The Savage Dragon creator on a decades-long appreciation of the King!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us this month to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

For many, Jack Kirby’s work represents the absolute pinnacle of imagination. From Captain America in the ‘40s to the Fantastic Four in the ’60s to Devil Dinosaur in the ‘70s, the King’s work illustrates an unprecedented creativity in crafting unforgettable stories and characters.

Veteran comic book creator Erik Larsen—known for his Marvel runs on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and SPIDER-MAN—follows Jack Kirby’s grand tradition of creating dynamic stories with a mix of action and heart. To remember the King and his legacy, we spoke with Larsen about meeting the man himself, learning from his craft, and getting to ink his work!

Marvel.com: Do you remember how you came to know Jack’s art? What kind of impact did it have on you?

Erik Larsen: My dad bought comics when he was a kid and I grew up with his collection—which he shared with his children when we were far too young and we destroyed a lot of them. But my earliest encounter with Jack’s work was Boy Commandos. By the time I was old enough to buy my own comics, Jack was winding up his tenure at DC, working on Kamandi, The Demon, OMAC, and Mister Miracle. I devoured his work. I loved the energy of it all. And whenever Marvel reprinted his stuff, I snapped it up. Marvel was publishing a lot of Jack’s work in TREASURY EDITIONS and I adored those.

Marvel.com: As an up-and-coming artist, did you look to Kirby’s work for inspiration when configuring panels and pages?

Erik Larsen: Certainly. There was a lot to be learned from Jack’s work and he was a huge influence. The internal battle was to try and get some of that power and energy without aping his work so much that you looked like a second-rate Kirby. His work is very seductive in that way. Whenever I look at his work I want to become Jack Kirby—and there are times a Kirby squiggle, Kirby fist, or Kirby Krackle works its way onto my pages. I can’t help myself.

Marvel.com: Did you ever meet or get to work with Jack? If so, what do you remember most about him?

Erik Larsen: I met Jack a few times in San Diego and he was a very supportive and soft-spoken man. He was very encouraging. I wish I’d spent more time with him. I inked a couple of pages of his pencils for the Phantom Force book we published at Image and that was an absolute thrill and somewhat heartbreaking at the same time. After I erased his pencils I felt like I’d committed a crime. I erased Jack’s pencils! What was I thinking?

Marvel.com: You’ve used Kirby drawings as the basis for your own cover art in the past. Has working with a piece that way offered any new insights into the man’s brilliance?

Erik Larsen: I’ve inked over Kirby’s work on blue line numerous times and it’s always a great learning experience. It’s also frustrating that I can’t do the kind of job I’d like to do. My hat’s off to Mike Royer, Joe Sinnott, Frank Giacoia, and the others who inked his pencils so brilliantly over the years.

Marvel.com: During your early days at Marvel, you worked on Kirby co-creations like Thor and the Hulk. Knowing the history there, what was that like?

Erik Larsen: Always a thrill. My very first Marvel job was an inventory issue of THOR where he fought the Hulk. Stan Lee ended up scripting it and Vinnie Colletta inked it. It was the last issue of THOR either of them ever worked on. I was subbing for Jack in that classic creative team on my very first Marvel gig! It was all downhill from there!

Marvel.com: You went on to launch your own original stories—each jam packed with new characters and creations. Would you say Kirby inspired that work?

Erik Larsen: I’d say he inspired all of it! There’s not a day that goes by when I don’t look at Jack Kirby’s art! If it’s not a book in my hands, it’s framed art on my walls! I don’t have any of my own work on my walls—but I have Jack’s! He was, and forever will be, the King of comics!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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Spider-Man's alter ego earned a living as a high school science teacher!

It’s Monday, and that means that you’ve had to find the strength to shake off the after effects of a weekend well spent just to get back into shape for the weekday work-athon. It’s tough, sure, but it’s a fact of life–one that isn’t lost on super humans either. Yep, Mondays mean back to work for super heroes too, as they trade in their uniforms for something more business casual.

You can’t call Peter Parker a one trick pony. This Queens native has held down a number of jobs since he began his super hero career, alternating between being Spider-Man by night and one of many professions by day. Spidey’s most known as a freelance photographer for the Dailiy Bugle, but he also put his genius level intellect to work and made ends meet as a high school science teacher.

Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #31

Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #31

  • Published: July 01, 2001
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: May 01, 2012
  • Rating: T+
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Spider-Man picked up a job as a science teacher at Midtown High, his alma mater, and trouble followed him immediately. The super hero stopped a student carrying a weapon from exacting revenge, and he even worked in a bit of a chemistry lesson while doing so.

Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #32

Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #32

  • Published: August 01, 2001
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: May 01, 2012
  • Rating: T+
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Peter didn’t just stop students from hurting each other; he also had to keep figures from his other life from crashing his classroom. This proved difficult, as Spider-Man took on the gig just as a mysterious man named Ezekiel entered his life. Ezekiel showed up at Midtown High as well, and brought with him a surprising gift.

Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #37

Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #37

  • Published: January 01, 2002
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: May 07, 2012
  • Rating: T+
What is Marvel Unlimited?

When a student named Jennifer falls asleep in Mr. Parker’s class, the web-slinger decides to figure out just why the once promising student has started to fall behind. He learns that her brother has gotten mixed up with the wrong crowd, and his mistakes have taken a toll on their entire family. Now Spider-Man has to fix a problem that’s a little more nuanced than anything Electro ever threw at him.

Peter Parker takes up a new gig at the Jean Grey School in SPIDER-MAN AND THE X-MEN #1, on sale this December!

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With Daredevil's buddy Foggy Nelson getting attention, here are other super friends with a story to tell!

Every super hero needs a helping hand from time to time.

Those handsbelong to an incredible array of supporting characters that populate the Marvel Universe, the best of which grow into three-dimensional characters in their own right. In the newly released DAREDEVIL #5, Matt Murdock’s longtime best bud Foggy Nelson takes center stage as creators Mark Waid and Chris Samnee finally reveal just how he “died.”

Mr. Nelson’s not the first sidekick, love interest, or close ally in Marvel history to transition into a starring role. Check out five more supporting characters that have taken the lead.

1. Mary Jane Watson

Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane (2005) #1

Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane (2005) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Mary Jane Watson spent nearly her first four decades in the Marvel Universe as Spider-Man’s main squeeze, co-starring in a number of his ongoing series. She became Marvel’s definitive super hero girlfriend. With SPIDER-MAN LOVES MARY JANE, she became a lead character in a series that depicted her side of Marvel’s most famous love story.

2. James Rhodes

Iron Man (1968) #170

Iron Man (1968) #170

  • Published: May 10, 1983
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 29, 2013
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Rhodey may be a lead character now thanks to the IRON PATRIOT series, but he didn’t start out that way. After a number of years spent working as Tony Stark’s personal pilot, Rhodes took over as Iron Man when Stark’s drinking became an overwhelming problem. Rhodey operated as the armored Avenger until IRON MAN #199, and later adopted hero identities like War Machine and Iron Patriot. Nowadays, James Rhodes can regularly be seen acting independently from Tony Stark.

3. Aunt May

Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #39

Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #39

  • Published: May 01, 2002
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: June 26, 2012
  • Rating: T+
What is Marvel Unlimited?

After finally learning the truth about Spider-Man’s secret identity in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #38, Aunt May felt compelled to act on the wall-crawler’s behalf. This silent issue focuses on both Mary Jane and Aunt May, the two most important members of Spider-Man’s supporting cast, with the latter getting the most attention. Aunt May cancels all her subscriptions to papers that don’t treat Spider-Man favorably, launching a one-woman campaign to improve her nephew’s super hero image.

4. Falcon

Captain America (1968) #220

Captain America (1968) #220

What is Marvel Unlimited?

After spending one hundred issues as Captain America’s partner in crime fighting, Sam Wilson finally got an adventure he could call his own. In this five pager, Falcon rescues his bird Redwing from the clutches of a no-name villain with a heinous fashion sense. This small start quickly led to Falcon getting his own full-length story in MARVEL PREMIERE #49, and eventually his own self-titled limited series in 1983.

