanned) heroic act as Spider-Man. Peter's televised exploits gained him a legion of fans, including Flash Thompson, and young prodigy Clayton Cole. Spider-Man's first performance also generated a positive review from the Daily Bugle editor-in-chief J. Jonah Jameson.
After one of Peter's performances, he happened upon a burglar robbing the studio. When the security guard asked Spider-Man to stop the crook, Peter allowed him to go by. When the guard scolded Spider-Man, Peter told him that catching the crook was the guard's responsibility, not his. This one moment of arrogance would cost Peter more than he could ever bargain for and change his life forever. A few days later while coming home from a performance, Peter was surprised to see the police waiting outside his home. He was shocked to learn that his Uncle Ben had confronted a burglar breaking into their home and was fatally shot. Learning that the man responsible was hiding out in the Acme Warehouse, Peter changed into Spider-Man to catch him.[note 11] As Peter exited his bedroom window as Spider-Man, he was observed by Mary Jane Watson,[note 12] as well as Carl King. Both made the connection that Peter Parker was Spider-Man, but both kept that a secret for many years.
Spider-Man tracked the burglar down to the Acme Warehouse where he confronted him. Knocking out the murderer with a single punch, Peter finally got a good look and was shocked to find that the killer was the very burglar he refused to stop days earlier. Peter was horrified by the realization that he was partially responsible for the death of his Uncle Ben and left the burglar webbed up for the authorities. Peter learned the harshest lesson of all: with great power, comes great responsibility.
Peter took it upon himself to arrange his Uncle Ben's funeral, using all of his money from show business as well as his uncle's pension to cover the cost, but still needed more money. Needing more money, Peter returned to Maxie Shiffman, and demanded that he find him more work. Due to Peter's dramatic capture of his Uncle's murderer, J. Jonah Jameson began completely shifted his opinion of Spider-Man and began considering him a menace and began airing this opinion in the Daily Bugle. While at school Peter was still bullied by Flash Thompson. The school administrators, particularly Principal Andrew Davis and Mr. Flannigan the school guidance counselor, became concerned about Peter's school performance and he impact his Uncle's death had on his mental well-being.
There are two accounts of Uncle Ben's funeral, one states that it was a rainy day and the only two in attendance were Peter and his Aunt May. It was a somber funeral filled with much sadness  While another states that there were a number of mourners who came to Ben's funeral. Aunt May even had a moment where she was able to smile when she noticed how many people cared for Ben. Peter was less than enthused when all the mourners provided were casseroles and no financial aid.
High School Years
Learning to Crawl
Peter then began focusing on his next big act, which included more deadly gimmicks prepared by special effects artist Quentin Beck at the insistence of Maxie Shiffman. Meanwhile at school, Peter stone walled his councilor in order to maintain his identity. His career in showbiz began to take a turn for the worst. During his next performance, Beck's traps almost injured the audience, but Peter managed to protect them from harm. Despite this, Spider-Man was soon becoming blacklisted from performing. In addition to this, Jameson began ramping up his editorials calling Spider-Man a menace. Peter's career also inspired Clayton Cole to chase fame by developing his own costumed identity, using his sound distorting devices to become the Clash.
Spider-Man was basically done with his career in show business and began ignoring Maxie's calls for more work to pay off his gambling debts. Peter discovered another financial issue when a man came to Aunt May telling her that he had a furniture order placed by Uncle Ben for his death and that it was still unpaid. Distraught, and thinking this was a final gift from Uncle Ben, Aunt May agreed to pay the balance owing and have the furniture delivered. While Peter went out web-slinging to vent his frustrations about his current situation, he discovered the same man giving a similar speech to another recent widow. Spider-Man followed the man back to a warehouse where he uncovered an operation being run by Conrad "The Undertaker" Eisenstadt which included defrauding recent widows and taking out contract killings. Spider-Man broke up the operation and left Eisenstadt and his men for the authorities. Peter quickly made a new friend when he came across a young super-human named Joey Pulaski who was endowed with energy manipulation. The two quickly bonded, but Spider-Man soon found that she was purposely sabotaging a building project. Not wishing innocent people to be injured, Peter stopped Pulaski. Peter was unaware that his involvement in bringing Pulaski down got the attention of her employer the mob boss known as the Kingpin. Spider-Man's activities also gained the attention of CIA agent Nick Fury who was secretly defending the world from monsters, aliens and other unseen threats. Fury briefly considered eliminating Spider-Man, but after seeing the young hero in action, decided to hold off on killing him as he saw potential for good in the masked wall-crawler. Peter's career came to an end when he finally agreed to meet with Maxie Shiffman. Maxie booked Peter an appearance on the "It's Amazing" television program. Unknown to Peter, Shiffman also hired another super-human known as Supercharger to mock an attack on the show to develop more hype. This appearance also earned more ire from J. Jonah Jameson. Jameson's son, NASA astronaut John Jameson was bumped from the show in favor of Spider-Man. As it turned out, Supercharger took the job in order to murder the entire studio audience as he blamed society and super-heroes for the death of his father. Spider-Man stopped Supercharger's rampage, and upon learning that Maxie set up the whole incident, he forced Shiffman to pay for the damages. Peter then decided that he should use his powers responsibly and became determine to use them to help those in need. When Peter got sick of being hassled by Flash Thompson, he stood up to the bully but backed down when he realized that his strength could really hurt Flash. Later he stopped Bobby Grillo from robbing a convenience store but hit him so hard he was hospitalized. Horrified by what he did, Peter stood down once again when Flash bullied him. When Bobby was later released from the hospital, Spider-Man tried to visit him to apologize only to learn from Bobby's mother that he had left home. When Spider-Man later saved Bobby and thousands of others when a construction crane collapsed, Bobby decided to give up on a life of crime and go straight, thanking Spider-Man for helping him turn over a new leaf. Peter later confronted Flash and told the bully that he was no longer afraid of him but refused to fight him. Thompson was actually impressed by Peter for standing up for himself, albeit in his own way.
Becoming a Hero
When Peter attempted to get more work from Maxie Shiffman, Maxie was forced to write Peter a check for tax purposes. Not wishing to reveal his secret identity, Peter was forced to have the check signed in the name of Spider-Man, but no bank would cash it. His career dried up shortly thereafter thanks to the many editorials by J. Jonah Jameson calling Spider-Man a menace. Spotting Aunt May secretly pawning jewelry to pay the bills Peter became very distraught over his current situation. The next day Peter went to watch the launching of a planetary orbiter piloted by John Jameson. When one of the on-board devices malfunctioned sending the orbiter out of control. Changing into Spider-Man, Peter took the required replacement part and after commandeering a military jet, managed to catch up to the capsule, and hop on board. Spider-Man then replaced the malfunctioning component saving John Jameson's life. After the capsule safely landed, Spider-Man left the scene not wanting to be flooded with praise. Peter got anything but that, when J. Jonah Jameson wrote yet another scathing editorial accusing Spider-Man of being a glory hog, and worse he was wanted for questioning by the FBI.
Still needing work, Peter decided to pay a visit to the Fantastic Four to see if he could get paying work with the group of super-heroes. After forcing a battle to show them what he could do, Peter was dismayed to learn that being a member of the Fantastic Four was not a paying gig and angrily fled their Baxter Building headquarters. Back at school, Peter found that he could actually vent his frustrations about being Spider-Man by speaking in "code" to Mr. Flannigan. However, when the guidance counselor noticed a bruise on Peter's eye caused by the Thing, he thought it was caused by Flash Thompson. Peter decided not to correct him on this idea but earned the ire of Thompson after the bully got in trouble. Flannigan then tried to get Peter interested in school activities and introduced him to the members of the school A.V. Club, Polly McKenna, Martin and Lawson. While meeting the group Peter noticed an advertisement for the regional science fair and the $10,000 prize being offered to the winner. Peter then joined the A.V. Club to the Goodman Science Museum. There while checking an exhibit on spiders, Peter was contacted by some mystery man offering him money for a job.
This turned out to be the spy known as the Chameleon, who disguised himself as Spider-Man to steal some missile defense plans. When Spider-Man went to meet his "benefactor" and was confronted by the authorities. Using his Spider-Sense, Peter followed after the Chameleon's helicopter out into New York Harbor where he prevented the spy from his rendezvous with a Russian submarine. Spider-Man then captured the Chameleon and turned him over to the authorities. When the spy tried to get away by disguising himself as a police officer, Spider-Man was able to see through his disguise with his Spider-Sense. The police tried to stop him from attacking one of "their officers" until Spider-Man tore open the Chameleon's police jacket revealing his phony Spider-Man costume underneath. However, before the authorities could notice, they forced Spider-Man to flee the scene.[note 13] The following day at school, Peter learned from the A.V. Club the outcome of his battle with the Chameleon. He also learned that his former agent Maxie was looking for him for a private gig. Deciding to check it out, Peter agreed to stage a one-on-one battle with the Clash. When it became clear that the Clash was going to hurt someone, Spider-Man incapacitated him and left with the money. Furious that his idol had humiliated him, the Clash vowed to get revenge. Deciding to take responsibility for his actions, Peter tried to make right by admitting to Mr. Flannigan that Flash was not responsible for his black eye. However, this diminished the trust the counselor had in Peter and made Flash more determined than ever to make Peter's life miserable.
Peter also found trouble at home when Aunt May found his envelope of money collected from the Clash as well as his webbing experiments and believed that Peter was selling drugs on the side. Peter convinced his Aunt the money was from an anonymous donor and that his experiment was actually for the regional science fair. When the Daily Bugle and its sister publication NOW Magazine was offering money to anyone who could get a clear photo of the villain known as the Vulture, Peter realized he finally found a use for his spider-powers that could allow him to earn income for his family. Finding his Uncle Ben's old camera, Peter enjoyed the irony of taking hard to get news photos that he would later sell to the Daily Bugle. Finding the Vulture, Peter managed to get the pictures, but was unprepared for the foe and was dumped in a water tower to die. After freeing himself, Peter adapted his web shooters to hold more fluid and made a cartridge belt which could also allow him to clip his camera. Also figuring out that the Vulture used magnetic generators to fly, he built a Magnetic Inverter for their next encounter. Peter then sold his photos to J. Jonah Jameson under the condition that Jameson never published his name, nor asked how he managed to obtain the photos. At the time, Jameson was more than happy to comply for the valuable pictures. With the money, Peter was able to pay their rent and other bills as well as get Aunt May a new kitchen set.} The following day, Peter attended the regional science fair, where he planned to put his Magnetic Inverter into the competition. However, the event was crashed by the Clash who was attending the competition in his alter-ego and sought fame and attention. Peter changed into Spider-Man and attacked Clash and the two battled it out until Aunt May got into the line of fire. Spider-Man came to her defense and forced the Clash to leave by activating his Magnetic Inverter. Later when Peter brought Aunt May home, he was hurt when she decided that Spider-Man was a menace like Jameson claimed in his newspaper, forcing Peter to continue keeping his double identity a secret from the woman who helped raise him.
Peter decided to spend his time as Spider-Man working behind the scenes, taking photos of other super-heroes in action. By this means he photographed the Thing, Asgardian thunder god Thor, and the armored Iron Man. Peter then started to turn things around, improving relations with his Aunt May and becoming closer friends with the A.V. Club. Peter also got the opportunity to work with Professor Cobbwell on his experiments after school due to his good grades. Cobbwell sent Peter to have his antique radio repaired by an electronics expert known as the Tinkerer. Unknown to Peter, the Tinkerer was bugging the electronic devices of his high-profile customers in order to spy on them and learn government secrets and sell them to the highest bidder. However, Peter's spider-sense detected the bugging device and went back to confront the Tinkerer as Spider-Man. The wall-crawler was surprised to discover that the Tinkerer was apparently part of an alien invasion. Spider-Man stopped the "aliens" who then fled in their "spaceship". Following the defeat of the Tinkerer his bugging devices self-destructed with no trace.[note 14] When the Clash crashed a musical event, J. Jonah Jameson called him a Spider-Man copycat. Feeling responsible, Peter began coming up with a sonic inverter, stealing the needed components from Professor Cobbwell's lab as well as the A.V. Club at school. Seeking an advance on his next photo assignment in order to buy replacements for the items he took, Peter went to the Daily Bugle. There Peter met Jameson's secretary Betty Brant and was instantly smitten by her. After Jonah refused to give Peter an advance, the Bugle was attacked by the Clash. Peter was able to change into Spider-Man and keep Clash occupied while his sonic inverter charged. When the device was completely charged, Peter used it to send the Clash fleeing. But it was a Pyrrhic victory for Peter, as he was reamed out by Jameson for not taking any photos, Flash Thompson ratted him out for stealing the components getting him fired from his job as Cobbwell's assistant and kicked out of the A.V. Club and shunned by the group. This also got Peter in trouble with Mr. Flannigan who reported the situation to his Aunt May. Peter felt a great deal of defeat and was at a loss over what to do next.
Peter all but gave up his Spider-Man identity and began using his spider powers to take pictures of Clash and sell them to the Daily Bugle. As the public began to forget about Spider-Man, Peter began making amends, buying replacement parts that he had stolen. This did little to patch up his damaged relationships, but soon Aunt May came to realize that to help Peter she had to become more involved in his problems instead of pawning them off on the school counselor. She later reminded Peter about Uncle Ben's perchance for jokes, and that one should have fun in life. This speech inspired Peter to become Spider-Man once again and be the hero that would make his Uncle Ben proud. The following day at school, Clayton Cole came to Midtown High as the Clash in order to impress Polly. Using jokes to infuriate Clash, Spider-Man quickly trounced him in battle and unmasked him. Recognizing Cole as his "greatest fan" Spider-Man left him with a brand-new autograph from the "Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man". With the Clash defeated, Peter was ready to use his gifts as Spider-Man to become a great hero. One of Spider-Man's earliest activities as a full-fledged hero was saving 12-year-old Alana Jobson and her father from a mugger.
Early on in his career, Spider-Man mostly took out common criminals. One unlucky crook had the poor luck of being caught by Spider-Man over six times. To help with his crime fighting, Spider-Man developed a Spider-Signal device that clipped to his belt. Around this time renown nuclear scientist Doctor Otto Octavius was caught in an explosion during an experiment. The radioactive blast fused his mechanical tentacles to his body. Now able to mentally control the device, and driven criminally insane, Octavius -- now calling himself Doctor Octopus --- took over the atomic research facility where he worked. Spider-Man broke into the facility to try and defeat Doctor Octopus, but his over confidence led to a humiliating defeat instead. Completely demoralized Peter considered giving up on costumed heroics. However, when the Fantastic Four's Human Torch came to give a motivational speech to Midtown High, Peter was inspired to keep on going. Back in action as Spider-Man, Peter was able to defeat Doctor Octopus this time by spraying webbing in his eyes and then using chemicals to fuse the arms of his tentacles together. With Octopus soundly defeated, Spider-Man left him to the authorities. Spider-Man then paid a visit to the Torch just as he was about to face Octopus himself, telling the Torch that the threat was over and thanking him for the inspiration to keep fighting. Peter next went after the criminal known as the Sandman, who was able to turn his body into malleable sand after being exposed to radiation on a beach. Peter was forced to flee the battle when his mask ripped open in order to protect his identity. Later the Sandman made the poor decision to hide out from the authorities at Midtown High. While there he attempted to force Principal Davis to give him a high school diploma. Spotting the Sandman in his school, Peter slipped away and changed into Spider-Man again and battled the Sandman in front of his classmates. Spider-Man ultimately defeated the Sandman by sucking up his sand form into a vacuum cleaner. In order to get sensational pictures for the Daily Bugle, Peter then faked some photos using sand from the school basement to make it look as though he was fighting the Sandman. Although Spider-Man turned over the Sandman to the police, J. Jonah Jameson's constant demands for Spider-Man's arrest continued to sour his public image. Apparently, the Sandman purposely allowed himself to be captured so he could break his father, Floyd Baker, out of prison. The two tried to lay low at Coney Island but crossed paths with Spider-Man who was there with his Aunt May in his civilian guise. Spider-Man ended up winning the bout thanks to a sudden rainstorm that caused the Sandman's form to dissolve a sudden lightning strike that blasted him to pieces.
While his classmates, particular Flash Thompson, were fans of Spider-Man, Peter pretended to believe his alter-ego to be a menace in order to distance himself from his secret identity in the eyes of others. Soon Spider-Man was contacted via his Spider-Sense by the Fantastic Four's foe Doctor Doom who asked to meet him. When Doom offered an alliance, Spider-Man declined and tried to capture the Latverian monarch, but Doom managed to escape. Wanting revenge and to defeat his foes the Fantastic Four, Doom then plotted to kidnap Spider-Man and hold him hostage, using a device to track the hero via his Spider-Sense. Fate conspired against Doom that day, as Flash Thompson bought a Spider-Man costume in order to give Peter Parker a good scare. In tracking Spider-Man, Doom came across Thompson in his Spider-Man costume waiting to jump out at Peter Parker and captured him. Later when news of Flash's disappearance and Doctor Doom's televised demand to the Fantastic Four to come to him, Peter realized what happened. Although this would have eliminated his primary bully in high school, Peter could not bring himself to leave Flash to potentially die at the hands of Doctor Doom. Peter tracked Doom down to an abandoned factor and battled him until the Fantastic Four arrived. Doom then retreated, and Peter had to leave himself because he left Aunt May alone for too long, leaving Flash to explain his situation to the Fantastic Four. It was another unlucky victory for Peter as he was once again chastised by Jameson for not taking any photos, and Flash was now more popular than ever after his encounter with Doom. That summer, Peter volunteered for the Red Cross to work in the jungles of Peru. After his arrival, Peter was forced to use his spider-powers to save the bus taking him to the Red Cross station when it went out of control. Knocked out stopping the bus, Peter was recovered by members of the indigenous people of the Spider Village. Finding Peter's Spider-Man costume they believed that he was destined to help the Spider Tribe in recovering the Amulet of the Great Weaver from the Snake Tribe and their leader, the shaman known as Faire de Lain. Peter was joined by the Spider Tribe's Princess Taran. Spider-Man defeated Faire de Lain in combat and recovered the Spider Amulet for Taran. Peter was then directed to the nearest Red Cross station where he apparently completed his volunteer work that summer without further issue.
Spider-Man was later framed for the theft of a recently found Leonardo da Vinci painting stolen by the master thief known as the Fox. Seeking to clear his name, Spider-Man sought assistance from the Human Torch. However, the Torch also believed the frame up and Spider-Man was forced to fight him to a standstill. Spider-Man convinced the Torch of his innocence and the two agreed to work together. After the Torch deduced the Fox was responsible, he met with Spider-Man atop the Statue of Liberty -- which later became the duo's regular meeting spot -- and began hunting for the Fox. The pair rooted out his various hideouts in New York City, until they eventually captured him posing as a telescope operator in Central Park. There Spider-Man and the Torch captured the Fox and recovered the stolen painting, clearing Spider-Man's name. Peter later stopped a museum robbery, saving Liz Allan from the robbers. Liz suddenly developed a crush on Spider-Man during this daring rescue. Later, when reports came out of Florida about a creature dubbed the Lizard, J. Jonah Jameson began publishing challenges to Spider-Man to face the creature. Needing the money, Peter accepted the challenge as Spider-Man in the hopes that Jameson would send him to photograph the battle as Peter Parker. Peter's plan mostly worked out with one hitch: Jameson was accompanying him on the trip. Peter managed to slip away, telling Jameson that he had to buy film for his camera. Searching the Florida Everglades as Spider-Man, Peter was attacked by the Lizard but managed to fight him off. Discovering the home of scientist Curt Connors, Spider-Man met with his wife Martha and their son Billy. He quickly learned that Curt was the lizard after ingesting a formula that would hopefully grow back his lost arm but transformed him into the Lizard instead. Peter went over Connors notes and developed an antidote and went out hunting for the Lizard again. This time, Peter was able to defeat the creature by making it swallow the serum causing the creature to change back into Curt Connors. Spider-Man reunited Connors with his family and promised to keep his identity as the Lizard a secret. When Peter returned from the swamp with photos of his battle against the Lizard, Parker claimed he bought them off a local. Thinking they were fakes, Jameson tore them up, making the trip entirely useless.
Even though he was a super-hero, Spider-Man still had a lot to learn, such as when he clashed with the Scorcher. After his initial battle against the villain, he approached Captain George Stacy of the NYPD and asked to become an official police officer. When Stacy explained that he couldn't just deputize Spider-Man, the wall-crawler left. Later he clashed with the Scorcher again, preventing him from stealing documents from an Osborn Chemicals facility. Although he succeeded in capturing the Scorcher and his men, he foiled a police trap that Captain Stacy had hoped would lead them to the Scorcher's employer.[note 15] As Spider-Man, Peter accepted the offer by Councilman Randolph Cherryh to capture the creature known as Batwing. However, when Peter learned that Batwing was a mutated child, he prevented Cherryh and his men from killing the creature as it fled, forfeiting the reward. Cherryh vowed to make life difficult for the wall-crawler going forward. Meanwhile, in his personal life, Peter discovered that Tiny McKeever had stolen his notes because he was failing badly and was kicked off the football team. He also learned that Tiny was suffering abuse from his father as a result. Feeling sorry for his sometime bully, Peter offered to tutor him after school to get his grades up. Later, Peter was shocked to find an impostor posing as Spider-Man who was taking advantage of the hero's status to get free food from Mrs. Fong, the owner of the local convenience store. Tracking the impostor down as Spider-Man, Peter learned that he was a homeless teen named Mike. After helping Mike out of a jam, Spider-Man heard his sad story, and helped him get a job working for Mrs. Fong instead of taking advantage of her so he could sustain himself. Soon after Spider-Man heard of the formation of the Avengers another group of heroes and began considering asking them to join. He was, however, invited to join the Brooklyn Avengers, but soon learned that they weren't the real deal.
Spider-Man got cocky when the Vulture managed to escape from prison and resume his crime spree. This cost him when he discovered that the magnetic inverter no longer worked against the Vulture's wings. Spider-Man took a serious fall, spraining his arm in the process. When the Vulture later attacked the Daily Bugle, Peter changed into Spider-Man and defeated his foe by pinning his wings with his webbing. J. Jonah Jameson was furious and personally blamed Spider-Man for the damage done. Peter quickly slipped back into his civilian identity to spend some time with Betty Brant in the aftermath of the battle. It was here their romance began to blossom. When the Sandman broke out of jail again, Spider-Man was otherwise occupied and arrived on the scene just as his foe was defeated by the Human Torch. The Sandman quickly broke out of jail and began robbing a bank, attracting Spider-Man. This time the wall-crawler was trounced by his foe. The encounter left him worried about his personal safety and what would happen to his Aunt May if he died fighting a criminal. While Peter was being bullied particularly harshly by Jason Ionello at school, he managed to go on a date with Betty Brant despite his dour mood. However, his date with Betty filled Peter with confidence once again. Going back out to search for the Sandman, Spider-Man defeated his foe by scattering his body through a wind turbine. In his civilian guise, Peter was later hassled by a hood named Michael Marko. His mind lost in thought, Peter easily knocked the hoodlum aside, much to Marko's shock and surprise. This prompted Marko's obsession of attaining great physical strength.
Back at school, Mr. Warren had representatives from the International Computing Machines Corporation come to show off their latest invention, the robotic computer known as the Living Brain. When the students were told it could puzzle out the answer to any question, Liz Allan suggested they ask the computer to determine the secret identity of Spider-Man. Peter was selected to enter the data and was relieved when the response came out in a mathematical equation that needed to be encoded. Flash's constant bullying of Peter that day was wearing thin on Parker as well, especially after Flash broke Peter's glasses. Noticing this, Mr. Warren suggested the two deal with their issues in the gym boxing ring. While Peter and Flash fought it out, their fellow students were shocked at Peter's apparent strength, but Flash played it off as toying with Parker. The fight had no conclusive end however, due to the fact that two of the ICM assistants decided to try and steal the Living Brain for their own personal gain. Instead, they caused the robot to malfunction and go on a rampage. Peter changed into Spider-Man and stopped the rampaging robot before slipping back into his civilian guise. Then, to have some fun at Flash Thompson's expense, suggested that Thompson might be Spider-Man given his "throwing" the fight against Peter, his insistence on having the formula that held Spider-Man's secret identity, and the fact that he was not present during the wall-crawler's battle with the Living Brain. While Flash stumbled through an explanation, Peter conveniently lost the formula to protect his identity.
Peter discovered that his newfound spider-powers had corrected his vision and that he no longer required glasses. Spider-Man soon became of interest to NASA who believed he may be useful for future space missions and sent John Jameson to study the wall-crawler. This was amid a group calling themselves the Spacemen who were committing a series of robberies and framing Spider-Man for them while posing as heroes to stop him. Naturally, J. Jonah Jameson hopped on the bandwagon, touting the Spacemen as heroes and organizing a parade in their honor. Spider-Man later crashed the parade and exposed the Spacemen for the frauds that they were. Ultimately, John Jameson decided that Spider-Man was too abnormal to be an accurate subject to gauge the effects of space travel on normal humans. Later while rounding up some crooks, Spider-Man was approached by Iron Man who was searching for the Hulk along with his fellow Avengers. With Aunt May's health taking a turn, Peter was struggling to get her the much-needed medication for her heart condition, but soon learned that she needed surgery in order to live. Peter got no reprieve from his classmates' torments, and Betty, fearing that Peter was taking too many dangerous assignments became insistent that he give up the dangerous work. Peter struggled to find new crimes to photograph but found salvation of sorts when the electrically powered villain known as Electro began committing robberies across the city, and J. Jonah Jameson began publicly accusing Spider-Man have being disguising himself as Electro. Peter decided to use this to his advantage, to get money making photos. When Spider-Man first faced Electro, he was not prepared for his electrical powers and suffered a near fatal shock. With Electro having fled the scene of his robbery, Peter took photos of himself as Spider-Man and doctored photos to make it appear as though Spider-Man was Electro. Although he was unhappy with deceiving Jameson, he used the money to pay for Aunt May's surgery. Later, when Electro tried to break prisoners out of a nearby jail, Spider-Man went into action and photographed himself defeating Electro. Although the false report of Spider-Man and Electro being the same deeply humiliated Jameson and discredited the Daily Bugle, Jonah sheepishly accepted Peter's photos of his battle with Electro for free. With Aunt May on the mend, Peter had some friction with Betty who continued to worry about Peter's risks but would not tell him why she was afraid for his safety.[note 16]
As Spider-Man, Peter Parker began trying to a crime wave being enacted by the mobster known as the Big Man and his Enforcers, but they managed to evade capture. Aunt May wasn't out of trouble yet, and so Peter was forced to give his Aunt a blood transfusion despite his secret fears of what his spider irradiated blood might do to her. After the transfusion, Peter sent his Aunt May on a vacation to Florida with their neighbors the Abbots. At school, Peter found new opposition from Jason Ionello who was trying to trump Flash Thompson and found support from fellow student Sally Avril. Meanwhile, the Vulture escaped prison once again leading to another battle with Spider-Man. When the wall-crawler learned that the Vulture intended to steal the military's new atomic accelerator, he attempted to warn General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross of the attempted theft, but when Spidey offered his aid, Ross rejected it and ordered his troops to attack. Despite this rejection, Peter defended the train carrying the accelerator from the Vulture anyway, although his foe managed to escape. Spider-Man later began assisting the Human Torch who was being challenged by his foe the Wizard who was attempting to prove his superiority over the Torch by setting up various traps around New York City and leaving cryptic clues. Due to Spider-Man's superior intellect, he was able to decipher these clues and the pair eventually found the Wizard operating out of a mobile broadcasting station and brought him to justice. By this point, Peter managed to track down Batwing and tried to convince him to go to a scientist for help, but Batwing fled. He also discovered that both Jason and Sally were trying to discover his secret identity and tried to dissuade them from doing so because of the danger involved. Seeking to find a solution to Aunt May bugging him about his glasses when he learned about a new eye clinic opened by "Doctor Winslow" who offered eye exams without too many intruding questions. Peter was exposed to what he thought was an experimental eye testing device. In reality, it was a brainwashing device that "Winslow" -- really criminal scientist Gerhard Winkler -- was using on behalf of Electro to brainwash people into bringing their valuables. Later, while out as Spider-Man, the brainwashing kicked in and the wall-crawler took stolen loot he took from some criminals to Winkler and Electro's hideout. He was followed by Jason and Sally who tried to photograph the scene. The flash from their camera snapped Spider-Man out of his daze and defeated Electro. He then helped his two classmates get the glory, by photographing them with the defeated Electro. However, the incident caused Sally to become suspicious as to who had been photographing Spider-Man through his entire crime fighting career.[note 17]
The Problem with Betty
Meanwhile, Peter began focusing on the Big Man and the Enforcers again, and soon discovered that Betty apparently owed loan money to the Enforcers. When Parker tried to intervene, they threatened to harm him until Betty agreed to pay them the money she owed. Not wishing Peter to get into danger, Betty then fled town. Peter then began investigating the Enforcers and upon seeing Jameson on the scene near their hideout, began suspecting that Jameson was secretly the Big Man. After defeating the Enforcers and the Big Man's gang, Spider-Man went to apprehend Jameson. However, when he arrived on the scene, he was shocked when the police arrived to arrest Jameson's most trusted reporter, Frederick Foswell, who they had uncovered was secretly the Big Man all along and arrested him. Fearing for Peter's safety however, Betty abruptly left town without explaining herself to him, leaving Peter to wonder what happened to his girlfriend.[note 18] The Enforcers quickly broke out of jail and Spider-Man tracked them down to a nearby mall where a battle broke out. The crooks were assisted by a new super-villain calling himself the Headsman, who forced Spider-Man to flee after slashing open the hero's mask with his ax. After the villains fled, Peter rushed the photos to the Daily Bugle after a brief brush with Flash, Jason and Sally. Later while out patrolling the city searching for the Enforcers, Spider-Man was led to an Osborn Chemicals building by Harry Osborn, who saw the villains in one of his father's facilities. Spider-Man defeated the Enforcers, but the Headman fled before Spider-Man could learn who his employer was.[note 19]
After picking up Aunt May from her return trip from Florida, Peter also noticed that Curt Connors had also arrived in New York City. As Spider-Man, Peter convinced Batwing to come to Connors to try and find a cure. However, while developing a serum to cure Batwing, the youth accidentally smashed the vial in Curt's hand, and the chemicals triggered another transformation into the Lizard who managed to escape into the sewers. The following morning, Peter saw that Tiny had a broken arm -- product of his father's continued abuse -- and had to deal with Sally Avril's suspicious questions about pictures of Spider-Man. The following evening, he and Batwing managed to track down the Lizard in the sewers beneath the Bronx Zoo. There Peter was able to administer an antidote to cure Connors. In the aftermath of the fiasco, Curt took Batwing with him back to Florida to continue his attempts to cure Batwing.[note 20] Later when the Human Torch was having the public turned against him by the communist spy known as the Rabble Rouser, Spider-Man tried to offer his advice on being a hero maligned by the public. The Torch rejected this advice and later cleared his name and defeated the Rabble Rouser. When Captain America reappeared after decades in suspended animation, J. Jonah Jameson assigned Peter to reporter Ned Leeds to try and photograph the hero.[note 21]
Soon thereafter, Peter learned that Doctor Octopus was being released from prison. When his appeals to the warden went unheard, Peter then developed the first version of his Spider-Tracers to track the villain once he was released. On that very day, Peter was surprised to find that Betty Brant was there to pick up Octavius. As they left, Peter tagged them with his Spider-Tracer, but also found a map to Philadelphia that was dropped out of the car as they left. Allowed to take a "vacation" to Philadelphia by his Aunt May, Peter was determined to reveal to Betty that he was really Spider-Man after he rescued her. Spider-Man was later able to track down Betty and Doctor Octopus aboard a tramp steamer. There he learned that Doctor Octopus was hired to break mobster Blackie Gaxton out of jail as a means of clearing the gambling debts owed by Betty's brother Bennett, Blackie's lawyer. During the ensuing altercation, Bennett was seemingly killed when struck by a bullet shot by Blackie. While Gaxton was arrested, Doctor Octopus managed to escape. Meanwhile, Betty initially blamed Spider-Man for the death of her brother. Later she confided in Peter that while she realized that Bennett's death was an accident, she could not bring herself to forgive Spider-Man for his involvement. This shattered any hope of Peter revealing his secret identity to her for fear of it ending their relationship.[note 22] Not long after returning to New York City, Peter had been infected with a 24-hour flu virus that caused him to lose his spider powers. This came at a time when Doctor Octopus resurfaced and sought to get revenge against Spider-Man for his past defeats. Otto kidnapped Betty, who had since returned to her job at the Daily Bugle and demanded that Jameson publish a challenge to Spider-Man and send a photographer to take pictures. Jameson sent Peter Parker to Coney Island to do so. Peter did go, but as Spider-Man, determined to save Betty despite his lack of powers. As Jameson and Betty watched, Peter was quickly defeated and unmasked by Doctor Octopus. However, due to the fact that Peter did not have his powers at the time, Doctor Octopus surmised that Peter was merely trying to save his girlfriend in a bout of foolish bravado and was not the real Spider-Man. While Peter had to live down this humiliation among his peers and dodge uncomfortable questions with his Aunt May, his powers returned once he fought off the flu. However, Peter's act of heroics finally made Liz Allan pay attention to him. But her advances were rebuffed by Peter, who was no longer interested in her now that he was dating Betty Brant. When Doctor Octopus later resurfaced and continued his rampage, Spider-Man was at his fighting peak when facing his foe. Octavius met his defeat in a sculptor's studio that quickly became an inferno when some chemicals were knocked over and he was quickly captured by the police.
