Spider-Man is a conservative Marvel superhero, created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in 1962. The Spider-Man comics were considered groundbreaking from their inception in that the hero's alter-ego, the shy and conservative Peter Parker, often faced personal struggles more closely associated with everyday life than usual superhero fare. Notably, Parker has held a wide variety of jobs, depending on his status at the time, ranging from photographer to dishwasher to high-school science teacher. He is also notably humorous, unlike many superheroes, such as Batman. Some fans have called his ability to enrage enemies through endless taunting and sarcasm his "extra superpower".
Peter Parker was a physically unimposing youth deeply interested in science, who was bitten by a radioactive spider. The bite imbued him with "spider-powers"—the proportional strength, agility, and endurance of a spider, the ability to stick to walls, ceilings, and other surfaces, and a "spider-sense", allowing him to sense incoming danger a moment before it would become unavoidable. He also designed devices called "web-shooters" that shoot a chemical concoction of his own devising, which acted as webs, allowing him to net criminals with a flick of his wrist, though some depictions of Spider-Man instead make the ability to spin webs one of his superpowers.
Spider-Man is a religious Christian, known to pray during moments of great emotion—whether in desperation during a pitched battle or in quiet gratitude while lying in bed watching his wife sleep. His Aunt May is also shown praying the Our Father in the original Spider-Man (2002) film. Many also point to Christian symbolism clearly used in the films, where he is depicted as a Jesus-like figure in multiple ways.
The first film adaptation of Spider-Man, Spider-Man (2002), was directed by Sam Raimi, and starred Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man, Willem Dafoe as The Green Goblin, James Franco as Harry Osbourne, and Kirsten Dunst as Mary-Jane Watson. The success of the film resulted in two sequels, Spider-Man 2 (2004), and Spider-Man 3 (2007). In Spider-Man 2, Alfred Molina plays Doctor Octopus, the main villain, and in Spider-Man 3 (2007), Thomas Haden Church plays as Sandman, and Topher Grace as Venom.
In 2012, a reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man, was released. The film was directed by Marc Webb and starred Andrew Garfield in the title role. The film was a success, and led to a sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, released in 2014. The sequel fared well at the box office, but was met with a mixed reaction critically. In 2015, it was announced that Marvel and Sony had reached an agreement that would allow Spider-Man to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was also confirmed that Andrew Garfield would not continue as Spider-Man.
On June 23, 2015, actor Tom Holland was announced as the new Spider-Man, first appearing in Captain America: Civil War (2016). The first MCU solo film, Spider-Man: Homecoming, was released on July 7, 2017. This version of Spider-Man also appeared in Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019).
The second solo film, Spider-Man: Far From Home, was released on July 2, 2019.
A third film, Spider-Man: No Way Home, was released on December 17, 2021. This film brings together characters from all Spider-Man films together in a multiverse story, including Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's Spider-Men, from their own film series.
Spider-Man has a classic array of villans that many people love as much as the hero himself.
The Green Goblin has many different human identities, the most devious of which was Norman Osborn, the father of Peter Paker's best friend, Harry. Osborn had started a major science and engineering company with his partner, Mendel Stromm. Osborn soon found out that Stromm had embezzled money from their company and promptly had him arrested. Later, Osborn found a mysterious chemical while going through Stromm's notes. Supposedly, it could multiply a person's strength and intelligence. Osborn tried to recreate the serum, but missed a few steps. The formula turned green, and exploded on Osborn. After he left the hospital, he realized that the formula had given him what he wanted, but also transformed him into a psycopathic criminal. With increased greed and lust for power, Osborn created his character the Green Goblin and turned to crime. Goblin wanted to gain a reputation by killing Spider-Man, but lost in combat. From that day on, the two superhumans were arch enemies. The Green Goblin has made two appearances in Spider-Man films. The first was as Norman Osborn, in 2002's Spider-Man, played by Willem Dafoe. The second was in 2014's The Amazing Spider-Man 2, as Harry Osborn, played by Dane DeHaan. Dafoe reprises his role in 2021's Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Also known as "Doc Ock," Otto Octavius was a nuclear physicist. During an accident in which a four-armed apparatus was attached to his back, he became able to control the four mechanical arms by thought. After this accident, Octavius effectively became known as Doctor Octopus. He is one of the best known villains from the early years of Spider-Man. To date, Doctor Octopus has only appeared in one film, 2004's Spider-Man 2, in which he was played by Alfred Molina. He reprised the role in 2021's Spider-Man: No Way Home.
The identity of the Lizard is Dr. Curt Connors. Dr. Connors appeared in the Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 2 (2004) and Spider-Man 3 (2007), played by Dylan Baker. However, The Lizard did not appear in either film. The first appearance of the Lizard was in the film, The Amazing Spider-Man, in which he was played by Rhys Ifans. Ifans reprised the role in 2021's Spider-Man: No Way Home.
A fan favorite, Venom is the result of a symbiote, and a man known as Eddie Brock. The symbiote originally bonded to Spider-Man, causing him to have a black suit for a time. However, the symbiote began to bring out Spider-Man's dark side, causing him to become more violent. One night at a church, Spider-Man was able to rid himself of the suit, and the symbiote bonded with Brock. Eddie Brock/Venom appeared in Spider-Man 3 (2007), played by Topher Grace. However, the inclusion of Venom in the film was met with criticism. Sam Raimi did not want to include Venom in his films, and only wanted to focus on Spider-Man's early villains. However, Sony forced Raimi to shoehorn the character into the film. In 2018, a solo film, Venom, was released starring Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock/Venom. Hardy returned to the role in 2021's Venom: Let There Be Carnage, as well as in a brief cameo at the end of Spider-Man: No Way Home.
As an offspring of the Venom symbiote bonded with a psychopath known as Cletus Kasady to create Carnage. As of 2016, Cletus Kasady/Carnage has not appeared in any films. Some fans are skeptical as to whether or not he will, since the story of Cletus Kasady could cause a Spider-Man film to receive an R rating, due to the graphic nature of his story and the character. However, Kasady appeared in a cameo role in 2018's Venom, played by Woody Harrelson. Harrelson returned as Kasady/Carnage in 2021's Venom: Let There Be Carnage.