<i>by <a href=http://www.twitter.com/albertxii>Albert Ching, Newsarama Staff Writer</a></i> <p>Big things are happening to Spider-Man. Apparently very soon. <p><b>Amazing Spider-Man</b> writer Dan Slott has made it extremely clear that something major is happening to the character in December's issue #700, but it's become apparent that this week's issue #698 also contains some significant developments on Saturday, Slott wrote on <a href=https://www.facebook.com/dan.slott.3>Facebook</a>, "Four days till I ruin your childhood." <p>And this is all before January's debut of <b>Superior Spider-Man</b>, a new series taking the place of <b>Amazing</b>, where it's been established that the title character will <i>not</i> be Peter Parker. <p>So though a lot remains to be revealed with regards to Spider-Man's future, will these forthcoming changes match up to some of the "big time" status quo shifts the character has seen in his 50 years? Here's a look at some of what Marvel's friendly neighborhood superhero has experienced over the past few decades. <p><i>Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's <a href=http://www.facebook.com/Newsarama><b>FACEBOOK</b></a> and <a href=http://twitter.com/newsarama><b>TWITTER</b></a>!</i> <p>
Spider-Man's time as Captain Universe wasn't nearly as significant as say, major events in the history of the character like the death of Uncle Ben or Gwen Stacy. <p>But it's a distinctly unique period in the character's history during the "Acts of Vengeance" storyline in 1989 where Spidey received incredible cosmic power, and put it to good use in combat against folks like Titania, Magneto and the Tri-Sentinel, who otherwise would have been out of his league. Though the powers didn't last, the visuals have with the Cosmic Spider-Man costume subsequently seen in numerous platforms, including video games and action figures.
The Sam Raimi-directed <b>Spider-Man</b> films departed from the comics in one major way instead of building them himself, Peter Parker's webshooters were part of his host of bite-granted spider-powers, a move that prompted more-heated-than-you-might-expect debate in the fan community. <p>The comic books followed suit a few years later, and the "Avengers Disassembled" tie-in to <i>Spectacular Spider-Man</i> saw Spidey (very controversially) gain organic webshooters, thus eliminating the need for synthetic web fluid and bringing things a little closer to the movies. <p>That wasn't the only physical change ahead for Spidey: A little later on, as a result of "The Other," he also developed venom-coated stingers that sprung from his wrist. <p>He doesn't have either of them anymore (though post-"Spider-Island" Kaine/Scarlet Spider has very similar stingers), and this past summer's <b>Amazing Spider-Man</b> reboot film went with mechanical webshooters, showing that life really is cyclical.
Given the jaded nature of many current comic book fans, the idea of Spider-Man growing a few extra arms for a couple of issues might seem kind of quaint. But it certainly was a big deal during "The Six Arms Saga" that ran through <b>Amazing Spider-Man #100-#102</b>, one of the most frequently referenced stories in Spider-Man history. <p>Following the death of Captain George Stacy Gwen's dad and a friend to Spidey on the police force Peter Parker decides that he has to stop being Spider-Man. But things are never that simple, and his attempt to eliminate his powers actually ends up giving him four extra arms. <p>Written towards the end of Stan Lee's stint on <i>Amazing Spider-Man</i>, "The Six Arms Saga" provided one of the most enduring images in Spidey history, and also introduced Morbius, the Living Vampire (who's getting his own new ongoing series starting this January).
Though Spider-Man has mainly stuck with his classic costume over the years, he's wavered a bit in a few notable instances the black costume, of course, the Spider-Armor and the many recent situational upgrades he's given himself in Slott's recent <b>Amazing Spider-Man</b> run. <p>One of the biggest in recent years was the gadget-filled "Iron Spider-Man" outfit, an extension of the budding friendship between Spider-Man and Iron Man circa 2006. Though Peter Parker only ended up using the high-tech Tony Stark-designed armor for a few months, it stuck around in toys, video games, and the pages of <i>Avengers: The Initiative</i>. <p>Unfortunately for Peter Parker, his close association with Tony Stark also led to this...
When the 2006 Marvel event series <i>Civil War</i> began, Spider-Man was on Iron Man's pro-registration side advocating that superpowered folks should register with the government and was talked into revealing his secret identity to the public, as a sign of good faith that the heroes on the pro-registration side had nothing to hide. <p>Well, turns out Peter kept that secret for all these years for a very good reason, and that bad decision saw Kingpin target and almost kill Aunt May, and Spidey eventually migrating over to Captain America's anti-registration side. Spidey would end up going to great lengths to make his identity secret once again, but more on that in a bit.
