Benjamin 'Uncle Ben' Parker (Marvel)
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During the Great Depression of the 1930's, Ben Parker, then a young man, worked as a carnival barker at the amusement park in New York City's Coney Island. He was deeply attracted to May Reilly, who was then a strikingly beautiful, young woman who lived with her parents in his Brooklyn neighborhood. May, however, believed herself to be in love with a young man named Johnny Jerome, who clearly had far more money than Ben. Jerome, she thought, offered her the promise of a more exciting life in this time of severe economic hardship. Ben warned May that Jerome was actually a criminal, but she dismissed what Ben said about him as a jealous slander.
One day, however, Jerome unexpectedly confronted May and proposed to her on the spot, saying that he wanted them to leave together right away. May heard the police out on the street and realized that something was wrong. Then, an angry Ben came in and told her that Jerome and some accomplices had just robbed a jewelry store and had shot a man who tried to call for help. May realized that Jerome was indeed a criminal and told Jerome she could never marry such a man. Jerome left and was almost immediately captured by the police outside. Ben comforted the weeping May in his arms. Jerome was convicted for murder and burglary.
The night the Jerome proposed to her was a turning point in May Reilly's life. She began to set aside her fantasies about marrying someone well off financially, and learned to make decisions about the direction of her life. Coming to appreciate Ben Parker and his devotion to her, May fell in love with him. Ben married May, and their life together was long and happy.
Ben had a considerably younger brother, Richard, who became an intelligence agent. Richard married another agent, Mary, and the two of them had a son, Peter. While Peter was still an infant, Richard and Mary were assigned to infiltrate the Algerian based spy ring controlled by the Communist agent, the Red Skull. The moment the Red Skull learned that Richard and Mary Parker were double agents, he had them killed.
While Richard and Mary were on assignment, Ben and May took care of Peter. Ben and May had never had children of their own, but after Richard and Mary died, they became Peter’s surrogate parents and raised him as if he were their own son. The teenage Peter, before he gained superhuman powers, was shy and studious, and felt alienated from his fellow high-school students. Ben and May provided him with the love and emotional support he needed, and they were the only to people Peter truly cared for.
Through an unusual accident, Peter gained superhuman powers. He decided not to tell anyone what had happened to him, not even Ben and May, and created the costumed identity of Spider-Man for himself.
As Spider-Man, he became an overnight success in the entertainment world. After one television appearance, he saw a guard chasing a theif in the studio building. The guard called out to Spider-Man for help, but the masked youth Peter, ignored him, thinking that capturing criminals was none of his business, and the burglar got away.
This unidentified burglar, however, had been the cellmate of the infamous depression era gangster "Dutch" Mallone. In the 1930's Mallone lived in New York City's Forest Hills section in the very same house that was now inhabited by Ben, May, and Peter. Eventually, Mallone was captured at the same house by a force of Treasury agents led by the celebrated "untouchable" Elliott Ness and was convicted on tax evasion charges. It was long rumored that Mallone had hidden millions of dollars away somewhere. Mallone was sent from one prison to another, and finally, as an elderly man, he became the cellmate of the burglar who Spider-Man allowed to escape. The burglar heard Mallone talk in his sleep about where he hid the money. It was somewhere in his old house in Forest hills. (unknown to the burglar, however, the money was hidden in a box behind a wall in the House, but had long ago been devoured by silverfish.)
One night, a few weeks after the burglar and Spider-Man had crossed paths in the television studio, the burglar broke into the Parker home while Peter was away making a personal appearance as Spider-Man. The burglar took the Parker home by surprise and held Ben and May at gunpoint. He saying that he needed her to show him around so he could find something, the burglar grabbed May. Furious, Ben ordered the burglar to unhand May and angrily reached toward him. Frightened, the burglar shot Ben and fled. May wanted to send for an ambulance, but the mortally wounded Ben knew that it was too late for a doctor to help him. Telling her that he loved her, Ben Parker died.
