Marvel Changes 50 Years of History, Gives Spider-Man a New Origin Story

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spider-man in suit on bridge

Credit: Marvel Studios/Sony Pictures

For 50 years, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s original Spider-Man origin story has withstood the test of time in both the Marvel Comics world and Kevin Feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Tom Holland as spider-man
Credit: Marvel Studios / Sony Pictures

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Spider-Man/Peter Parker first appeared in Marvel Comics’ “Amazing Fantasy, No. 15” (1962). In this issue, sickly orphan Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider, ultimately turning from a somewhat self-absorbed irksome teenager into the web-slinging super hero we know and love today.

Now, in current issue “Amazing Spider-Man #83”, Marvel Comics writers have retconned Parker’s original origin story, altering it to suit their current continuity.

Tobey maguire and andrew garfield as spider-man
Credit: Marvel Studios / Sony Pictures

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There are presently three Spider-Men floating around New York City in the comics, and no, the other two aren’t named Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield.

Parker’s clone, Ben Reilly, works for the Beyond Corporation and fan-favorite Brooklynite, Miles Morales, are both still fighting crime, while Parker himself languishes in a hospital bed following a particularly nasty supervillain battle.

uncle ben (left) and young peter parker (right) with captain america toy in marvel comics
Credit: Marvel Comics

Related: Spider-Man Has New Beef With Captain Marvel

During his recovery, Parker flashes back to his childhood with Uncle Ben. Readers see a panel in which Ben gives young Peter a lesson using a Captain America action figure that clearly has meaning to the little boy.

As one article noted:

In and of itself, Peter owning a toy modeled after a World War II superhero is nothing to complain about. However, Captain America was arguably the first well-known costumed superhero. Thus, when Peter decides to create a costume of his own, he’s not crafting his Spider-Man suit out of his own ideas anymore. Subconsciously or otherwise, he’s basing the idea of a heroic costume off of Captain America. This also means that when Peter decides to finally become a hero after Uncle Ben’s death, it’s no longer his own idea…he got the idea of a superhero from Captain America.

Tom holland spider-man
Credit: Marvel Studios / Sony Pictures

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While this may not seem like a major change, it actually drastically shifts the Spider-Man origin story that fans have relied upon for five decades. The fact that Parker was influenced by the existence of Captain America means that becoming New York’s “friendly neighborhood super hero” is no longer a completely original idea, arguably cheapening the tale of how the popular character came to be.

More on Spider-Man: No Way Home

MCU fans can currently catch the latest chapter in Spider-Man’s story in Spider-Man: No Way Home, which hit theaters on December 17, 2021.

no way home peter parker doctor strange spell
Credit: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

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Joining Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) and Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019), the official description of Spider-Man: No Way Home reads:

For the first time in the cinematic history of Spider-Man, our friendly neighborhood hero is unmasked and no longer able to separate his normal life from the high-stakes of being a Super Hero. When he asks for help from Doctor Strange the stakes become even more dangerous, forcing him to discover what it truly means to be Spider-Man.

doctor octopus no way home bridge
Credit: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

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Tom Holland (Peter Parker/Spider-Man) and Zendaya (MJ) are joined by Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Stephen Strange), Jon Favreau (Happy Hogan), Marisa Tomei (Aunt May), Jacob Batalon (Ned Leeds), Willem Dafoe (Green Goblin), and Alfred Molina (Doctor Octopus) in the film.

What do you think about Marvel’s Spider-Man origin story retcon?

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