Wed, 08 Aug 2012 14:15:17 GMT | By Francis Whittaker
Spider-Man's 50th anniversary

Spider-Man makes his debut (1962)

First appearance (1962) (© Solent News / Rex Features;)
  • Five decades of web-slinging action! (© AP Photo/Marvel)
  • First appearance (1962) (© Solent News / Rex Features;)
  • Spider-Man comics (© Getty Images/Dan Kitwood;)
  • Ralph Bakshi (© SNAP / Rex Features;)
  • Nicholas Hammond (© CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)
  • Spider-Man animation (© Moviestore Collection / Rex Features)
  • Spider-Man (© Moviestore Collection / Rex Features)
  • Spider-Man 2 (© Rex Features)
Solent News / Rex Features; Show Thumbnails
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In 1962, Marvel head writer Stan Lee was dreaming up ideas for a new superhero that could emulate the success of the Fantastic Four. He wanted a character that his young readers could identify with and, with the help of artist Steve Ditko, came up with Peter Parker - an ordinary teenager who gains web-slinging powers from a radioactive spider bite. Marvel publisher gave Lee permission to try out his new 'Spider-Man' character in the final issue of Marvel's supernatural anthology Amazing Fantasy (above) and, after impressive sales figures for the issue, Spidey was given his own solo series - The Amazing Spider-Man - which launched in 1963.

Lee claimed he wanted Peter Parker's character to be a normal teenager with "a lot of personal problems that readers could empathize with".