Spider-Man (Marvel Comics) (Peter Parker)


(Peter Parker) (gisted)


Spider-Man (Peter Parker) is one of the flagship heroes of Marvel Comics, and one of the most famous super-heroes in the world. Presenting the character seems unnecessary.

(And yes, “Spider-Man” with a hyphen. Never “Spiderman”. EVER.)

This profile is “gisted” – it doesn’t represent Peter Parker at any specific point of his career, but is a bird’s eye view of the character across the decades. Other profiles on this site are more targeted, such as our writeup.



  • Real Name: Peter Benjamin Parker.
  • Marital Status: Married.
  • Known Relatives: May Reilly Parker (aunt, sometimes deceased), Ben Parker (uncle, deceased), Richard Parker (father, deceased), Mary Slattery Parker (mother, deceased), Mary-Jane Watson Parker (wife, sometimes separated), May Parker (daughter, deceased), Ben Reilly (clone, deceased), Philip Watson (father-in-law), Gayle Watson-Byrnes (sister-in-law), Tommy Byrnes, Kevin Byrnes (nephews).
  • Group Affiliation: Former reserve member of the Avengers.
  • Base Of Operations: New York City.
  • Height: 5’10” Weight: 165 lbs Age: About 28.
  • Eyes: Hazel Hair: Brown

Powers and Abilities

Spider-Man is physically superhuman in many ways. He is strong enough to have lifted more than 10 to 12 tons on several occasions, has reflexes at definitely superhuman levels (sometimes described as 40 times as fast as a normal human), and, though he is as vulnerable to gunfire as a normal human, can withstand a tremendous amount of physical punishment.

His tendons have the tensile strength of spring steel, and a standing jump can carry him nearly 80 feet.


His coordination is enhanced to superhuman levels as well. Although his haphazard impromptu gymnastic style looks awkward at times, he can even dodge a bullet from a distance of 40 feet, reacting after it has been fired. He can achieve a state of equilibrium in even the most precarious positions.

Even more remarkable, he has developed what is known as his “Spider Sense”. This is a nearly precognitive ability to know when he is in danger. This is not limited to only physical danger. It will even warn him if someone is watching him change into his costume (but only if said person does not already know his secret ID, apparently).

Multiple sources of extreme danger can, it seems, overload his “Spider-sense”. This causes so much mental noise as to prevent it from being of any use. Likewise, a single, cosmic threat such as the Beyonder may actually inflict enough mental Bashing damage to incapacitate him. All of those effects are more in the domain of plot device than game limitation, however.

All of Peter Parker’s previous physical limitations such as bad eyesight, vertigo, clumsiness, feeble muscle mass, etc. have been corrected by his transformation into Spider-Man.


The only child of Richard and Mary Parker, Peter Parker was orphaned at the age of 6 when his parents were killed while overseas on government business. Peter was left in the care of his elderly uncle and aunt, Ben Parker and May Parker, who unhesitatingly raised him as the child they never had.

Spider-Man (Peter Parker) swinging over a white background, by Romita

Peter was academically gifted, and he displayed an uncanny affinity for science that was nothing short of genius. Socially, however, he was painfully shy and the target of much cruelty. His uncle and aunt compensated with a steadfast love, but they worried privately what lay in store for the fragile boy.

A student at Midtown High School, Peter attended a public evening exhibition demonstrating the safe handling of nuclear laboratory waste materials. A spider, accidentally irradiated by a particle beam, fell onto Peter’s hand and bit him. His hand burning from the wound, Peter left the exhibition in a daze and walked into the path of an oncoming car.

Without thinking, Peter jumped onto the side of a wall, to which he stuck with his bare hands. Stunned, he realized he had acquired superhuman powers similar to those of a spider. He now had enhanced strength and agility, and the ability to cling to almost any surface. Most incredibly, he had gained a 6th sense that provided him with early warning of impending danger.

With great power…

To test his new powers, Peter donned a hastily made mask and took part in an all-comers wrestling match against Crusher Hogan, winning with ease. Spotted by a talent scout who promised to arrange a TV appearance, Peter hurried home and created a more elaborate costume, including his unique Web-Shooters. Thus was Spider-Man born.

With his new powers and sudden fame, Peter promised himself he would take care of Uncle Ben and Aunt May. But the rest of the world — those who derided lonely science nerd Peter Parker — they were not his concern. So it was that following another TV appearance, when a burglar ran past Spider-Man, pursued by a police officer, Peter did nothing to intervene.

Returning home one evening a few days later, Peter was horrified to discover Uncle Ben had been murdered – shot by an intruder. Spider-Man located the killer, discovering the criminal to be the same man he had failed to stop just days before.

Filled with remorse, Peter finally understood that with great power, there must also come great responsibility. That was the first step on his path as a hero, though he did not immediately realize the true nature of is destiny.

