6 Things You May Not Know About Spider-Man
You would think after seeing three “Spider-Man” movies and then the reboot of the “Spider-Man” franchise you’d know everything there is to know about him (either that or you simply couldn’t give a damn anymore). But still the following facts may be new to you…
Spider-Man fought crime by hurling Hostess fruit pies
The 1970’s were an odd time. The economy was in the toilet, the Vietnam War had just ended, and villains everywhere could be defeated by flaky, mass-produced pastries. Or so it would seem in a series of comic book ads for Hostess in which Spider-Man regularly defeated criminals by tempting them with Sno Balls, Ding Dongs, and countless other snacks that proved the people of Hostess were obsessed with testicle-based snack foods. Of course, the fact that many of these one-off evildoers went by such names as “Home Wrecker,” “Photoman,” and simply “Snatch” means Spidey could have just as easily flicked them behind the ear to make them cry.
Spider-Man freely offered sex advice to teens
Want to know more about your period? Or if it should burn like that when you pee? Or that there’s a thing called “male nurses” now? Then pull up a chair and listen to your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man as he tells you in this instructional pamphlet how “masturbation won’t make you insane,” pregnancy can occur whenever you have sex “even if it’s only for a few minutes,” and that “dropping out of school at an early age usually leads to a dead-end job,” which really has nothing to do with teen sex but when you want career advice who better to turn to than the guy who takes photos of himself in costume for money.
Spider-Man made the Fantastic Four have to change their outfits
In the very first issue of “The Amazing Spider-Man,” Spidey bumps into fellow New Yorkers the Fantastic Four (no doubt the usual way everyone in NYC meets each other—by fighting over the same cab). Nothing comes of that meeting but in issue #1 of Marvel’s “What If?” alternate-universe series, Spider-Man joins the foursome to create “The Fantastic Five,” a move which leads to them having to cough up dough for number “5” costumes, printing new business cards, changing the group’s outgoing voicemail, getting a pull-out couch for Spidey at headquarters, and finding it that much harder to get a table for five rather than four without a reservation.
Spider-Man was almost not about spiders
Before the very first “Amazing Spider-Man” issue even hit the stands Marvel execs almost canceled the series, believing people simply did not like spiders. That’s because according to past comic book successes what people really liked were heroes who are repeatedly set on fire or are mutated beyond recognition (“The Fantastic Four”), see their parents get shot right before their very eyes (“Batman”), watch their planet and everyone they love blow up (“Superman”), or just get nuked (“The Incredible Hulk”). But when “Spider-Man” proved to be a huge success no doubt those very same execs happily exclaimed, “Hell, let’s make the next hero get his super powers by accidentally swallowing a sewer rat!”
Spider-Man was one of the very first teens to be a true superhero
Before that spider bit Peter Parker, teens in superhero comics were either regulated to the role of sidekick (Robin) or interns (as in that famous “Superman” story in which summer temp employee Toby is repeatedly used as a shield against gunfire until Superman remembers he’s impervious to bullets). But the success of Spider-Man paved the way for the young heroes of “X-Men,” “Teen Titans,” and the short-lived comic book series “This Better Look Good on My College Application or the Fate of the World Can Just Suck It.”
”The Amazing Spider-Man” was already filmed—in 1977
What if a superhero movie had a $14 budget and a soundtrack that couldn’t be more 70’s if it wore bell-bottoms and drank Tab? Well, then you’d have this made-for-TV movie that insists Spider-Man is “alive” so often you begin to wonder if it’s covering up some film set murder. Using a webslinger that seems to emit the ghosts of jellyfish and not so much climbing buildings as hanging on to them for dear life (probably because the production couldn’t afford health insurance or even street cushions), Spider-Man fights what are either apprentice ninjas, a middle-aged cult leader, or a purse snatcher, all of whom could be easily defeated by simply chucking Hostess Ho Hos at their heads.
Do you know any Spidey secrets? Let us know in the comments!