Stan Lee was writing for Amazing Fantasy when he had an idea for a new superhero. One that would change comic books forever. The magazine was about to be cancelled, but he still wanted to give the character a chance. That character was Spider-Man.
Martin Goodman, the Editor -in -chief of Marvel, didn’t like the idea. He felt that teenagers could only be sidekicks, like Robin or Kid Flash. And who actually likes spiders? But he let Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko do the story because the magazine was being cancelled anyway.
The comic was a success. But the comic was already set to be cancelled. So Goodman created a whole new comic book, The Amazing Spider-Man.
Peter Parker was a different superhero from his predecessors. He was not larger than life. He had to face many of the same challenges that his readers did. When he defeated villains, he wasn’t cheered. His boss, J. Jonah Jameson, believed Spider-Man was no better than the villains he was fighting. Even though he saved Jameson’s son, his opinion didn’t change. Spider-Man had feet of clay.
From this point on, Stan Lee created characters who were more grounded. Their lives weren’t any better because they had super-powers. Instead, they became worse. He had the opportunity to stop his uncle Ben from being killed, but refused. He had to live with the consequences of his actions.
Spider-Man was the foundation of the Marvel Universe.
Next week: New Heroes at DC.