Peter found his next challenge when he faced the attractive jewel thief known as Commanda. She used her seduction skills and advanced technology to get the better of the wall-crawler during a penthouse heist and managed to escape. When Peter later tried to sell his photos to the Daily Bugle, he was caught there by Sally Avril who finally deduced that Peter was taking all of the Bugle's photos of Spider-Man. Betty also became jealous that one of Peter's classmates had come to see him at the Bugle as well. Later, Spider-Man managed to stop Commanda from trying to rob the Crimson Heart's jewel from a display at a hotel. However, Commanda was able to avoid arrest when she revealed to security that she was one of the hotel's rich attendees and accused Spider-Man of trying to rob the jewels there. Later, Sally revealed to Peter that she had developed a costumed identity of Bluebird. Seeking fame as a super-hero she asked Peter to photograph her exploits or risk having the secret that he took all the pictures of Spider-Man revealed. In order to try and dissuade Sally from following this dangerous path, he revealed to his class his secret "hobby" of photography. This plan backfired in a way in that Flash Thompson was now had become friendly toward Peter in the hopes of meeting Spider-Man in person. This caused complications after the Eel broke Electro out of prison and the pair threatened to black out the city. When they attacked a Brooklyn power station, Peter went into action as Spider-Man but had to worry about the safety of Bluebird who came to "help" in an attempt to be Spider-Man's partner. This caused the two villains to escape, and Peter was forced to let them do so when Flash and the others arrived at the scene, forcing Peter to quickly change back into his civilian guise before they could find out how he took his pictures. Peter also continued to experience tension with Betty who continued to fear for Peter's safety. When he later berated Flash for putting himself and others in danger, this soured their relationship enough to reset Peter's social status quo. After a failed attempt to stop the Vulture from a jewel heist, Peter found more pressure from Betty not to engage in dangerous photo assignments. Later he clashed with the irradiated creature known as the Scarlet Beetle. This was met with more interference from Bluebird who also had Jason Ionello trying to photograph her. The pair stopped the creature, but Spider-Man continued to insist that Bluebird stop crime fighting because it was dangerous. When Peter went to take Betty out on a date, he was shocked to find her incredibly affectionate after she thought he might have been harmed during the Scarlet Beetle attack.
Spider-Man finally convinced Sally Avril to give up her Bluebird identity when he allowed her to get hurt in a fight against some common thugs. However, Sally had not fully given up on seeking fame and fortune and instead decided to try and become a photographer like Peter. Later when Spider-Man was trying to prevent the Black Knight form kidnapping Princess Elena Stragosz of Ksavia, Sally and Jason tried to race onto the scene and got into a car accident. Sally was killed in the crash, and the Black Knight managed to get away with the visiting royal as his prisoner. Peter blamed himself over the next few days. Later during Sally's funeral, Peter was chastised by Flash, but later returned to action as Spider-Man when there were news reports of the Black Knight being at the Chrysler Building. Spider-Man rescued Princess Stragosz, and beat the Black Knight within an inch of his life before he was stopped by the Human Torch. Spidey confided in the Torch, who convinced him that he did his best to stop Sally from getting into danger, but her death was ultimately on her, not Spider-Man. Peter soon learned that Tiny had quit school and was now working at a service station in the city. However, before he could approach Tiny as Peter Parker, he was attacked by the Scorcher who was using the gas station as a hideout, forcing Peter to flee. When Peter later returned in his civilian guise, Tiny rejected his suggestions to go back to school. The next day at school, Peter also noticed that the group was isolating Jason Ionello, but when Peter offered him a seat at his lunch table, Jason angrily rejected him. Later, Spider-Man tracked the Scorcher back to the service station and uncovered his villain's hideout. When their fight threatened to cause the station to explode, Spider-Man got Tiny to safety while the Scorcher fled. Spider-Man then convinced Tiny to go back to school and finish his education.
Betty's problems came to the fore when her ex-boyfriend Gordon Savinski resurfaced in her life. He had since become a super-powered mob enforcer calling himself the Terrier and was seeking to make a name for himself by forcing Betty to help him frame Jonah financial malfeasance. Later when Peter went to Betty, he was beat up by Gordon, and made matters worse when he said the wrong thing about her brother's past criminal involvements. At school, Peter chastised Flash and the others for alienating Jason over Sally's death, especially after welcoming accepting Tiny back from his absence from school. As Spider-Man, Peter came to the aid of J. Jonah Jameson when the Terrier tried to force him to sign over control of the Daily Bugle. The wall-crawler easily defeated Savinski in battle and turned him over to the authorities. In his personal life, Peter began trying to reconnect Jason with the others by planning a welcome back party for both Jason and Tiny, organized by Liz and hosted at his house. Later, as Spider-Man he tried to stop the Radioactive Man from stealing radioactive materials on display at a museum. He failed, and the connection between Radioactive Man and the rocks threatened to make the villain go critical mass. Fighting Radioactive Man across the city, Spider-Man defeated him and cured him of the violent chain reaction by burying him in the supply aboard a coal barge. Spider-Man was unaware that he was being watched by Mary Jane Watson, a young woman who would later go on to change his life forever. Back at home, Peter threw the surprise party for Jason and Tiny. But he caught flak from Betty Brant when she arrived just as Peter was being kissed on the cheek by Liz and abruptly left.
Shortly thereafter Spider-Man encountered the master archer known as Hawkeye and his lover the spy known as the Black Widow. Spider-Man quickly realized that Hawkeye was not inherently bad but being manipulated to commit acts of treason against his company. When Hawkeye tried to steal a new experimental targeting unit being developed by Williams Industries, Spider-Man stopped him. The altercation went south when Hawkeye attempted to use company owner Simon Williams as a hostage. Despite this, Spider-Man convinced Hawkeye not to steal the device, but the bowman managed to escape. Not long after this, Spider-Man had his first encounter with the super-natural when he attempted to stop some thieves from stealing the Lantern of Lantarr for the mystic known as Baron Mordo. This later led to an encounter with Earth's resident Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Strange. Strange, endowed Spider-Man with the ability to track it and told the youthful hero that he could be summoned with a though. When Strange was finally summoned, it was to another dimension where he found his old foe Baron Mordo was capturing people for some mysterious sacrifice. Among those in this dimension were Spider-Man, as well as Jameson, Betty, Flash and Liz. With Spider-Man's aid, the Doctor was able to destroy the Lantern and banish Mordo. Upon returning Spider-Man and Mordo's victims back to the Earth dimension, he erased their memories but as he left he neglected to remove the spell that would allow them all to see his spirit form. Unknown to Strange at the time, Mordo was working with the dread Dormammu, ruler of the Dark Dimension.
When the criminal known as Mysterio began framing Spider-Man for a series of robberies, Peter began to suspect that he may have been developing multiple personalities and tried to seek mental help as Spider-Man. He quickly gave up on this avenue when he realized how easily he could have his identity compromised. When Mysterio made his appearance, he had the Daily Bugle print a request for Spider-Man to meet him on the Brooklyn Bridge. When Spider-Man showed up Mysterio attacked, and easily defeated Spider-Man. Later, the wall-crawler managed to plant a Spider-Tracer on his foe when he went to visit the Daily Bugle. Using it to track Mysterio down, Spider-Man defeated him in combat, uncovering the fact that Mysterio was actually the one framing Spider-Man and turned him over to the authorities. As a coup de grace, Peter then sold the photos of Mysterio's defeat to J. Jonah Jameson, who once again had to sheepishly admit defeat in his vendetta against Spider-Man.
Spider-Man later battled the Headman again who was trying to get revenge against Spider-Man over their past defeat in order to impress mobster Lucky Lobo. Spider-Man allowed the Headman to believe he was killed in battle in order to get away. Later, Peter tried to patch things up with Betty by going out on a double date with Liz and Flash. This backfired as Liz continued to talk only about Peter making both Betty and Flash mad at him. In order to try to make Flash look better in Liz's eyes, Peter made an appearance as Spider-Man. But this went plan soon became trouble when the Headman attacked him again. While getting Flash and the other kids to safety, Spider-Man was preoccupied when a costumed being calling himself the Green Goblin, secretly Norman Osborn, approached the Headman and destroyed his equipment over his past failures under his employ.
At school, Peter had to deal with Liz Allan, who continued to become more and more interested in him, as well as Flash who grew more jealous of Peter for her interest in him. Later Spider-Man encountered the Green Goblin, who convinced the wall-crawler that Hollywood movie producer B.J. Cosmos was interested in making a Spider-Man film. When news of this film got out, Peter convinced J. Jonah Jameson to send him out to Hollywood to photograph the story. Betty became incredibly insecure when considering Peter being out in Los Angeles around attractive starlets. However, the Green Goblin's offer was merely a trick to get close to Spider-Man and unleash the Enforcers upon him. Spider-Man held his own against the quartet, but they made the poor choice of taking their battle into a cave where the Hulk was hiding out. While evading the Hulk, Spider-Man defeated the Enforcers and sent the Green Goblin fleeing. Spider-Man then rescued the Enforcers from the Hulk and turned them over to the authorities. Returning to B.J. Cosmos, Spider-Man learned that the Spider-Man movie was being scrapped in favor for a feature film about the Hulk. Despite this, Spidey was given money to cover his expenses home.
By this point in time the super-hero community began to grow, and Spider-Man began having more encounters with those stationed in New York City. The first of these was when the hero Giant-Man and his partner the Wasp were tricked into attacking Spider-Man by their foe Egghead. This distracted the heroes allowing Egghead and his gang to commit a series of daring robberies. However, Giant-Man's network of loyal ants informed him of the double cross, and the trio stopped Egghead and his minions. Although they worked well together, Spider-Man and the Wasp had a rivalry with each other due to their clashing insectile natures. Spider-Man later teamed up with the Fantastic Four when the giant mummy known as Gomdulla went on a rampage through the city. Later, Spider-Man came across Electro trying to rob a bank. Also at the bank was the Fantastic Four's Invisible Girl. While both were trying to knock out Electro, Spider-Man accidentally knocked the Invisible Girl out with a punch because she was invisible at the time. Seeing Sue go down but not Electro, the rest of the Fantastic Four attacked the wall-crawler. Eventually Sue revived and corrected everyone what was going on and Spider-Man and the FF quickly apprehended Electro. Later when the Hulk went on a rampage through New York City, Spider-Man tried to stop him but was no match for the brute. Luckily, he was saved by Captain America who quickly put the brute down before he could cause more harm.
On the day of Uncle Ben's birthday, Peter continued to get flak from Betty when he was later assigned to help cover the arrival of the survivalist known as Kraven the Hunter. Tensions between Betty and Liz continued to grow as Liz continued to dote over Peter. After Kraven announced his plans to defeat Spider-Man, he tracked the wall-crawler down and defeated him in initial combat. Despite being shaken by a jungle drug, Spider-Man tracked Kraven down to Central Park. Although he was slowed down by magnetic manacles, Spider-Man not only defeated Kraven, but exposed that the hunter was hired by the Chameleon to take him down. With both foes defeated, they were later deported from the country.
Upon hearing that Spider-Man was being billed for a charity circus show, Peter bought a ticket to check it out. However, when Betty learned of this, she believed that Peter was intentionally snubbing her for another girl. In reality this was to allow him to change into Spider-Man at the show and make an appearance. As it turned out, the show was really a scam put on by the so-called Circus of Crime whose leader the Ringmaster was going to use his hypnotic disk to enthrall and rob the crowd. Although Spider-Man was also enslaved, in the crowd was blind attorney Matt Murdock who was secretly the hero Daredevil. Unaffected by the Ringmaster's weapon, Daredevil went into action battling Spider-Man until he was able to free the wall-crawler from the Ringmaster's control. With Spider-Man free, Daredevil left his fellow hero to defeat the Circus of Crime, and free the other spectators.
On the anniversary of Uncle Ben's death, Peter began to believe his powers had failed him. This coincided with Doctor Octopus gathering Electro, Mysterio, the Sandman, Kraven the Hunter, and the Vulture into a group called the Sinister Six. The group then kidnapped Betty Brant and Aunt May in the hopes of luring Spider-Man out. They then lured the wall-crawler to a different location to battle a member of the Sinister Six, with each defeat he would recover a clue to the next location. With no other choice, Peter went back into action as Spider-Man to rescue Betty and Aunt May. During his battle with Electro at a Stark energy plant, Spider-Man realized his powers had returned and that his "loss" was merely a psychosomatic effect caused by the grief over Uncle Ben's death. Spider-Man then defeated Kraven, Mysterio, the Sandman, and the Vulture before beating Doctor Octopus in a one-on-one battle and rescuing his girlfriend and aunt. During his battle with the Sinister Six, Spider-Man crossed paths with Doctor Strange, the Fantastic Four, Thor, Giant-Man, the Wasp, and Iron Man. Additionally, his Aunt May seemed oblivious to any danger, and even found Doctor Octopus charming, a standpoint that would have greater implications later. Later, Peter attended the court trail of Doctor Octopus with his classmates and was helpless to do anything as Doc Ock managed to recover his mechanical arms and escape. Stuck covering the Forest Hills block party, Peter uncovered that Doctor Octopus was hiding out in the location and stealing devices to build a massive drone bomb. Spider-Man quickly defeated Doctor Octopus in battle, destroying the drone and turning his enemy over to the authorities. Back at home, Peter became concerned as Aunt May was becoming clumsy and mixing up things, such as her best friend Anna Watson's name, a sign of more medical problems on the way.
Spider-Man's popularity took another blow later when he accidentally attacked actors on a movie set, he mistook for bank robbers. He also faced continued social problems as Peter Parker as Liz Allan continued to interfere with his relationship with Betty, causing him more grief from the increasingly jealous Flash Thompson. Meanwhile, Flash decided to form his own Spider-Man Fan Club to try and fix the hero's reputation, promising that the wall-crawler would himself appear. Peter was forced to snub both Betty and Liz in order to appear at the party. At home, Peter was uninterested when Aunt May began trying to set him up with Aunt Anna's niece Mary Jane Watson. When Peter arrived at the fan club meeting as Spider-Man he was soon attacked by the Green Goblin. He was assisted by the Human Torch who was also in attendance but was forced to change back into Peter Parker when Liz wondered why Peter was never around when Spider-Man was around. Although he managed to cover his double identity, he was spotted by Betty who was also at the meeting covering it with J. Jonah Jameson for the Daily Bugle. Changing back into Spider-Man, Peter was forced to flee the battle when he overheard a phone call from the hospital to inform him that his Aunt May had suffered a heart attack. With Spider-Man having fled the Green Goblin ceased his attack and everyone began to view Spider-Man as a coward. When Betty came to visit Aunt May at the hospital, she was furious at Peter for his perceived snub and attendance at the party. Out web-slinging to blow off some steam, Spider-Man spotted the Vulture and attacked him. Learning that he was attempted to murder businessman Wilson Fisk, Spider-Man saved Fisk's life. He then convinced the Vulture that becoming an assassin for mobsters was so far removed from the life he wanted, and realizing how he squandered his recent years, the Vulture gave up and surrendered to the police willingly. When Aunt May was released from the hospital, Peter attempted to make amend with Betty but found that she wasn't at the Daily Bugle. He ran into Liz Allan and was convinced into joining her at the Coffee A Go-Go coffee shop. The venue was later attacked by the so-called Menace and his Mutantmen, supposed mutants who were committing high profile crimes across the city. Slipping away to change into Spider-Man, Peter was able to defeat the Menace with the help of the mutant heroes known as the X-Men. The heroes exposed a group of criminals who used the Mutantmen robots and enhanced armor to pose as mutants to use the growing anti-mutant hysteria for their crimes.
