Kelly’s Field Notes
Super Hero: Spider-Man (aka Peter Parker)
Species Comparisons: Spiders (Order Araneae)
First Comic Appearance: The anthology comic book Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962)
Spider-Man’s Power Set:
Real Spider Powers:
Intelligence - jumping spiders from genus Portia have been observed problem solving and learning
Strength - tiny jumping spiders can catch and kill prey many times they're size, so can black widows and some orb weavers
Web slinging - spiders create several different types of webs
Agility - spiders can quickly adjust mid -movement to escape predators or catch prey
Wall crawling - spider setae, or tiny hairs, help them stick to walls and other surfaces
Awareness - spiders have a wide range of senses to feel and see the world around them
Speed - spiders are able to cover long distances in only a few seconds
Mandibles/Fangs - spiders have sharp and strong mandibles and fangs, some capable of going through the tough carapace of pill bugs (terrestrial isopods)
Venom - spider venom runs the spectrum of harmless, to irritating, to deadly, depending on species
Pheromones - some species of bolas spider can trick male moths into believing they are female moths, luring them into a trap
Camouflage - crab spiders can change their color to suit their environment, often we see them on flowers that are white, yellow, or orange in color
Dance moves - male spiders engage in courtship behaviors to attract females, male peacock spiders, for example, perform elaborate dances flailing their limbs and bouncing their abdomens
How Does Spider-Man Compare With Real Spiders?:
There are a lot of similarities! Overall, Spider-Man has all of the basic spider abilities; strength, webbing, speed, agility, and “spidey senses.” Peter is missing some of the more interesting powers, such as camouflage and venom, but these qualities are picked up in other spider people (Miles Morales, for example, can become invisible which reminds us of the crab spider on a flower). While dance moves are not specifically a power, we do see Peter get his groove on in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 (2007).
How He Rated on the Podcast -
Kelly - 8/8 legs
Amanda - 8/8 legs
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Lee, Deodato, Straczynski, and Garney. "Amazing Spider-Man #529-538." Marvel Comics, New York (1999). - Civil War run, Kelly's pick.
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Lee, Stan, and Steve Ditko. "Spiderman, Amazing Fantasy# 15." Marvel Comics, New York (1962).
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“Spider-Man (Peter Parker) in Comics Powers, Villains, Enemies | Marvel.” Marvel Entertainment, www.marvel.com/characters/spider-man-peter-parker/in-comics.
“Spider-Man (Peter Parker) on Screen Profile | Marvel.” Marvel Entertainment, www.marvel.com/characters/spider-man-peter-parker/on-screen/profile.
Utah State University. “Woodlouse Spider - School IPM - USU Extension.” USU, extension.usu.edu/pests/schoolipm/structural-pest-id-guide/woodlouse-spider.
Yirka, Bob. Tiny Jumping Spiders Found Preying on Frogs and Lizards. 14 Aug. 2017, phys.org/news/2017-08-tiny-spiders-preying-frogs-lizards.html.