Peter Parker, who adopts the secret identity Spider-Man, is the main playable character and protagonist of Marvel's Spider-Man. He is a twenty-three-year-old research assistant from New York City who fights crime under his alias, using his spider-like superhuman abilities and web gadgets of his own design.
Peter gained his powers after being bitten by a radioactive spider at the age of fifteen. Employing a secret identity, he settled on using his newfound abilities to protect the citizens of New York as the masked vigilante Spider-Man. Eight years into his superhero career, Peter has become an experienced and masterful crime fighter, but struggles to balance his superhero and personal lives.
Spider-Man is aided in his crime-fighting by intrepid Daily Bugle reporter Mary Jane Watson, his ex-girlfriend, and NYPD Captain Yuri Watanabe. In his civilian life, Peter is supported by his Aunt May, and is employed by his friend and mentor, the respected scientist Dr. Otto Octavius.
- 1 History
- 2 Characteristics
- 3 In other media
- 4 Original appearance
- 5 Behind the scenes
- 6 Citations
- 7 References
Peter was born around the year 1995, to government agents Richard and Mary Parker, in Forest Hills, New York. Following the death of his parents, Peter was raised by his Aunt May and Uncle Ben in Queens. While in middle school, Peter became best friends with Mary Jane Watson and Harry Osborn, forming a friendship that would last into his adulthood. Peter also developed an interest in science at a young age, and he grew up idolizing the acclaimed scientist Dr. Otto Octavius.
At fifteen years old, while attending a science demonstration, Peter was bitten by a radiation-infused spider, which altered his physiology and granted him several abilities, such as enhanced strength, agility, speed, as well as a "spider-sense" that alerted him to any danger. Peter fashioned a rudimentary costume for himself out of a shirt, pants and a mask, engineered his own homemade web fluid and web-shooters, and began wrestling for money under the moniker "The Spider". At some point after this, Peter allowed a mugger to run past him without using his abilities to stop the mugger, deciding it was "not [his] problem". The criminal would go on to shoot and kill Uncle Ben, who died in his arms. Knowing that he could have prevented Ben's death had he stopped the mugger when presented with the opportunity, Peter blamed himself for the incident. Though this was traumatizing and heartbreaking, Peter carried on and began using his powers to help the people of New York, taking the lesson his Uncle Ben once taught him, that "With great power comes great responsibility", to heart.
Resolving to use his powers for good, Peter designed a new suit for himself, one with a red and blue pattern and web designs, and began calling himself "Spider-Man". As New York's newest hero, he helped to stop petty crimes across the city and gained a reputation for either being a menacing vigilante or a savior to the people. Peter also took up photography in his free time, eventually landing a job as a freelance photographer with the Daily Bugle assigned to take pictures of Spider-Man in action. While the job brought in money, his pictures were often used in J. Jonah Jameson's smear campaign against the web-head. Peter quit his job at the Bugle after Jameson used Peter's photos to blame Spider-Man for a killing spree perpetrated by Electro, unable to stomach working there after being branded as a murderer. He still remembers his time there fondly, though, and the feeling is mutual if the Bugle's farewell card is any indication. Over the following eight years, Peter protected New York under his costumed alias. During this time, he had several encounters with super-criminals Electro (his first genuinely super-powered foe), Vulture, Rhino, and Scorpion. He encountered Herman Schultz (Shocker) early into his career, describing his first encounter with Shocker as when "[Spider-Man] was young and stupid". He managed to defeat them all and lock them up in the secure superhuman prison, the Raft. Other villains that Peter encountered included the Sandman, the Lizard, and Mysterio. Due to his unsystematic approach to crime-fighting as a neophyte, Peter left several of his backpacks webbed to walls around the city at various points throughout his war on crime.
Peter also established a long-standing rivalry with Wilson Fisk, who ruled New York crime and, unbeknownst to Peter, a selection of the police force, as "The Kingpin". At some point, Peter learned the Kingpin's true identity, and the two had at least one physical encounter during the first eight years of Peter's career. Peter also developed an alliance with NYPD captain Yuri Watanabe; however, she remained unaware of his true identity.
In his personal life, Peter's Aunt May joined the organization F.E.A.S.T. run by Martin Li, whom Peter knew well by eight years into his career. He also entered into a relationship with Mary Jane, an aspiring reporter, who became Peter's confidant. They had a stable relationship and even planned on moving together for a while, but they broke up due to Peter's constant concern for Mary Jane's safety due to the dangers of her career as an investigative reporter. While the relationship had ended by the time Parker entered his eighth year of crime-fighting, Mary Jane was still on good terms with him.