Returning home, Peter was told by policemen that a burglar had killed his uncle and was now trapped by the police in the Acme warehouse at the waterfront. Infuriated, Peter donned the Spider-Man costume, went to the warehouse, and captured the burglar. Upon seeing the burglar's face, Spider-Man realized to his horror that it was same thief he had let escape at the television studio. Had he captured the burglar then, Spider-Man told himself, his beloved uncle Ben would still be alive.
Spider-Man turned the burglar over to police. Years later, the burglar, made a second attempt to find Mallone's treasure, held May Parker prisoner, and threatened to kill her if she didn't aid him. Spider-Man defeated the burglar, who died of a heart attack brought on by his sheer terror of his costumed nemesis.
From the night he first captured the burglar, the same night that Ben Parker died, Peter Parker's attitude towards his life and superhuman abilities was radically changed. The fact that he could have saved his Uncle Ben’s life by taking the time to stop the burglar at the studio weeks before, demonstrated to Peter Parker that with great power there must also come great responsibility. His guilt over failing to prevent the death of Ben Parker became the motivating force behind Peter Parker's career as Spider-Man. Peter vowed never to let harm come to an innocent person ever again if he could help, and so it was that Spider-Man became the crime fighter that he remains to this day.
First Appearance: Amazing Fantasy (1962) #15
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
Alpha: Big Time (2013)
Amazing Fantasy (1962)
Amazing Fantasy (1995)
#16 Amazing Spider-Man Family (2008)
- 'An Amazing World'#17
- 'Amazing Adventures'#18
- 'The Amazing Spider-Man'
Avenging Spider-Man (2012)
AXIS: Revolutions (2014)
Cloak and Dagger (1985)
Crossover Classics (1991)
#0 Die Spinne (1980)
- 'You Only Die Twice'
#217 Edderkoppen (1978)
- 'Väter und Sünden'#219
- 'Alles Gute Kommt von Oben'#223
- 'Der Schrei Nach Freiheit'#258#259
Fred Hembeck Destroys the Marvel Universe (1989)
Free Comic Book Day 2011 (Spider-Man) (2011)
Free Comic Book Day 2012 (Spider-Man: Season One) (2012)
Free Comic Book Day 2018 (Amazing Spider-Man/Guardians of the Galaxy) (2018)
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man (2005)
#8 Giant-Size Spider-Man (2014)
- 'Jumping the Tracks, Part 1'#9
- 'Jumping the Tracks, Part II'#10
- 'Jumping the Tracks, Part III'#18
- 'Sandblasted, Part 2'#19
- 'Sandblasted, Conclusion'
Hämähäkkimies / Spider-Man (1980)
Incredible Hercules (2008)
Marvel 75th Anniversary Celebration (2014)
Marvel Graphic Novel: The Amazing Spider-Man ''Parallel Lives'' (1989)
Marvel Knights Spider-Man (2004)
#9 Marvel Limited: Fantastic Firsts (1994)
- 'The Last Stand, Part 1 of 4'#20
- 'The Other - Evolve or Die, Part 5: Retreat'
Marvel Masters (2007)
Marvel Masterworks (1987)
#1 Marvel Milestone Edition: Amazing Fantasy (1992)
- 'Amazing Spider-Man Nos. 1-10 & Amazing Fantasy No. 15 by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko'
Marvel Tag Gratis-Exemplar (2017)
nn Marvel Tales (1964)
#1 Mythos: Spider-Man (2007)
- 'Spiderman, Hulk, Giantman, Thor, Fury, Ironman'#137
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2008)
Origins of Siege (2010)
Peter Parker: Spider-Man (1999)
#1 Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man (2017)
- 'Power without responsibility'#20
- 'The Best Medicine'#33
- 'Maybe Next Year'#156.1
- 'Old Haunts'
#1#306 Petey (2010)
- 'Coming Home - Part One'
#1 Secret Wars Too (2016)
- 'Approaching Storms (or, When Petey Met Johnny)'
Spectacular Spider-Man (2003)
#27 Spider-Girl (1998)
- 'The Final Curtain'
Spider-Man - Gratis Comic Tag (2012)
Spider-Man and Batman (1995)
Spider-Man by Roger Stern Omnibus (2014)
Spider-Man Collectible Series (2006)
Spider-Man Family (2005)
Spider-Man The Secret Story Of Marvel's World-Famous Wall Crawler (1981)
Spider-Man Unlimited (1993)
#1#10 Spider-Man Unmasked (1996)
- 'Exiled, Part 4 of 4: A Promise to Keep'
#1 Spider-Man XXX: A Porn Parody (2011)
- 'The Origin of the Amazing Spider-Man'
Spider-Man, Power Pack (1984)
Spider-Man: Chapter One (1998)
Spider-Man: Fear Itself (2009)
#1 Spider-Man: Fever (2010)
- 'Fear and Mr. Parker'
TPB Spider-Man: Season One (2012)
- 'Spider-Man: Fever'#1
Spider-Man: The Mutant Agenda (1994)
Spider-Man: The Official Movie Adaptation (2002)
Spider-Man: With Great Power... (2008)
#1#2 Superior Spider-Man (2013)
- 'Enter The Sandman'#3#4
- 'Doomsday Off!'
#19 The Amazing Spider-Man (1963)
- 'Necessary Evil Part 3: Event Horizon'#26
- 'Goblin Nation, Prelude: Goblin Wars'#28
- 'Goblin Nation, Part 2 of 5'#30
The Amazing Spider-Man (1999)
#13 The Amazing Spider-Man (2014)
- 'Time Enough..?'#32
- 'The Long, Dark Pizza of the Soul'#38
- 'The Conversation'
#1.1 The Amazing Spider-Man (2015)
- 'Learning to Crawl Part One: The Show Must Go On'#1.5
- 'Learning to Crawl: Part Five'
#1.2 The Amazing Spider-Man (2018)
- 'Amazing Grace Part Two: My Heart To Fear'#1.3
- 'Amazing Grace Part Three: Dangers, Toils and Snares'#1.4
- 'Amazing Grace Part Four: Within the Veil'#1.6
- 'Amazing Grace Part Six: Lead Me Home'
The Amazing Spider-Man & Silk: The Spider(fly) Effect (Infinite Comics) (2016)
#2 The Best of Spider-Man (1986)
- 'Chapter Two'#3
- 'Chapter Three'#4
- 'Chapter Four'#5
- 'Chapter Five'#6
- 'Chapter Six'#7
- 'Chapter Seven'#8
- 'Chapter Eight'
TPB The Clone Conspiracy (2016)
- 'The Best of Spider-Man'
The Incredible Hulk (2000)
#100 The Marvel Encyclopedia (2006)
- 'Planet Hulk: Allegiance Part 1'
HC The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition (1985)
- 'The Marvel Encyclopedia'
#19 The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Book of the Dead 2004 (2004)
- 'Book of the Dead (Nuke to Obadiah Stane)'
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Master Edition (1990)
The Sensational Spider-Man (1996)
#-1 The Sensational Spider-Man (2006)
- 'Here There Be Monsters!'
#33 The Spectacular Spider-Man (1976)
- 'Nothing Can Stop The Rhino'#40
- 'The Book of Peter'
#1 Untold Tales of Spider-Man (1995)
- 'Trouble: Part One of Five'#2
- 'Trouble: Part Two of Five'#3
- 'Trouble: Part Three of Five'#4
- 'Trouble: Part Four of Five'#5
- 'Trouble: Part Five of Five'
#1 Web of Spider-Man (1985)
- 'To Serve and Protect?'
Annual 03 Web of Spider-Man (2009)
- 'The Secrets of Spider-Man!'#105
- 'Crisis of Conscience, Part 2 of 3: Soul Gauntlet'
Webspinners: Tales of Spider-Man (1999)
What If? (1977)
#15 What If...? (1989)
- 'What If... Someone Else Had Become Nova?'#19
- 'What If Spider-Man Had Stopped The Burglar Who Killed His Uncle?'#46
- 'What If...Spider-Man's Uncle Ben Had Lived?'
#3 Within Our Reach (1991)
- 'What If... Steve Rogers Had Refused To Give Up Being---Captain America?'#68
- 'What If Captain America Were Revived Today? Part 2: Liberty's Sword'
World War Hulks: Spider-Man vs. Thor (2010)
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
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""With great power comes great resposibility.""
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