5. Pepper Potts

Rescue (2010) #1

Rescue (2010) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Pepper Potts has been many things over the years: love interest, secretary, wife, CEO and more. She added “super hero” to that list upon receiving the Rescue armor in INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #10. Not long after assuming her own alter ego, Pepper got to star in her own adventure, one that showed off her super suit’s impressive rescue technology and also dealt with the guilt she felt over the death of her husband, Happy Hogan.

Follow the continuing story of Foggy Nelson in DAREDEVIL #5, on sale now! 

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There's more to Peter Parker's heroic journey than just Amazing Fantasy #15!

The tables will turn on Spider-Man this July as the hero gets himself tangled up in a deadly web. The ripple effects of ORIGINAL SIN will reach Peter Parker in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #4, when the web-slinger learns that he’s not as unique as he originally thought. Enter: Silk. The mysterious woman stands revealed as a result of this summer’s Marvel event, and now she’ll be swinging – or crawling, who knows? – her way into Spidey’s life.

This won’ bet the first time that the incidents surrounding Spider-Man’s creation have been revisited, retold, or reimagined. To prepare you for Silk’s arrival, check out 10 varying depictions of the web head’s early days!

1. AMAZING FANTASY #15

Amazing Fantasy (1962) #15

Amazing Fantasy (1962) #15

  • Published: August 10, 1962
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Writer: Stan Lee
  • Penciler: Steve Ditko
What is Marvel Unlimited?

The first and still the best, the original Stan Lee and Steve Ditko story can be retold but it can never be replaced. In just 11 pages, Stan and Steve laid down an unbeatable origin story that introduces every single element that the rest of these tales touch upon. The high school field trip, the irradiated spider bite, the brief wrestling career, and the tragic death of Uncle Ben all take place in this short.

2. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #50

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #50

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #50

  • Published: July 10, 1967
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: John Romita
What is Marvel Unlimited?

After 50-ish web-slinging adventures, Peter Parker had finally had enough. After tuning his back on all things spider-related, a kindly watchman gave Peter a much needed morale boost. Coincidentally, that old man looked a lot like Uncle Ben, thus prompting our hero to recall the events that caused him to become Spider-Man.

3. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #94

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #94

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #94

  • Published: March 10, 1971
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: John Romita
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Taking place just after Gwen Stacy ditched Peter, this issue follows the titular hero as he mopes down the street in classic Sadsack Spidey mode. Parker recounts everything he did to cause Gwen to leave him, including the events that gave him his powers and tons of great responsibility.

4. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #181

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #181

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #181

What is Marvel Unlimited?

On the anniversary of Uncle Ben’s death, Spider-Man swings by his final resting place to pay his respects. While there, Spidey runs through his story thus far and leaves a microscope behind as a symbolic gift to his father figure.

5. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #200

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #200

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #200

What is Marvel Unlimited?

After years of spider-action, Spider-Man finally came face-to-masked-face with the burglar that killed his Uncle Ben. The lowlife had also kidnapped Aunt May and threatened to take away the only family Peter had left. Spidey pushed past his traumatic memories and saved the day without losing his cool.

6. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #354

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #354

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #354

  • Published: November 20, 1991
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: August 06, 2013
What is Marvel Unlimited?

This retelling only takes a few panels, but it has an impact. After fighting alongside rookie hero Darkhawk, Spidey shares a vague version of his origin to the newbie in hopes of instilling him with a solid moral code.

7. UNTOLD TALES OF SPIDER-MAN #1

Untold Tales of Spider-Man (1995) #1

Untold Tales of Spider-Man (1995) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

This ongoing series from the mid-’90’s took place in-between Spider-Man’s original adventures from 30 years prior. The debut issue features a one-page catch-up of Spidey’s origin story before diving into the inaugural untold tale.

8. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #32

Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #32

Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #32

  • Published: August 01, 2001
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: May 01, 2012
  • Rating: T+
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Sometimes Spider-Man’s origin gets reimagined instead of retold. This happened when the mysterious Ezekiel visited Peter Parker, changing everything the hero thought he knew about himself by unveiling a massive theory involving pre-destination and animal totems.

9. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #38

Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #38

Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #38

  • Published: February 02, 2002
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: May 07, 2012
  • Rating: T+
What is Marvel Unlimited?

When Aunt May finally pieced together Peter Parker’s dual identity, the two had an issue-long convo about the hero’s years of secret keeping. This, of course, involved revisiting the night that changed both of their lives.