Spider-Man (Peter Parker) crawling on the ceiling, over a white background

Unsure how to proceed, Spider-Man attempted to resume his show-business career, but was thwarted by J. Jonah Jameson’s crusading editorials in the Daily Bugle. Failing to find paid employment with the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man battled the Chameleon to protect his reputation.

It was not until Jameson offered a reward for photos of the Vulture that Peter recognized he could fulfill his debt to Uncle Ben by fighting crime, while selling photos of the action to pay his bills.

… comes great responsibility

Spider-Man’s heroic reputation grew quickly, and he found himself facing a bewildering array of super-villains:

Before long, many of these villains turned their attention less to crime, instead seeking revenge on le web-slinger.

Through it all, Peter sold photos of Spider-Man’s battles to the Bugle, using le money to help Aunt May. Invariably, Jameson would seize on the photos to attack Spider-Man’s public image. Although unable to permanently destroy Spider-Man’s reputation, Jameson has ensured the wall-crawler will never enjoy the overwhelming popular support he undoubtedly deserves.

With the new confidence his secret identity afforded him, Peter began to throw off his status as “puny” Parker, bookworm. Even the most popular girl in his class, Liz Allan, began to take an interest in him.

Jealous, Liz’s boyfriend, class bully and sports star Flash Thompson, challenged Peter to a boxing match and came out second best, leading to a new respect for his former victim.

Betty, Flash, Harry, Gwen

Peter also began dating Daily Bugle secretary Betty Brant. A shy girl, Betty was captivated by the peril that surrounded Peter’s photography of Spider-Man. When that dangerous world cost her brother, Bennett Brant, his life at the hands of small-time criminal Blackie Gaxton, Peter understood for the first time the deadly threat Spider-Man presented to those he loved.

Spider-Man (Marvel Comics) - Peter Parker's belt camera schematics - 1983 marvel handbook

Peter’s 1983 belt camera schematics.

Peter struggled daily with the demands of his costumed identity, his part-time job, his Aunt’s ever-worsening health and the Parker family’s perpetual money woes. These worries left him with little time for friendships.

Yet he survived, and even flourished. He graduated from Midtown High a far more worldly and independent young man than many had predicted. By that time, he had faced dozens of deadly foes, who little suspected the Amazing Spider-Man to be a mere high-school student.

At Empire State University, Peter found a new life. After a fumbling start, he befriended fellow science majors Harry Osborn and Gwen Stacy. He also resolved his differences with Flash. Together, the 4 close-knit friends would often hang out at the Coffee Bean caf&eacute.

The infamous Parker luck

As Peter emerged from his shell, Spider-Man clashed with ever more deadly opponents. Foremost among them was the Green Goblin, who managed to capture the hero and discover his secret identity. In the wake of a furious battle, the Goblin was revealed to be Norman Osborn, Harry’s father. Norman was defeated, suffering amnesia as a result.

Shortly after that classic conflict, Peter encountered the lovely Mary-Jane Watson, who joined his circle of friends. But love bloomed instead between Peter and Gwen, leaving Mary Jane free to date Harry. While Flash joined the Army and was mobilized to Southeast Asia, Peter and Harry moved into a shared apartment downtown.

(In published issues, flash served in Việt-Nam. The vague “Southeast Asia” was introduced as part of the Marvel Sliding Time Scale.)

Spider-Man (Peter Parker) in a McFarlane pose, over a white background

Life was not so great for Peter’s alter ego. With Jonah Jameson fanning the flames of public outcry, Peter resolved to be Spider-Man no more. It was the first time he would abandon his commitment in frustration at his lack of public support, though certainly not the last.

His resignation did not last long. More than merely the sheer exhilaration of being a hero, Peter realized Spider-Man was an irrevocable part of the man he had become.

As the bond between Peter and Gwen grew ever stronger, it was observed approvingly by Gwen’s father, police captain George Stacy. The officer also supported Spider-Man’s efforts. But tragedy struck when a falling chimney crushed Captain Stacy, even as he saved an innocent child during a battle between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus.

With his dying breath, Captain Stacy told Spider-Man to “be good” to Gwen. The web-slinger had lost a great ally, and Gwen blamed Spider-Man for her father’s death.

The Silver Age of comics ends

Peter’s conscience, already tormented by the ever-present need to lie to Gwen, became even more troubled. Yet their love prevailed through life’s challenges. These included Harry’s drug addiction and Peter’s aborted attempt to remove his own powers, which instead resulted in his transformation into the freakish Six-Armed Spider-Man.

In the end, it was death that separated the 2 lovers. The Green Goblin kidnapped Gwen and dropped her off the Brooklyn Bridge. Spider-Man tried to save her, but failed. In the vicious battle that followed, Norman was accidentally impaled by his Goblin Glider. Harry secretly observed his apparent death, swearing revenge on Spider-Man.

