Peter Parker was orphaned at the age of six when his parents were killed in an airplane crash overseas. He went to live with his uncle and aunt; Ben and May Parker, in Forest Hills, New York. Parker was extremely bright and became a high honors student at Midtown High School. Parker's shyness and scholastic interest often made him a social outcast.
While attending a public exhibition demonstrating the safe handling of nuclear laboratory waste materials sponsored by the General Techtronics Corporation, Peter was bitten by a spider which had been irradiated by a particle accelerator used in the demonstration. Making his way home afterwards, Peter discovered he had somehow gained incredible strength, agility, and the ability to cling to walls; spider-like traits that he immediately associated with the spider bite.
Encountering an ad offering a cash prize for staying in the ring 3 minutes with a professional wrestler, Peter decided this would be a good way to test his powers. Wearing a mask to avoid potential embarrassment, Peter easily defeated his opponent. His performance was observed by a TV producer, who convinced him to go on television with his 'act'. Designing a costume and some wrist-mounted web-spinners, Peter called himself Spider-Man, becoming an immediate sensation.
Following his first TV appearance, Peter failed to act to stop an escaping thief, claiming that it was not his responsibility. Peter forgot the incident as his fame rose, but one night he returned home to find his Uncle Ben had been murdered. Learning the police had the burglar responsible holed up in a warehouse, Peter easily captured him only to discover it was the same thief he had allowed to escape earlier. Filled with remorse, he realized that with power comes responsibility, and thus began the crime-fighting career of the Amazing Spider-Man.
Spider-Man is commonly seen as a brave and righteous hero with an indomitable sense of justice and responsibility. Shaken by his uncle's tragic death, Spider-Man's vow of responsibility has led him to a path of heroism and humanitarian service. There are times when Spider-Man's sense of responsibility can be almost overbearing; this was noted by Luke Cage when he felt embarrassed about Electro (one of his villains) causing the Raft breakout, despite the fact he had nothing to do with it. This combined with his strong moral compass in the face of adversity and sharp wit make him one of the most iconic and enduring heroes in the Marvel Universe.
One of Spider-Man's most prominent traits is his sense of humor. Even at the face of certain death, Spider-Man invariably cracks a joke, to the annoyance of both friends and foes. His reasons for this vary: either he wants to relieve the stress of a situation or simply because he wants to hide how scared he really is during a crisis. Also, he does this to get on the nerves of his opponents, since he knows that if they are angry, that they would normally lose themselves and be vulnerable to a superior skilled opponent. It is generally agreed, however, that whenever Spider-Man stops making jokes, he will take the current situation with the utmost seriousness.
Spider-Man is also a loner. Due to his individualistic style (having been a social outcast in his youth), Spider-Man finds it hard to work in teams. However, this has gradually lessened over the years, to the point Spider-Man is a member of the Avengers, the New Avengers, and more recently, the Future Foundation.
Spider-Man's righteousness complimented Daredevil's maturity as a crime-fighter during the Death of Jean DeWolf arc, leading to an enduring friendship. Peter also made close ties with the Fantastic Four at the very start of his career, which stands greater than ever today, like a family rendering aid to each other unconditionally. He is also quite close to the X-Men, able to sympathize with the public scorn that mutants often face. More recently Spider-Man has bonded with the New Avengers of whom he is a founding member, trusting them so much that he would reveal his identity to each member. Of the two previously mentioned teams, Spidey is closest to the Human Torch and Wolverine, playing pranks on one another or seeking solace respectively.
Web-Shooters:Parker's brilliance at physical science allowed him to create web-shooters for use when he became Spider-Man. The twin devices worn on his wrists are able to shoot thin strands of a special "web fluid" at high pressure.
Web Fluid:A shear-thinning liquid, virtually solid until a shearing force is applied to it, rendering it fluid, whose exact formula remains unknown, but is rumored to be related to nylon. The web line’s tensile strength is estimated to be 120 pounds per square millimeter of cross section. If Spider-Man is ever entangled in his own webbing, he can easily break free. He created the webbing to have an opposite attraction to his web clinging ability. Just as how a spider can crawl across its own web without getting stuck.
Utility Belt:Spider-Man keeps a utility belt holding web cartridges and his signature Spider-Signal.
Spider Tracers:Spider-Man uses small electronic "spider-tracers" of his own design that allow him to track objects or individuals. Typically, Spider-Man plants one on a departing enemy, or throws one to adhere to an escaping enemy, then follows the target to their hideout for later attack. Spider-Man sometimes also uses a launching device in his web-shooters for better range and accuracy.
Wall-Crawling:Spider-Man's exposure to the mutated spider venom induced a mutagenic, cerebellum-wide alteration of his engrams resulting in the ability to mentally control the flux of inter-atomic attraction (electrostatic force) between molecular boundary layers. This overcomes the outer electron shell's normal behavior of mutual repulsion with other outer electron shells and permits the tremendous potential for electron attraction to prevail. The mentally controlled sub-atomic particle responsible for this has yet to be identified. This ability to affect the attraction between surfaces is so far limited to Spider-Man's body (especially concentrated in his hands and feet) and another object, with an upper limit of several tons per finger. Limits to this ability seem to be psychosomatic, and the full nature of this ability has yet to be established.