With his reputation as Spider-Man in shambles, and his concerned over Aunt May's continued health problems, Peter began to seriously consider giving up being Spider-Man. Things became financially difficult as May's medical bills continued to climb and Jameson being uninterested in buying photos of Spider-Man. Peter tried to monetize Spider-Man by selling his likeness for trading cards, and attempting to sell his web-fluid formula, both were met with no interest. His relationship with Betty also seemed to be getting worse as Betty continued to be jealous of Liz Allan and started dating Bugle reporter Ned Leeds. More-so humiliating, Peter fled from the Sandman when he resurfaced and began another crime spree. Peter was weirdly touched when he learned that Flash attempted to boost Spider-Man's profile by posing as the hero, only to get beaten up for his trouble. Troubled and rejected, Peter didn't know what to do next. He was then told by Jameson to try and get photos of the criminal known as the Scarecrow. As Spider-Man, Peter tried to get photos of the Scarecrow committing a robbery but was defeated in a fight due to his reluctance to get into the altercation. Peter decided to give up on Spider-Man for good and threw out his costume, but completely changed his mind when he saw Aunt May out of her wheelchair for the first time since her release from the hospital. She gave him a speech about not giving up and standing up in the face of adversity. Peter then recovered his costume and decided to return to action as Spider-Man. Spider-Man's first order of business was to track down the Scarecrow, whom he quickly and easily defeated not that he no longer had any fears or concerns about his super-hero career. With his newfound confidence, Peter began busting up criminals as Spider-Man. This prompted the Sandman to seek an alliance with the Enforcers and they captured the Human Torch in order to lure Spider-Man into a trap. Spider-Man tracked down the Enforcers and after freeing the Human Torch, the duo defeated them and the Sandman. Peter also decided to play it cool with Betty also seeing Ned Leeds, making Betty's attempts to make Peter jealous backfire on her.
By this time, J. Jonah Jameson had hired private investigator Mac Gargan to try and learn how Peter Parker managed to take his photos of Spider-Man. Peter figured this out thanks to his Spider-Sense and managed to evade Gargan's watchful eye. Later when Jameson learned of scientist Farley Stillwell's ability to mutate animals with the traits of other animals, he paid Stillwell to perform the experiment on Gargan. This plan backfired as the experiment turned Mac into a new villain more powerful than Spider-Man, the Scorpion. The Scorpion then went on a rampage through the city and Stillwell died in a failed attempt to administer the antidote. Ironically, Spider-Man came to Jameson's rescue and stopped the Scorpion when Jonah's creation went back to get revenge against him. Although Jameson publicized that he defeated the Scorpion and downplayed Spider-Man's role and covered up his involvement in the creation of the Scorpion. Not long after this, Peter busted a young car thief named Richard Dickinson.However things appeared to look better for Peter's romance life, as Ned Leeds was put on assignment in Europe, seemingly removing him as competition for Betty's affections. However, Betty was still distancing herself from Peter. As Spider-Man he failed to stop a gang of enthralled criminals of the Crime-Master. Putting a Spider-Tracker on one of his attackers, Peter followed them back to the Crime-Master's lair. There he stopped the Crime-Master and rescued famed scientist Dr. Bartholomew Carson and his daughter from the Crime-Master, who managed to escape. With Peter Parker's photos, Carson was cleared of all wrongdoing. In debt to Parker for helping clear his name, Dr. Carson agreed to take Betty's mother under his care to try and cure her of the coma she had been stuck in for years.[note 23] Spider-Man's popularity took another hit, this time online, when after he saved his fellow classmate Vanna Smith from an attack by the Vulture. Despite saving her life, Vanna came to think of Spider-Man as a creepy pervert that was following her and began an anti-Spider-Man blog on the internet.
Spider-Man/Torch Rivalry Escalates
Spider-Man later clashed with the newly powered Sundown who was going on a rampage while darkening New York City with his photosynthetic abilities. Peter initially decided to leave Sundown for the other heroes of New York to deal with until he learned that Lowell was a rejected Osborn Chemicals scientist who finally had enough of rejections in his life. Spider-Man joined a battle against Sundown that involved the Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Daredevil and Doctor Strange. Spidey tried to appeal to Lowell to convince him to stand down, but it was not until Lowell was confronted by his young neighbor Mary Kelleher did he finally stand down and end his rampage. Later, Spider-Man became aware of an impostor that had tricked the Avengers into accompanying him to Mexico. Spider-Man followed his impostor there and battled him after the phony trapped all the Avengers. Peter quickly discovered that the impostor was really an android and quickly destroyed it and left before the Avengers could continue their battle with him.[note 24] Despite this, Captain America tracked down Spider-Man to thank him for his help in stopping the impostor android, helping the wall-crawler prevent the Sandman from robbing a bank. The Sandman quickly became targeted by the time travelers calling themselves the Enclave of Rogue Scholars who claimed that the Sandman was destined to kill one third of the Earth's population. Spider-Man and Captain America worked against the Enclave, not wishing them to murder the Sandman in cold blood. Sure enough, the Enclave proved to be the cause of the Sandman's powers getting boosted enough to make him a threat to the world. With his scientific knowledge, Peter came up with a means of defeating the Sandman and reverting him to normal, ending his threat. With the Sandman no longer a threat to the future, the Enclave left. Spider-Man encountered Captain America again shortly thereafter. The pair took down Electro, and Captain America revealed that he had deduced quite a lot about Spider-Man's background and motivations. But Captain America told Spider-Man all this to inform him that he trusted the wall-crawler, but warned him that if he went evil, Cap would be the first person to take him down.
Not long after this, Peter had a chance run in with the Human Torch's girlfriend Doris Evans, knocking her parcels out of her hand. Helping her gather them back up, Peter noticed she had also dropped her wallet and returned it to her home. As Evans was in a spat with her boyfriend, she used Peter's kindness to make the Human Torch jealous. When Johnny Storm later approached Peter and told him to stay away from his girl, it was in front of Betty Brant, who was hurt by the found-less accusations. Peter decided to get back at the Torch by approaching Dorris as Spider-Man. However, this was at the time that the Torch's foe the Beetle had been released from prison and was plotting revenge against his old foe. Spider-Man battled the Beetle until the Torch arrived and thinking that the Wall-Crawler was attacking his girlfriend, the Torch attacked Spider-Man. Realizing what was really going on, the pair stopped the Beetle, but Spider-Man left in a fury when Dorris feared Spider-Man after he saved her life. Later, Spider-Man decided to get back at the Torch by crashing one of his parties. This led to a fight between the two heroes that took them to a beach where the rest of the Fantastic Four just happened to be relaxing. Seeing it as an ambush, Spider-Man battled the Fantastic Four until the Invisible Girl put a stop to the fight and eased tensions between the Torch and Spider-Man. In thanks, Spider-Man left a heart spun out of his webbing for Sue before he left.[note 25] Later when the Torch captured some crooks that Spider-Man was chasing and purposely took all the credit for it, Spider-Man decided to get revenge against the Torch. To this end, Spidey showed up at the Baxter Building and asked the Invisible Girl out on a date. Since Sue was being neglected by her boyfriend Mister Fantastic, she agreed. Furious, the Torch informed Reed's rival the Sub-Mariner that Spider-Man had "kidnapped" his sister. Namor then tracked Spider-Man and Sue down to a pizza parlor and attacked. As Spider-Man lured Namor away, Sue realized what happened and forced the Torch to admit his deception and stopped Namor's attack on the Wall-Crawler. Peter got the final laugh on the Torch, when he webbed up one of Johnny's sports cars in his garage, leaving the Torch to discover it just moments before the webbing dissolved.
With graduation looming, Peter began considering his options for post-secondary education. He initially went to view State University, and had a brief encounter with the Fantastic Four again, as the Human Torch was going to attend the school. When the Circus of Crime was released from prison and regrouped, Spider-Man interrupted their meeting and warned them against committing any future crimes. After Spidey left, the group decided to replace the Ringmaster with a new leader, the Clown, re-christening themselves the Masters of Menace. In his personal life, Peter agreed to begin tutoring Liz Allan in the sciences. Meanwhile, Betty tried to make amends with Peter over his constant jealousy and asked him to accompany her to one of Jonah's art displays. There the Masters of Menace attacked, and Jonah was seriously injured. As Spider-Man, Peter tracked down the Masters of Menace through their former leader the Ringmaster and brought them all to justice. Jonah made a full recovery and was happy with the photos that Peter took of Spider-Man's battle. Batwing returned to New York City, seeking to commit suicide by attacking Spider-Man. When Spider-Man refused to battle Batwing, the creature fled. Checking in with Curt Connors, Peter learned that while Connor's succeeded in developing a cure something was preventing Batwing from returning to human form. Spider-Man attempted to appeal to Batwing's mother to return to her son, but her religious beliefs prevented her from seeing her son as anything more than an abomination to God. Trying to track Batwing down, Spider-Man attempted to keep police from gunning the boy down, until his mother finally cracked and came to her son. Seeing his mother for the first time since she shunned him from her home, Batwing reverted back to human form and was taken home. It was soon announced that the Fantastic Four's Mister Fantastic and Invisible Girl were to be married, and an engagement party was soon called. Although Spider-Man was not personally invited, he passed by the Baxter Building long enough to steal a slice of cake.
Goblins, Gangsters, and Graduation
As Peter rapidly approached high school graduation, the Green Goblin was making a bid to take over the New York underworld. When Peter went to the Daily Bugle and was upset to learn that Betty was corresponding with Ned Leeds, and that Jameson had rehired Frederick Foswell as a reporter after his release from prison. The Green Goblin's activities were mistaken for crime-fighting as he clashed with rival gangs. Later when Spider-Man went out on patrol, the Goblin tricked him into clashing with Lucky Lobo and his gang. Although the Goblin only intended for Lobo to be apprehended, the plan backfired when the Wall-Crawler incapacitated the entire gang and left them for the authorities. Peter then went to visit Empire State University, there his science teacher Mr. Warren introduced Peter to his older brother Professor Miles Warren, who would also play a large role in the life of Peter Parker and Spider-Man in the future. At the time of Peter's visit, ESU was showcasing its new Seismic Ray Device as well as Mult-Environmental Testing Chamber. The later of the two were being presented by both J. Jonah Jameson and Norman Osborn. By this point the Green Goblin had formed an alliance with the Crime Master and they had sent their men to capture the S.R.D. Spotting the suspicious men, Peter changed into Spider-Man and ended up in a battle with the Green Goblin. Trapped in the Multi-Environmental Testing Chamber, Spider-Man was able to free himself and the Goblin with the S.R.D., although the Goblin managed to escape. Despite the battle, Peter was very impressed with ESU, and was hoping to attend provided he could be awarded the necessary scholarship. As Jonah began ramping up anti-Spider-Man editorials, Peter was disturbed to find that Betty was still writing to Ned Leeds, and not telling him about it. Soon the editorials gained the attention of Doctor Ludwig Reinhart. Reinhart claimed to be a visiting psychologist from Europe who believed that Spider-Man's mental states was in danger, and he would soon lash out against the world. Peter began to suspect this might be the case when he started seeing what appeared to be hallucinations of his deadly foes. Seeking Reinhart for help, Spider-Man let his guard down and almost had his identity exposed, had it not been interruption by Jameson and Flash Thompson. As it turned out Jameson discovered that Reinhart was a fraud and was followed by Thompson -- upset by the Bugles constant attacks on his hero. Spider-Man unmasked Reinhart, revealing him as his old foe, Mysterio, who used his special effects mastery to trick Spider-Man into thinking he was losing his mind.
After battling Mysterio, Peter was approached by the Human Torch who was seeking a photographer to boost his public profile. Needing the money to pay bills, Peter grudgingly accepted the job, even though the re-connection with Doris Evans got him into more trouble with Betty. When trying to stop some bank robbers, the Torch thought that Spider-Man was trying to steal his fame by intervening. In order to get the sort of dynamic photos the Torch demanded, Peter developed a fireproof Spider-Tracer and planted it on the Torch in order to photograph him as Spider-Man without being spotted by the Torch. This turned Peter into a guardian angel of sorts. While secretly following the Torch, Spider-Man crossed paths with the Torch's foe Paste-Pot Pete and defeated the villain by laughing hysterically at his name. Peter's job for the Torch came to an abrupt end when Johnny tried to attack the Fantastic Four's foe Doctor Doom at the Latverian embassy, prompting Spider-Man to pledge allegiance to Doom in order to save the Torch who was trapped in a frozen block of ice. Although Spider-Man freed the Torch, it was at the cost of Johnny's hair. Peter figured he got the last laugh at Johnny by submitting those photos to the Daily Bugle, but he himself did not escape unscathed either as Jameson ran a story claiming Spider-Man was in league with Doctor Doom. Peter later joined the Fantastic Four in a clash with the Frightful Four. Spider-Man then joined them in incapacitating the energy-based creature known as Krakatoom. Peter then joined the group on a camping trip where he and the Human Torch played pranks on each other and the Thing.
After beginning work on a secondary costume, Peter began to grow cocky again after his recent change in luck. Later the Daily Bugle was visited by inventor Spencer Smythe who designed a robot that could track down Spider-Man. Thinking this would cause his employer more humiliation, Peter egged Jameson into hiring Smythe for the job. Peter began eating his words when the robot turned out to actually work against him. Peter also caught flak from Betty for encouraging Jameson, since Spider-Man had previously saved his Aunt. Peter became paranoid about Smythe's invention attacking him and compromising his identity and ducked out of school, evading a fight that Flash Thompson organized. His love life also took a hit when both Betty and Liz came looking for Peter at home and encountered Mary Jane, who was waiting at the Parker home to meet him. Pursued by his school tormentors and the Spider-Slayer robot, Peter managed to slip away and change into Spider-Man. Despite his efforts, he was no match for the robot. But when Jameson and Smythe had to go to the location to get the Wall-Crawler, Peter used this opportunity to escape, leaving his costume filled with webbing as a decoy. Peter soon found that this was a problem when he returned home and discovered that Aunt May had found his secondary costume. Peter managed to evade any uncomfortable questions by saying he designed it to wear as a school prank. Unable to find where Aunt May hid his costume, Peter continued to get tensions from Betty as the two argued over Mary Jane and Ned Leeds. Suspicious of Frederick Foswell, Peter managed to slip one of his Spider-Tracers into his hat to find out if the reporter had truly reformed. Needing a costume to go into action, purchased a imitation of his costume from a costume shop. However, the spandex material was too stretchy and required to be held into place by his webbing. At school, Flash Thompson pushed him to far and Peter fought him and his other tormentors. This upset Liz as well as got him in trouble with Principal Davis who believed that Peter started the fight. While trying to find out what Foswell was up to, Spider-Man stumbled upon a conflict between the Green Goblin and the Crime Master over control of the underworld. While clashing with both villains, Spider-Man was knocked out and taken prisoner by the Goblin.
Spider-Man revived and manage to fight the gathered criminals until the police arrived. While the mobsters were all rounded up both the Crime Master and Green Goblin escaped. Suspecting that Foswell was one of the two criminals, Spider-Man went to the Daily Bugle to accuse him of such. However, Jameson refused to believe it, and they all learned relatively soon that the Crime Master was really mobster Nick Lewis, after he was gunned down by police in the office across the street from the Daily Bugle. In order to snub Jameson for his constant slights, Peter sold his photos of the Crime-Master/Green Goblin battle to rival newspaper the Daily Globe. Peter quickly realized his mistake when publisher Barney Buskin began asking too many questions about how he managed to obtain the photos. Peter eventually gave up on trying to find the costume found by Aunt May and began working on a new one. Back at school, Peter noticed that Jessica Jones was being bullied by Flash after an accident that put her in a coma for months and killed her parents. Trying to confide in her as he similarly lost his parents, she lashed out at him thinking he was only giving her sympathy.[note 26] Later, Peter attempted to find a new job with Dr. Cobbwell, but ended up going into action as Spider-Man to stop the Human Top from stealing an experimental cyclotron. Spider-Man stopped the theft but was forced to let the Top escape when he had to save a taxi driver and his fare. The passenger aboard the cab turned out to be Marvel Comics publisher Stan Lee who offered to make a comic book based on Spider-Man. Peter agreed to this, but the announcement led to negative public backlash, especially from J. Jonah Jameson. A few days later, Spider-Man met with Lee to develop the title, Peter found himself reluctant to explain any of his life for fear it may expose his identity. The Human Top then attacked the Marvel Comics offices, and after defeating the foe, Spider-Man decided that getting involved in a comic book could put the Marvel Comics staff in danger and decided to leave. Lee went ahead with a Spider-Man comic anyway, basing it on the Daily Bugle's stories about the hero, further damaging Spider-Man's images.[note 27]
Back at school, Peter was still getting the cold shoulder from Liz Allan, but Flash Thompson admitted to starting the fight with Peter getting Parker out of trouble but did nothing to clear the animosity between the two. Seeking to recover his Spider-Man costume, Peter had learned that it was in the possession of Spencer Smythe and paid a visit to him to recover it. When Smythe's business partner Mark Raxton came to sell their liquid metal formula, Peter was caught up in the Spider-Slayer's tentacles when a fight broke out between Smythe and Raxton. The liquid metal ended up being spilled on Raxton as he crossed through a beam of energy from one of Spencer's other experiments. The combination of the two caused Raxton to be coated with the liquid metal and given molten skin. Recovering his costume, Peter went after Raxton. Calling himself the Molten Man, Raxton battled it out with Spider-Man, but the hero was able to defeat him by hog-tying him for the authorities.