Most notably, after finishing high school, Peter attended Empire State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in biophysics. His thesis of neurotechnology earned Peter a job as a research lab assistant with Otto at Octavius Industries.
After the NYPD obtain enough evidence to serve a warrant for Wilson Fisk's arrest, Peter makes his way to Fisk Tower to help the police raid the building. Fighting his way through Fisk's men, Spider-Man manages to take Fisk down and end his reign as the Kingpin, sending him to prison. In his personal life, Peter is late for work helping Dr. Octavius demonstrate his advanced prosthetic limbs for his government financiers, who are left concerned by the demonstration's failure.
Peter's ex-girlfriend, Mary Jane, investigates an auction of Fisk's goods which is then attacked by a new, supernaturally-powered gang called the Inner Demons. With Spider-Man, she learns that the Demons are seeking something called Devil's Breath. Spider-Man is able to stop a Demon attack with the aid of Officer Jefferson Davis. Davis is lauded for his heroism at a re-election event for Mayor Norman Osborn attended by Peter and Mary Jane. The Demons then attack, killing Davis and many attendees. Peter witnesses their leader, Martin Li, transforming into an inverted form dubbed Mister Negative, but he is knocked unconscious before he can intervene. Following the attack, Peter befriends Officer Davis's son, Miles Morales, over their loss, and convinces him to volunteer at F.E.A.S.T.
Peter and Otto continue their research, but Osborn withdraws government funding in an attempt to force Otto to work for Oscorp. Meanwhile, Spider-Man's search for Li uncovers that Devil's Breath is a lethal and virulent bioweapon inadvertently created by Oscorp while developing a cure for genetic diseases at Osborn's behest. Li locates and steals the only sample of Devil's Breath and threatens to release it unless Osborn surrenders to him. Li is foiled by Spider-Man and Mary Jane, Devil's Breath is secured, and Li is incarcerated at the nearby maximum-security prison, the Raft.
In the meantime, Otto obsesses over creating enhanced limbs that exceed the limitations of the human body and work in conjunction with a neural interface, revealing to Peter that he is suffering from a neuromuscular disease that will inevitably immobilize him, and that enhanced limbs will allow him to continue his work when his body fails. Peter warns Otto that the interface could impact his mind and personality. Otto continues its use in secret, overcome with anger at Osborn.
Spider-Man is drawn to the Raft by a prison break. He learns that some of his greatest enemies—Li, Electro, Vulture, Rhino, and Scorpion—have escaped. They subdue Spider-Man and present him to Otto, now calling himself Doctor Octopus. Otto warns the beaten Spider-Man to not interfere before retaking the Devil's Breath and releasing it in Times Square, causing a mass outbreak; Peter's Aunt May is among those infected. New York descends into chaos while Doctor Octopus and his subordinates attack Osborn's properties. Osborn declares martial law and blames Spider-Man for the incident, branding him a fugitive.
Spider-Man gradually takes back the city, defeating Electro, Vulture, Rhino, and Scorpion. Meanwhile, Mary Jane infiltrates Osborn's penthouse and learns that Devil's Breath was developed to cure Osborn's terminally ill son Harry—Peter and Mary Jane's best friend. As a child, Li was a test subject for the cure, gaining his abilities in an explosion of energy that also killed his parents and caused his hatred for Osborn. She also learns that an antidote exists and Li has taken it. Spider-Man defeats Li and recovers the antidote, but Doctor Octopus arrives, easily defeats Spider-Man, and escapes with both it and Osborn.
Wounded, Peter builds himself an armored suit on Mary Jane's advice and confronts Doctor Octopus atop Oscorp Tower, saving Osborn from falling to his death. Otto reveals that he has known Peter's secret identity and the two battle. Spider-Man recovers the antidote and defeats Doctor Octopus. Peter brings the antiserum to Dr. Morgan Michaels, who informs him that while the sample is viable, the dose is only enough for one use, and he'll need the entire sample to make enough for others. Knowing that May's condition has progressed too far for her to wait, Peter is faced with either saving May or saving everyone. As he prepares to save May, she reveals that she knows he is Spider-Man and that she is proud of him. Ultimately, Peter is forced to let May die, collapsing to his knees and sobbing as she flat-lines.
Three months later, New York has returned to normal and Peter and Mary Jane rekindle their relationship. Miles, who was bitten earlier by an experimental Oscorp spider, reveals to Peter that he has gained spider-like powers, prompting Peter to reveal his own secret.
