Do you remember when you first met Spider-Man? Maybe it was in an animated series. Or maybe you saw Tobey Maguire in that iconic red-and-blue suit. Or maybe while you were flipping through the pages of a Todd McFarlane–drawn comic. However you first came across your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, the Marvel superhero has been such a persistent part of our pop culture since his arrival in 1962 that he’s practically Americana.
“One day when I was biking home from school in suburban California, I went by this 7-Eleven,”
Spider-Man has long been one of the most popular characters in fiction, let alone comic books, and unlike some of his confederates, he’s a hit across demographics. Whether comic book lifers or children dressing up as him for Halloween, there’s something indelible about Spider-Man.
At the time, Slott wasn’t much of a comics collector. But as a fan of the 1967 animated series and its ubiquitous theme song (“Spider-Man, Spider-Man / does whatever a spider can”), he couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Slott begged his dad for an allowance so he could buy comics for Spider-Man to sign. By the time he came across the man in the Spider-Man suit, the experience had changed him.