With graduation fast approaching, Peter began working as hard as he could to ensure that he would win his scholarship. As the senior prom approached, both Liz and Betty were trying to secure themselves as Peter's date, while Flash and his friends continued to play pranks and humiliate Peter. With pressure mounting, Peter soon believed that he was going to get beaten out of his scholarship by a wealthy student named Blake. Peter had grown fed up and decided to stop being so responsible and look out for himself. Later he clashed with the Sandman, who was attacking the United Nations Building on behalf the Sang du Mort Brotherhood. Having the chemical compound, he was working on for his scholarship, Peter doused the Sandman with it, causing him to become inert and easily defeated. Peter then decided to start living it up, starting this new direction by asking Liz out to the prom. But this was not meant to last as Peter was unaware that the chemical caused the Sandman to become a magnet for dirt and grime and began affecting his mind. Peter also was setting himself up for some serious social troubles when Betty assumed that she was going to be Peter's date to the prom, and Flash began hassling him for asking Liz out. Fed up of Flash constantly pushing him around, Peter challenged him to the "bridgewalk", an old Midtown High tradition where two students would walk along the railing of a subway over pass, even though anyone caught doing so would be immediately expelled from school. In order to assure Peter's attendance, Flash stole the notes to his formula. Learning that the Sandman was loose and, on a rampage, Peter saw first hand what his chemicals did to him. Instead of curing the Sandman, Peter incapacitated him again. Returning home, he learned that on top of his other problems, Aunt May had arranged for Mary Jane to be his prom date.
Peter later broke into Flash's house to try and recover his notes but was disturbed to find that Flash's father was an abusive drunk who bullied his own son. Peter decided to back out and recover his notes in way so Flash's own sense of worth wasn't impacted. When Aunt May learned that Peter had asked both Liz and Betty to the prom, she forced him to own up to his responsibilities, shocking him out of his reckless behavior. Peter was surprised when he learned that he was getting the scholarship over Blake as well. Peter managed to wriggle out of dealing with Mary Jane who refused to go to the prom with him anyway, and Betty bowed out, deciding to leave he missed high school years behind her. Peter then backed out of the bidgewalk and confessed to Liz that he asked two other girls to the prom. Liz slapped Peter across the fact, heart broken by what he had admitted. Flash was about to toss away Peter's notes when he slipped off the railing of the overpass. Peter managed to slip away and change into Spider-Man and save Flash's life and recover his notes. Peter then skipped his prom in order to track down the Sandman and cure him. The criminal thanked Spidey for his help, before knocking him out with a punch and fleeing. Rushing back to school, Peter made it just in time for his graduation ceremony. There it was announced that Peter was awarded a science scholarship at ESU. Of his classmates, Flash was also going to attend, but it turned out that Liz was following a different path and after years of being snubbed by Peter said goodbye for what they thought would be the last time.
Peter was involved in a number of adventures as Spider-Man just prior to his enrollment at Empire State University. Spider-Man got involved with Doctor Strange again when the sorcerer known as Xandu enthralled two thugs to steal half of the Wand of Watoomb from Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum. Peter helped Strange recover the wand and de-power it, while leaving Xandu with no memory of his mystical abilities.
Peter was upset to learn that Ned Leeds had returned from assignment in Europe, putting him in competition for Betty's affections once again. To make matters worse, the Scorpion managed to break out of prison and was threatening to attack J. Jonah Jameson once more. Jameson challenged Spider-Man to battle the Scorpion in order to prove that he was not in league with the villain, in order to save his own hide. While Spider-Man battled the Scorpion at the Daily Bugle, Peter was further upset to see Ned protecting Betty from the battle, and later after he defeated his foe that Ned took her off to safety. Ned's return spelled the beginning of the end of Peter's relationship with Betty Brant. Spider-Man's battle with the Scorpion was observed by former "mutant" terrorists Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, just prior to their joining the Avengers.[note 28]
Spider-Man was later invited to the wedding of Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Girl. During the festivities, Doctor Doom used his Emotional Changer device to enthrall and army of super-villains to attack the wedding. This attack was staved off by the various super-heroes who were in attendance. When Spider-Man arrived on the scene, he saved Hawkeye's life from a falling safe.[note 29] Spider-Man then rescued a young boy named Mark from the Grey Gargoyle. During the daring rescue, Spider-Man was approached by freelance photographer Phil Sheldon who asked for an interview in order to help Spider-Man's public image. Spider-Man declined to help the other heroes who were defending the wedding. Spider-Man then joined the final brawl that lasted until the Watcher provided Mister Fantastic with a Time Displacer device to banish all the villains and erase all memory of the battle. The wedding then continued uninterrupted. While Peter's alter-ego was regarded as a hero by Phil Sheldon, when Sheldon first met Peter in his civilian guise, he was disgusted by Parker's apparent disrespect for Spider-Man in selling photos to the Daily Bugle that made the Wall-Crawler look bad.
When the thief known simply as the Cat Burglar began making a scene in New York, Jameson offered a sizable reward for his capture after the Cat robbed his home. Needing the money, Peter decided to capture the Cat Burglar as Spider-Man, and took the opportunity to rankle Jameson by announcing his intentions to do so. While out, Peter ran into Liz Allan who asked him to keep Flash from following her in order to maintain some privacy about her new life. Although interrupted with a failed attempt of capturing the Cat as Spider-Man, Peter managed to turn Flash away. Later, Betty informed Peter that Ned Leeds has asked her to marry him. Upset by this revelation, Peter angrily stormed out of the room before she could explain that she truly loved him. Later as Spider-Man, Peter tracked down the Cat and although the police arrested the thief before Spider-Man could capture him, Peter managed to snap some photos he could sell to the Daily Bugle. When Betty tried once again to talk to Peter, he snubbed her, telling her that she pretty well made up her mind about marrying Ned. This put the final wedge between the couple that eventually ended their romance.
Spider-Man soon began crossing paths with the minions of a crime boss calling himself the Master Planner who was stealing various scientific equipment across town. Although he interfered in these thefts, Peter came no closer to uncovering the identity of the Master Planner. Later Peter attended his first day at Empire State University where he enrolled in classes, participated in various orientation sessions and gathered his text books. After a busy day, Peter returned home and was shocked when Aunt May suddenly collapsed. After being seen by her doctor, May had to be hospitalized in order to have her mystery illness examined. At school the next day, Peter was to absorbed in his worries about his Aunt May to focus on much more than his school work. When Flash Thompson attempted to introduce Peter to his new friends Harry Osborn and Gwen Stacy, it appeared as though Peter was snubbing them, earning their ire. As the doctors tried to determine what was wrong with Aunt May, Peter had to focus on paying the bills and spent fruitless nights trying to take crime photos as Spider-Man. At school, Peter still continued to be snubbing his classmates, making them believe that he was to self-important to associate with them. One night while out web-slinging, Spider-Man was flagged down by an underworld stooly named Patch who informed him of a heist of radioactive materials from a ship. Spider-Man arrived at the scene and prevented the Master Planner's men from committing the robbery, although he was unable to obtain enough sensational photos to make it worth his while.
After trying to avoid Betty Brant, Peter was forced to deal with her and Ned when he next went to the Daily Bugle to sell photos. Believing that Betty would reject him the moment she learned his secret and that Ned was who was best for her, Peter angrily rejected her and was rough with Ned in the hopes of pushing Betty away. When checking in on Aunt May, Peter learned that the reason why she was so ill was due to radioactive particles in her blood that were weakening her. Realizing that this was a side effect of the blood transfusion he provided months earlier, Peter blamed himself for Aunt May getting ill, becoming determined to find a cure for her. Looking up his old ally Curt Connors, Peter learned that the scientist had recently relocated to New York City. Paying Connors a visit as Spider-Man, Peter learned that the only hope of saving Aunt May's life was in a formula that included Isotope-39. In order to get the money to purchase a supply, Peter pawned off all his scientific equipment and cleaned up the family bank account. However as Spider-Man and Connors worked away on developing a cure, the Iso-39 shipment was stolen by minions of the Master Planner. Furious at this discovery, Spider-Man went on a rampage, breaking up criminal operations all over the city to try and get a line on the Master Planner. Through fear and intimidation, Spider-Man managed to track down the Master Planner's undersea lair, and fight his way within. There he was surprised to discover that the Master Planner was none other than his old foe Doctor Octopus. During the ensuing battle the structural integrity of the base was compromise and Spider-Man was pinned under rubble from a collapsing portion of the base. Doctor Octopus then fled the scene, abandoning the Iso-39, and leaving Spider-Man trapped as water slowly began leaking into the lair.
As the abandoned base begin to slowly flood, Peter pushed his strength to the limits and was able to pull the collapsed debris off his body. Recovering the Iso-39, Spider-Man escaped the Master Planner's base as it began to flood, fighting off his minions along the way. Pushing himself harder than he ever had before, Spider-Man managed to get the Iso-39 to Doctor Connors in time to add it to their formula. The Web-Slinger then rushed the formula to the hospital for it to be administered to Aunt May. With two hours to wait, Peter went back to the Master Planners headquarters to take photos to sell to the Bugle so he could buy back his pawned off equipment. When Betty saw Peter's battered and bruised face, this once more reminded her of her brother Bennett and it was the straw that finally broke the camel's back. Betty was finally incapable of being with Peter with all the danger his profession brought and Peter refused to give up taking photos for the Daily Bugle because he needed the steady income. Returning to the hospital, Peter learned that the formula was a complete success and that his Aunt May was going to recover from her illness.
Not long after Aunt May was released from the hospital, Kraven the Hunter returned to the United States and began harassing J. Jonah Jameson disguised as Spider-Man. Jameson put a bounty on the Wall-Crawler's head. This prompted Peter to go looking for his impostor. Spider-Man quickly tracked down Kraven, and defeated him in battle. Upon his arrest, Karven confessed to posing as Spider-Man, clearing the heroes name. Peter took photos of the battle, but decided against selling them to the Daily Bugle in order to avoid seeing Betty. Later when the Molten Man was released from jail he began a series of robberies in disguise. This prompted a conflict with Spider-Man, who caught the Molten Man red handed and defeated him in battle again. Peter then used the photos he took as evidence proving that the Molten Man was responsible for the robberies. When Peter finally decided to bite the bullet and sell the photos to the Daily Bugle, he was surprised to find that Betty had left town again, leaving behind the photo of Peter that she had on her desk. Meanwhile at school, Peter began taking a biology class taught by Professor Miles Warren. During one of these classes the entire class provided Warren with cell samples, including both Peter and Gwen Stacy. These cell samples would have grave repercussions in Peter's future. Peter started gaining the attention of Gwen Stacy when he began opening up to his fellow students. But her interest in him was tramped down when she witnessed what she thought was Peter fleeing from a villain calling himself the Looter attempting to rob a science exhibit. In reality, Peter slipped away to change into Spider-Man once again, and ultimately he thwarted the Looter's attempts to steal a meteor that was on display to boost his powers.
As Spider-Man, Peter became interested in the release of Professor Mendel Stromm who vowed to get revenge against his former partner, whom he blamed for his arrest on embezzlement. Stromm then created robots to attack Osborn Chemicals, drawing Spider-Man as well as the stoolie known as Patch. Both were captured, but Spider-Man was able to break them free. During the ensuing battle the robots were destroyed and Stromm was almost killed by a mystery assassin's bullet. When Spider-Man attempted to go after the shooter, they had escaped and Stromm had suffered from a fatal heart attack and died. Spider-Man also interfered with the Masked Marauder's plot to steal XB-390 engine from World Motors. In retaliation, the Marauder tricked Spider-Man into battling Daredevil, leaving the World Motors Building open for another attack. After Daredevil defeated Spider-Man, the Wall-Crawler believed that he was in league with the Marauder. Using his Spider-Sense, Spider-Man was able to track Daredevil to the offices of Nelson and Murdock, where he mistakenly believed that lawyer Foggy Nelson was really Daredevil, unaware that it was really Nelson's partner, Matt Murdock. With his certainty that Nelson was Daredevil shaken, Spider-Man warned him not to interfere again. Murdock, as Daredevil, later had it leaked that the XB-390 was useless without the fuel formula prompting the Marauder and his minions to attack the World Motors Building again. This time both Spider-Man and Daredevil arrived to defeat their foe, convincing both that they were on the side of good. When Spider-Man was temporarily blinded by the Marauder's Opti-Beam weapon, Daredevil defeated their mutual foe. While Daredevil told the press that Spider-Man was a help in defeating the Marauder, the villain still managed to escape capture.
Peter's social life was not without its continued problems, during his next visit to the Daily Bugle he almost came to blows with Ned Leeds over Betty's abrupt departure from the city. Meanwhile, Norman Osborn put a bounty on Spider-Man's head in the hopes of covering up his involvement in the murder of Mendel Stromm. As Spider-Man, Peter clashed with Joe Smith, a down on his luck boxer who was endowed with super-human strength thanks to an accident on the set of a film studio. Spider-Man battled Joe until the effects of the chemicals that gave him his powers wore off restoring him to normal. Adding insult to injury, Joe got off scott free and landed an acting gig for a movie while Spider-Man and Peter Parker's lives continued to suffer. Meanwhile, Peter's romance life was taking new twists with Betty removed from it. Gwen Stacy continued to have mixed feelings for Peter, while he missed yet another opportunity to meet Mary Jane. Spider-Man's foe Mysterio was later released from prison and decided to return to his life of crime. Using his special effects knowledge he made it look as though Spider-Man had murdered J. Jonah Jameson. In reality, Mysterio trapped Jameson in a studio that was done up to look like Hell. While Jameson easily fell for this illusion, Spider-Man was quick to figure out that Jameson's "death" was a hoax and properly deduce who was behind it. To try and stop Spider-Man, Mysterio unleashed a phony Sinister Six to battle him, but Parker was able to defeat them and learn that Mysterio was hiding out at Silver Star Studios. Incidentally, this was also where Joe Smith was acting in a low budget sci-fi film for Toxic Shock Pictures. Spider-Man quickly freed Jameson, but Mysterio set off a series of explosions before fleeing in a massive sphinx. Spider-Man survived the blast and tracked Mysterio down to Midtown Manhattan where he used a giant VR projector to alter reality around them. While Spider-Man defeated Mysterio in hand-to-hand combat, Joe Smith deactivated the machine leading to Mysterio's capture and re-incarceration.
Coming down with a cold, Peter went to go so his doctor who warned him that his Aunt May was as frail health as ever and warned him about not allowing her to stress out. Meanwhile, the Green Goblin became determined to utterly destroy Spider-Man. To this end, he sought to learn the Wall-Crawler's secret identity. He sent some gangsters to the observation deck of the Empire State Building. When Spider-Man tried to stop them, he was doused in a chemical that deadened his Spider-Sense. Unaware that the Green Goblin was following, Peter returned to his neighborhood where he was observed changing out of his Spider-Man costume. The Green Goblin then attacked, easily catching Peter off guard and taking him prisoner. The Goblin brought Peter to one of his hideouts and revealed that he was none other than Norman Osborn. Peter kept the Goblin occupied, goading him into explaining his origins and his various plans while Peter tried to break free of his bonds. This failed, however the Goblin wished to defeat Spider-Man in a one-on-one battle and so he freed Peter to do battle. The two fought it out when until the Green Goblin was knocked into a batch of chemicals. The resulting explosion caused the warehouse to catch flames. Osborn was also stripped of his memories since becoming the Green Goblin and lost his powers. Spider-Man then stripped off his Goblin costume and tossed it into the flames before carrying Osborn out to safety. Peter then led everyone to believe that the Green Goblin was someone other than Norman and that he perished in the blast. While it looked like Peter Parker's secret was safe, it was only a matter of time before the Green Goblin would return to menace Spider-Man again. Meanwhile, Peter was quickly becoming friends with Norman's son Harry, who began to feel bad about his bullying of Peter.
