Spider-Man is one of the most popular superheroes in the world, and it’s turning into Spider-Man: No Way Home’s box office numbers. While we all know it was created by Marvel legend Stan Lee, did you know that it was rejected when he first introduced the character to his boss at Marvel? Well, today is the comic book writer’s birthday, so we decided to tell you about it.
Spider-Man first appeared in the Silver Age of Comic Books in the anthology comic book Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962). The single Spider-Man comic book, The Amazing Spider-Man, was released in 1963. This was followed by several series and eventually became Marvel’s best-selling series. Read on to find out the full story of how it went from being a rejected superhero to one of the most loved ones today.
As reported by Cheatsheet, in a 2000 interview with Larry King, the late Stan Lee revealed how he developed the concept for Spider-Man. The Marvel comic writer said, “I saw a fly crawling on the wall, and I said, ‘Whoa, let’s say a person has the power to stick to a wall like a worm.'”
Stan Lee said, “So I was walking and running, and I thought, ‘What should I tell him?’ I tried Mosquito Man, but there was no glamour. Insect man, that was even worse. I went down the line, and I went to Spider-Man. It looked mysterious and dramatic, and lo a The legend was born.”
In the same article, Portal talked about Stan Lee saying that Spider-Man was initially rejected. Marvel publisher Martin Goodman rejected it, stating that when he first put forth the idea, he said, “I walked in, and I said I had a book called Spider-Man, which was about a teenager. It’s about Spider-Man. Too many problems.” He continued, “This time, Martin won’t go with me.”
Justifying his answer, Stan said that Goodman suggested that the idea of a teenage superhero would turn readers off. While promoting his graphic-novel memoir, Amazing, Fantastic, Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir, Stan Lee told BBC Radio 4 in an interview, “My publisher, to his last knowledge, said, ‘Stan, this is the worst idea. The one I’ve ever heard.” He continued, “‘First, people hate spiders, so you can’t call a book Spider-Man. Second, he can’t be teenagers – teens can only be sidekicks. And third, if he’s got a superhero. Granted, he may not have personal problems—don’t you know who a superhero is?'”
But that didn’t stop Stan Lee. When Marvel’s Martin Goodman rejected the idea for Spider-Man, a year later, after collaborating with artist Steve Ditko, Lee portrayed the protagonist in one of the final issues of Amazing Fantasy. He told the Television Academy, “We had a book we were about to kill. When you drop a book, nobody cares what you put in the last issue because you’re finishing it. So that’s it. To get it out of my system, I put Spider-Man in and I show him on the cover.”
Revealing that when the comic book went on sale and Goodman realized the success of Spider-Man, Lee said, “When the sales figures came in, Martin would come running to my office and say, ‘Stan, do you want to know? Remember that character of yours, Spider-Man, that we both liked so much? Why don’t you make a series of them?’ I will never forget that.”
More recently, the third Spider-Man movie with Tom Holland hit the main theaters. Before him, actors such as Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire had also played web-slinging protagonists in three live-action films.
Happy Birthday Stan Lee, our world would have been incomplete if you had not given these amazing superheroes to us.