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From the Mouths of the Marvels:

“Spider-Man preserves his relevance because, hey, he's just like us! Just trying to do the right thing in a crazy, mixed-up world regardless of the decade, regardless of cultural schisms, regardless of whether he's in the pages of a comic book, on our TV sets or on our movie sceens. And until the world isn't crazy or mixed-up anymore, Spider-Man's struggle will always be relevant." -- Joe Quesada, from the introduction


From the Inside Dustflap:

A random lab accident granted Peter Parker amazing, arachnid-like powers- but it was a random act of violence that created Spider-Man. When a burglar tragically murdered his Uncle Ben- an act Peter could have prevented- the timid teenager learned an invaluable lesson: "With great power, there must also come great responsibility." Armed with the incredible abilities of a human spider, Peter became New York City's greatest super hero. Through the years, he has faced crushing tragedies and soaring triumphs, but he always remains a true hero at heart- putting his life on the line for the sake of others.

When Stan Lee and Steve Ditko introduced Spider-Man in the final issue of Amazing Fantasy in 1962, little did the pair realize what they had created. In the four decades since his celebrated debut, Spider-Man has become a worldwide pop-culture icon. He has leaped from the four-color pages of Marvel Comics into toys, games, records, posters and cartoons- and onto the silver screen in one of cinema's all-time biggest blockbusters.

Now, on the verge of the hotly anticipated movie sequel, Marvel Comics is proud to present the definitive guide to Spider-Man. This book covers it all, from the wall-crawler's first appearance to the latest movie news, and everything in between:

Spider-Man- His Friends, His Family, His Foes: Get the scoop on all the important people in Spider-Man's life with in-depth profiles on his pals, his gals and the super-villains who want to tear him limb from limb. These intriguing entries reveal the complete history of such essential figures as the Green Goblin, Mary Jane Watson, Harry Osborn and Aunt May- forty years worth of exciting comic-book stories encapsulated in concise, easy-to-read character histories.

Just Toying Around: Spider-Man toys have been on every kid's wish list for generations of young fans- leading to a mind-boggling array of action figures, playsets, clothes, video games and more. take a look at how Spider-Man stacks up on toy-store shelves, from the legendary Mego figures of the 1970s to today's intricately designed action figures that toe the line between toy and sculpture.

The Comic Book Legend, Stronger Than Ever: Fans unanimously agree that the current crop of Spider-Man comic books has seen an amazing renaissance in creative quality. From the red-hot Amazing Spider-Man, learn more about the latest and greatest issues hot off the press from Marvel Comics.

Spider-Man Gets Animated: It wasn't just kids who tuned in to the Spider-Man cartoon of the 1960s, as plenty of college students and parents could be heard humming the classic theme song. Since the original's heyday, Spider-Man has returned to the small screen in a number of animated series, from the beloved Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends of the 1980s to Spider-Man Unlimited in the 1990s. Take a look back- and ahead- at all his animated adventures.

The Billion-Dollar Movie: Faithful Spider-Man fans knew it would be popular, but no one could possibly predict the astounding success of the Spider-Man motion picture. One of the biggest blockbusters of all time, the movie starring Tobey Maquire and Kirsten Dunst spawned legions of devoted new web-heads. How did it become such a huge success? Take a tour of the movie, and learn the story behind the film that made motion-picture history.

Lightning Strikes Twice: What could be bigger than the original Spider-Man movie? The sequel! Which villain is set to square off against Spider-Man? What new challenges will face Peter Parker in his return to the screen? Learn the answers to these questions and more in a sneak peek at what will surely be 2004's biggest movie.


  Marvel Encyclopedia, Vol. 4:

List price: $24.99 (US) • $40.00 (Canada)
ISBN: 0-7851-1304-5
240 pages

Original Release Date: 11/5/03
Current In-Print Edition: First Print

Buy From:
TALES OF WONDER: $12.49 • AMAZON USA: $20.99


Editor: Jeff Youngquist with Jennifer Grunwald
Writer: Jonathan Couper-Smartt, Syd Barney-Hawke, Seth Biederman, and Kit Kiefer
Interior Art: dozens of Marvel artists, from John Romita, Jr. & Sr., JG Jones, Darick Robertson, Mark Bagley, Mike Wieringo, Tim Sale, Steve Ditko,and many more
Copy Editor: Jake Kornegay
Art Director/Designer: Matty Ryan


Marvel Encyclopedia Vol. 4: Spider-Man has a collection of essays in the front of the book by Kit Kiefer, totalling 28 pages. They focus on the feature films, television show, toys and merchandising, and the history of the comic book. Following that is an extensive encyclopedia in the mold of the first two Encyclopedia volumes, with character bios, power ratings, and art pieces from throughout the history of the Spider-Man comic.



  • by Joe Quesada (1 page)


  • Why the Wall-Crawler Rules Comics (6 pages)


  • Spider-Man on TV (6 pages)


  • Spider-Man at the Movies (6 pages)


  • Just toying around, Spidey-style (6 pages)


  • 10 page entry:
    • Spider-Man (includes 2099, Spider-Girl, Mangaverse, and Ultimate)

  • 4 page entry:
    • Green Goblin, Mary Jane Watson

  • 3 page entries:
    • Doctor Octopus, May Parker, Venom

  • 2 page entries:
    • Black Cat, Carnage, Chameleon, Electro, Hobgoblin, J. Jonah Jameson, Lizard, Map of Manhattan, Sandman, Scorpion, Sinister Six/Seven,Spider-Slayers (Versions I-XIX), Gwen Stacy, Vulture