10. SPIDER-MAN: WITH GREAT POWER #1

Spider-Man: With Great Power... (2008) #1

Spider-Man: With Great Power... (2008) #1

  • Published: January 30, 2008
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: December 22, 2008
  • Rating: NOT IN ORACLE
  • Writer: David Lapham
  • Cover Artist: Tony Harris
What is Marvel Unlimited?

This limited series focuses more on the amateur wrestling part of Spidey’s origin story, an area that usually gets glossed over in favor of mad science and bad burglars. Like UNTOLD TALES, this story takes place firmly within the panels of previously told stories.

Silk arrives this July in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #4!

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Prepare for "Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors" with a run through of Spidey's most daring clothing choices!

In the newly announced “Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors,” Spider-Man will be getting some help from a few familiar faces–familiar because some of them are faces Peter Parker has worn in the past, such as the Iron Spider uniform, or Agent Venom, who will don Pete’s old symbiote!

While his costume may be the most iconic one in the Marvel Universe, Spider-Man hasn’t been able to resist changing things up from time to time. Over the years, Spidey’s donned a few different duds, sometimes throwing in a whole new code name and super hero identity into the mix as well. To get everyone pumped up for the new season of “Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors,” here’s a list of five of Spider-Man’s most notorious alter-egos from the comics.

1. BLACK COSTUME

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #252

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #252

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Spider-Man’s first big departure from the red and blues remains his most popular one to date. Spidey came back from an adventure on the alien Battleworld with more than just a story to tell. He brought with him a symbiotic goo that responded to his every whim, whipping up a new all-black Spider-Man look as well as street clothes with just the slightest thought. Once Parker learned that the suit had a mind and agenda of its own, though, he quickly replaced it with the next suit on this list.

2. THE AMAZING BAG-MAN

Art from Amazing Spider-Man #258

Art from Amazing Spider-Man #258

Listen, even Spider-Man has to improvise from time to time. After extracting the symbiote from his body in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #258, Parker had to resort to taking on the kinda humiliating Bag-Man costume just to protect his identity after leaving the Fantastic Four’s lab. Don’t be fooled: this spare FF uniform and a brown paper bag combo has become a bit of a fan favorite since its brief appearance.

3. COSMIC SPIDER-MAN

Art from Amazing Spider-Man #329

Art from Amazing Spider-Man #329

During a battle with the Tri-Sentinel–three times deadlier than a regular Sentinel!–Spider-Man came to possess the Uni-Power. The special power set travels the cosmos, possessing people in times of crisis and turning them into Captain Universe. In AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #329, Spider-Man used his new skills to prevent Loki and the Tri-Sentinel from turning New York City into a nuclear disaster area. Then, the Uni-Power went on to find the next person in need.

4. IDENTITY CRISIS

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #435

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #435

  • Published: June 10, 1998
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: June 03, 2013
What is Marvel Unlimited?

After getting framed for murder by Norman Osborn, Peter Parker had no choice but to adopt four new identities–Ricochet, Hornet, Dusk, and Prodigy–to clear his name. Each costume utilized different aspects of his powers, and the quartet of new alter egos allowed for Spider-Man to stretch his fashion design skills. Four college students would later adopt the abandoned identities and call themselves the Slingers.

5. IRON SPIDER

Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #529

Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #529

  • Published: February 22, 2006
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Rating: T+
  • Writer: Stan Lee
  • Penciller: Mike Deodato
What is Marvel Unlimited?

When you’re pals with Tony Stark, it’s hard to convince the guy to just get you a gift card for a present. To show just how much Iron Man appreciated Peter Parker choosing his side during the super hero civil war, Stark created the Iron Spider armor. Cast in the familiar red and gold color scheme, this outfit closely tied to Iron Man’s pro-super hero registration team–meaning that Spider-Man quickly shoved this one into the back of his closet as soon as he switched over to Captain America’s side.

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Captain America wages World War II, the Fantastic Four enter the space race, Spider-Man grapples with substance abuse, and mo

By Andrew Steinbeiser

For the past 75 years, no fictional landscape has been as tightly tethered to our own world as the Marvel Universe. Any reader could tell just by looking out their window.