The City That Never Sleeps
In the three-part downloadable content campaign, The City That Never Sleeps, Spider-Man finds himself closing in on Black Cat (Felicia Hardy), his ex-girlfriend, who appears to be stealing various data drives throughout the city for Maggia mobster Hammerhead. Peter eventually tracks her down and as he confronts her, Felicia reveals that Hammerhead is using her son to blackmail her into working for him. Peter convinces her into letting him help, asking that she stall Hammerhead while they look for her son. She claims that Hammerhead has a massive vault which is where her son would likely be. Spider-Man locates the vault and teams up with Black Cat to take out Hammerhead's men guarding the area. As more Maggia goons arrive, Black Cat makes her way to the vault while Spider-Man deals with them. He then enters the vault to discover that Black Cat has tricked him into helping her rob Hammerhead's main vault and that she never had a son. As Black Cat retreats to her hideout, Spider-Man learns that Hammerhead has rigged it to explode as revenge. Despite his earnest attempts to save her, Black Cat is seemingly killed in the explosion.
Spider-Man assists Yuri Watanabe and her team attack Hammerhead and his gang's base of operations, which results in the deaths of many of her officers, with Yuri only surviving because of Spider-Man's intervention. Spider-Man destroys several of Hammerhead's "businesses" and weapons cache as he tracks him down, learning that he has illegally acquired numerous Sable International weapons and tech and is planning to kill the other Maggia dons on live television to gain respect and fear. He finds Hammerhead on a construction site and confronts him. However, a vengeful Yuri appears during the fight and immobilizes Spider-Man before proceeding to shoot Hammerhead dead, though he is artificially resurrected by one of his men while his bodybag is being transported to a morgue.
Learning that Hammerhead is still alive and has gone into hiding, Spider-Man forms an alliance with Silver Sable, who has returned to New York to reclaim her stolen Sable International tech. After saving one of her agents named David Obademi from some Maggia operatives, he works with Sable to interrogate Hammerhead's top henchman Tony, who reveals that Hammerhead is planning to meet Silver Sable on the rooftop of the Colexco building. This leads to an ambush that results in Hammerhead nearly killing Spider-Man before Black Cat appears and saves him; in the ensuing chaos, Hammerhead runs off with Silver Sable. Spider-Man eventually tracks her down to Hammerhead's underground hideout and rescues her. With Sable, he then lures Hammerhead to a Sable International boat where they defeat him.
Peter is of slightly above-average height, with a lean but muscular build, weighing 167 lbs. and standing 5'10" in height. He has brown hair and hazel eyes. Peter is often seen wearing plaid or flannel shirts.
As Spider-Man, Peter wears a skin-tight body suit, which both conceals his identity and provides additional protection. While he can choose one of several suits, they are all spider-themed, and generally have a red, black, and blue color palette with white teardrop shaped eyepieces.
Peter lives his life by the creed "With great power, there must also come great responsibility." As such, he always tries using his powers for the greater good, sacrificing his mental and physical health, his personal life, and relationships for the citizens of New York and the world at large. He is nonetheless viewed with suspicion by the authorities, who often do not see eye to eye with him on his vigilantism. Spider-Man's morality frequently puts him at odds with other super-powered beings, who usually abuse their abilities for selfish purposes. As Peter Parker, he manifests the "everyman" persona, sharing the common struggles of everyday life such as maintaining rent, relationships, and jobs. Although an adult, Peter still retains fragments of his awkward, geeky persona from his adolescent years as a social outcast, shown by how he repeatedly stumbles over his own words, especially when interacting with women.
One of Spider-Man's foremost traits is his sense of humor, which he often uses as a defense mechanism in dangerous situations. This also has the functional tendency to agitate his opponents, which therefore makes them more susceptible to attack and oblivious to their impending demise. His wisecracking nature can cause him to appear unprofessional or childish, with his humor also extending itself to his allies as he often inadvertently provokes annoyance or irritation in them, to the point that even the stern and collected Captain Watanabe remarks that she barely "tolerates" him.
Whilst maintaining an upbeat attitude in the face of adversity, Peter never adopts an arrogant or callous attitude, with him humbly considering himself to just be "a guy from Queens", and is exceedingly compassionate, loyal, and faithful to those close to him. He caringly plans a spontaneous party at F.E.A.S.T. in dedication to his Aunt May's selfless work, telling her that he wishes there were more people like her in the world. He also chooses to continue working beside Dr. Octavius over Oscorp, sincerely conveying to the latter his firm belief in their inspiring work, despite not being paid anymore. Furthermore, Peter can be overprotective towards his loved ones, having lost his parents at a young age, as well as losing his Uncle Ben due to his own frivolous choices. He is perfectly prepared to put Mary Jane's best interests first, by constantly worrying about her safety, perhaps to a fault, which ultimately led to their breakup six months prior.
