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CHAPTER FIVE
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In "Origins of Marvel Comics" Stan Lee wrote, "We structured the (Spider-Man) series in the pattern of any daytime radio soap opera. Have you ever heard of a superhero with continuing problems in his love life? Certainly not in those days."

Sorry, Stan, but I, Robby Reed, beg to differ! Because there was once a teenage superhero with quite a few romantic problems. Not only THAT, but he was also the adopted son of elderly foster parents! His name was...
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Yes, Spidey's foster parents bear a striking resemblance to Superboy's adoptive parents, the Kents. Both are elderly, perhaps because from a teenagers point of view, all parents are old fuddy-duddies who can't understand the exuberance of youth...
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XBEN and MAY PARKER

Were Jonathan and Martha Kent models for Ben and May Parker? Well, Superboy debuted in 1944, and the Parkers debuted in 1962 -- right?!? WRONG!

Believe it or not, good old Uncle Ben and Aunt May first appeared in prototype form in a Steve Ditko-illustrated story from Charlton's OUT OF THIS WORLD #6, November 1957.

The book's cover is pictured right, and a few Ditko panels from the story, showing "John and Mary," are shown below. John doesn't really look all that much like Ben, but you have to admit that Mary is a dead ringer for good old Aunt May!
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XAnd there's more! Aunt May and Uncle Ben also appeared in a science-fiction tale from Marvel's STRANGE TALES #97, June 1962, called "Goodbye to Linda Brown."

The story, by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, was one of dozens, if not hundreds, of "Twilight Zone" inspired sci-fi/fantasy stories being turned out at a frantic pace by Lee and Ditko, as we covered in a previous issue of this DBB series.

ST #97's cover is pictured RIGHT, and BELOW are a few panels from the story, showing Aunt May and Uncle Ben being addressed by name!

Freeky, huh? Not really. DItko shared a studio with artist Eric Stanton, and Stanton had a real-life Aunt May, a woman named May Cerniglia. Including May in this story must have a great secret in-joke for the artists. It may have been so amusing that they continued it into Spider-Man!
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Getting back to Superboy -- if you're wondering where
Liz Allen came from, how about Lana Lang?
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And come to think of it, Superboy fought
an evil green villain, and so did Spidey!
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There's more. Peter Parker wore glasses,
and Clark Kent also wore glasses...
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LEX, PETER and CLARK

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We all know Lex Luthor was a whiz in the laboratory -- except for that time he lost his hair in a lab accident (pictured right). Perhaps Lex's amazing lab skills inspired Peter Parker's love of science. That, and the need for the ability to create a web-shooter in something like two panels.

So you see, reader, like most comic book superstars, Spider-Man had a diverse group of fictional forefathers. Though most fans of the character won't readily admit it, the truth is that Spider-Man is a lot like Superboy -- and SuperMAN!

After all, Peter Parker has essentially the same job as Clark Kent. They both work for large metropolitan newspapers, they both have gruff, gray-haired older bosses, they both have romantic entanglements with their newspaper co-workers, and they both wear glasses!

John Romita: "My first impression of Spider-Man was that this was a teen-aged Clark Kent with glasses. I said to Stan, 'This is your number two selling book? I can't believe it.' I had never seen Spider-Man before 1965. July of '65 was the first time I had even heard about it. I didn't even keep an eye on the DC books while I was working there. I don't know how I stayed in the business. I did not expect comics to last. All of us were expecting to be working in another business in a year."
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Our friendly neighborhood web-slinger has one MORE major influence -- Spidey and company bear a striking resemblance to a certain red-headed teenager and his pals and gals...
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>>>>>RIMSHOT!<<<<<

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THE SENSATIONAL CENTERPIECE OF OUR SPIDEY SERIES!


This issue will be posted on Sunday April 27th
at 3:00pm Eastern Standard Time.

Join us then, as Robby presents the
Ditko event of the decade!

As you may have heard, it's...


ABSURDLY LONG -- INSANELY GREAT!

THE ISSUE OF A LIFETIME
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NOTE: This issue does NOT feature a new Steve Ditko interview.
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