In August, 1962, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko introduced a new character to Marvel Comics. Spider-Man was a revelation: not only did he have amazing powers, but also his alter ego, Peter Parker, was a teenager that shared the readers' problems. After half a century, several films and even a TV show, Spider-Man remains one of the world's favourite superheroes, but he wouldn't be the same without impressive lists of friends and foes. Illustrations by Martin Gee.
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As a high school student, Peter was bitten by a radioactive spider and developed incredible powers. After his Uncle Ben was killed by a burglar, Peter vowed to use his abilities to protect innocent people as Spider-Man, following his uncle's words: "With great power comes great responsibility."
Aunt May Parker
May and Ben Parker raised their nephew Peter after his parents were killed in a plane crash when he was very young. Even after she was widowed, she continued looking after Peter and is one of the most important people in Spider-Man's life.
Mary Jane Watson
Mary Jane lived next door to Peter when he was growing up and is his main love interest. MJ had a tough childhood and thus has commitment issues; Peter and MJ have always been best friends, but they also were married for some time before separating again.
Robertson, an editor at The Daily Bugle, was one of the first African-American comic characters when he first appeared in 1967. He was a calming voice against Jameson's vendetta against Spider-Man and a confidant of Peter Parker in the office.
Harry, the son of the ruthless industrialist Norman Osborn, was one of Peter's first real friends, meeting him at university. Harry's father became the Green Goblin, and Harry vowed revenge upon seeing him killed by the web slinger. He later found out Spider-Man's true identity.
J Jonah Jameson
The publisher of The Daily Bugle, the newspaper where Peter is a photographer, is not exactly Spider-Man's arch enemy, but he's never been a friend, either. Always trying to discredit the web slinger and even having him hunted, Jameson later on comes to appreciate Spider-Man, at least grudgingly.
Amoral industrialist Norman Osborn creates a serum for super strength, and it works - driving him mad in the process. He takes on the persona of the Goblin and uses an arsenal of weapons to become Spider-Man's primary enemy.
In an alternate storyline on another world, Spidey comes in contact with a liquid-like, symbiotic alien that replicates a suit. But it has a mind of its own, and when Spider-Man gets rid of it, the alien finds another host in Eddie Brock, who becomes Venom.
Dr Curt Connors, an Army surgeon who lost an arm in an explosion, was working on using reptile DNA to grow new limbs. His serum worked, but changed him into a giant lizard which, of course, drove him mad.
Dr Otto Octavius was a brilliant nuclear physicist who developed a harness of four mechanical limbs to aid in his work, but a lab accident fused the limbs to his body. He also went mad and turned to a life of crime.