Harry soon succumbed to the Osborn legacy, kidnapping those Peter loved most. However, Spider-Man prevented him from finishing the work Norman had started. Meanwhile, Peter and Gwen’s college professor, Miles Warren, had begun his own deadly schemes as the Jackal. He blamed Spider-Man for the death of Gwen, with whom he had himself fallen in love.

The climax of the Jackal’s plan involved his creation of a Spider-Man clone. But at the conclusion of their battle, both the Jackal and the clone were believed killed. With their departure, Peter’s life returned to normal, as much as it ever could for a college student who was secretly a costumed hero.

Spider-Man (Peter Parker) with supporting cast and famous villains

In the meantime, Peter and Mary Jane realized their relationship had become far more than just a friendship. Shortly before his college graduation, Peter proposed. But Mary Jane had seen too much pain in her own family, and she turned him down.

She left New York to pursue her modelling career in Florida, and Peter moved on to post-graduate studies. It was a time for new challenges and new friends. But one thing would never change : the ever-present responsibility Peter faced as Spider-Man.

Ooohooo, growin’ up

Peter’s close college friends had begun to find their own lives. Liz Allan was dating a recovering Harry Osborn, and the two would later marry. Flash Thompson was searching for a life after football and the Army with his girlfriend, Sha Shan. Betty Brant had married Daily Bugle reporter Ned Leeds.

Aunt May too had found romance with Nathan Lubensky, a fellow occupant of the convalescent home into which she had moved.

With Peter’s friends and loved ones forming cozy couples, Mary Jane’s departure was all the more unsettling. But it was not long before Peter began socializing again. He enjoyed several dates with Cissy Ironwood. Also, departmental secretary Deborah Whitman was attracted to Peter, but failed to win his heart.

Undergraduate student Dawn Starr pretended to date Peter to sneak a peek at an upcoming exam. And Amy Powell tried to use Peter to make her boyfriend, Lance Bannon, jealous.

These women had one thing in common: Peter Parker. But when the Black Cat crossed Spider-Man’s path, it was different. Felicia Hardy was beautiful, talented and determined. She was also an unrepentant burglar who harbored a romantic fascination with the web-slinging hero.

Spider-Man persuaded Felicia to turn away from crime. The 2 soon became lovers – and crime-fighting partners.

For her part, Felicia urged Peter to spend more and more time in costume. The glamorous Black Cat could never bear to see her hero living the squalid life of a graduate student. Spending swing time as Spider-Man had become easier, though, since Aunt May had recovered enough to return home. She opened the Parker residence as a boardling house for retired people, aided by Nathan.


There was always plenty of action for Spider-Man in New York, especially given the appearance of the deadly Hobgoblin and Peter’s troubles with his symbiotic black costume. Aided by the Black Cat, Spider-Man faced Doc Ock and the Chameleon – a battle that nearly cost Felicia her life.

Peter came crashing down to earth. He realized that without superhuman powers, Felicia was just like the others from his past who had so often paid the price for his activities as Spider-Man. When Mary Jane returned from Florida, she found Peter and the Black Cat embroiled in a shaky and tempestuous relationship.

Felicia could not bear the thought of Peter’s refusal to allow her to accompany him into battle. She embarked on a secret search for superhuman powers at any price. Tricked by the Kingpin and twisted in her own deceit, the Black Cat finally parted ways with Spider-Man.

Face it again, tiger

In contrast, Mary Jane was determined not to let lies come between her and Peter. She finally told him she had known for some time about his secret identity.

Spider-Man (Peter Parker) in the black costume by Charles Veiss (Marvel Comics)

With Spider-Man’s secret finally out in the open, Peter and Mary Jane’s relationship found new depth. As Spider-Man, Peter faced the death of his good friend, police captain Jean DeWolff, at the hands of the Sin-Eater. He watched as Flash Thompson was taken for a criminal, and Ned Leeds killed, both for their involvement with the Hobgoblin.

But life was different now: he had Mary Jane by his side. Peter proposed for a second time, and she accepted. As newlyweds, Peter and Mary Jane shared happiness, but also faced many dangers.

Mary Jane was menaced by Kraven the Hunter and imperilled by Venom, who knew Peter’s secret identity. She loved Peter and admired his sense of responsibility. But she was unprepared for the loneliness, the fear and the nagging doubt that perhaps he needed Spider-Man far more than he needed her.

A heartless machination

Among daily battles with New York’s villains and the challenges of marriage, Peter was soon to face the inexplicable return of his parents. Long since believed dead, they claimed to have been held abroad as political prisoners. Aunt May was not ready to accept them, but Peter finally believed them to be who they claimed, even revealing his life as Spider-Man.

But Peter’s heart had over-ridden his instincts. The two were eventually exposed as robot agents of the Chameleon, part of a plan prompted by Harry Osborn before his death.