Spider-Man joined the Avengers starting with (the original) <i>New Avengers #1</i>, and some fans saw it as blasphemy even though he was already a reserve member of the Avengers, Spidey had always been a solo act, and him being an active member of Earth's Mightiest Heroes seemed, to some, like a bad fit for both sides. <p>Eight years later, Spider-Man's still an Avenger he'll be part of the main cast in Jonathan Hickman's <i>Avengers</i> book debuting next month in the Marvel NOW! era and it's fueled multiple stories in the character's solo book. Buoyed by the addition of characters like Spider-Man and Wolverine, the Avengers have become an X-Men-level franchise at Marvel, and the stars of the third highest-grossing film in history (which, admittedly, had no Spider-Man and no Wolverine due to the live-action rights to the characters being licensed by Sony and Fox, respectively). So it looks like it all worked out, and Spider-Man even pulled double-duty (triple, if you count his solo gig) as a part of the Fantastic Four's Future Foundation for a recent extended period.
During <i>Secret Wars</i>, Spider-Man got a cool new black costume. But here's the ol' Parker luck: It was an alien parasite that wanted to bond with him forever. <p>Peter figured that out and got rid of it (though he wore a cloth version of the costume for a while longer, because it was a good look for him), but the symbiote kept causing him problems, moving on to Eddie Brock and becoming the villain/antihero/"Lethal Protector" known as Venom. <p>The symbiote is currently with Peter Parker's old high school nemesis-turned-good friend, Flash Thompson, and the mostly heroic Venom is currently a Secret Avenger, and part of the Red Hulk's new <b>Thunderbolts</b>.
Since the '70s, Spider-Man has had issues with clones. Things got really bad in the '90s when his original clone now known as Ben Reilly came back into his life, throwing everything into question in what went on to be one of the most infamous Spider-Man stories in history. <P>Reilly became a superhero in his own right named Scarlet Spider, and eventually Peter came to accept that he was actually the clone. This led to Ben Reilly taking up the Spider-Man mantle complete with redesigned costume and a few new twists like "impact webbing" and Peter Parker mostly fading into the background. <p>But wait! In a fight with Norman Osborn, the original Green Goblin who had just resurfaced from presumed death, Reilly was impaled by a Goblin Glider, and degenerated, like all clones do, establishing the Peter Parker everyone had been reading for the past 20-plus years as the real deal all along. <p>Though Ben Reilly still has his ardent supporters, he's stayed dead (not that comics can't come up with a way to return to life after melting into goo), but Kaine, another Spider-Man clone from the '90s "Clone Saga," is currently the star of the <i>Scarlet Spider</i> ongoing series.
Marvel took a bit of a leap of faith in 1987 by marrying Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. Unlike other married Marvel couples like Reed Richards and Sue Storm, Spider-Man had multiple love interests in his fictional life, and not even Clark Kent and Lois Lane got married until nearly a decade later. <p>It was also a controversial move, as it changed the character in many ways. His "swinging" single days were gone, and he now had a family (including nearly a baby) to look out for, frequently calling into question the decision of risking your life on a nightly basis. <p>Peter Parker and Mary Jane had some rough times, including a separation, but stayed married for about 20 years. But nothing lasts forever.
Joe Quesada currently Marvel's chief creative officer, formerly Marvel's editor-in-chief was very upfront that he wasn't a fan of Peter Parker being married to Mary Jane, and during the "One More Day" storyline (which Quesada illustrated and J. Michael Straczynski wrote), the marriage was essentially written out of history thanks to some magical intervention. <p>As side effect of Peter Parker revealing his secret to the world, his beloved Aunt May was nearly dead. Mephisto basically the Marvel Universe version of Satan offered a deal: He'd restore Aunt May to health in exchange for Peter and MJ's marriage. With a little bargaining Spider-Man's ID also needed to once again be secret the deal was done, leading to the current unmarried (but still close) status of Peter Parker and Mary Jane. <p>It's also one of the most controversial Spider-Man stories in history, with some fans still upset about what went down, a half-decade later though, it appears that, based on his "ruin your childhood" teases, Dan Slott is giving fans something new to be upset about, imminently.