Superhuman Strength:Spider-Man possesses superhuman strength enabling him to press lift approximately 10 tons. Spider-Man's physical strength is sufficient to lift and throw objects as heavy such as a semi truck with ease. He must also pull his punches and kicks unless fighting someone of similar or greater physical durability. Otherwise, his blows would prove fatal to a normal human being. He has demonstrated that he strong enough enable him to knock out people with normal durability with as little as a tap to the head. Also during the Secret Invasion, Spider-Man was shown to able to knock a Tyrannosaurus Rex into unconsciousness in one punch. Spider-Man's physical strength also extends into his legs, enabling him to be able to jump to a height of several stories in a single bound. Spider-Man demonstrated this when he leaped over 30 ft vertically into the air when he first leaped out of the way of an oncoming car; it should also be noted that when he first discovered his powers as a teenager, they hadn't developed to that of his prime. Also, when under extreme stress, it has been shown that Spider-Man is capable of lifting well over 10 tons. For one example, Spider-Man actually supported the weight of the Daily Bugle while it was on its last beam, until everyone inside was saved.
Superhuman Speed:Spider-Man is capable of running and moving at speeds that are beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete. Spider-Man has showed to be fast enough to catch up to an accelerating car while on foot, but prefers to travel by webs.
Superhuman Stamina:Spider-Man's advanced musculature produces less fatigue toxins during physical activity than an ordinary human. This allows him to exert himself physically for much longer periods of time before fatigue begins to impair him. At his peak, Spider-Man can physically exert himself at his peak capacity for several hours before the build up of fatigue toxins in his blood begins to impair him. Several accounts depict Spider-Man as able to hold his breath for eight minutes or more.
Superhuman Durability:Spider-Man's body is physically tougher and more resistant to some types of injury than the body of a normal human. His body is more resistant to impact forces than anything else. He can withstand great impacts, such as falling from a height of several stories or being struck by an opponent with super strength, that would severely injure or kill a normal human with little to no discomfort. Spider-Man's body is durable to the point where tensing his super-strong muscles while being punched in the torso by a trained heavyweight boxer caused the attacker's wrists to break; also, Spider-Man has stated that he must roll with punches thrown by people without similar strength or durability to avoid breaking their wrists.
Superhuman Agility:Spider-Man's agility, balance, and bodily coordination are all enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete. Spider-Man is extraordinarily limber and his tendons and connective tissues are twice as elastic as the average human being's, despite their enhanced strength. He has the combined agility and acrobatic prowess of the most accomplished circus aerialists and acrobats. He can also perform any complicated sequence of gymnastic stunts such as flips, rolls, and springs. He can easily match or top any Olympic record at gymnastics apparatus such as flying rings, climbing ropes, horizontal bars, trampolines.
Superhuman Equilibrium:Spider-Man possesses the ability to achieve a state of perfect equilibrium in any position imaginable. He seems able to adjust his position by instinct, which enables him to balance himself on virtually any object, no matter how small or narrow.
Superhuman Reflexes:Spider-Man's reflexes are similarly enhanced and are currently about 40 times greater than those of an ordinary human. In combination with his spider-sense, the speed of his reflexes allows him to dodge almost any attack, or even gunfire, if he is far enough away. Spider-Man has even been shown in some cases, to be able to dodge gunfire using just his reflexes without his Spider-Sense.
Regenerative Healing Factor:Spider-Man has a limited healing factor. While not on Wolverine's level, it is sufficiently powerful enough to recover from severe injuries from broken bones and large amounts of tissue damage in a matter of days. After getting his powers, he soon found that his eyesight was repaired, discarding his glasses. During a battle with a villain called the Masked Marauder, Spider-Man is rendered completely blind, however after about 2 days his sight was perfect, albeit sensitive for about a day after.
Foreign Chemical Resistance:Due to his accelerated metabolism, Spider-Man has a higher tolerance for drugs and diseases than normal humans, and he can recover from the effects of larger doses rapidly. During an encounter with the Swarm, Spider-Man was incapacitated by thousands of bee stings, but recovered in less than 24 hours. His resistance & recovery time to other toxins and diseases varies, but is typically significantly higher than normal. Spider-Man's unique physiology even allowed him to recover from the effects of vampirism. Spider-Man was able to recover completely from acid being spat into his eyes by the new Vulture although the extent of the damage may have been restricted due to his superhuman durability. However, Spider-Man has the normal human tolerance for alcoholic beverages.
