10 Times Marvel Was Forced To Change Spider-Man

Wait, Spider-Man is not allowed to drink beer??

Spider-Man One More Day Mary Jane
Marvel Comics

Since his inception, Spider-Man has been the bread and butter of Marvel Comics. Even when the House of Ideas was going through the worst times, Spidey's book sales rarely faltered. Because Marvel know how much of a cash cow Spider-Man is, it's no surprise the writers take extra care to ensure his stories are as sensational as possible. As a result, the creative team routinely spend time planning out story arcs for the webslinger, even if it takes years for them to come to fruition.

However, Marvel has been forced to make massive differences to Spider-Man, often because of fan outrage, a political incident, or by one of the higher-ups vetoing certain plot points. Even if an issue is published, the writers can be forced to reverse story elements in later issues at the order of the powers-that-be. Because of this, many iconic stories would be extremely different, for better or for worse, if they didn't suffered interference. Venom would be dead, Spider-Man would have twins, and the whole Clone Saga would've heavily altered if the company hadn't stuck its nose in.

Here are the ten times where Marvel made major changes revolving around your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man.

10. The Original Spider-Man Was Totally Different

Spider-Man One More Day Mary Jane
Archie Comics

It's tempting to believe Stan Lee and Steve Ditko devised Spider-Man the way he is known nowadays from the get-go. However, the original character had so little resemblance to the superhero of today, you wouldn't even know it was Spider-Man. Instead of being bitten by a radioactive arachnid, Peter Parker obtained spider-powers by wearing a magical ring.

Stan the Man never explained why this element was changed but Ditko stated it was because the character was too similar to the Archie Comics superhero, The Fly, which debuted in 1959. This series focused on an orphan called Tommy Troy who found a special ring that endowed him with insect-like reflexes.

Because Lee was fully aware of The Fly's existence, he could have been accused of plagiarism if he created a comic that also centred around an orphan who obtained the powers of a tiny invertebrate while wearing a magical ring. It's also worth mentioning the first villain The Fly faced was a web-spinning criminal called Spider Spry.

By the time Spider-Man debuted in Amazing Fantasy #15 three years later, his entire backstory had been rewritten into the wisecracking, web-slinging superhero we all know.

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James Egan has written 80 books including 1000 Facts about Superheroes Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Supervillains Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about The Greatest Films Ever Made Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Video Games Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about TV Shows Vol. 1-3 Twitter - @jameswzegan85