Spider-Man was filled with anger at this deeply personal attack. It seemed to him that those he loved were fated to die, while the evil in his life would always return to haunt him. Darkness began to fill his heart, like never before.

Still brooding over Harry’s suicidal offensive against both the Osborn and Parker families, and the Chameleon’s invasion of his life, Peter was faced with Aunt May’s serious heart attack. With May in the hospital, not expected to recover, Peter’s frustration at life’s injustices boiled over into violence.

Encountering the recently reformed and powerless Scorpion, Spider-Man cruelly beat his former foe close to death – ignoring his victim’s pleas for mercy. It seemed Peter was beyond even Mary Jane’s powers to soothe him.

In the end, his salvation came in the form of a near-death experience. Before Doctor Octopus cured him of the Vulture’s poison, Peter realized how desperately he wanted to live. His recovery from his dark madness coincided with the return of a figure from Spider-Man’s distant past: his clone, created by the Jackal.

That infamous clones thing

The clone had survived his apparent death, wandering the country as Ben Reilly. Learning Aunt May was gravely ill, he returned to New York in time to watch her die. Ben adopted the costumed identity of the Scarlet Spider and portrayed himself as Peter’s long-lost cousin. Peter and Ben became friends, almost brothers.

Spider-Man (Peter Parker) vs. the Sinister Six

Deceived by Dr. Seward Trainer, they later came to believe that Ben was the original, and Peter the clone. Ben subsequently assumed the role of Spider-Man when Peter temporarily lost his powers, leaving Peter and Mary Jane free to enjoy a normal life.

Peter returned to his scientific career, though hampered by the fact that he never completed his doctorate. He and MJ also moved to Portland, until they realized New York was where they truly belonged.

But all too soon, their new world was shattered when Norman Osborn burst back into their lives. He also had survived his apparent death and was revealed to be the mastermind behind the Jackal’s schemes. Peter’s powers returned, but he could not stop Norman from killing Ben – proving Ben to be the clone after all.

But his machinations ran even deeper: Aunt May was still alive. The woman who died had been an actress, part of a subtle plot never carried to fruition.

Emotional pressures

Reunited at last, Peter, Mary Jane and Aunt May moved into a luxurious apartment. Furthermore, the appearance of a new Spider-Man — actually Mattie Franklin, Spider-Woman — allowed Peter to promise Mary Jane he would give up his career as a costumed hero.

But Peter could not seem to keep his word. While a man only known as the Stalker threatened Mary Jane, Peter broke his promise and returned to web-slinging. Mary Jane was distraught. She no longer felt needed, no longer felt part of Peter’s life. Perhaps matters could have been resolved, but the opportunity vanished when an airplane supposedly carrying Mary Jane exploded.

Peter felt lost. Aunt May returned home, while Peter became reacquainted with old friends Randy Robertson and Glory Grant, now a couple. Randy even allowed Peter to room with him for a while. But with Peter still emotionally adrift, Norman picked the perfect time to drug him and incite him to become his heir.

But even lost and confused as he was, Peter proved he could not be tempted so easily.

Breakup and renewal

Meanwhile, Mary Jane was not dead, but had been kidnapped by the Stalker. Spider-Man managed to rescue her, only to learn she had made her choice. She could no longer be with him. Mary Jane relocated to the West Coast, leaving Peter to struggle with a loss almost as traumatic as her apparent death. Stunned, he moved into a place of his own and resumed his bachelor lifestyle.

Spider-Man (Peter Parker) iconic scene with lifting machinery

Peter turned to Aunt May, but she was devastated to discover his greatest secret. Visiting unannounced, she found him asleep following his gruelling victory over Morlun – bloodied and battered, his shredded costume piled in a heap on the floor next to his bed. After coming to terms with Peter’s double life, May is now his strongest supporter, and the two are closer than ever.

May also prompted Peter to take up teaching. He returned to Midtown High now a poor, urban school where he taught science part time.

With renewed hopes, Peter and Mary Jane have agreed to try once more to make their marriage work. After their time apart, Peter earnestly promised Mary Jane he truly needs her in his life.

Spidey forever

In truth, it matters little what foes Spider-Man faces, what schemes his enemies concoct to bewilder him or even what he may learn from the mysterious Ezekiel regarding the nature of his spider-powers. Peter’s true strength comes not from a radioactive spider, but from far more enduring sources.

The sense of responsibility inspired by Uncle Ben, the unwavering faith of Aunt May and the love he shares with Mary Jane. These are the powers that truly make Peter Parker a hero.


The classic red-and-blue and the alien black costume are illustrated here, as are the Electro-proof costume (black with brown padding) and the Spider-Armour (silvery metallic plates).


This man is the living incarnation of “Responsibility of Power”. is Uncle Ben coined the phrase for him, “with great power comes great responsibility”. He has taken off his tights several times in the past, intending to retire… but he cannot so easily put aside his sense of responsibility.