Spider-Sense:Spider-Man possesses an extrasensory "danger" or "spider" sense which warns him of potential immediate danger by the manifestation of a tingling sensation in the back of his skull, and links with his superhuman kinesthetics, enabling him to evade most any injuries, unless he cognitively overrides his automatic reflexes. The precise nature of this sense is unknown. It appears to be a simultaneous clairvoyant response to a wide variety of phenomena (everything from falling safes to speeding bullets to thrown punches), which has given several hundredths of a second warning, which is sufficient time for his reflexes to allow him to avoid injury. The sense also can create a general response on the order of several minutes: he cannot discern the nature of the threat by the sensation. He can, however, discern the severity of the danger by the strength of his response to it. Spider-Man's spider-sense is directional and can guide him to or away from hidden weapons and enemies. Sudden and extreme threats can cause his spider-sense to react with painful intensity. Spider-Man can also sense and dodge attacks directed randomly or by an artificial intelligence. Using his spider-sense to time his enhanced reflexes, Spider-Man can casually dodge attacks up to and including automatic-weapons fire, provided there is sufficient distance. His spider-sense is sufficiently well-linked to his reflexes to the point that a threat can trigger them even when Spider-Man is asleep or stunned. His spider-sense has helped him preserve his secret identity since it alerts him to observers or cameras when changing into or out of his costume. The spider-sense does react to those who Peter does not consider to be a threat, such as Aunt May. Spider-Man can choose to ignore his spider-sense, and distraction or fatigue diminish its effectiveness. Spider-Man's fighting style incorporates the advantage that his "spider-sense" provides him. His body begins to produce more adrenaline after the sense is triggered, an extension of the 'fight or flight syndrome.' Even when he does not have the use of his eyes Spider-Man can still use his Spider Sense in a similar fashion to Daredevil's Radar Sense to help him see by sensing the direction the danger is coming from by listening on the loudest noise around him. This was first used after Spider-Man was temporarily blinded by a device but was recently used again to help see the Vulture after his acidic breath blinded him.
Seen by some as the heart of New York, Peter has gained quite a reputation with not only the superhero community, but villains and civilians as well: his Aunt May searched the Internet and found that Spider-man had saved roughly 10,000 lives directly, excluding all of his team-ups with other heroes and all the bombs or devices he's deactivated. In the Bar with No Name, the villains all initially felt discouraged to bet money against the wall-crawler as he fought Overdrive since "He always beats the new guys."
When the Hood began his criminal career and was almost killed by the Constrictor, the Constrictor noted how new he was to villainy and that he "didn't even get to fight Spider-Man." Despite all the grudges Spider-Man has accumulated, he has made peace with some former enemies such as the Punisher (now an uneasy ally,) and even checked up on the less than lethal Frog Man after his incarceration ended to make sure things were fine.
During a recent fight with Cable, Cable noted that Spider-Man is seen in the future as the greatest hero of them all. Also, after Spider-Man helped the villain Loki to save his daughter from Morwen, one earned the other grudging but genuine respect.
In spite of his many heroics, Spider-Man is infamous for numerous smear campaigns against him, especially at the hands of the Daily Bugle. The reason of this bad-mouthing upon him is because of the Bugle's manager and main publisher, John Jonah Jameson has strong distrust towards the wall crawler due to being a costumed vigilante with no affiliation to law and to take the spotlight of "true" heroes like public servants.
It was also revealed that Spider-Man is disliked by a good deal of police cops in New York because, even though he comes to turn in captured super villains, the police mistrusts him due to his vigilantism, and they are also embarrassed over their dependency on him to arrest the threats they couldn't handle.
In some cases, with some cops, this dislike grew into hatred and they had tried to incriminate the Wall-Crawler by putting some of his trackers on recent corpses to turn public opinion against him. However, Vin Gonzales (one of the involved cops) revealed the scheme for a lighter sentence and they earned the anger of general public that the police ironically tried to frame Spider-Man with the crime.
Indomitable Will:Spider-Man has a strong Force of Will, completely free of evil and temptation. For years, he has struggle to balance his life as a student and his superhero duties. He is able to emerge from defeat even stronger. His mental strength is also shown when he successfully wrestles control of nanobots from Doctor Octopus.
Gifted Intellect:Academically gifted, Peter displays an uncanny affinity for science that is nothing short of genius
Science Major:Peter Parker is a brilliant individual, with exceptional skill in practically every field of science, and is an excellent inventor. He is an accomplished chemist and physicist.
Skilled Photographer:Peter is a very skilled photographer, having worked for the Daily Bugle for years.
Master Acrobat:Thanks to his great strength and phenomenal equilibrium, Peter is an excellent athlete, excelling in all gymnastic fields and being able to perform every acrobatic stunt ever performed, including others that can never be performed by even an Olympic acrobat.
Master Combatant:Thanks to Peter's amazing superhuman physiology, acrobatic powers and spider sense, he is an excellent hand-to-hand combatant using a fighting style derived from his spider like abilities, he made his own street style that could rival virtually any combatant out of sheer volatility to standard fighting techniques (eg webbing, wall crawling, super strength to lift heavy objects, etc.)