Speed Reads

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man

Stan Lee explains how he created Spider-Man

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Despite garnering the worst reviews of any Spider-Man movie in history, box-office analysts expect The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to do big business over the weekend. The Spider-Man franchise has evolved into a billion-dollar business, which is all the more impressive when you consider the character's humble origins in the pages of Marvel's Amazing Fantasy #15 just a little over 50 years ago.

Where did the idea for Spider-Man come from? In a 2009 interview with Kevin Smith, creator Stan Lee described the character's origins:

"In superheroes, the most important thing is to get a new power. And you run out of powers. A guy can fly, a guy is strong — what's left? I figured, if a guy can stick to walls like an insect. So I run down a list of names: Insect Man didn't have it, Mosquito Man wasn't dramatic... finally, I hit on Spider-Man. Spider-Man. Man, that sounded dramatic to me. […] When I proposed the name to Martin, my publisher... Now, he had been on board with everything, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk. He thought I could do no wrong. So I told him about Spider-Man, and he said, 'You're crazy, Stan. People hate spiders. You can't do a book called Spider Man. And you want him to be a teenager? Teenagers can only be sidekicks."

Learn more about the origins of Spider-Man in the video below. --Scott Meslow