Statue Bodyart: Superheroes
Statue Bodyart Superheroes
is a fictional character appearing in comic books
published by Marvel Comics. The character first appeared
in Amazing Fantasy #15 (Aug. 1962), and was created
by scripter-editor Stan Lee and artist-plotter Steve
Ditko. When Spider-Man first appeared in the early
1960s, teenagers in superhero comic books were usually
relegated to the role of sidekick to the series' main
character. The Spider-Man series broke ground by featuring
Peter Parker, a teenage high school student to whose
"self-obsessions with rejection, inadequacy,
and loneliness" young readers could relate. Unlike
previous teen heroes such as Bucky and Robin, Spider-Man
did not benefit from adult mentors like Captain America
and Batman and had to learn for himself that "with
great power comes great responsibility".
Marvel has featured Spider-Man in several comic book
series, the first titled The Amazing Spider-Man. Over
the years, the Peter Parker character has developed
from shy high school student to troubled college student
to a married teacher and a member of the superhero
team the New Avengers. In the comics, Spider-Man is
often referred to as "Spidey", "web-slinger",
"wall-crawler", or "web-head".
Spider-Man has appeared in various media, including
several animated and live-action television series,
syndicated newspaper comic strips and a successful
series of films starring actor Tobey Maguire as the
In 1962, with the success of the Fantastic Four and
other stars, Marvel Comics editor and head writer
Stan Lee was casting about for a new superhero idea.
He said that the idea for Spider-Man arose from a
surge in teenage demand for comic books, and the desire
to create a character with whom teens could identify.
In his autobiography, Lee cites the non-superhuman
pulp magazine crime fighter The Spider as an influence,
and in a multitude of print and video interviews Lee
stated he was further inspired by seeing a fly climb
up a wall—adding in his autobiography that he
has told that story so often he has become unsure
of whether or not it is true. Jack Kirby claimed Lee
had minimal involvement in the character's creation,
and that the idea for Spider-Man had originated with
Kirby and Joe Simon, who in the 1950s had developed
a character called The Silver Spider for the Crestwood
comic Black Magic, who was subsequently not used.[1b]
Simon, in his 1990 autobiography, disputes Kirby's
account, asserting that Black Magic was not a factor,
and that he (Simon) devised the name "Spider-Man"
(later changed to "The Silver Spider"),
while Kirby outlined the character's story and powers.
Simon later elaborated that his and Kirby's character
conception became the basis for Simon's Archie Comics
superhero The Fly. Artist Steve Ditko stated that
Lee liked the name Hawkman from DC Comics, and that
"Spider-Man" was an outgrowth of that interest.
The hyphen was included in the character's name to
avoid confusion with DC Comics' Superman.
Looking back on the creation of Spider-Man, Tom DeFalco
stated he did not believe that Spider-Man would have
been given a chance in today's comics world, where
new characters are vetted with test audiences and
marketers. At the time, however, Lee only had to get
the consent of Marvel publisher Martin Goodman for
approval for the character. In a 1986 interview, Lee
described in detail his arguments to overcome Goodman's
objections. Goodman eventually agreed to let Lee try
out Spider-Man in the upcoming final issue of the
canceled science-fiction/supernatural anthology series
Amazing Adult Fantasy, which was renamed Amazing Fantasy
for that single issue, #15 (Aug. 1962).
Comics historian Greg Theakston says that Lee, after
receiving Goodman's approval for the name Spider-Man
and the "ordinary teen" concept, approached
Kirby. Kirby told Lee about his 1950s Silver Spider/Spider-Man,
in which an orphaned boy living with an old couple
finds a magic ring that gives him superpowers. Lee
and Kirby "immediately sat down for a story conference"
and Lee afterward directed Kirby to flesh out the
character and draw some pages. Steve Ditko would be
the inker. When Kirby showed Lee the first six pages,
Lee recalled, "I hated the way he was doing it.
Not that he did it badly — it just wasn't the
character I wanted; it was too heroic".
Amazing Fantasy #15 (Aug. 1962). Cover art by Jack
Kirby (penciller) & Steve Ditko (inker).
Simon concurs that Kirby had shown the original Spider-Man
version to Lee, who liked the idea and assigned Kirby
to draw sample pages of the new character but disliked
the results—in Simon's description, "Captain
America with cobwebs".[1c] Writer Mark Evanier
notes that Lee's reasoning that Kirby's character
was too heroic seems unlikely—Kirby still drew
the covers for the first issues of Spider-Man. Likewise,
Kirby's given reason that he was "too busy"
to also draw Spider-Man in addition to his other duties
seems false, as Kirby was, in Evanier's words, "always
busy". Both Lee's and Kirby's explanations also
do not explain why key story elements like the magic
ring were dropped; Evanier states that the most plausible
explanation for the sudden change was that Goodman
or one of his assistants decided that Spider-Man as
drawn and envisioned by Kirby was too similar to The
For whichever of the above reasons, Lee turned to
Ditko, who developed a visual style Lee found satisfactory.
One of the first things I did was to work up a costume.
A vital, visual part of the character. I had to know
how he looked ... before I did any breakdowns. For
example: A clinging power so he wouldn't have hard
shoes or boots, a hidden wrist-shooter versus a web
gun and holster, etc. ... I wasn't sure Stan would
like the idea of covering the character's face but
I did it because it hid an obviously boyish face.
It would also add mystery to the character....
In an early recollection of the character's creation,
Ditko described his and Lee's contributions in a mail
interview with Gary Martin published in Comic Fan
#2 (Summer 1965): "Stan Lee thought the name
up. I did costume, web gimmick on wrist & spider
signal". Additionally, Ditko shared a Manhattan
studio with noted fetish artist Eric Stanton, an art-school
classmate who, in a 1988 interview with Theakston,
recalled that although his contribution to Spider-Man
was "almost nil", he and Ditko had "worked
on storyboards together and I added a few ideas. But
the whole thing was created by Steve on his own...
I think I added the business about the webs coming
out of his hands".