When it comes to determining the Marvel Universe's most popular character, just about everyone will point their finger towards the one and only Spider-Man. Spidey has become one of the Marvel Universe's biggest and most popular characters, and he also has one of the most lethal and varied assortments of villains filling out his rogues' gallery.
Marvel fans have been reading about their friendly neighborhood Spider-Man since the early 1960s. Throughout all that time, he's appeared in thousands of comics, tons of cartoons, and a whole mess of live-action films. That's to say nothing of his numerous video games, toys, and everything else related to ol' web-head.
Even if you call yourself the biggest fan on the planet, there may still be a few things you didn't know about Spider-Man. After all, it would be difficult to read everything he's been in, not to mention incredibly time-consuming. Take a look at the interesting facts about Spider-Man listed below, and if you do find something you didn't already know, go ahead and give it an upvote to see which one rises to the top.
Spider-Man's Japanese Version Commands A Giant RobotPhoto: Tokyo Channel 12
In the late 1970s, Marvel Comics authorized a Japanese adaptation of Spider-Man that is about as different from the original as possible. He wore the same costume, but the storyline and origin of Spider-Man's powers are completely different. The biggest difference is the presence of a giant robot known as Leopardon, which Spidey can summon to fight against giant monsters.
Interestingly, the series - which ran for 41 episodes from 1978 to 1979 - gave birth to the concept that would eventually be adapted into the Super Sentai franchise. If you aren't familiar with that series, you may know of it by its American name, The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
Yes, you read that correctly: the Power Rangers exist thanks to an odd but entertaining adaptation of Spider-Man.2814Cool fact?
Gwen Stacy Perished Because Stan Lee Was In A HurryPhoto: Marvel Comics
When it comes to determining the biggest moments in Spider-Man's life, the demise of his Uncle Ben ranks first, followed immediately by the passing of Gwen Stacy. Those events were the two most important and impactful in his life, and it turns out the only reason Gwen perished was because Stan Lee was running late. He was pitched the idea by Gerry Conway, John Romita Sr., and editor Roy Thomas about the concept. As he recalls:
I was just getting ready to go to Europe on some sort of a business trip... to meet somebody to discuss something about Marvel. And I think I wasn't thinking too clearly, because when they said, "We'd like to kill Gwen Stacy," I said, "Well, if that's what you want to do, okay." All I wanted to do was get them out of the office so I could finish packing and get out of there.... [A]nd when I came back and found out that Gwen had been killed, I thought, "Why would they do that? Why would Gerry write anything like that?" And I had to be reminded later on that I had perhaps reluctantly or perhaps carelessly said "Okay" when they asked me.
That's how Lee remembered the pitch, but Romita recalled it differently. According to him, Lee was already out of the country when they made the decision. It took them quite some time to talk him into it, and Lee was incredibly upset about the decision.217Cool fact?
Spider-Man Is The Most Published Marvel Comics CharacterPhoto: Library of American Comics
Spider-Man has been around since 1962, and his popularity early on in his superhero career ensured the character would be around for a long time. He's been consistently published by Marvel Comics since his first appearance, and as a result, he's been in more comics than any other character in the Marvel Universe.
As it happens, Spidey is actually the third most published character in comics, coming in behind a couple of guys who have a good 20-year lead on him: Batman and Superman. Spidey has some Marvel company in the top five most published characters, as Wolverine trails him at number four (and Donald Duck is fifth).1711Cool fact?
Spider-Man Is The Biggest Superhero EarnerPhoto: Pantheon
Spider-Man has been featured in more Marvel comics than any other character, but he trails Superman and Batman in terms of the most comic book appearances. Despite being introduced a good 24 years after DC's biggest and best Spider-Man is a far bigger earner in terms of global licensing revenues.
In terms of revenue, the numbers are rather staggering. In 2014, Spider-Man was compared to Batman, Superman, and the Avengers to see which character(s) had the highest gross in merchandise retail sales worldwide. Spidey came out on top.
Superman's global revenue came out at $277 million, the Avengers pulled in $325 million, Batman's was considerably higher at $494 million, and Spider-Man's topped out at a staggering $1.3 billion. Even when you combine the profits of DC's two most popular characters, they still fall in considerably lower than Spider-Man's numbers.81Cool fact?