When Spider-Man first appeared in the early 1960s, teenagers in superhero comic books were usually relegated to the role of sidekick to the protagonist. The Spider-Man series broke ground by featuring Peter Parker, a teenage high school student to whose "self-obsessions with rejection, inadequacy, and loneliness" young readers could relate. Unlike previous teen heroes such as James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes and Robin, Spider-Man did not benefit from being the protégé of any adult mentors like Captain America and Batman, and thus had to learn for himself that "with great power there must also come great responsibility" — a line included in a text box in the final panel of the first Spider-Man story, but later retroactively attributed to his guardian, the late Uncle Ben.
Marvel has featured Spider-Man in several comic book series, the first and longest-lasting of which is titled The Amazing Spider-Man. Over the years, the Peter Parker character has developed from shy, high school student to troubled but outgoing college student, to married high school teacher to, in the late 2000s, a single freelance photographer, his most typical adult role. He is even been a member of an unofficial splinter group of the Avengers, one of Marvel's flagship superhero teams. In the comics, Spider-Man is often referred to as "Spidey," "web-slinger," "wall-crawler," or "web-head."
Spider-Man is one of the most popular and commercially successful superheroes. As Marvel's flagship character and company mascot, he has appeared in many forms of media, including several animated and live-action television shows, syndicated newspaper comic strips, and a successful series of films starring actor Tobey Maguire as the "friendly neighborhood" hero in the first three movies. Andrew Garfield will take over the role of Peter Parker in a planned reboot of the films. Reeve Carney stars as Spider-Man in the 2010 Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.
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