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Spider-Man, Bob Dylan and Che Guevara. What could they possibly have in common, except perhaps motorcycle riding with varying degrees of success? A 1965 survey published in Esquire found that college students admired the three as the most influential revolutionary icons of the day.* Given such notoriety and Spider-Man’s enduring popularity, it’s hard to believe that the Marvel Comics superhero faced his earliest battles while still in development. In 1962, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko introduced Spider-Man but only after enduring creative differences and a tough sell to get published due to departures from convention:

  • Spider-Man was the alter ego of Peter Parker, an ordinary—and, therefore, flawed—teenager.
  • Spider-Man/Peter Parker faced vulnerabilities, emotions and worries.
  • Spider-Man was based on, of course, a spider; perceived as nonheroic at best.
  • “Spider-Man” sounded a lot like publishing rival DC Comics’ “Superman.”

Despite Spider-Man’s inauspicious rise to existence, the character was an immediate success that’s still a celebrated superhero today. For Spider-Man comics and related products, shop online with Westfield Comics.

Spider-Man had a rather unique debut in 1962.  Going directly against comic-book character norms of the day, Spider-Man’s Peter Parker was a teenaged superhero in a time when other characters his age were relegated to sidekick duty.  Spider-Man faced the same everyday problems his readers faced, and Spider-Man didn’t always get—or at least get to keep—the girl.  Despite Marvel Comics’ reluctance to publish, Spider-Man was an instant success that’s as popular as ever.  For Spider-Man comics and related products, shop online with Westfield Comics 

*Source:  Esquire magazine [http://www.esquire.com/the-side/video/spidermania050407]


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