In his civilian identity, he is a relatively down-to-Earth fellow, and loves his friends and family dearly. In action, he is a whirling dervish of fists, feet, and mouth, spouting as many bad jokes as possible. For example, half of the epithets for the Hulk can likely be laid at his feet, such as “Jade Jaws”, and “Lettuce Head”.

Parker has always been a very studious and serious young man. For a long time he was also painfully shy, and his numerous attempts at socialization were derided due to his large geek factor. Although he has outgrown his geekiness since his early 20s, Parker was until his mid-20s obsessed by social acceptance.

He wanted to be greatly admired as Spider-Man, but despite always doing the right thing kept being rejected as badly as a hero as he was as a teenager. This occasionally despaired him and prompted bouts of semi-depressive retirement as Spider-Man, but he always came back due to his strong sense of responsibility. Spider-Man is needed.

Spider-Man (Peter Parker) swinging above New York, painted art

As a kid Peter loved comic books and pulp fiction, having access to his uncle’s large collection of old popular fiction. He often day-dreamed he was Captain America or some such legendary, revered hero. His quick mind, desire for acceptance and appreciation of Uncle Ben’s jokes later made him want to become a comedian.

He would ultimately find a way to roll both ambitions into one.

Later, Parker became fascinated by science and grew up to be a highly dedicated biochemist. Were it not for his financial difficulties and responsibilities as Spider-Man, he would certainly have become a full-time, leading scientist.


“With great power comes great responsibility”

(After a brawl) “If anyone asks what happened to you guys, be sure to spell my name right ! There’s a hyphen in it, remember ? Thanks for the workout, it was a real fun thing !”

“Hold on boys ! What’s your hurry ? Didn’t you know that this is ’Let’s get acquainted with Spider-Man’ week ?‘”

(A young Spider-Man after reading a vehement Jameson editorial) “Can they be right ? Am I really some sort of crack-pot, wasting my time seeking fame and glory ? Am I more interested in the adventures of being Spider-Man than I am in helping people ? Why do I do it ? Why don’t I give the whole thing up ? And yet I can’t ! I must have been given this great power for a reason ! No matter how difficult it is, I must remain as Spider-Man ! And I pray that someday the world will understand.”

Doctor : “Who is this strange-looking man ?”
Spider-Man : “How can you tell I’m strange-looking ? This costume covers me completely !”

(Foiling a hold-up) “Boys ! Drop that dirty, nasty money. You don’t know where it’s been !”

Spider-Man (Peter Parker) among his webs, painted art

(Hanging down from the ceiling) “Don’t mind me, I’m the ceiling inspector. Get that plaster fixed, buddy. I’ll let you off with a warning this time.”

(In a Bugs Bunny voice) “Of course, you know this means war.”

(Spider-Man, Cage, Iron Fist and Daredevil burst through a wall to confront dozens of armed yakuza ; Spidey addresses the yakuza) “Don’t mind me, I’m just here to use the bathroom.”

DC Universe History

While many villains and other characters are highly tied into Spider-Man for their origins, Spider-Man could actually be dropped into the DC Universe completely intact, and get bitten in a STAR Lab.

Spider-Man (Peter Parker)'s "spider-signal" lighting criminals

Spidey’s early contact with the Fantastic Four and attempts at Avengers membership could be easily transferred to the Teen Titans and his long-standing friendship/rivalry with Johnny Storm transferred to Wally West. Instead of dating Sue Storm he had a Date with Donna Troy and thus is suitably angsty over all the stuff that has happened to her.

After Wally assumed the mantle of the Flash he could have proposed Peter for reserve membership in the JLA. Spidey could very well be the jokester in Morrison’s JLA instead of Plastic Man and he could be Wally’s pal instead of Kyle.

There have been occasional oblique references to Spider-Man being around in the DCU, but his adventures not being published. In a campaign where pulp hero Richard “The Spider” Wentworth existed, Peter could easily be a grandson or great-grandson of The Spider, and patterned himself after his ancestor.

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats


Dex: 10 Str: 09 Bod: 08 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 08 Wil: 09 Min: 08 Occupation: Photographer, High-School Science Teacher
Inf: 06 Aur: 07 Spi: 09 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 032 HP: 150

Cling: 04, Enhanced initiative: 06, Danger Sense: 15, Joined: 11, Jumping: 03, Regeneration: 02, Running: 05

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Enhanced Initiative is Elementally linked with Danger Sense (-1).
  • Danger Sense works even during sleep (+0).
  • Danger Sense works even against very small dangers (such as a sandwich with spoiled meat, unstable flooring, a risk of being seen when taking off his mask, etc.) – those have an OV/RV of 10/10 (+0).
  • Danger Sense had been known to fail against targets Spider-Man couldn’t bring himself to consider a threat (e.g., Aunt May) (-0).
  • Note Cling and Joined – Spider-Man adheres with great strength (high Joined), but slippery surface are often a problem (low Cling). The APs do not stack.