The Empire State Building. Times Square. The George Washington Bridge. These iconic landmarks represent just drops in the expansive pool that we share with Marvel and its iconic inhabitants. From World War II up to this very day, the fates of our reality and the Marvel Universe remain intertwined, creating a relatable voyage like none other for readers everywhere.

“This is one of the many qualities that set the Marvel Universe apart from its competitors, and help it connect with generations of readers,” says Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso. “The Marvel Universe is your world, good and bad.”

In honor of the 75 years that Marvel has spent building a personalized universe, read the top historical moments showcasing just how close it hits to home.

Captain America Comics (1941) #1

Captain America Comics (1941) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

World War II

The Marvel Universe may not exist as it does today without the United States’ second Great War.

A global event that bonded the country into one unified force, World War II left no citizen unmoved. This included two New York youths named Jack Kirby and Joe Simon who, after hearing of atrocities happening overseas, sought to create a hero who could man the frontlines they couldn’t; a soldier to inspire those both on and off the battlefield.

With the publication of CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #1, Simon and Kirby did just that, spawning one of Marvel’s most enduring icons and a national trend: super heroes proved the new gateway into the war for those who couldn’t fight.

“Simon and Kirby were bravely using [Captain America] as a kind of call to arms, warning readers about the danger of Nazism and urging America to fight the German threat,” says Marvel historian Peter Sanderson.

From the Human Torch to the Sub-Mariner, the Timely Comics—the predecessor to Marvel—boomed with characters participating in the war effort, creating the foundations of a universe that remain relevant to this day.

Fantastic Four (1961) #1

Fantastic Four (1961) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

The Space Race

The cosmos contain so many of Marvel’s greatest characters and concepts that they could occupy an entire universe of their own. But Marvel mainstays like Thanos and the Guardians of the Galaxy owe their very existence to a generation of minds who grew up with space as a frontier of endless possibility.

As the United States entered the 60’s, its next great pursuit was the stars. Determined to discover what existed beyond our planet, President John F. Kennedy and NASA made outer space a national priority. This in turn spurred an unprecedented interest in science fiction and cosmic storytelling. In fact, Marvel’s First Family, The Fantastic Four, drew its roots from America’s star-bound pursuits.

“If you read Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s [Fantastic Four] origin story, you will see that Reed Richards wants to launch his spaceship in order to beat the Russians into space,” Sanderson notes.

With the seal officially broken, a floodgate of sci-fi centric figures stormed every corner of the Marvel Universe. Whereas patriots and soldiers had been the inspiration for Marvel’s first generation of heroes, scientists and inventors became the blueprint for characters like Reed Richards, Hank Pym, Bruce Banner, Tony Stark, and more.

“The space race captured the imagination of the country and made it seem like a patriotic duty to outdo the Russians in space travel,” Sanderson says. “This made it seem cool to be a scientist.”

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #96

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #96

  • Published: May 10, 1971
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Gil Kane
  • Cover Artist: Gil Kane
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Drug Abuse

By the 1970’s, Marvel had become a cultural juggernaut.

Bolstered by an expanding catalog of characters and a devoted readership of thousands, Marvel Comics had become an undeniable part of mainstream American discourse. It could provide insightful and constructive commentary on issues affecting its readers. Chief among: drug abuse, an epidemic endangering a sizable portion of America’s youth. Sean Howe, author of “Marvel Comics: The Untold Story,” says that President Richard Nixon’s administration recognized this influence, and requested that Marvel address drug abuse in one of its titles.

That request turned into one of the most historical story arcs of the 20th century: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #96-98. In the story, Peter Parker must help Harry Osborn overcome his addiction to drugs. A problem, however, came when the Comics Code authority would not permit a comic book to depict drug use of any kind. Stan Lee published the story without the CCA’s approval, a brazen move signifying Marvel’s dedication to delivering the stories that needed to be told, regardless of any authority’s approval.

“The tackling of drug abuse…was an important step in chipping away at the restrictions of the Comics Code,” says Howe.

Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #36

Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #36

  • Published: December 01, 2001
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: March 08, 2013
  • Rating: T+
What is Marvel Unlimited?

