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Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Film Studies
Wordcount: 1688 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Spider-Man is a fictional Marvel Comics superhero. The character was created by writer and editor Stan Lee and artist and co-plotter Steve Ditko. He first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15 (Aug. 1962). Lee and Ditko conceived of the character as an orphan being raised by his Aunt May and Uncle Ben as an ordinary teenager, having to deal with the normal struggles of youth in addition to those of a costumed crime fighter. Spider-Man’s creators gave him super strength and agility, the ability to cling to most surfaces, shoot spider-webs using devices of his own invention which he called “web-shooters,” and react to danger quickly with his “spider-sense”, enabling him to combat his foes.

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When Spider-Man first appeared in the early 1960s, teenagers in superhero comic books were usually relegated to the role of sidekick to the protagonist. 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 easily relate.[1]:210 Unlike previous teen heroes such as James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes and Robin, Spider-Man did not benefit from being the protege of any adult mentors like Captain America and Batman, and thus he had to learn for himself that “with great power comes great responsibility” – a line included in a text box in the final panel of the first Spider-Man story, but later retroactively attributed to his guardian, the late Uncle Ben.

Marvel has featured Spider-Man in several comic book series, the first and longest-lasting of which is titled The Amazing Spider-Man. Over the years, the Peter Parker character has developed from shy high school student to troubled but outgoing college student to married high school teacher to, in the late 2000s, a single freelance photographer, his most typical adult role. He is now a member of an unofficial splinter group of the Avengers, one of Marvel’s flagship superhero teams. In the comics, Spider-Man is often referred to as “Spidey,” “web-slinger,” “wall-crawler,” or “web-head.”

Spider-Man is one of the most popular and commercially successful superheroes. As Marvel’s flagship character and company mascot, he has appeared in many forms of media, including several animated and live-action television shows, syndicated newspaper comic strips and a successful series of films starring actor Tobey Maguire as the “friendly neighborhood” hero. Spider-Man was named Empire magazine’s fifth-greatest comic-book character.[2]

Spider-Man has been adapted to television many times, as a short-lived live-action television series, a Japanese tokusatsu series, and several animated cartoon series. There were also the “Spidey Super Stories” segments on the PBS educational series The Electric Company, which featured a Spider-Man (played by Danny Seagren) who did not speak out loud but instead used only word balloons.

Spider-Man’s first cartoon series ran from 1967-1970. It became known famous for its catchy theme song, which begins, “Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can…”

From 1978-1979, Nicholas Hammond starred as Peter Parker in the live-action television series The Amazing Spider-Man.

Two Spider-Man cartoons aired on television in 1981: the syndicated series Spider-Man which ran for one twenty-six episode season, and the more popular Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, which aired on the NBC network for three seasons (ultimately totaling twenty-four episodes).

hand appears shooting a web to save a citizen in the Third season X-Men Episode “Phoenix Saga 5 Child Of Light”, This episode aired just months before The web-swinger’s longest-running show, Spider-Man, which ran five seasons from 1994-1998, totaling 65 episodes, on Fox Broadcasting’s afternoon programming block, “Fox Kids” (in this series, Spider-Man was voiced by Christopher Daniel Barnes in the English version, and by Toshiyuki Morikawa in the Japanese dub, who later played Venom in the Japanese dub of Spider-Man 3). That series continued as Spider-Man Unlimited the following year.

A small reference is made to Spider-Man in the X-Men: Evolution episode “On Angel’s Wings”, when Angel is seen reading the “Daily Bugle”, the place Spider-Man/Peter Parker usually works.

In 2003, MTV aired a 13-episode Spider-Man CGI series based loosely on the film continuity, Spider-Man: The New Animated Series, developed by Mainframe Entertainment.

Peter Parker made a cameo in the Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes episode “Frightful.” Johnny Storm hires him to make him look good it, no one let him state what his name was so Johnny Storm refers to him as photographer guy. Johnny Storm also stated he was freelance.

A new series, The Spectacular Spider-Man, premiered on March 8, 2008. In its first season it received critical acclaim and rocketed to the top of the ratings. Spider-Man/Peter Parker is voiced by Josh Keaton.