Acrobatics (Climbing): 06, Acrobatics (Athletics, Dodging): 13, Artist (Photographer): 04, Charisma (Persuasion): 08, Charisma (Interrogation, Intimidation): 05, Evasion (Melee only): 11, Evasion (Ranged only): 13, Gadgetry: 06, Martial artist: 05, Scientist: 07, Thief (Stealth): 08, Weaponry (Exotic): 09

Martial Artist normally only used when Peter is depowered due to some attack or Subplot.

Bonuses and Limitations:
Acrobatics, Evasion and Thief (Stealth) are Contingent Upon Danger Sense ; their minimal level is 06 APs.

Area Knowledge (New York City), Conditional Soaking (Fists and blunt weapons), Credentials (Media, Low – as Peter Parker only), Genius, Scholar (Biochemistry), Schtick (Ammunition freedom (Weaponry (Exotic)), Group Control, Taunting).

Daily Bugle (Low), Hero Community (Low, Powerful), FF (High), Avengers (Low), Johnny Storm (High), Daredevil (High), Doctor Strange (Low), Black Cat (High), Nova I (High), Dr. Curt Connors (High).

Partial Attack Vulnerability (Cutting/piercing attacks, -1CS to RV), SIA toward Responsibility, Married (Mary Jane), Secret Identity, Unluck.

Mock-Real (since the death of Gwen Stacy).


  • Spider tracers (x4) [BODY 02, Cling: 01, Radio communications: 10, Miniaturization: 10. Limitations: Radio communications only to broadcast location of tracer to Spider-Man’s spider sense (-4) ; Radio coms can be intercepted by a properly modified radio (-0) ; Shrinking is Always On].
  • BELT with the “spider-light” and camera [BODY 04, Flash: 04, Recall: 11, Bonuses & Limitations: Recall is visual only and is the old version of the Power ; Flash only for steady illumination].
  • WEBSHOOTERS (see below).
  • Peter has used two special-purpose costumes. 
    • The ELECTRO-PROOF COSTUME [BODY 06, Lightning immunity: 06] can still be used if Peter is expecting a major electrical menace.
    • The SPIDER-ARMOR [BODY 08, Skin armor: 04, Limitation : maximum AV/OV while wearing the Spider-Armor is 08/08], OTOH, has since been destroyed.
  • At one point he also had a SPIDER-MOBILE, which all involved parties would rather forget.

The proportional strength of a spider

With over 40 years of Spidey comics, some discrepancies are bound to slip in, and we couldn’t reach a clear decision whether Spidey’s STR is a 09 or a 10 – some have even made a case for a 08 or 07. The 09 was chosen as the middle ground between 08 (good arguments for it), 09 (most likely) and 10 (even more good arguments for it than a 08).

The proportional agility of a spider

Spider-Man uses our revised version of the Acrobatics skill. It is particularly important to note he has the Acrobatics (Evasion) Subskill, which he can use as his OV instead of DEX whenever he wants. His DEX is thus chiefly for AV.

Parker’s highly acrobatic, mobile fighting style makes constant use of his jumping ability, his clinging ability, his superhuman reflexes, etc. In game terms that means that he will leverage his superior Initiative into frequent (but not systematic) use of the Laying Back manoeuvre, decreasing his AV by one CS (into the 7 to 8 Column) but increasing his OV to the 13 to 15 Column thanks to Acrobatics (Evasion) – and 16 to 18 against Ranged Attacks thanks to Evasion..

Parker is especially prone to using this evasive tactic against groups of opponents.

While the OV is high, 9% of rolls are doubles – so hits occur more frequently than it looks on paper.

The proportional resiliency of a spider

Spider-Man has a rare Advantage, Conditional Soaking. You can now find the description of it in our New Rules – New & Modified Advantages.

Sensational Spider-Taunts

Spider-Man keeps up a constant banter during a fight, much like a stand-up comedian. He often taunts and derides his opponents in order to push them into making mistakes.

For this he uses his Schtick (Taunting) – you can now find a description of it in our New Rules – Schticks.

This Schtick results in opponents furiously attempting to squash Spidey, spending HPs on EV while he merrily Dodges and jabber at them. However if a blow connects, it will hurt. If Spidey keeps taunting long enough, his opponents will have exhausted themselves trying to squash him, and will thus be vulnerable.

Pulling punches

Spider-Man pulls his punches all the time. He’s very careful not to accidentally inflict severe wounds with his superhuman strength. When so doing, he does not use the usual rules, but simply hits people with a lower EV than his maximum.

Against most human-level opponents, he will limit his EV to 05 ; he will usually rise to 07 against tough superhumans. When particularly angry or when it is obvious he can go all-out (invulnerable opponents, heavy armour…) he will use a full 09.

