25 May 2021 2:09 PM +00:00

How Did Spider-Man Get His Powers?

Our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man first appeared to the general public in Marvel Comic's Amazing Fantasy #15 in1962!

In the first issue, our eyes gaze upon a young Peter Parker (another infamous Stan Lee alliteration) as his suspiciously old and fragile Aunt May dishes him up some a fresh batch of wheat cakes, a dish I've never had because they sound bland and horrendous!

Peter Parker eating wheatcakes
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Later at high school, we see him being brutally dumped by the luscious Liz Allen (See Stan, I can alliterate too!) as she then runs off with "dreamboat" Flash Thompson.

Upset and angry, Peter goes to the local science exhibition to view a piece of technology making breakthroughs in radiation. Unbeknownst to him and the other scientists, a small spider ends up coming down from the ceiling where it is blasted with radiation. Just before its death, Peter Park is bitten by a radioactive spider.

As Peter begins to feel ill, he is laughed at by the other scientists and steps outside. Wrapped up in his own mind, he doesn't realize that he is standing in the middle of the road and is almost hit by a car. With sharp reflexes, Peter finds himself jumping out of the way but leaps much further than expected landing and sticking to the wall of the closest building.

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Comic panel showing how Spider-Man got his powers
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He quickly finds himself scaling up the wall...like a spider. He realizes quickly as he climbs that his proportional strength to weight ratio has rapidly increased, being able to crush a metal chimney on the roof with ease.

As well as this, he discovers that he has other powers too, including superhuman agility, speed, stamina, balance, and of course his famous spider-sense (aka his peter tingle in Spider-Man: Far From Home).

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How does Spider-Man Shoot Webs?

Spider-Man shooting web
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It's hard to imagine Spidey without thinking of him web-swinging freely through New York. However, in the comics, Spider-Man creates artificial webbing which is made from a unique polymer that's mixed with liquid cement. He is able to compress the material into pellets that, when activated in different ways, fire different types of webbing. It effortlessly supports his body weight and has been used in a variety of ways including tying up criminals to creating a parachute!

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Spider-Man's Web Shooting Power

Despite the webhead's famous origin story, there was somewhat confusion among fans during the release of the 2002 Spider-Man film with Tobey Maguire. As opposed to being bitten by a radioactive Spider, instead, Spider-Man gets his powers by being bitten by a genetically modified spider that has received genetic splicing from 3 different spiders: one that can create webbing with strong tensile strength, one that can jump great lengths to catch its prey, and one that has a precognition type spider-sense.

The film goes on to show Peter being able to organically create his own webbing from inside his wrist as opposed to the need for web-shooters.

This was of course then rectified in The Amazing Spider-Man film with Andrew Garfield in 2012.

Spider-Man's Wall Crawling Power

Spider-Man wall crawling in Spider-man film 2002
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Another difference that was seen between The Amazing Spider-Man comic books and the 2002 live-action film was the way that Spider-man could crawl up walls. It is never quite shown how Spider-Man can climb walls however in the movie we are able to see microfibres protruding from peter's hands and thumbs that help him cling to the walls.

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Into The Spider-Verse

All spider-men from into the spidey-verse
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Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse showed us that, across the Marvel Universe, there are many different Spider-men and women, but the radioactive spider bite shall always be the most iconic way that Spider-Man gets his powers.

Related:Spider-Verse Art Casts Brooklyn Nine-Nine's Andy Samberg as Peter B. Parker