9/11

Even through the worst of times, Marvel has remained committed to reflecting its readership’s world. That dedication became most apparent in the tragic months following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center.

With New York City as its official heart, Marvel Comics had a duty to reflect whatever it endured, no matter how tragic. What came from this responsibility was AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #36, by J. Michael Straczynski and John Romita Jr. Known as “The Black Issue,” the comic famously ran a solid black cover as a memorial for the lives lost and sacrificed on that tragic day.

“I watched the towers fall from the street on 5th Avenue so what happened on 9/11 was not abstract,” Alonso, who served as editor of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN at the time, recalls. “When I returned to work a couple days later, it occurred to me that it made absolutely no sense to ignore what had happened, and my mind immediately went to New York’s homegrown super hero, Peter Parker.”

With Spider-Man as readers’ gateway to the aftermath, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #36 rallied heroes and villains alike in the Ground Zero recovery effort. With Doctor Doom quietly paying his respects to the fallen, Marvel showed the world that the need for support can eclipse the bitterest of rivalries.

Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #583 variant cover by Phil Jimenez

Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #583 variant cover by Phil Jimenez

Barack Obama Teams with the Amazing Spider-Man

In celebration of Barack Obama’s historic inauguration as President of the United States, Marvel Comics immortalized the commander in chief in a special team-up with Spider-Man. After the two American icons thwarted the Chameleon’s attempt at political sabotage on Inauguration Day, President Obama gives Spider-Man his trademark fist bump, fulfilling a fantasy that most real world Americans could only dream about.

Even in a world of super powers, Asgardian Realms, and billion-dollar armors, nothing seems cooler than a fist bump from the President.

“Why have real Presidents appear in Marvel stories, whether in big roles or cameos? This is part of the basic Marvel philosophy of setting stories in a recognizably real world,” explains Sanderson. “Marvel’s fantasies are based on a foundation in reality.”

But the excitement hardly remained contained to Obama’s Marvel Universe adventure. The variant cover of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #583, which featured Obama giving a thumbs up to Spider-Man and the rest of the world, became a pop culture phenomenon. With our world and the Marvel Universe’s closer than ever, the Amazing Spider-Man burned through five different printings and became the decade’s highest-selling issue of a regular series.

Celebrate the 75th anniversary of Marvel at marvel.com/75 and join the conversation on Twitter using the hash tag #Marvel75

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Prepare for the all-new Amazing Spider-Man #1 by checking out some of Peter Parker's other new beginnings!

After spending the last year locked in the trunk while Doctor Octopus sat behind his brain’s steering wheel, Peter Parker has returned. The original Spider-Man swings into action in an all-new series, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. The debut issue, which hits stands on April 30, finds Peter wall-crawling his way towards another brand new starting point – one without the influence of Otto Octavius and his “superior” Spider-Man. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1 by Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos will be the latest in a long line of new beginnings for Parker. To prepare for the true Spider-Man’s return, here are five more of Peter Parker’s freshest starts.

Amazing Fantasy (1962) #15

Amazing Fantasy (1962) #15

  • Published: August 10, 1962
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Writer: Stan Lee
  • Penciler: Steve Ditko
What is Marvel Unlimited?

A start doesn’t get much fresher than a character’s first appearance. Spider-Man’s debut way back in 1962’s AMAZING FANTASY #15 includes numerous elements still found in Parker’s adventures today, all packed into eleven pages!

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #31

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #31

  • Published: December 10, 1965
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Steve Ditko
What is Marvel Unlimited?

The high school student introduced in AMAZING FANTASY #15 took his first step towards adulthood just a few years later. Peter Parker heads off to Empire State University in 1965’s AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #31, thus beginning the next chapter in Spider-Man’s crime-fighting career. Upon first setting foot in this new status quo, Peter met Gwen Stacy and Harry Osborn – two characters that would affect Spider-Man for years to come.

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #252

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #252

What is Marvel Unlimited?

The debut of Spider-Man’s new black costume in 1984 signaled the start of the web-slinger’s darkest era. Peter Parker wore an alien symbiote as a costume, dated a costumed vigilante named Black Cat, and fought off dangerous new villains like the maniacal Hobgoblin, ferocious Puma, and cutthroat Rose.