* The original Spider-Man cartoon theme song has been covered and reinterpreted by numerous musical acts, including The Mr. T Experience, Ramones, Aerosmith, Michael Bublé, Moxy Früvous and Tenacious D. The 2002 and 2004 movies have featured buskers performing the song; Jayce Bartok and Elyse Dinh respectively.

* In 1972, Buddah Records released Spider-Man: From Beyond The Grave, a rock musical story LP record with an included wordless comic strip for listeners to follow. Kingpin appears as the villain and Doctor Strange guest stars.

* In 1975 Ramsey Lewis released a single titled “What’s the Name of this Funk? (Spider Man)” [sic].[14]

* In 1975 Marvel Comics and Lifesong Records released an album entitled, “Spider-Man: Rock Reflections of a Superhero.” It contained songs of various styles altered to elucidate certain moments and feelings of Spider-Man’s origin, such as “No One’s Got a Crush on Peter” and “Peter Stays and the Spider-Man Goes” interspersed with narration clips by Stan Lee.

* In 1979, German singer Peter Griffin had his first hit with a song called “Spiderman”.

* In 1983, Muse Records released Woody Shaw’s jazz version of “Spider-Man Blues”, based on the television theme, on Shaw’s “Setting Standards” album.

* In 1992, the Italian rock band 883 made it onto the European charts with a song called “Hanno ucciso l’uomo ragno” (They Killed Spider-Man) from an album of the same name, describing how after the death of the superhero, the streets are being overrun by gangs of stressed accountants in double-breasted suits.[15]

* In the 1993 Wu-Tang Clan song “Protect Ya Neck”, Inspectah Deck raps the lyric “Swingin through your town like your neighborhood Spider-Man” in his verse.

* In 1994, Joe Perry of Aerosmith wrote and performed the theme song for the Fox Kids’ Spider-Man: The Animated Series. He is a noted fan of Spider-Man.

* In 1998 Michale Graves wrote the song “Spider-Man” (aka “The Spider-Man Song” aka “Spider-Man Save Me”) while still in The Misfits. It is yet to be officially released, although he has played this song live in every band he’s played in since. On his 2006 solo release, Return to Earth, Michale again mentions Spider-Man in the song “Butchershop”.

* The 2003 “Weird Al” Yankovic album Poodle Hat has a track entitled “Ode to a Superhero”. It is a parody of the Billy Joel song “Piano Man”, and recounts the events of the 2002 film.

* In 2004 Nelly performed a song called “Spida Man,” on his double album Sweat/Suit.

* A soundtrack album and score was released with each of the two Spider-Man films. The two soundtracks were mainly songs thematically linked to the film, performed by popular rock acts. Both soundtracks included hit singles (notably “Hero” by Chad Kroeger and Josey Scott, “Bother” by Corey Taylor (of Stone Sour and Slipknot), and “Vindicated” by Dashboard Confessional. The two scores were composed by Danny Elfman.

* For the second Spiderman film, Michael Bublé recorded a big band version of the Spider-Man theme.

* Danish pop group, Aqua, mention Spider-Man in the chorus of their single, “Cartoon Heroes”.

* In his 2005 album, Lost and Found, Will Smith uses the theme music from the 1960’s Spider-Man cartoon series in his song “Here he Comes”. This song was produced by DJ Jazzy Jeff.

* In their 2005 album Animetal Marathon VII, Japanese heavy metal band Animetal cover the opening of the 1970s tokusatsu adaptation.

* In his 2006 album, Kingdom Come, Jay-Z raps “Peter Parker: Spider-Man, all I do is climb the charts”.

* J-pop singer DJ Ozma heavily dedicates Spider-Man in his 2007 single “Spiderman.” The music video for song features a club full of dancers wearing black Spider-Man masks and a man dressed in a white Spider-Man suit.

* There is an underground song called “Crank Dat Spiderman”. In this song Spider-Man is a sexual action in which the male ejaculates in his hand and throws it into the female’s face like Spider-Man’s web.

* The British indie pop band Los Campesinos mention Spider-Man in their song entitled “Broken Heartbeats Sound Like Breakbeats”.

* On the song “Candy Land” from Insane Clown Posse Member Violent J’s album “The Shining” rapper Esham references Spider-Man.


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