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On The Amazing Spider-Man

CBC’s History is Lit series revisits comics this week. Our resident comics expert, John McCormack, guest-writes about the Amazing Spider-Man.

Who doesn’t love Spider-Man? (Other than J. Jonah Jameson, of course). The affable, ever-loving wall-crawler turns 60 this year, and it’s gotten me thinking about his history, what he means to me, and how this anniversary is to be cherished. 

Spider-Man as a character has spawned over 4000 comic book appearances (including the approaching 900th issue of Amazing Spider-Man), several movie franchises, an amazing animated series, video games, apparel, and an online debate on the best way to get Spider-Man content. 

Amazing Fantasy #15 released on June 5, 1962, a comic book written by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko & illustrated by Ditko, which introduced Peter Parker to the world. At the time, it was unheard of in comic books to have a teenage lead, but young readers responded so positively that Lee & Ditko ended up making an ongoing (and still going) comic book run. Spider-Man became a permanent fixture in the pantheon of comic history with some of the most iconic storylines of all time.

A quick timeline of notable Spider-Man issues:

Although the timeline can continue, within these issues we meet iconic characters (like Black Cat) which, for a kid discovering his first-ever comic book (issue #353), became life-defining. At around 9 years old, dad would take me to the card and comic store in Loveland, CO to get Pokemon cards if I’d done well in school. On one of those trips, I noticed a comic book with Spider-Man on it and HAD to have it — it was the character from the TV show that I loved! To this day, that comic is safely stored away in a bag and board for safekeeping. 

Spider-Man is an important character in comic book history and for his 60th anniversary, join me in revisiting our friendly neighborhood wall-crawler by picking up a Spider-Man book or watching a Spider-Movie, and falling in love with this pantheon of characters once more.

I’ll go first.

CBC’s history and yesteryear explorer, Laura Peraza, takes you back in time. Check out other series on our blog and our Reader Resources for more books and materials.

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