Ultimate Spider-Man (2000) #1

Ultimate Spider-Man (2000) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Just like AMAZING FANTASY #15 before it, ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #1 kicked off an all-new journey for an all-new Peter Parker. Coinciding with the birth of Marvel’s Ultimate Universe, this new series updated the hero’s classic origin for the new millennium and allowed the story beats originally compressed into eleven pages to breath over multiple issues. The creation of the Ultimate Universe allowed a whole new generation of comic book readers to follow Parker’s adventure from the very beginning.

Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #546

Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #546

What is Marvel Unlimited?

The last fresh start Spider-Man underwent in the main Marvel Universe took place back in 2008’s AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #546. The start of the Brand New Day era came with a number of refreshing changes made to Peter’s status quo. Now single and with his secret identity firmly in place, Spider-Man began the most recent chapter of his super hero career by fighting off all new threats and making all new friends.

For the all-new adventures of Peter Parker, check out AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1, on sale April 30th!

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Peter Parker always makes sure Spider-Man hits the Daily Bugle's front page!

It’s Monday, and that means that you’ve had to find the strength to shake off the after effects of a weekend well spent just to get back into shape for the weekday work-athon. It’s tough, sure, but it’s a fact of life – one that isn’t lost on super humans either. Yep, Mondays mean back to work for super heroes too, as they trade in their uniforms for something more business casual.

A number of professions have kept Peter Parker’s bill collectors at bay since his debut over 50 years ago. He’s been a high school teacher, a full-time student, and a member of a fancy brain trust, but none of those life phases have lasted as long as his career as a photographer for the Daily Bugle.

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #2

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #2

  • Published: May 10, 1963
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Steve Ditko
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Parker first caught the photography bug back in one of his earliest adventures. When J. Jonah Jameson put out a cash reward for a close-up picture of the menacing Vulture, Peter figured he could use his new spider powers to get close enough to snap a shot. Jameson didn’t quite know what to make of the scrawny looking teen that managed to capture Spider-Man’s daring fights from impossible angels, but he paid the kid anyway. Thus began Peter Parker’s photography career!

Doctor Octopus: Negative Exposure (2003) #1

Doctor Octopus: Negative Exposure (2003) #1

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While Jonah may have not asked any questions about Parker’s methodology as a photographer, his colleagues sure did. One in particular, Jeffrey Haight, took personal offense to a point-and-shoot style photographer consistently making the front page over his own artistic attempts. Haight’s jealousy over Parker’s Spider-luck eventually led him right into all eight arms of Spidey’s deadliest foe – Doctor Octopus!

Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #559

Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #559

  • Published: May 14, 2008
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 18, 2008
  • Rating: T+
  • Writer: Dan Slott
  • Cover Artist: Ed McGuinness
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Parker proved that he could capture more than just pictures of Spider-Man during his brief career as a member of the paparazzi. Peter had to check his morals at the door when he entered a nightclub and used his wall-crawling powers to snap pics of celebrities. The new gig paid well, but a super hero like Spider-Man couldn’t take compromising his morals just to make a buck. Pretty soon he went back to covering exactly one celebrity: your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

Check out more of Spider-Man’s adventures in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN on Marvel Unlimited!

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Find out which presidents played along with Marvel's heroes and which ones didn't!

Despite all of the many differences between our reality and the Marvel Universe, there’s one area where they overlap completely. No matter what, the sitting president in the real world has always been the sitting president in the Marvel Universe, dating all the way back to Marvel’s debut 75 years ago.

Some interactions include when President Franklin D. Roosevelt presented Captain America with his circular shield in CAPTAIN AMERICA #255 and an appearance by President Kennedy – more accurately President Kennedy’s hairline –in FANTASTIC FOUR #17. Some presidents have even come up against the biggest villains in the Marvel Universe (President Carter stared down Doctor Doom in CHAMPIONS #16) while others have attended the heroes’ biggest celebrations (President George W. Bush attended Storm and Black Panther’s wedding). To celebrate a belated Presidents Day, we’ve highlighted five of the best presidential cameos!

