Spider-Man is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character was created by writer-editor Stan Lee and writer-artist Steve Ditko, and first appeared in the anthology comic book Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962) in the Silver Age of Comic Books. The character is conceived as an orphan within the Marvel Universe named Peter Parker being raised by his Aunt May and Uncle Ben in New York City after his parents Richard and Mary Parker were killed in a plane crash. Lee and Ditko depicted the character as having to deal with the normal struggles of adolescence and financial issues with a large array of supporting characters, such as J. Jonah Jameson, Daily Bugle editor and smear campaigner of Spider-Man; and classmates such as Flash Thompson, Harry Osborn and romantic interests Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson. His origin story depicts him as being bitten by a radioactive spider and thus acquiring spider-related abilities, such as the ability to cling to most surfaces; shoot spider-webs using wrist-mounted devices of his own invention, which he calls "web-shooters"; and react to danger quickly with his "spider-sense", enabling him to combat his many superpowered foes, such as Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin and Venom. Originally, the character uses these abilities for stardom, but after letting a burglar escape who is responsible for shooting his uncle, he learns to use his power responsibly.
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 high school student from Queens behind Spider-Man's secret identity and with whose "self-obsessions with rejection, inadequacy, and loneliness" young readers could relate. While Spider-Man had all the makings of a sidekick, unlike previous teen heroes such as Bucky and Robin, Spider-Man had no superhero mentor like Captain America and Batman; he thus had to learn for himself that "with great power there must also come 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, nerdy New York City high school student to troubled but outgoing college student, to married high school teacher to, in the late 2000s, a single freelance photographer. In the 2010s, he joins the Avengers, Marvel's flagship superhero team. Spider-Man's nemesis Doctor Octopus also took on the identity for a story arc spanning 2012-2014, following a body swap plot in which Peter appears to die. Marvel has also published books featuring alternate versions of Spider-Man, including Spider-Man 2099, which features the adventures of Miguel O'Hara, the Spider-Man of the future; Ultimate Spider-Man, which features the adventures of a teenaged Peter Parker in an alternate universe; and Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, which depicts the teenager Miles Morales, who takes up the mantle of Spider-Man after Ultimate Peter Parker's supposed death. Miles is later brought into mainstream continuity, where he works alongside Peter.
Spider-Man is one of the most popular and commercially successful superheroes. As Marvel's flagship character and company mascot, he has appeared in countless forms of media, including several animated and live action television series, syndicated newspaper comic strips, and in a series of films. The character was first portrayed in live action by Danny Seagren in Spidey Super Stories, a The Electric Company skit which ran from 1974 to 1977. In films, Spider-Man has been portrayed by actors Tobey Maguire (2002-2007), Andrew Garfield (2012-2014), and Tom Holland (2016-present), who has portrayed the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2016. Reeve Carney starred as Spider-Man in the 2010 Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Spider-Man has been well received as a superhero and comic book character, and he is often ranked as one of the most popular comic book characters of all time, alongside DC Comics' most famous superheroes, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman.