I personally believe that Spider-Man is one of the greatest characters created in fiction.
My little thesis statement aside, that's what I truly believe to be true and if he is written correctly the essential good of the character will shine through. With his many incarnations over the years he usual is presented as a strong well developed character(except Spider-Man Unlimited which sucked out loud). Besides that dreadful show, Spider-Man has appeared in every from of media from radio,television,and film.
But throughout the decades the character of Spider-Man has gone through many changes and has grow as a character. When Spider-Man first premiered in Amazing Fantasy # 15, he wasn't even Spider-Man yet he was just Peter Parker. Peter Parker was a geeky science nerd,who just wanted to fit in and like any teenager he wanted to go to a science demonstration of a new radiation technology. During the demonstration a spider was caught in a beam of radiation and crepted down to Peter's hand and gave him superpowers.
Using his intelligence he made wrist gauntlets to shoot out artificial webbing called webshooters. He decides to become a TV star and wrestler( not kinding...sigh it was the 60's) but when he refuses to stop a thief, saying it wasn't his job. When he returns home he finds that his Uncle Ben has been killed by a burgular. He catches the burgular but is shock to find out that the burgular was the thief he refused to stop. After that day he begins to become a vigilante vowing to remember "With Great Power There Must Always Be Great Responsibiliy."
Peter graduates from high school and enrolls in Empire State University where he meets his roomate and Harry Osborn and Gwen Stacy. Later his Aunt May introduces him to his future wife Mary-Jane Watson. But Peter soon falls in love with Gwen and begins dating her. Harry Osborn's father Norman Osborn is revealed to be the Green Goblin and learns Peter secret identity. After Harry suffer's a drug overdose the Goblin kills Gwen Stacy.
Peter grieves for his lost love but Mary-Jane supports him through his ordeal, showing she really cares about him and is not just a "party girl". Quick detour to talk about Mary-Jane for a second here. The charcter of Mary-Jane came from a broken home and didn't like the idea of getting tied down. She created a mask for herself becoming a superfical "party girl". But in reality she was a deeply caring person who loved the people around her who just didn't want to get hurt.Which is a very human thing to do, many people then to put up mask in or to defend themselves from their own demons. I speak from experience when it comes to this subject which makes me a little bais when it comes to Mary-Jane. In the story Parellel Lives Mary-Jane discovers Peter secret identity while climbing out his window to go get the burgular. Although several writers ignore this or say she just figured it out either way she must be the smartest person in the world. I still don't see how people haven't figured it out, cause I've never heard anything about him changing his voice under that thin mask.
And were back to Spider-Man. Peter and Mary-Jane begin dating after some time. When the relationship becomes to serious she breaks up with him and moves to Flordia I think. Peter then dates the cat burgular Black Cat. My main problem with the Black Cat isn't the the character herself it's the way writers choose to write her they either want her to be a responsible,intelligent,sexed up woman.Or they just they want her to be a supersexed up woman who only cares about sex. Yes I'm talking about you Dan Slott and Joe Kelly.You know what it was painful trying to read Amazing 606 and 607. Yes I know she has that costume but come on she has to have more personality than that.
Then the Black Cat(Felicia Hardy) breaks up with him because she didn't care about Peter Parker just Spider-Man which even now seems like a really stupid reason to break up with someone.Fastforward Mary-Jane and Peter start dating again it gets to serious she breaks it off and goes to settle and old debt with her father. Peter follows her helping put away her father for framing her sister. Mary-Jane decides to finally except his marriage proposal.
Peter Parker and Mary-Jane get married in Amazing Spider-Man Annual vol 1. #21. This one of those special events that as a comic fan let alone a Spider-Man should have. Personally I've always like a married Spider-Man cause that's what I've grown up with. When I was a kid I watched a lot of TV and one of the shows that I watched a lot was the 90's Spider-Man series. And in that show Peter and Mary-Jane got married and it wasn't a big deal to me. Some "people" say that as a young person I wouldn't be able to get a married Spider-Man well I call bullshit on that. I'm 19 goddamn it as I still think getting married is a natural part of life. If you love someone and are willing to give every part of your life to someone else then you should get married. But if your not then you shouldn't get married. Nuff Said.
I will often read some old issues of Spider-Man and I also call lazy on writers who will try to put in stupid comments Peter and Mary-Jane by trying to but them in situations that have them say that there to young to get married. First this has always been a lazy way to cause faux tension in a book that doesn't need a lot of tension between a happily married couple.These are two grown up individuals, it just that the writers and editors don't want to see their prescious Spider-Man tied down by having a wife and growing up. Joe Q reasonlly made a comment about how fans want to see Spider-Man become old, gray and dead. Which is the opposite of what we want. What fans want to see is character developement, we want to see characters progress and become better not take a step back.