Face It, Tiger -- You Just Hit the Jackpot!
With things more financially sound, Peter decided to invest in a motorcycle. He also reconnected to Betty Brant who returned to New York to resolve her issues. The pair had finally come to the terms with the fact that they had drifted apart, and Betty decided to accept Ned's proposal. Meanwhile, J. Jonah Jameson's son John was in New York after a long quarantine from his last space mission left him exposed to mysterious spores. John was targeted by the super-powered spy known as the Rhino who sought to kidnap John for his foreign masters. As Spider-Man, Peter managed to beat the Rhino in a fist fight, turning him over to the authorities. The battle was witnessed by private eye Billy Fender who vowed to uncover Spider-Man's secret identity. Spider-Man was next approached by the Avengers to join their ranks. Although he meshed poorly with the group dynamic, Peter accepted their challenge for membership: capture the Hulk who was presently on a rampage in New York. Spider-Man tracked the Hulk down to an electrical plant, but decided against capturing him when the Hulk briefly reverted to his alter ego, Doctor Bruce Banner. Feeling sympathetic to Banner, Spider-Man decided to let the Hulk go his own way and turned down his nomination for the Avengers. After breaking up a liquor store robbery, Spider-Man also prevented bank robbers from planting a money bag filled with explosives into the vault. Spider-Man was instantly accused of robbing a bank. This happened just as the spores affected John Jameson's physiology endowing him with enhanced strength. Jonah then convinced his son to go out and attack Spider-Man. Spider-Man battled John, luring him to another electrical plant, and exposing him to a jolt of electricity that reverted him to normal, purging the spores from his system. In the meantime, the truth about Spider-Man's "robbery" were uncovered and he was cleared of any wrong doing. Returning home that night, Peter was finally around long enough to meet the girl his Aunt May was trying to set him up with for months: Mary Jane Watson. Upon introducing herself to Peter for the first time she said, "Face it, Tiger -- You just hit the jackpot!".
The Rhino soon broke out of prison again and went on a path of destruction to try and find John Jameson. Hearing the news, Peter brought Mary Jane with him onto the scene. Telling MJ he had to take pictures for the Daily Bugle, he slipped away and changed into Spider-Man. Spidey fared worse this time around and was rescued from the scene by a police officer while the Rhino escaped. Peter however managed to get photos to sell the Bugle and a chunk of the Rhino's costume. Taking the costume to Curt Connors, they developed an acid solution to eat through the Rhino's thick hide. When the Rhino later attacked the military hospital where John was being kept, Spider-Man easily defeated his foe by coating his armor in his webbing solution, which ate through the Rhino's costume and landing an easy defeat for Spider-Man. On his way home after, Peter ran into Gwen, Harry and Flash and learned that Flash was enlisting in the army. At home, he found that Aunt May was not getting well and her medicine was running low forcing him to cancel plans with Mary Jane, who appeared to be indifferent about the snub. While busting some crooks, Spider-Man was later approached by Beast and Iceman who sought to recruit him into the X-Men. After his disastrous encounter with the Avengers, Spider-Man declined.
While seeing Aunt May off on another vacation, Peter witnessed as Curt Connors ran off into the tunnels beneath Grand Central Station as he transformed into the Lizard once again. Seeing Aunt May off, Peter changed into Spider-Man found Connors' wife and son who were coming to New York to be with Curt and vowed to cure him again. During Peter's first clash with the Lizard in the New York City sewers his arm was badly sprained requiring to be put in a sling. Fearing that people would make the connection that Peter Parker was really Spider-Man due to their similar injuries, Peter hid at home and called off a date with Mary Jane to protect his double identity. Having to face the outside world, Peter found his worries were for naught as people easily accepted his made up story about injuring himself on his new motorcycle. Peter then continued after the Lizard who boldly attempted to take over a train full of reptiles headed for an exhibit in Philadelphia. Spidey defeated the Lizard by tricking him into entering a refrigeration car, leading the cold blooded creature's easy defeat. Spider-Man then rushed the Lizard back to Connors' lab and was able to cure him once again. Later, Peter clashed with a new villain calling himself the Shocker. Unprepared for the villain's vibro-gauntlets, the Shocker was able to escape capture. Peter was later approached by Harry Osborn who asked Peter to be his new roommate. Longing for a place of his own, Peter told Harry he would accept the offer if it was okay with his Aunt May. Peter's constant photographs of Spider-Man also aroused the suspicions of Frederick Foswell, who began following Peter in his Patch disguise. Peter quickly detected Patch following him and filled his costume with webbing. He then staged a mock conversation between himself and his alter-ego, leaving Foswell to believe that Peter split the money for his photos with Spider-Man. With his arm mostly healed, Peter later defeated the Shocker when the villain attempted to rob another bank. Picking up Aunt May on the way home, he learned that she was offered to move in with Anna Watson. Seeing this as an opportunity for both of them to get what they wanted, Peter was happy to see her move in with her best friend. Peter then moved in with Harry Osborn.
Choosing Between Gwen and Mary Jane
Peter soon found himself conflict over which woman he liked more, Gwen Stacy or Mary Jane Watson. Back at ESU, Peter happened to duck out on both Gwen and Mary Jane who were both looking to vent their frustrations. Peter came across Susan Monaghan and Daisy Lynch, two failing science students, trying to use Gwen's notes to complete a project. Peter then frightened them off and tried to contain their experiment gone wild, but it literally exploded in Gwen's face, covering her in goo. Mary Jane took advantage of this situation to take Peter out on a date. Peter took Mary Jane to watch a football game between Empire State and State Universities. A game that was interrupted by the Inhuman known as Crystal, who was seeking out the Human Torch's friend Wyatt Wingfoot. As Peter began to settle into his new apartment, he also prepared to attend the going away party for Flash Thompson before he went off to serve in the military. Before the big event, Peter, Harry, Mary Jane and Gwen discovered the Coffee Bean, a long running New York coffee house which became their regular haunt. Later, the party for Flash was crashed by Kraven the Hunter, who sought payment for a job he took from the Green Goblin through Norman Osborn. Unable to find Osborn, Kraven targeted his son. Peter slipped away and changed into Spider-Man and battled Kraven. Kraven was defeated and turned over to the authorities and Norman Osborn rescued from his clutches.
While out crime fighting, Spider-Man crossed paths with Daredevil once again. The Man Without Fear warned the Wall-Crawler that his enemy Stilt-Man was on the loose. Spider-Man later crossed paths with the villain as he was on a rampage across the city. Although Stilt-Man managed to escape Spider-Man, he was later defeated by Daredevil. Peter later went on a date with Gwen Stacy to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While resuming his hunt for Kraven the Hunter, Peter came down with the flu, which affected all aspects of his life. When a new Vulture surfaced and began committing crimes, Peter went out as Spider-Man to try and bring him to justice. Catching the Vulture as he was in the middle of a robbery, Spider-Man weakened by the flu enough for the Vulture to send the Wall-Crawler falling to a rooftop where he left him for dead. Surviving, Peter returned to his apartment where he had to pretend to be laid up in bed with the flu in order to appease Harry, Mary Jane, Gwen and his Aunt May. While Peter was confined to his bed, Kraven the Hunter tracked down the new Vulture and the pair began fighting it out for supremacy. Finally able to slip away and chance into Spider-Man, Peter tracked them down to one of the city's exhibition halls. Having fought off the flu, Spider-Man was at his full fighting strength and was to defeat both foes, leaving them tied up for the authorities. Spider-Man later was caught up in the bizarre scheme of the mystic who called himself the Sorcerer, who began plaguing the Wall-Crawler from afar with a voodoo doll. Amplifying his mental powers with a psycho-intensifier device, the Sorcerer compelled Peter to travel to New Orleans to battle his Synthetic Man construct. Oddly enough the Sorcerer tried to mail Spider-Man the voodoo doll used against him care of general delivery. When it was ultimately returned by the post office, the mail man returning the package rang the Sorcerer's door bell. This caused an electrical overload in his hideout that caused the Psycho-Amplifier to short circuit, seemingly slaying the Sorcerer in the process. This caused the Synthetic Man to stop fighting and walk out into the ocean. Confused by the entire encounter and with no idea who his foe was, Spider-Man returned home.
The Kingpin of Crime
While busting up a number of criminals, Peter was upset to find those who he rescued were fearful of him due to the Daily Bugles constant editorials against him. Matters seemed to get worse, as Aunt May had fallen ill again and Peter's grades were starting to slip due to his frequent activities as Spider-Man, causing Professor Warren to express his concern over Peter's academic career. After hearing a televised editorial from J. Jonah Jameson, Peter finally had enough of being Spider-Man and decided to quit, throwing his costume out in an alleyway garbage can. Peter next went to the Daily Bugle to inform Jameson that he was going to quit taking photos and noticed that his old costume was recovered and now on display in Jameson's office. Finally shed of his responsibilities as Spider-Man, Peter was able to focus more time on his personal life and studies, spending time with both Gwen and his Aunt May. However with the so-called Kingpin taking over all the crime rackets, Peter soon found it was becoming harder and harder to ignore his responsibilities. After saving a security guard from a common thug, Peter found that he resembled his Uncle Ben. Recalling the events that led to his becoming a crime fighter to begin with, Peter realized that he couldn't just turn his back on the responsibility. Breaking into Jameson's officer, Peter recovered his Spider-Man costume. When Jameson entered his office moments later, Spider-Man told him that Spider-Man was back in action once again, much to the publisher's dismay.
As Spider-Man, Peter began breaking up the Kingpin's city wide crime wave, and returned to selling the photos to the Daily Bugle. Spotting a robbery in progress as a wealthy dining club, Spider-Man failed to stop the crooks, but managed to tag one with a new model of Spider-Tracer that Peter could now track with his Spider-Sense. Peter followed the signal to the Kingpin's hideout. There he found that the Frederick Foswell had joined forces with the Kingpin and they had taken J. Jonah Jameson prisoner for his reports about the Kingpin's activities. Spidey attacked, defeating the Kingpin's thugs and engaging the Kingpin himself. Underestimating his foes strength and speed, Spider-Man was quickly felled by a knockout gas that was hidden in the Kingpin's tie-pin. The unconscious Spider-Man and Jameson were then shackled into a room that would later be flooded, drowning the both. However before this could happen Spider-Man revived and freed himself. With no time left, he then spun a web bubble around himself and Jameson in the hopes the room would be drained before their air supply ran out. Spider-Man's gamble paid off and when the room was emptied, Spider-Man fought his way through the Kingpin's goons. This time around Spider-Man was prepared for the Kingpin and his tricks. Realizing he was fighting a losing battle the Kingpin then managed to flee the scene. Going back to look for Jameson, Spider-Man found him pinned down by the last of the Kingpin's men. Spider-Man rescued Jameson, learning that Foswell was fatally shot defending his former employer. Spider-Man was furious when Jameson still considered Spider-Man a menace after the fact, but resigned to the fact there was nothing he could do about it. Peter later attended a kegger with Harry where Osborn instigated a fight. After Peter pulled Harry out of it, he learned that his best friend was upset due to his father's constant questions about Peter and the fact that Norman appeared to be more interested in Parker's career in science than his own son.
Later while on a joy ride into Westchester County, Peter came across a strange spider like robot unleashed by the terrorist organization known as Factor Three, who were seeking out the mutant X-Men. Changing into Spider-Man, Peter quickly destroyed the robot. Unfortunately for Spider-Man, the X-Men were partially tipped off by their ally the Banshee that a spider-themed menace was being unleashed against them. Finding Spider-Man the mutant heroes attacked him. Eventually the X-Men realized the error they made and stopped fighting the Wall-Crawler, who was uninterested in why they attacked and was more than happy to see the X-Men leave. Later, Spider-Man interrupted a filming of a new movie starring the Human Torch, thinking the Torch had gone berserk when in reality it was all part of the movie. The encounter came to the attention of their foes the Wizard and Mysterio who pooled their resources together to lure the two heroes into a trap. Both the Torch and Spider-Man were tricked into travelling to Hollywood to appear in a movie starring both of them. While on set, Mysterio and the Wizard tricked Spider-Man into thinking the Torch attacked him. The two heroes battled it out until they realized they were being manipulated and uncovered their foes. Spider-Man and the Human Torch then rounded up the two villains for the authorities before returning to New York.
When Peter returned to school he found that Harry was giving him the cold shoulder after all his strange comings and going, and that Flash was back from a military mission on furlough. When Professor Warren offered Peter two tickets to see the unveiling of the military's new neutralizer weapon, he invited Gwen to accompany him. When Doctor Octopus later attacked the exhibition in an attempt to steal the device, Peter slipped away and changed into Spider-Man. During the ensuing battle, Spider-Man sent Doc Ock fleeing, but not before tagging him with a Spider-Tracer. Returning to his civilian guise, Peter spent time celebrating Flash's return before learning that Aunt May and Anna Watson were putting the spare room in their house up for rent. Able to slip away to change into Spider-Man, Peter tracked Doc Ock to his new base, just barely avoiding a trap his enemy had set for him before escaping. During a visit to the Daily Bugle, Peter met Joe Robertson the Bugle's new city editor before visiting Aunt May. Peter was shocked to learn that Doctor Octopus was now renting out the room to his Aunt who was still oblivious to the fact the Octavius was a wanted criminal. When Peter tried to warn her, Otto warned Peter to keep his mouth shut. Peter later confronted Octopus as Spider-Man, and was sidetracked by the arrival of Doctor Octopus' minions. Crashing in on his foe, Peter was forced to stop when Aunt May entered the room and fainted at the sight of Spider-Man. While Doc Ock escaped, Peter quickly doffed his costumed identity and called May's doctor for help. Peter later vowed to get revenge against Doctor Octopus for harming his aunt.
Between spending time with Aunt May in the hospital, Peter began trying to track down Doctor Octopus as Spider-Man. When Doc Ock managed to steal the neutralizer weapon and use it to attack a Stark Industries factory. Spider-Man tracked his foe there and during the course of the battle was blasted with the neutralizer. This had a strange effect on the Wall-Crawler: it struck him with amnesia. Confused an disorientated, Spider-Man decided to go along with Doctor Octopus when his foe convinced Spidey that they were working together. Spider-Man then assisted Doctor Octopus in escaping the Stark factory and returning to his secret hideout. Although agreeing to go along with Octavius, Spider-Man was suspicious and had enough common sense to avoid revealing his true identity. Still struggling to figure out who he was, Spider-Man agreed to steal an amount of Isotope-16 which was needed to make the neutralizer fully operational. As Peter was absent for a number of days, his friends and family began to suspect fowl play, believing that Peter might have gone missing as the result of his photographing Spider-Man. Spider-Man later broke into Fort Tyson to steal Isotope-16. Growing increasingly suspicious of Doctor Octopus, Spider-Man intentionally left his map behind allowing a task force -- which included John Jameson and retired police captain George Stacy -- to follow Spider-Man back to Doctor Octopus' hideout. Having realized that he was being manipulated by Ock, Spider-Man fought back as the military arrived. While the two enemies battled, John Jameson managed to recover the neutralizer and incapacitate Doctor Octopus. When he attempted to take Spider-Man into custody as well, the confused Web-Slinger fled the scene, still unaware of who he really was.
While Peter was reduced to living on the streets while he struggled to recover his memories, Aunt May was hospitalized again and his friends suspected Spider-Man of being responsible. J. Jonah Jameson also hired the jungle adventurer known as Ka-Zar to hunt down Spider-Man. Ka-Zar and his sabretooth tiger Zabu tracked down and battled Spider-Man across the city. The fight took them to Central Park where Zabu pounced on Spider-Man, knocking him into a nearby lake. Defeated, Spider-Man was pulled out of the water by Ka-Zar. When Ka-Zar revived Spider-Man, his memories returned. Spidey then explained everything to Ka-Zar, who was convinced that Spider-Man was telling the truth and left. Entirely out of web-fluid, Spider-Man made a slow progression back to his apartment unaware that J. Jonah Jameson and Spencer Smythe were tracking him down with a new Spider-Slayer robot. Although they caught up with Spider-Man, Spencer's desire to utterly destroy Spider-Man clashed with Jameson's desire to have Spider-Man captured. This division affected their efficiency, and Spider-Man was able to lure the Spider-Slayer back to Smythe's lab. There he lured it into Spencer's lab which contained thousands of spiders, causing the robot's tracking systems to overload and explode.