The driving force behind Spider-Man's heroics is his indomitable will. No matter how insurmountable the odds or how potent the opponents, it always pushes him far beyond his own recognizable limits. For instance, he manages to break free from Mister Negative's corruption via his own strength of character. His strength of mind enables him to eventually come to terms with the senseless death of his Aunt May, with Peter having fully adjusted to normal life several months later. This trait stems from the immense guilt he harbors for his role in Uncle Ben's death, which forced Peter to accept the correlating responsibility that comes along with his powers.
After getting bitten by a radioactive spider, Peter attained the proportionate powers and capabilities of a spider, altering his physiology and consequently granting him superpowers and newfound heightened senses. In addition to gaining the ability to effortlessly cling to walls and a sixth sense ("spider-sense") that alerts him to immediate danger, Peter acquired considerable superhuman strength, thereby enabling him to accomplish spectacular feats using his raw strength, such as lifting a portion of concrete roof to save civilians trapped underneath. It is stated that Spider-Man can lift up to 10 tons.
Peter's anatomy is significantly more resilient and durable compared to a normal human, allowing him to withstand vigorous amounts of impact and endure collisions that would otherwise pulverize an average human. His speed, agility, balance, and bodily coordination are all enhanced to high levels beyond the peak of human potential, with his connective tissues twice as elastic than the average human, which, combined with his great strength, allows him to jump great distances and heights and perform graceful acrobatic maneuvers with no difficulty whatsoever.
Spider-Man's enhanced physiology also grants him a limited but advanced healing factor. He has been shown to be able to quickly recover from fourteen broken bones, and has survived being slashed open by a katana in the past. Furthermore, his vision has been amplified to superhuman levels thanks to his healing factor, leading him to relinquish the use of his spectacles a long time ago. His field of vision has been augmented with impeccable clarity and infallible detail, enabling him to effectively exploit the full extent of his web-shooters to be a proficient marksman as well as notice things other people fail to observe.
Academically brilliant, Peter has expertise in the fields of applied science, chemistry, physics, biology, engineering, mathematics, and mechanics. He is a talented and prolific engineer, having designed and created his first web shooters at the mere age of fifteen. Peter won the Fisk Science Prize as a sophomore, and later gained a Bachelor of Science degree in biophysics, with his A-graded thesis of neurotechnology earning him a job as a research assistant at Octavius Industries – which he chose over the mega-corporation Oscorp. Peter is also a formidable and proficient hacker, notable for his impressive skills in intelligence gathering and data interpretation, being able to pick up on patterns others do not notice.
Due to years of extensive experience and brawling, Spider-Man is a highly accomplished and versatile hand-to-hand combatant. He is a master of several martial arts as well as numerous professional wrestling moves, with the latter most likely deriving from his early days as a professional wrestler during his first public display of power. Many specific lucha libre maneuvers have been noted in his fights, such as dropsaults, headscissors takedowns, reverse frankensteiners, and the famous hurricanrana. Spider-Man's fighting also incorporates and takes full advantage of his proper use of physical forces, momentum, and leverage, with the hero staying low and mobile while utilizing the momentum of frequent spins to come crashing down on to his opponents. Peter states that he is largely self-taught, having learned many of his fighting techniques from watching movies.
Spider-Man's arsenal primarily consists of a wide array of web-based gadgets that complement his powers. Most notably, he makes use of mechanical web-shooters to help navigate and trap his enemies. Over the course of the main story, Peter constructs several more web gadgets to use in combat – namely the Impact Web, the Spider-Drone, the Electric Web, the Web Bomb, the Trip Mine, the Concussive Blast, and the Suspension Matrix. The gadgets have unique features and abilities, allowing them to be used in combinations with one another. In addition to aiding Spider-Man in fights, the Electric Web gadget can also be used to power certain electronic conduits.
While still in high school, Peter's aptitude in science helped him to discover a way to track his villains using a device of his own making called the Spider-Tracer. A Spider-Tracer is a tiny electronic device that is programmed to emit a radio signal. His spider-sense is capable of picking up frequencies emitted by the Spider-Tracer and let it guide him to his object of interest. Peter also makes use of several Spider-Bot gadgets that he has developed. These small surveillance devices are capable of sending him transmitted recorded images and information through the lenses in his mask, and can be used to crawl in spaces Peter can't and emit harmless subsonic or EMP blasts.
