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VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Like all living things, Spider-Man continues to evolve. For this list, we'll be looking at surprising and significant ways the webhead's backstory, relationships and adaptations have changed over time. Our countdown includes Teaming Up With Other Heroes, Live-Action Spider-Man TV Shows, Video Games, and more!

Spider-Man Differences Then And Now

Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’re going over Spider-Man Differences: Then And Now.

For this list, we’ll be looking at surprising and significant ways the webhead’s backstory, relationships and adaptations have changed over time.

Which one of these differences surprised you the most? Let us know in the comments below!

Teaming Up With Other Heroes

When the comic Spider-Man started his superhero career, he made public appearances and rescued civilians solo. Once money around the house got tight, he attempted to join the Fantastic Four. But their meeting didn't go well. After an action-packed fight, the Fantastic Four revealed that they didn't pay a salary. Spider-Man then decided to continue his superhero career alone. Although the webhead had trouble making powerful friends in his early stories, he's got great super-people skills now. In modern times, it's not surprising to see Spider-Man fighting side-by-side with other Avengers. He has friendships with everybody from sorcerers to Fantastic Four members. While Spider-Man is still seen patrolling the city solo, at least he has powerful friends to call on if he needs them.

Spider-Man On Stage

Since Peter Parker once tried to become a famous performer, it's fitting that Spider-Man would appear in real-life stage productions. He earned his first acting credits when New York’s Shea Stadium was still around. Marvel decided the best way to promote Peter’s comic marriage was to stage a ceremony in front of a Queens crowd. Decades after this big public appearance, the webhead swung over to Broadway to star in a very expensive musical. The $75 million dollar spectacle featured impressive stunt work and a bunch of famous Spider-man characters. However, criticisms about the story and number of injured actors helped doom this musical. Although you can catch live-action webheads in touring shows today, we’re not expecting him to return to Broadway anytime soon.

Spider-Man’s Main Supervillian

The first big bad that Peter Parker faced in his self titled comic was the Chameleon. This villain used his brilliantly named “Multi-pocket disguise vest” to impersonate Spider-Man. Fortunately, the wall-crawler is able to expose the imposter and get the villain sent to jail. His showdown with the Chameleon is a breeze compared to what Spider-man’s dealing with now. Peter has to deal with heavy hitters like Green Goblin and Doc Ock on a regular basis. Not only do they like to pair up against him, but multiple Sinister Six alliances have been formed to take the hero down. Peter probably misses the days when a guy with a multi-pocket disguise vest was his biggest supervillain threat.

Peter’s Closest Friends

Whenever fans are introduced to a new version of Peter, they expect to see a few familiar faces in his inner circle. In many modern adaptations, he’s known people like Harry Osborn and Mary Jane Watson long before finishing high school. But Peter’s friendships with these famous characters originally started a little later. Originally, he didn’t meet either Harry or MJ until he was headed to college lectures. It’s hard to imagine how different Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” trilogy or Holland’s MCU outings would look like if MJ was missing from the high school halls. Having characters like her and Harry come into Peter’s life a little earlier was a fantastic change that made their bonds stronger.

Live-Action Spider-Man TV Shows

Families gathered around their TVs to see a live-action webhead for the first time on “The Electric Company”. Although he only spoke with speech bubbles, performer Danny Seagren still appeared in full costume. The hero later swung into “The Amazing Spider-Man” series in 1978. Nicholas Hammond starred as a Peter Parker variant who mostly fought common crooks instead of big supervillains. While that show was running, a very different Spider-Man series aired in Japan. It followed a man named Takuya who received blood from an inhabitant of Planet Spider. He could also command a giant robot named Leopardon. Unfortunately, this awesome premise only had 41 episodes to shine. In the decades after both shows ended, the webhead has yet to get a new live-action show.

Multiple Spider-People

Although it seemed that only one person had Spider-powers when Peter debuted, there’s now a complex web of notable wall-crawlers. In one reality, Gwen Stacy uses her abilities to become a badass arachnid-themed heroine. The young Miles Morales is another alternate dimension character who’s seen a meteoric rise in popularity since he first gained his powers. And we don’t even have time to dive into the stories of Cindy Moon A.K.A. Silk or Peter’s clone Ben Reilly. Whether Spider-Man looks around his own world or peers into others, he’s bound to spot another person who can crawl on walls. There’s no telling how many more Spider-people we might see swinging around in the next few decades.

Video Games

Marvel decided to make a splash in the video game market by releasing a “Spider-Man” game in 1982 for the Atari 2600. Players raced to capture villains and stop bombs that the Green Goblin left behind. While we appreciate this straightforward game for getting the ball rolling, we’re a lot happier with the more complex Spider-Man solo games we’re seeing now. In 2018, Peter appeared in a title with gorgeous graphics, great web-swinging mechanics and an excellent story. It was soon followed by a Miles Morales focused adventure that took place after the events of the first outing. Both titles were well-received by critics and fans. And with a sequel on the horizon, the future for Spider-Man video games looks very bright.

Animated Shows

As much as we loved the fantastic character development and storylines from 1994’s “Spider-Man: The Animated Series”, it wasn’t the first cartoon centered around the webhead. That honor goes to the series that started in 1967. Actor Paul Soles starred in a cartoon that is remembered more for all the memes it generated than the plot itself. While its animation might not blow many modern audiences away, it still featured a ton of supervillains and action. After this series ended, we saw Spider-Man appear in around 9 cartoons and counting that mainly focused on his adventures. The character will add another animated series to his legacy when the MCU explores the origins of Holland’s webehead on “Spider-Man: Freshman Year” in 2022.

Live-Action Films

In 1977, Spider-Man appeared in a live-action movie where he fought a mind-controlling guru. We’re not making that up. While this aired as a tv film in America, international audiences saw this picture swing into theaters. This weird take on Spider-man was followed by Sam Raimi’s trilogy and Garfield’s two entries. By the time Holland slipped on the suit, wall crawler movies had gone from contained stories to mini crossover events. Multiple villains, several superheroes and Easter eggs to the webhead's history are now expected. And the idea that a live-action spidey film would just be aired on TVs in the US. is laughable now. Whether he’s facing one Guru or 100 big bads, Spider-Man demands to be seen on the big screen today.