Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Spiderman/Spiderman 3 ,part 3

A few months after Spider-Man's introduction in Amazing Fantasy #15 (Aug. 1962), publisher Martin Goodman saw the sales figures for that issue and found it had been one of the nascent Marvel's highest-selling comics. A solo series followed, beginning with The Amazing Spider-Man #1 (March 1963). The title eventually became Marvel's top-selling series and the character a cultural icon; a 1965 Esquire poll of college campuses found that college students ranked Spider-Man and fellow Marvel hero The Hulk alongside Bob Dylan and Che Guevara as their favorite revolutionary icons. One interviewee selected Spider-Man because he was "beset by woes, money problems, and the question of existence. In short, he is one of us". Following Ditko's departure after issue #39, John Romita, Sr. became the character's next-most-associated signature artist, penciling the character over the several following years.

An early 1970s Spider-Man story led to the revision of the Comics Code. Previously, it was taboo to depict illegal drugs, even negatively. However, in 1970 the Nixon administration's Department of Health, Education, and Welfare asked Stan Lee to run an anti-drug message in one of Marvel's top-selling titles. Lee chose the top-selling The Amazing Spider-Man; issues #96–98 (May–July 1971) feature a story arc that shows the negative effects of drug abuse. In the story, Peter Parker's friend Harry Osborn starts taking pills and becomes so ill that when Spider-Man fights the Green Goblin (Norman Osborn), Spider-Man defeats Norman by simply showing him his sick son. While the story had a clear anti-drug message, the Comics Code Authority refused to issue its seal of approval. Marvel nevertheless sold the three issues without the Comics Code Authority's approval or seal and sold so well that the industry's self-censorship was undercut.

In 1972, a second monthly ongoing series starring Spider-Man began: Marvel Team-Up, in which Spider-Man is paired with other superheroes. In 1976, his second solo series, Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man began, running parallel to the main series; a third solo series, Web of Spider-Man, launched in 1985, replacing Marvel Team-Up. The launch of a fourth monthly title in 1990, written and drawn by popular artist Todd McFarlane, debuted with multiple variant covers and sold in excess of three million copies , an industry record at the time. There have generally been at least two ongoing Spider-Man series at any time. Several limited series, one-shots and loosely related comics have also been published, and Spider-Man makes frequent cameos and guest appearances in other comic series.

The original Amazing Spider-Man ran through issue #441 (Nov. 1998). Writer-artist John Byrne then revamped the origin of Spider-Man in the 13-issue miniseries Spider-Man: Chapter One (Dec. 1998 - Oct. 1999, with an issue #0 midway through and some months containing two issue), similar to his having details and some revisions to Superman's origin in DC Comics' The Man of Steel. Running concurrently, The Amazing Spider-Man was restarted with vol. 2, #1 (Jan. 1999). With what would have been vol. 2, #59, Marvel reintroduced the original numbering, starting with #500 (Dec. 2003). This flagship series has reached issue #540 as of early 2007.

As of 2007, Spider-Man regularly appears in The Amazing Spider-Man, New Avengers, The Sensational Spider-Man, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, Spider-Man Family and various limited series in mainstream Marvel Comics continuity, as well as in the alternate-universe series The Amazing Spider-Girl, and Ultimate Spider-Man, the alternate-universe tween series Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, and the alternate-universe children's series Marvel Adventures Spider-Man and Marvel Adventures: The Avengers.
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