This does not constitute a Drawback, Limitation, Subplot, etc.. He’s just being careful.

Spider-Man through the years

At various times, in various combinations, he has had Mistrust, Popularity, Local Hero, and various similar advantages or drawbacks.

Guilt (death of Uncle Ben) dominated his early career, and for the vast majority of it he had a Dependent (Aunt May). At one point he had Rich Friend (Liz Osborn). His Wealth score has also usually been a 003 or even a 002 before he became more professionally established, and his Artist (Photographer) was but a 03.

Spider-Man also had a wide variety of Power Complication (Cosmic Spidey, Spider-Hulk, Six-armed Spider-Man, Spider-Lizard, Spider-morphosis…) which are not covered here. This thing is complex enough already, dangit.

Web of Spider-Man

WEBSHOOTERS [BODY 05, Flash: 08, Force shield: 06, Gliding: 01, Glue: 10, Projectile weapons: 05, Stretching: 03, R#02, Bonuses & Limitations :

  • All Powers have a Range equal to Stretching.
  • Flash is done by covering the target’s eyes with webbing (-1). It lasts until the webbing is disposed of (+1 – disposing of webbing is done just like for a Glue attack, see below).
  • Force shield takes one full Phase to activate (-1, no other Action during that Phase).
  • Gliding takes two full Phases to activate (-1, no other Action during those Phases).
  • Glue has the Hardening Bonus (see below). Glue can also be used with a full cartridge of web fluid (see below). Glue can have an Area of effect (1 AP) if desired, as well as the Swinglines bonus (as described for the Snare Power).
  • Stretching has No Fine Manipulation (-2), cannot be used defensively (-1) and cannot carry straight physical attacks (-1).
  • All Powers saves for Glue, Flash and Stretching are Minor Marginal.
  • Webbing dissolves within about an hour (-0)].

Parker carries three full reloads of web fluid in his utility belt ; usually reaching the R# indicates the webshooters are empty. It takes three Phases to have a new web fluid cartridge ready.

Esoteric yet not uncommon uses for the webshooters :

  • Force Shield power include actual web shields.
  • Web “mittens” to handle dangerous objects.
  • Cushions, nets or trampolines to catch falling objects and people.
  • Parachutes made out of webbing ; this is modelled by Gliding.
  • Structures like rafts or skis have been created out of webbing – treat it as a power stunt on Gliding.

Projectile weapons represent a strong squirt of web with a dry (and thus hardened) tip. This is not used very often. Likewise, Stretching is mostly used to grab weapons and other objects out of his foes’ reach.

To restrain exceptionally powerful opponents, Spider-Man will sometimes Glue them using an entire cartridge of web fluid (thus automatically meeting the R# and having to recharge). The Glue attack is conducted normally ; if it achieves positive RAPs, 4 more RAPs are instantly added to the existing RAPs.

The Hardening bonus for Glue indicates that the medium used to Glue becomes more efficient past the first Phase. If an opponent is Glued (ie, RAPs are scored by the Glue attempt) during one full Phase, automatically add the APs of the Glue power as supplementary RAPs.

For instance, if Spider-Man successfully webs somebody with 5 RAPs, on the next Phase and following the opponent will have to struggle against 15 RAPs with his STR/STR. This is a +2FC Bonus.

But we want the Spider-Mobile !

Sigh. No. Get off my lawn.

Spider-Man… no more !

Among the hundreds of Subplots Spider-Man experienced, there are several periods when he was depowered. A depowered Peter Parker has DEX 05 STR 03 BODY 04. He has no Powers (that was the point) and his Acrobatics and Thief (Stealth) Skills decrease as explained in the relevant notes above. As a side effect he also loses his Conditional Soaking and Attack Vulnerability.

The proportional photography of a spider

That Parker manages sellable photos using a cheap camera stuck to a wall and shooting on automatic is… remarkable. Most GMs will probably handwave this away as a genre convention among many.

In games where Peter’s poverty is emphasised, though, the GM may have Spider-Man’s player make Artist (Photography) rolls against high OV/RVs, usually forcing Peter to spend Hero Points on those rolls so he has marketable shots.

Classic drawing of Spider-Man (Peter Parker) swinging over the city

Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Spider-Man — Averaged PL 14.8

01 (08) 02 (05) 04 (10) 04 (06) 05 (09) 04 04 02


Proportional strength of a spider ● 38 points (Permanent) ● Descriptors: Mutated, Physiological
– Enhanced Strength 7, Enhanced Stamina 3, Enhanced Fortitude 5.
– Regeneration 2.
– Ultimate Toughness.

Proportional agility of a spider ● 35 points (Permanent) ● Descriptors: Mutated, Physiological
– Enhanced Agility 6, Enhanced Dexterity 2, Enhanced Fighting 4.
– Close Attack 4.
– Leaping 3, Movement 1 (Swinging), Speed 1.
– Defensive Roll 2 (Limited 2 to Blunt).