Peter's return from his days long disappearance made for happy reunions with his friends and family. Particularly Gwen, who shared her first kiss with Peter, cementing their relationship. However his disappearance led to uneasy answers with the authorities, but Peter managed to bluff his way out of trouble by stating that he was a prisoner of Spider-Man until his memory returned and he was released. While out web-slinging, Spider-Man came across Daredevil in a battle with the Human Torch. He learned from Daredevil that Doctor Doom had tricked the Fantastic Four into thinking that Doom was posing as Daredevil as part of a secret attack. The pair later crossed paths with Thor on their way to the Baxter Building to try and talk sense into the FF. This led to a battle between the gathered heroes until the fight was broken up by the Invisible Girl who confirmed Daredevil's claims.
Spider-Man later attempted to stop the so-called Man-Monster from sabotaging the political campaign of Richard Raleigh, a tough on crime candidate. while at the same time learning what he could about Raleigh's background as Peter Parker. As Spider-Man, Peter uncovered that Raleigh had the Man-Monster created to attack his campaign in order to gain more support. When the Man-Monster turned on Raleigh, both he, the scientist who helped create the creature and the Man-Monster were slain, leaving the rest of the world unaware of his shady background. Meanwhile, the Kingpin had resurfaced and hired inventor Dr. Gerhard Winkler to brainwash members of New York's political elite and law enforcement officials. To this end they used the newly opened nightclub Gloom Room A-Go-Go. Incidentally Mary Jane was hired as a dancer and was used as a pawn, taking photos of officials who were given invites, which caused them to be compelled to go back stage and be subjected to Winkler's brainwash device. On the grand opening, Peter was in attendance with his friends and witnessing Gwen's father acting strangely and going back stage, Peter decided to investigate as Spider-Man. There he clashed with the Kingpin's goons and found Winkler subjecting Captain Stacy to his device.
Peter battled the Kingpin, but was forced to flee the scene when he was thrown into Winkler's machines and suffered a shock that doubled his vision. The Kingpin then completed George Stacy's brainwashing. After a night of rest and his vision beginning to return to normal, Peter went to visit Captain Stacy. When he tried to warn Stacy about the Kingpin, George attacked him. When Peter went to defend himself, Gwen entered the room and believed that Peter attacked her father unprovoked when George claimed such was the case. Gwen was angered by this and told Peter to leave and never come back. Heartbroken, Pete sought to find some way to redeem himself. With no other choice, he was forced to trail George as Spider-Man, photographing him stealing police records with some of the Kingpin's minions and later selling the photos to the Daily Bugle. With Gwen and her father gone into hiding, Peter relentlessly stalked the Kingpin's men in order to find their leader and find a means of proving George Stacy was under some kind of mind control. He finally found the Kingpin and Winkler at Osborn Chemicals. While Spider-Man battled the Kingpin, Norman Osborn prevented Winkler from shooting George and Gwen, who were the Kingpin's prisoners. Peter later pulled the pair out from under a falling chemical vat. In the aftermath, the Kingpin was arrested, Winkler killed, and George cleared of all wrong doing. Unknown to Peter at the time, Gwen later had an affair with Norman Osborn as a result of him saving her life. A fact and the implications thereof Peter would not learn until many years later. Still blaming Peter for what happened to her father, Gwen continued to snub Peter. As Spider-Man, Parker, was later manipulated into a battle with the Inhuman known as Medusa by hair spray promoter Montgomery Bliss. Their battle quickly ended when they both realized they were being tricked into a publicity stunt by Bliss and broke off their fight.
While going through some of Aunt May's storage trunks, Peter came across old newspaper clippings about his parents and was shocked that they were denounced as spies. After confronting Aunt May with this revelation, May finally told Peter about the events leading up to the death of his parents. Unwilling to accept that his parents would betray their country, Peter decided to investigate as Spider-Man. Borrowing a craft from the Fantastic Four, Peter traveled to the last known location of his parents: Algeria. There Peter uncovered that the communist Red Skull was responsible for the death of his parents. Although the Red Skull escaped the ensuing battle, Peter found documents that proved that his parents were double agents working for the United States government and returned to America to clear their names. Back home, Peter was on site at Madison Square Garden to photograph a battle between Daredevil and Captain America.
Later while out web-slinging, Peter slipped and hurt his arm again. Later when he was at the Daily Bugle, the original Vulture engaged in a battle with his successor Blackie Drago outside of the building. J. Jonah Jameson grabbed Peter and rushed him outside to photograph the event. Peter was forced to slip away mid-battle to save the life of a child in danger, prompting Jameson to believe that Peter had chickened out. Toomes then defeated Drago and then turned his attentions to Spider-Man. Between his injured arm, and trying to protect Joe Robertson and Jonah from the Vulture, Spider-Man grew tired quickly. Jameson interfering with his attempts to save them also did not help. Ultimately, Spider-Man was dropped from the top of the Bugle building, but managed to cushion his fall. Spider-Man managed to play possum long enough for the Vulture to get close enough for Peter to crush his power pack, leaving him easily captured. Spider-Man then passed out just as a mob began to surround him. Spider-Man was protected by the police under orders from Captain Stacy who ensured that Spider-Man would not be unmasked while unconscious. Peter came to in a jail hospital and quickly came upon a jail break where the prisoners were holding Captain Stacy as a hostage. Convincing the crooks that he intended to break out and wanted to help them escape as well, Spider-Man secretly disabled the electricity in the jail and used the covering darkness to pick off the criminals one-by-one. Peter ultimately saved George and then escaped custody, much to the chagrin of J. Jonah Jameson.
Since getting out of jail, Peter had to deal with Jameson who was furious that Peter abandoned his "post" during the battle of the Vultures. Peter also had a brief run in with Mysterio, who had escaped prison once again. Despite this encounter, things began looking better for Peter as Gwen finally tracked him down and reconciled with him. Peter later accompanied Harry and his father Norman to a presentation on the Green Goblin put on by George Stacy. When Norman began acting strangely during the presentation, Peter began to worry that his memories of being the Goblin were beginning to return. These fears began to bother Peter throughout his daily activities. When Norman later went missing, Peter helped Harry try to find him, with no success. Going to check on Aunt May, Peter arrived just as Mysterio televised his challenge to Spider-Man, prompting Peter to rush out leaving Anna Watson to call May's doctor. Peter ultimately ended up returning home where he was plagued with dreams of the Green Goblin returning and endangering those he loved. He went out searching for traces that the Green Goblin was back, but found none. Deciding to answer Mysterio's challenge, Spider-Man found him at the location of their first battle together. There Mysterio gained the upper hand in battle when he led Spider-Man to believe that he was shrunken down in size and imprisoned on a miniature of an amusement park. Mysterio kept Spidey preoccupied with various death traps but the Wall-Crawler eventually realized the truth: that he was really on a full sized set. Using his Spider-Sense to track down Mysterio, Peter quickly defeated him and left his foe for the authorities. Norman Osborn finally resurfaced, inviting Peter, Harry, Gwen and Mary Jane to a party he was throwing. Peter quickly realized that Norman's Osborn persona was back and caused the fire place to smoke out to evacuate the home. Changing into Spider-Man, Peter battled the Green Goblin again. This time the Goblin was armed with hallucinogenic gas which he attempted to use against Spider-Man. Peter was able to shake off the effects, and later while battling the Goblin exposed Norman to the gas. Peter used this to make Norman so frightened of both Spider-Man and the Green Goblin he caused the Goblin persona to submerge again. Peter then brought Norman to a hospital for treatment.
When Spider-Man learned that the Wasp and Yellowjacket were to be married, he was one of the many super-heroes who were present for the nuptials at Avengers Mansion. Spider-Man later prevented Doctor Octopus from succeeding in a bank robbery, saving the life of a police officer who was injured on the scene.
Crisis on Campus
As Peter resumed his studies at ESU, he was introduced to Randy Robertson, Joe Robertson's son. Randy and other students were participating in a student protest over ESU's faculty giving an exhibition hall over to alumni's, arguing that it was better to be turned into affordable student housing. While Peter empathized with their cause, he was not willing to join the protest without hearing the Dean's position, causing some of the protesters to believe that Peter was a coward. The student protest was taken advantage of by the Kingpin who sought to steal the Lifeline Tablet that was on display. Despite Spider-Man's attempts to stop the theft, the Kingpin manage to escape with the Tablet. Since this occurred during the student protest, Randy and the other protesters were arrested as accessories. When Spider-Man attempted to clear the students of involvement, he tracked the Kingpin's trail even though it led him into a trap. His fight with the Kingpin brought the authorities to their location. Although the Kingpin was ultimately defeated and arrested, he convinced the authorities that Spider-Man was his ally in stealing the Lifestone. When Spidey attempted to return it, the police began shooting at him, forcing Peter to flee. Finally fed up of being being burned whenever he tried to do good, Peter decided to become the very menace he was always accused of being.
Peter's proclamation proved to be short lived as he quickly realized that he could not become a menace as it went against his nature and the promise he made to Uncle Ben. With no means of returning the tablet, Peter hid it in his apartment. The following day, Gwen confronted Peter over his inaction in the student protests, when Peter couldn't explain himself for fear of compromising his double identity, she assumed that he was a coward like her classmates were suggesting. Meanwhile, the Kingpin managed to break out of jail. Seeking to re-capture his foe, Spider-Man tracked down the Kingpin. His attempts to capture the crime lord were met with interference when J. Jonah Jameson and Ned Leeds arrived on the scene. This allowed the Kingpin's wife to rescue him. Angered by Jameson's constant interference in his life, Peter threatened the newspaper publisher who promptly fainted. Fearing that he might have killed Jameson, Peter fled the scene. As it turned out Jameson survived and was hospitalized, with Joe Robertson taking over command of the Daily Bugle. Peter later sold his photos of his battle with the Kingpin, clearing the names of both the students and Spider-Man in the process. He then returned the Lifestone to Captain Stacy. However, on his way home, Peter was attacked by the former Avenger known as Quicksilver who was seeking a means to redeem himself in the eyes of his comrades and was unaware that Spider-Man had cleared his name. Quicksilver had Spider-Man on the ropes until the Wall-Crawler managed to knock the wind out of him. Explaining his circumstances to Quicksilver, the disgraced Avenger allowed him to leave.
Soon after, Peter rushed to the Stacy home after hearing reports that the Shocker attacked George at home and stole the Lifeline Tablet. However when Spider-Man finally caught up to the Shocker, the villain had already hidden the tablet. When the Shocker attempted to flee the scene, Peter tagged him with a Spider-Tracer as he had to see Aunt May off on another vacation to Florida. Pete then tried to patch things up with Gwen, but when Flash returned for another furlough and began flirting with Gwen, Peter got jealous and lost his temper, souring things with Gwen once again. Needing to blow some steam, Peter tracked down the Shocker and captured him during an armored car robbery, but still was unable to locate the tablet. Visiting Captain Stacy at home for clues on where the Shocker might have hidden the tablet, Spider-Man tracked it to the apartment of the Shocker's girlfriend. He arrived at the same time that Maggia enforcer Man Mountain Marko had come for the tablet on behalf of his employer, the aging mob boss Silvermane. Spider-Man was forced to let Marko go when he dropped the Shocker's girlfriend out a window. With the trail to the tablet now cold, Peter returned home and attempted to call Curt Connors to try and secure some summer work with him, only to learn that Curt had left with some mysterious men. Unknown to Peter at the time, Curt was captured by Silvermane to assist in translating the tablet.
Learning that Maggia lawyer Caesar Cicero bailed out Louis Wilson, one of the Kingpin's men, Spider-Man decided to pay him a visit at his office. There the Web-Slinger battled Maggia goons and learned that Cicero had Connors wife and son prisoner. When Cicero believed that Spider-Man died when he tripped an explosive he planted, he fled the scene. Peter survived the blast and resumed the search shortly thereafter. Spider-Man began pressuring local hoods for answers and eventually learned the location of Silvermane's hideout. He arrived too late to stop Silvermane from drinking the formula that Connors deciphered from the tablet. To everyone's surprise, the elderly mob boss was made younger by the potion. However as Spider-Man battled Silvermane's forces it became apparent that Silvermane was continuing to rapidly regress in age. Ultimately, Silvermane rapidly de-aged into nothingness. With the Maggia on the run, Spider-Man saved Martha and Billy Connors, but learned that Curt had transformed into the Lizard again and escaped in the confusion. Later while busting up some crooks, Spider-Man crossed paths with Daredevil again. This time during a period in which Daredevil had faked his alter-ego's death. This encounter dispelled any ideas that he had that Daredevil could be Matt Murdock.
Peter vowed to find the Lizard and restore him to human form before he could be harmed. Before going on his hunt, Peter met with Gwen and assured her that she was the only woman in his life. He then promised her that he would tell her his secret when the moment was right. Spider-Man eventually tracked down the Lizard. During the ensuing battle, Spider-Man allowed the Lizard to gain the upper hand intending to trap the creature, but his attempt was interfered with when the Human Torch arrived on the scene to lend an unwelcome hand. Spider-Man then had to contend with the Human Torch not harming the Lizard or interfering with his attempts to take down the Lizard. Fighting the creature into New York Harbor, the duo eventually knocked the Lizard out. After Spider-Man finally sent the Torch away, he took the Lizard to a chemical warehouse where he could attempt to cure him, unaware that Curt's son Billy had followed him. While the Lizard got free and menaced Billy, Spider-Man doused the Lizard in Calcium Chloride, dehydrating the Lizard so much that it triggered a transformation back to his human form. With the menace of the Lizard now ended once again, Curt was happily reunited with his family once again.
More Turbulence with Gwen
Peter then began trying to patch things up with Gwen again, but when seeking her out caught her out with Flash Thompson. Assuming they were on a date, Peter stormed off unaware that she was seeking advice from Thompson about Peter's secrets. Seeking a loan from Jameson, Peter was refused and got into an argument with Jameson. On his way out, Peter's Spider-Sense warned him of danger and caught a new costumed crook calling himself the Prowler trying to steal the Daily Bugle's payroll. As Peter struggled with the Prowler, Jonah walked in on them, threatening to compromise Peter's double identity should he fight back. Peter forced the struggle so he was thrown out the window, using his spider powers to save his life and change into Spider-Man undetected. Spider-Man clashed with the Prowler, but the novice crook managed to escape. Peter had to quickly change back to his civilian identity and allay any suspicions with Jonah and Joe Robertson, telling them that Spider-Man saved his life. Later at school, when Gwen tried to talk to Peter, he revealed he saw her out with Flash and stormed off before she could explain the situation. Catching the Prowler in another robbery, Spider-Man defeated his opponent this time. Unmasking the crook, Peter was shocked to see it was a young man the same age as him. Since the Prowler hadn't succeeded in stealing anything, Spider-Man let him go on the promise the Prowler went straight.
When Flash Thompson came to Peter and Harry's apartment, Peter almost come to blows with him but stopped when Flash explained why he was meeting with Gwen. Realizing how foolish he was being, Peter patched things up with Gwen. They later went to the Midtown Museum Exhibit where Gwen's father was guarding expensive paintings. Peter found it suspicious when "George" didn't recognize them and the paintings later were stolen. When they later found George knocked out in the Stacy home, Peter deduced his old foe the Chameleon was back to his old tricks. Convincing Joe Robertson to make a million dollar money transfer front page news, Peter set a trap for the Chameleon. Ultimately the Chameleon was captured when he made the mistake of disguising himself as the one person Spider-Man could be sure was his enemy in disguise: Peter Parker. Later while failing to capture Doctor Octopus, Spider-Man ran into the powerful superhero known as the Sentry. The Sentry shocked Spider-Man by revealing that he knew Peter's secret identity. Later, the Sentry sought Peter's aid in stopping his foe the Void who was making a play for the criminal underworld by attacking the Kingpin. The two heroes defeated the Void, but not before Peter's mind was plagued by the Void's darkness. In the aftermath of the battle, the Sentry allowed Peter to take the first clear photo of the Sentry since he first appeared. The photo was an instant success and Peter won a Pulitzer for the photo and earned countless royalties on the reproductions of the picture which was used in merchandising. Spider-Man teamed-up with the Sentry one more time to battle the Void, but ultimately, to save the world from the Void the Sentry had to erase all memory of his existence. As such all memory of Peter's photo, the Pulitzer, and the money his photo generated disappeared with the memory of the Sentry.