Fantastic Four (1961) #123

Fantastic Four (1961) #123

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When Galactus started tearing Earth apart in search of his defected herald, President Nixon ordered Mr. Fantastic to give the Silver Surfer over to the devourer of worlds immediately. Reed Richards defied the president’s orders, knowing that Galactus never really grasped the concepts of “mercy” and “negotiation.” Nixon listened to Richards, even though he felt that deferring to a super hero would hurt his chances in the upcoming elections.

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #201

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #201

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While Cyclops and Storm battled it out for team leadership in UNCANNY X-MEN #201, Rogue went and had herself a little presidential encounter. While catching a ball hit into orbit by Colossus during one of the X-Men’s baseball games, Rogue flew into the path of Air Force One. Unable to resist herself, Rogue flew over and gave the window a quick peck, leaving President Ronald Reagan a little flummoxed.

Captain America (1968) #453

Captain America (1968) #453

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President Bill Clinton basically became a supporting character during Mark Waid and Ron Garney’s mid ’90’s run on CAPTAIN AMERICA. After branding Steve Rogers a traitor and stripping him of his U.S. citizenship in CAPTAIN AMERICA #450, the two made amends a few issues later after Cap saved President Clinton’s life. The president even got to carry Cap’s shield for a second, remarking that it felt like holding Babe Ruth’s bat.

President Barack Obama made his Marvel debut in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #583, mere weeks after winning the election. In the issue’s backup story, Spider-Man foiled the Chameleon’s plot to pose as the President during his inauguration. The web-slinger’s good deed earned him a fist bump from the new commander-in-chief.

Deadpool (2012) #4

Deadpool (2012) #4

What is Marvel Unlimited?

What this presidential comic lacks in reverence it more than makes up for in quantity. DEADPOOL‘s first storyarc pit the merc with a mouth up against the reanimated corpses of every dead president, and we do mean every dead president. Packed with more presidential trivia and jokes per page than any previous Marvel comic, this might just be the most inappropriately appropriate comic to read today.

For more Marvel adventures, check out Marvel Unlimited!

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Before the Goblin King takes on the Superior Spider-Man, take a stroll down the villain's twisted memory lane!

As one of Spider-Man‘s earliest foes, no one has caused as many problems for the wall crawling hero as the Green Goblin. Starting with AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) #14, wherever Spider-Man’s traveled, there’s been a goblin gliding just a few steps behind, cackling maniacally and placing all of his loved ones in danger.

Otto Octavius may consider himself a superior Spider-Man now that he’s taken over Peter Parker’s body, but he’s having the same goblin problems that plagued his predecessor before he performed the brain switcheroo. This time, though, he’s messing with the self-proclaimed Goblin King that’s been biding his time and gathering his troops, waiting to launch an all-out war on the web slinger. With a Goblin Nation rising this week in SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #27.NOW, let’s take a look back at the character’s devious history.

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #39

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #39

  • Published: August 10, 1966
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: John Romita
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Norman Osborn, the first man to become the Green Goblin, still remains the most dangerous pumpkin-chucker in the Marvel U. After finding out Spider-Man’s real identity, the Goblin made his rampage more personal and it culminated in a shocking last page identity reveal that changed Peter Parker’s life forever – and also put a little strain on his friendship with Harry Osborn.

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #136

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #136

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Apparently Goblin-ing runs in the family, as Norman’s son Harry Osborn hopped on a glider just as soon as life became a little bit stressful. Okay, Harry actually discovered that his best friend had a dual identity as Spider-Man, the super hero Harry blamed for his father’s death. As far a super villain motives go, that’s a decent one. Thirsting for revenge, Harry took over the family business.

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #180

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #180

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Psychiatrist Bart Hamilton fell into all of the Goblin’s secrets while working to cure Harry of his criminal psychosis. Filled with hubris, Hamilton stole the mantle from the Osborn family and used it for his own purposes – although he never got past killing Spider-Man, the first item on his to-do list.

Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #649

Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #649

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Phil Urich became the first glider rider to use the Green Goblin moniker for good, which he did as the hero of GREEN GOBLIN (1995). But when his hero career ended prematurely, Urich eventually gave in to his evil tendencies and used his trademark Lunatic Laugh to take over the Hobgoblin persona – a persona with an even more complex history than the Green Goblin’s.

For more Green Goblin action, check out SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN!

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