Wall-crawling™ ● 8 points ● Descriptors: Mutated, Physiological
– Movement 2 (Well-Crawling 2).
– Movement (Safe Fall) (Limited 1 – Near wall or handhold).
– Enhanced Strength 3 (Limited 2 – to grab or adhere with hands or feet only).

Sensational Spider-sense ● 20 points ● Descriptors: Mutated, Mental
– Senses (Danger Sense, Ranged, Radius).
– Senses (Precognition), Limited (Threats to Character), Limited (Vague Sensations).
– Enhanced Advantages (Defensive Roll 2, Evasion 2, Improved Initiative 2, Skill Mastery: Acrobatics, Second Chance: Stealth checks to hide).
– Enhanced Skill (Perception 4), Limited (Spider-Sense Only).
– Enhanced Skill (Acrobatics 4, Stealth 4).
– Enhanced Dodge 3, Enhanced Parry 3.

Spectacular Web-Shooters ● 26 points (Removable) ● Descriptors: Technology, Glue
– Snare 10, Diminished Range 3, Secondary Effect.
– Array :

  • Web in the face — Dazzle 8, Diminished Range 3, Alternate Resistance (as Snare), Secondary Effect.
  • Web lines — Elongation 2, Limited (No Fine Manipulation), Limited (Grabbing and Moving Objects Only).

Combat Advantages

Accurate Attack, Agile Feint, Close attack 4, Daze (Deception), Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll 2, Defensive Roll 2 (Limited to Blunt), Evasion 2, Improved Defense, Improved Initiative 2, Move-By Action, Power Attack, Redirect, Skill Mastery (Acrobatics), Second chance (Stealth check to hide), Takedown, Taunt, Ultimate Toughness.

Other Advantages

Connected, Equipment, Improvised Tools, Inventor, Ultimate Skill (Acrobatics).


Acrobatics 5 (+19), Athletics 5 (+13), Close combat (Unarmed Strikes) 3 (+16), Deception 7 (+9), Expertise (Photography) 5 (+9), Expertise (Science) 8 (+12), Insight 6 (+10), Intimidation 3 (+5), Perception 7 (+13, +17 for Spider-Sense), Persuasion 6 (+8), Ranged Combat (Web-Shooters) 9 (+15), Stealth 1 (+11), Technology 7 (+11), Vehicles 2 (+8) (Limited 2 to Common land vehicles).


– Mini-tracers.
– Belt (Light, video recorder).


Initiative +18
Unarmed +16, Close, Damage 8
Web shooters +15, Ranged, Affliction


Dodge 17 Fortitude 11
Parry 15 Toughness 11**/9/7*
Will 12

* Without Defensive Roll
** Against Blunt Damage


  • With Great Power Peter Parker feels a tremendous sense of responsibility to use his powers for good.
  • Guilt Peter experienced horrific guilt over the death of his uncle and Gwen, and always worries about his heroism affecting those he loves.
  • Relationships Aunty May, MJ, various.
  • Power Loss Peter’s “spider sense” won’t help him if he is unable to understand something as a threat, such as his Aunt May.
  • Enemies Many, including some of his friends.
  • Jinx This is not a specific Complication, but the GM should be encouraged to make Peter’s life difficult in various ways, mutating his friends, cloning him, etc.

Power levels

  • Trade-off areas Attack & Effect PL 13, Dodge/Toughness PL 14, Parry/Toughness PL 13, Fort & Will PL 12.
  • Point total 253. Abilities 52, Defences 18, Skills 37, Powers 129, Devices 0, Advantages 17. Equiv. PL 17.


With his Technology bonus of +12, Peter can build some pretty amazing stuff. Some non-PL-busting things he has built in the past:

  • Electro-Proof Costume ● 10 points
    – Impervious Toughness 10, Limited (Electricity).
    – Immunity (Electricity), Partial.
  • Spider-Armor ● 8 points
    Impervious Protection 6, Impervious Toughness 6, Quirk (Loses Defensive Roll Advantage, -3 Dodge, -2 Parry).
  • Spider-Mobile
    Don’t ask.

By Sébastien Andrivet and Bil.

Helper(s): Nick Yankovec, Jay Myers, John Colagioia, Peter S. Park… err, Piispanen, Phil Dixon, Sean MacDonald, Roy Cowan, Doug Barnes, Mike Davis, Sean MacDonald, Pufnstuff, Nick Yankovec, Eric Langendorff, Danielle Mendus, Jackson, Max Maloney, Umbricsoul, Ethan Roe, Quintanads, Maflickin. The History section has been taken from the Marvel Encyclopedia to Spider-Man and was written by Jonathan Couper-Smartt. M&M stats by Pawsplay.

Source of Character: His own comics which, you might be surprised to learn, are set in the Marvel Universe.