- Most stories, namely Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5, Amazing Spider-Man #370, Amazing Spider-Man #400, and Amazing Spider-Man #600 all state that Peter was being baby sat by Uncle Ben and Aunt May when the news of his parents death occurred. Sensational Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #33 states that Peter was in the care of undisclosed others and had to be picked up.
- It is stated that Peter and his Uncle Ben watched the Mets play at Shea Stadium. The Mets played at that stadium from 1964 to 2008 and it was torn down in 2009. Eventually the references to Shea Stadium will become dated and prematurely age the characters. As such it should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. As such, the location here has been generalized.
- Amazing Spider-Man #-1 states that Uncle Ben collected the golden age comics when they were first published. Ultimately this will prematurely age the character, the ownership of these comics should be considered topical per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. It could be assumed that Ben obtained these comics by one of his relatives, or that the comics in his possession were reprints of older stories.
- The Fantastic Four got their powers in Fantastic Four #1
- There are countless retellings of Spider-Man's origins. Almost all of them are basically the same. For the sake of clarity only unique events that occurred outside of the origin story told in Amazing Fantasy #15 will be specified from here on. General Techtronics Laboratories East was name as the facility of the test in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #60
- Cindy was later hidden by Ezekiel Sims for well over a decade as seen in Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 3) #2
- This concept was first introduced in Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #32, however the Multiversal scope of the Great Weaver was not fully revealed until Superior Spider-Man #33
- The amount of money to be awarded, the means Peter learns of the competition, and the name of the promotion changes from account to account. In Amazing Fantasy #15 the amount awarded was $100. Retellings in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #60, Marvel Graphic Novel #46, and Web of Spider-Man #90 also confirm this amount. These versions state that Peter learned of this challenge by walking past a sign advertising the event. Peter Parker, THe Spectacular Spider-Man #60 specifically states that Peter learned of the competition while dropping off donations to the Salvation Army for his Aunt May. In Spider-Man's Tangled Web #14 the amount was $10,000 and was borrowed by Crusher Hogan from the mob in order to save the Championship Wrestling League. Interestingly, the recountings of Spider-Man's origins in Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine #1 and Amazing Spider-Man #94 omit the challenge with Crusher Hogan, likely for narrative pacing. Suffice to say, the amount of money being offered is subject to the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616, the amount changing to reflect what was considered a large sum of money at the time of publication. To give perspective, the original amount offered of $100 in Amazing Fantasy #15 (published in 1962), adjusted for inflation, would have been $781.85 in 2015. Which is not considered a very large amount of money by today's standards. Readers should expect the amount being offered to defeat Crusher Hogan to vary from account to account keeping in mind the value of money around the date of publication. Additionally, other accounts use the original $100 amount for homage or nostalgic purposes.
- The various late night talk shows that Shiffman varies from account to account. Amazing Fantasy #15 specifically states the Ed Sullivan Show, while Web of Spider-Man #90 states The Johnny Carson Show and the Late Night with David Letterman. All the late night talk shows referenced here should be considered topical references per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- Different versions of the origin story swap the order in which Peter made his costume and invented his web-shooters. Most accounts state that Peter sewed his costume himself and designed his web-shooters at home, Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #60 states that Peter designed both at Midtown High using the resources there such as the science lab to make his webbing, and discarded dance-skins from the school dance class to make his costume.
- Amazing Spider-Man #200 reveals that the burglar was looking for Dutch Malone's long-lost fortune which was reportedly hidden in the Parker home.
- Mary Jane first revealed that she knew Peter was Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #258. It was actually depicted in Marvel Graphic Novel #46 and Untold Tales of Spider-Man #16
- The Chameleon makes references to selling his plans to countries behind the "Iron Curtain". These and other Cold War references in this story should be considered topical per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- It was not revealed until Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #51 that the whole "alien conspiracy" enacted by the Tinkerer was actually a ruse and that the "aliens" were really actors. Incidentally one of the actors was Quentin Beck who later became Mysterio in Amazing Spider-Man #13
- Unknown to all at the time the Scorcher was hired by Norman Osborn himself, as revealed in Untold Tales of Spider-Man #8
- As later revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #11, Betty feared for Peter's safety as he reminded her of her brother Bennett who owed a substantial amount to the mob.
- As revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #59 through Amazing Spider-Man #61, Gerhard Winkler was in the employ of the Kingpin.
- As later revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #11, Betty feared for Peter's safety as he reminded her of her brother Bennett who owed a substantial amount to the mob.
- As revealed that same issue, the Headsman was hired by Norman Osborn.
- Curt Connors failed to cure Batwing, as revealed in Untold Tales of Spider-Man #21
- This story takes place during the events of Avengers #4 when Captain America was awoken from suspended animation by the Avengers. At that point the Avengers were turned into stone by the Vuk of the D'bari race. Cap forced Vuk to free the Avengers, and after they later defeated the Sub-Mariner, Cap joined the Avengers.
- Bennett was resurrected by a criminal organization as revealed Venom (Vol. 2) #21, and later became the new Crime Master.
- As revealed in Untold Tales of Spider-Man #12, Betty Brant's mother was put into a coma after being attacked by mobsters trying to collect her brother Bennett's gambling debts.
- The Spider-Man android was sent against the Avengers by the time traveler known as Kang the Conqueror.
- While this story was published much earlier, the events of Untold Tales of Spider-Man Annual #1996 push it forward. This story's placement in Spider-Man's continuity is confirmed in Untold Tales of Spider-Man #25.
- Jessica Jones secretly had a crush on Peter for years as revealed in Alias #22 that dated back to around the time Peter obtained his Spider powers in Amazing Fantasy #15, but she kept this crush a secret.
- The Stan Lee of the Earth-616 universe is much younger than his real world counterpart, and was actively working for Marvel Comics during the early Modern Age of Heroes. Marvel Creators are exempt to the topical reference rules of the Sliding Timescale
- Both Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch joined the Avengers in Avengers #16
- Hawkeye reformed and became a member of the Avengers in Avengers #16
- Amazing Spider-Man #600
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #-1
- Free Comic Book Day 2011 (Spider-Man) #1
- Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5
- Amazing Spider-Man #370
- Amazing Spider-Man #400
- Marvel Graphic Novel #46
- Spectacular Spider-Man #225
- Amazing Spider-Man #-1
- Sensational Spider-Man Vol 2 #33
- Amazing Spider-Man #665
- Spectacular Spider-Man Super Special #1
- Spider-Man: Fear Itself Vol 2 #1
- Amazing Spider-Man Family #7
- Peter Parker: Spider-Man #20
- Amazing Spider-Man Family #3
- Peter Parker: Spider-Man #1
- Peter Parker: Spider-Man #33
- Tangled Web: The Thousand #2
- Amazing Spider-Man #81
- Amazing Fantasy #17
- Spectacular Spider-Man #-1
- Spider-Man #-1
- Spider-Man: Fever #1
- Amazing Spider-Man #522
- Tangled Web: The Thousand #1
- Sensational Spider-Man #-1
- Amazing Spider-Man #515
- Amazing Spider-Man #516
- Amazing Spider-Man #518
- Amazing Spider-Man Annual #17
- Marvel Saga the Official History of the Marvel Universe #1
- Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #15
- Peter Parker: Spider-Man #27
- Amazing Fantasy #15
- Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #9
- Amazing Spider-Man Vol 3 #1
- Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine #1
- Amazing Spider-Man #94
- Marvel Comics Presents #120
- Amazing Fantasy Vol 2 #15
- Amazing Spider-Man Vol 3 #1.1
- Original Sins #3
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #16
- Amazing Fantasy #16
- Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #60
- Original Sin #4
- Original Sin #5
- Amazing Fantasy #18
- Amazing Spider-Man #1
- Fantastic Four Annual #1
- Amazing Spider-Man #375
- Amazing Spider-Man Vol 3 #1.2
- Amazing Spider-Man Vol 3 #1.3
- Amazing Spider-Man #2
- Amazing Spider-Man Vol 3 #1.4
- Amazing Spider-Man Vol 3 #1.5
- Amazing Spider-Man Family #6
- Amazing Spider-Man #3
- Spider-Man #38
- Spider-Man Unlimited #18
- Amazing Spider-Man #4
- Amazing Spider-Man #601
- Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man Annual #1
- Amazing Spider-Man #5
- Spider-Man Annual #2001
- Strange Tales Annual #2
- Amazing Spider-Man #6
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #1
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #2
- Spider-Man Family Vol 2 #9
- Avengers #1.5
- Web of Spider-Man #129.1
- Amazing Spider-Man #7
- Strange Tales #115
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #3
- Web of Spider-Man #82
- Amazing Spider-Man #8
- Amazing Spider-Man #9
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #4
- Avengers #3
- Amazing Spider-Man #10
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #5
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #6
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #7
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #8
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #9
- Strange Tales #119
- Captain America: Man Out of Time #2
- Amazing Spider-Man #11
- Amazing Spider-Man #12
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #10
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #11
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #12
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #13
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #14
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #15
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #17
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man Strange Encounter #1
- Amazing Spider-Man #13
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #18
- Amazing Spider-Man #14
- Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America #4
- Tales to Astonish #57
- Spider-Man Family Vol 2 #3
- Sensational Spider-Man Annual #1996
- Amazing Spider-Man #15
- Amazing Spider-Man #16
- Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #19
- Amazing Spider-Man #17
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #20
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #21
- Amazing Spider-Man #18
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #22
- Amazing Spider-Man #19
- Amazing Spider-Man #20
- Web of Spider-Man #81
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #23
- Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #5
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man Annual #1997
- Avengers #11
- Amazing Spider-Man Annual #37
- Avengers Classic #11
- Amazing Spider-Man #21
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man Annual #1996
- Spider-Man Human Torch #1
- Fantastic Four #35
- Amazing Spider-Man #22
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #24
- Fantastic Four #36
- Amazing Spider-Man #26
- Amazing Spider-Man #23
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #25
- Amazing Spider-Man #24
- Amazing Spider-Man #657
- Amazing Spider-Man #25
- Amazing Spider-Man #27
- Alias #23
- Amazing Spider-Man #28
- Webspinners: Tales of Spider-Man #7
- Webspinners: Tales of Spider-Man #8
- Webspinners: Tales of Spider-Man #9
- Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2
- Amazing Spider-Man #29
- Avengers Origins: The Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver #1
- Fantastic Four Annual #3
- Marvel: Heroes & Legends #1
- Marvels #2
- Marvels #3
- Amazing Spider-Man #30
- Amazing Spider-Man #31
- Amazing Spider-Man #33
- Amazing Spider-Man #32
- Amazing Spider-Man #34
- Amazing Spider-Man #35
- Amazing Spider-Man #148
- Amazing Spider-Man #36
- Amazing Spider-Man #37: Professor Stromm was almost shot and killed by his former partner Norman Osborn as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #40. As revealed in that both Amazing Spider-Man #37 & 40, Osborn framed Stromm in order to take full control of Osborn Chemicals and steal Stromm's inventions including the Goblin Formula that gave Norman his powers as the Green Goblin. Stromm survived her thanks to having injected himself with the Goblin Formula as revealed in Osborne Journals #1. He would return as a robot in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #68 and in the flesh again in Amazing Spider-Man #410.
- Daredevil #16
- Daredevil #17
- Amazing Spider-Man #38
- Webspinners: Tales of Spider-Man #1
- Webspinners: Tales of Spider-Man #2
- Webspinners: Tales of Spider-Man #3
- Amazing Spider-Man #39
- Amazing Spider-Man #40
- Amazing Spider-Man Family #4
- Amazing Spider-Man #42
- Amazing Spider-Man #41
- Peter Parker: Spider-Man #36
- Amazing Spider-Man Annual #3
- New Warriors Vol 4 #3
- Amazing Spider-Man #43: This story states that Flash Thompson was *drafted* into the military. At the time of this publication the United States was still involved in the Vietnam War. As such this should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. As the military draft has been abolished, all references to Flash Thompson being in the military now state he willingly joined instead of being drafted. Also all references to him fighting in the Vietnam War should be generalized as a "conflict in Southeast Asia".
- X-Men #27: The X-Men were seeking new recruits to help in their then current conflict with Factor Three whom they finally defeated in X-Men #39
- Amazing Spider-Man #44
- Amazing Spider-Man #45
- Amazing Spider-Man #46
- Spider-Man: A Chemical Romance #1
- Fantastic Four #61: Crystal sought out Wyatt to find her then boyfriend the Human Torch.
- Amazing Spider-Man #47
- Sensational Spider-Man Annual Vol 2 #1
- Amazing Spider-Man #47: Norman Osborn offered Kraven the money to defeat Spider-Man, one of his motivations for attacking the wall-crawler in Amazing Spider-Man #34. It should also be noted that this moment in time was visited by the mercenary Deadpool in Deadpool (Vol. 3) #11. His activities here caused Earth-616 to diverge to Earth-9712 where Deadpool-616 tricked Spider-Man into going to New Jersey and posing as Peter Parker. Deadpool then battled Kraven instead. This all had an impact on the life of Deadpool's then sidekick Weasel who attended Empire State University at the time. Although Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #3 indexes this reality diversion, it also impacted the life of Weasel on Earth-616 for reasons that remain unexplained.
- Daredevil #27
- Spider-Man #19
- Amazing Spider-Man #48: Blackie Drago succeeded Adrian Toomes as the Vulture when Drago caused an accident in prison that was seemingly fatal to Toomes. Believed to be dying, Toomes revealed the location of his wings to Drago who then stole them, as revealed in that very issue. Toomes survived however as revealed later in Amazing Spider-Man #63
- Amazing Spider-Man #49
- Marvel Super-Heroes #14
- Amazing Spider-Man #50
- Amazing Spider-Man #52
- Amazing Spider-Man #51
- Amazing Spider-Man #599
- X-Men #35
- Amazing Spider-Man Annual #4
- Amazing Spider-Man #54
- Amazing Spider-Man #53
- Amazing Spider-Man #55
- Amazing Spider-Man #56
- Amazing Spider-Man #57
- Amazing Spider-Man #58
- Amazing Spider-Man #59
- Fantastic Four #73: Doctor Doom tricked the Fantastic Four that he had switched bodies with Daredevil and was planning on attacking them in Daredevil #38
- Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine #1: This tale has been told twice, namely in Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine #1 as well as Amazing Spider-Man #116 through 118. The latter telling was adapted to fit into continuity around the time of publication, notably the fact that George Stacy had died in Amazing Spider-Man #90 and thus is not present in the retelling in Amazing Spider-Man #116-118. However, as Richard Raleigh's dead body is found in Daredevil #42 -- which takes place simultaneously as Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine #1 -- and Raleigh was long since dead when Amazing Spider-Man #116 was published, the latter in Amazing Spider-Man #116-118 account should be considered non-cannon.
- Amazing Spider-Man #60
- Amazing Spider-Man #61
- Amazing Spider-Man #512
- Amazing Spider-Man #62
- Daredevil #43: In this story Daredevil's personality was altered thanks to exposure to Radium causing him to temporarily go berserk, hence his battle with Captain America.
- Amazing Spider-Man #65
- Amazing Spider-Man #63
- Amazing Spider-Man #64
- Amazing Spider-Man #66: Gwen discovered the truth about her father's brainwashing from George when his memory of the incident returned in Amazing Spider-Man #64
- Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine #2
- Amazing Spider-Man #66
- Amazing Spider-Man #67
- Avengers #59
- Avengers #60
- Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes Vol 2 #6
- Amazing Spider-Man #587
- Amazing Spider-Man #69
- Amazing Spider-Man #68
- Amazing Spider-Man #70
- Amazing Spider-Man #71: Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch left the Avengers to rejoin Magneto and his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in Avengers #46. Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch broke off their alliance with Magneto after he was defeated by the Avengers and the X-Men in Avengers #53
- Amazing Spider-Man #72
- Amazing Spider-Man #73
- Amazing Spider-Man #74
- Amazing Spider-Man #75
- Daredevil #54: Daredevil faked his alter-ego's death in a plane crash in this issue after the criminal known as Starr Saxon in Daredevil #52. Saxon later seemingly committed suicide in Daredevil #55, prompting Murdock to reveal that he faked his death in Daredevil #56
- Amazing Spider-Man #76
- Amazing Spider-Man #77
- Amazing Spider-Man #78
- Amazing Spider-Man #79
- Amazing Spider-Man #80
- Sentry/Spider-Man #1
- Sentry #3
- Sentry #4