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Happy Spiderman Day — He’s 55 Years Old … Maybe

Emily Slape
Emily Slape

Today, August 1, 2017, is Spiderman Day. Spidey made his comic book debut on this date in 1962 in Marvel Comics’ “Amazing Fantasy” issue #15.

In one sense, Spiderman turns 55 today. In another he turns –well, let’s do the math here.

Peter Parker was a high school student in 1962. So, adding 14-18 years to 55 means that Spiderman (the character) would be anywhere from 69 to 73 years of age today. Wow…Stan Lee shouldn’t have done a cameo in Spiderman: Homecoming. He should have played Spiderman!

Let’s take a look back at the actors who’ve played Spiderman:

  • The current Spidey is British actor Tom Holland. He’s really good and looks young enough to be a high school freshman. It’s really distracting when you hear Tom Holland talking in his working-class London accent when giving interviews.
  • Before that it was Andrew Garfield, another Brit. I thought he was solid but that second movie was just too awful for any actor to go on in the role.
  • Before that, Tobey Maguire. Until the third movie when he turned emo and started dancing in seedy nightclubs I thought To-Mac was a great Spiderman. The only thing that bothered me about Tobey-Spider was that his web-shooting ability wasn’t because of a brilliant science project. It was supposed to be part of what happens to you when you get bitten by a radioactive spider. But, if that were the case, wouldn’t he shoot his webbing out of his ass instead of out of his wrists?
  • Before that, an actor named Nicholas Hammond played Spiderman in a short lived CBS TV series in the 1970s. Hammond was almost thirty at the time. The special effects were terrible. A common trick was to show Spiderman getting ready to leap and then cutting to him landing without showing anything between point A and point B. It was consistently mediocre. When I saw the story in TV Guide that they were making a live action Spiderman, it was the most exciting non-Star Wars thing that had ever happened to me.
  • But before that…there was The Electric Company Spiderman. The Electric Company was a PBS show in the 70s that used to come on after Sesame Street and before Villa Allegre. Electric Company Spiderman didn’t speak out loud, only through cartoon speech bubbles. Also, an unknown Morgan Freeman was part of the regular E.C. cast and would show up from time to time on the Spiderman segments.

As far as Spiderman on T.V., this was the best you could hope for in 1975.

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