  • 1 page entries:
    • Betty Brant, Burglar, Carrion, Daily Bugle, Daredevil, Empire State University, Enforcers, Ezekiel, Richard Fisk, Hammerhead, Human Torch, Hydro-Man, Jackal, John Jameson, Kingpin, Kraven the Hunter, Ned Leeds, Morbius, Mysterio, Harry Osborn, Liz Osborn, Ben Parker, Richard & Mary Parker, Peter's apartment, Punisher, Ben Reilly, Rhino, Joseph "Robbie" Robertson, Shocker, Sinister Syndicate, Spencer Smythe, Spider-Mobile, Spider-Tracers, Spider-Woman, George Stacy, Mendel Stromm, Symbiote, Flash Thompson, Tinkerer, Tombstone

  • Mini-bios:
    • A) Annex, Answer, Arcade, Armada, Arranger, A'Sai, Ashcan, Aura & Override, Avant Guard, Sally Avril

    • B) Bambi, Candi & Randi, Basilisk, Avengers, Lance Bannon, Batwing, Beetle, Belladonna, Beyonder, Big Wheel, Black Fox, Black Tarantula, Black Widow, Blade, Blaze, Boomerang, Brainstorm, Brand Corporation, Brother Power, Barney Bushkin

    • C) Jonathan Caesar, Cage, Calypso, Captain America, Captain Britain, Cardiac, Carlyle, Caryn & Barker, The Cat, Chance, Chtylok, Circus of Crime, Cloak and Dagger, Cobra, Commanda, Commuter, Jacob Conover, Cosmic Spider-Man, Conundrum, Corona, Crime-Master, Costumes (Classic Red and Blue, Alien Symbiote, Classic Black, Electro-Proof, Spider-Armor, Spider-Man Revised, Amazing Bag-Man, Behind the Mask), Kate Cushing, Cyclone

    • D) Leila Davis, D.K., Daily Globe, Dark Mairi, Dazzler, Death Squad, Deathlok, Delilah, Demogoblin, Jean DeWolff, Disruptor, Doctor Doom, Doctor Strange, Doppleganger, Dormammu, Dragon Man, Drom, Dusk

    • E) Ken Ellis, Equinox, Evil Versions

    • F) FACADE, Fantastic Four, Firelord, Femme Fatale, Vanessa Fisk, Fly, Foolkiller, Forest Hills, Don Fortunado, Foreigner, Frederick Foswell, Dominic Fortune, Frightful Four, Frog-Man, Nick Fury, Fusion, Fusion (Twin Terror)

    • G) Gauntlet, Blackie Gaxton, Gibbon, Glory Grant, Great Game, Goldbug, Graviton, Grizzly

    • H) Dr. Bart Hamilton, Tim Harrison, Dr. Jonas Harrow, Hero Killers, Hope Hibbert, Hitman, Crusher Hogan, Hulk, Hornet, Howard the Duck, Humbug, Hydra, Hypno-Hustler

    • I-J) Iguana, Jason Ionello, Cissy Ironwood, Jason Jerome, Jigsaw, Jimmy-6, Juggernaut

    • K) Kaine, Kangaroo, Jury, Dr. Ashley Kafka, Kangaroo II, Nick Katzenberg, Ka-Zar, Killer Shrike, Alyosha Kravinoff, Vladimir Kravinoff

    • L) Leap-Frog, Legion of Losers, Life Foundation, Lightmaster, Looter, Nathan Lubensky, Living Brain, Lobo Brothers

    • M) Man-Mountain Marko, Jason Macandale, Mad Jack, Madame Web, Midtown High School, Man-Thing, Joy Mercado, Mindworm, Mirage, Mister Brownstone, Mister Hyde, Molten Man, Moon Knight, Morlun, Mud-Thing, Murderous Mimes, Mysterio II

    • N-O) New Warriors, Nightcrawler, Nightmare, Nocturne, Norman Osborn, Jr., Ollie Osnick, Outlaws

    • P) Persuader, Peter's camera, Ernie Popchick, Power Pack, Prodigy, Professor Power, Puppet Master, Prowler, Puma

    • R) Ravencroft Institute, Razorback, Red Skull II, Ricochet, Randy Robertson, Rocket Racer, Roxxon Oil

    • S) SHOC, Schizoid Man, Scorcher, Scorpia, Scriers, Sha Shan, Shade, Shadrac, Shathra, Shriek, Silvermane, Silver Sable, Sin-Eater, Six-Armed Spider-Man, Skinhead, Slasher, Slingers, Dr. Morrison Sloan, Slyde, Joe Smith, Alistair Smythe, Solo, Speed Demon, Spider-Carnage, Spidercide, Spider-Hulk, Spider-Lizard, Spider-Morphosis, Spider-Phoenix, Spider-Signal, Spider-Woman II, Spider-Woman III, Spider-Woman IV, Spindrifter, Spot, Arthur Stacy, Jill Stacy, Paul Stacy, Stalker, Stegron, Stunner, Styx & Stone, Sundown, Super-Skrull, Swarm

    • T) Tarantula, Tarantula II, Taskmaster, Teacher, Thousand, Dr. Carolyn Trainer, Dr. Seward Trainer, Trapster, Traveller, Tri-Sentinel, Typeface, Typhoid Mary

    • U-V) Phil Ulrich, Utility Belt, Ben Urich, Vermin, Vulture II, Vulturians

    • W-Y) WHO, Walrus, Sen. Stewart Ward, Warrant, Wasp, Anna May Watson, Kristy Watson, Web-Shooters, White Dragon, White Rabbit, White Tiger, Deborah Whitman, Will O' the Wisp, Yith


  • A to Z debriefing on even more obscure entries in the life of Spider-Man, with first appearance credits and brief factoids (16 pages)



-- synopsis by Gormuu


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