With his talents, Peter also sews his own costumes to conceal his identity, designing technologically advanced armored suits equipped with built-in headsets, earpieces, cameras, and radio systems. His primary costume is called the Advanced Suit, which he crafts after his original suit becomes damaged early in the story. Each color on the outfit has a different function. The blue material is the most flexible and is where Spider-Man requires the most flexibility, such as his limbs. Red is flexible but thicker for protection from minor scuffs and scrapes, and the white parts are similar to carbon fiber and offer the most protection. Peter also builds an armored version of the Advanced Suit, dubbed the Anti-Ock Suit, in order to counter the mechanical appendages of Doctor Octopus.
In other media
The official prequel novel Marvel's Spider-Man: Hostile Takeover sees Spider-Man discover a new criminal named Blood Spider (Michael Bingham) who is impersonating him. Blood Spider, who does not care about saving lives and only wants to get blood on his hands, turns much of the city against Spider-Man. Luckily, Spider-Man manages to expose him and sends him to the Raft. Hostile Takeover also depicts the rivalry between Spider-Man and the Kingpin before the events of the game.
This version of Spider-Man makes an appearance in the Spider-Geddon comic book storyline. The story of Spider-Geddon takes place after the events of the game and begins on Earth-1048 (the game's designated Earth) as Spider-Man is listening to J. Jonah Jameson's podcast. Spider-Man is contacted by Mary Jane Watson who states that a criminal is tearing up a bank in the Financial District and has a spider symbol on him. He arrives at the Financial District where he discovers that Tarantula is responsible. During the battle, Spider-Man is visited by Superior Spider-Man of Earth-616 who joins the battle. After some difficulty, he and Superior Spider-Man manage to defeat Tarantula.
After Solus dismisses Superior Spider-Man upon bringing Ben Reilly to him, Spider-Man of Earth-1048 is revealed to have secretly followed Superior Spider-Man and thinks that he has betrayed him. As Spider-Man of Earth-1048 learns that tricking Jennix into feeding on Ben Reilly was part of Superior Spider-Man's plans, they are attacked by the Inheritors.
Spider-Man is featured in the six-issue comic book miniseries Marvel's Spider-Man: City at War, which follows the events of the game while introducing some new events. A second miniseries, Marvel's Spider-Man: Velocity, continues on from the events of City at War, and details Spider-Man's encounter with the supervillain Swarm. The character is also featured in Marvel's Spider-Man: The Black Cat Strikes, a five-issue limited series inspired by the events of The City That Never Sleeps.
Spider-Man first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15 on August 10, 1962.
Due to his popularity and high sales, he was later featured in a series, The Amazing Spider-Man, in 1963.
Behind the scenes
Yuri Lowenthal is the voice and motion-capture actor for Peter/Spider-Man in the game. Originally, John Bubniak provided the likeness for the character model of Peter Parker in the PlayStation 4 version, prior to being replaced by Ben Jordan as of the PlayStation 5 remaster. Insomniac Games explained that the change was made in order to get a better match for Yuri Lowenthal's facial capture, and to "bring the best performances to players" with next-generation games.
In early 2015, Lowenthal gained the role after some initial pushback within Insomniac Games due to him voicing one of the main playable characters for Insomniac's most recently released game at the time, Sunset Overdrive. Ultimately, the game's lead writer Jon Paquette convinced the studio to cast him in the role due to his trust in Lowenthal's acting ability. Lowenthal worked with two stunt people throughout the game's development. He tried to differentiate between his voices for Peter Parker and Spider-Man but thought that they could not be totally different and, as a result, spent a large amount of time "finessing and massaging" his performance to achieve a balance.
Insomniac Games' portrayal of Peter Parker has received a widely positive reception from fans and critics. Jonathon Dornbush of IGN praised the focus on Peter Parker and highlighted voice actor Yuri Lowenthal of having "an emotional honesty" in this version of Spider-Man that made it one of his favorite portrayals of the character. Similarly, Josh Harmon of EGM praised the game's characterization and understanding of Spider-Man and heroes in general, which he felt was handled better than how other comic adaptations handle their protagonists. Dom Nero of Esquire described the character as one of the best versions of Spider-Man he has seen and enjoyed the way that Insomniac depicted Spider-Man's morality and handled his transition into adulthood.
Spider-Man was named the fan-favorite video game character at the inaugural Gamers' Choice Awards in 2018. The character was ranked as the number one character within the game by WhatCulture.com.
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- Marvel's Spider-Man script § "Strong Connections"
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- Marvel's Spider-Man script § "Out of the Frying Pan..."
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- Marvel's Spider-Man script § "...Into the Fire"
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