Marvel has plenty of Spider-Men. Even after the publisher killed a few dozen Spider-Men off in the 2014 crossover Spider-Verse, it still had enough Spider-Men, Spider-Women and other Spider-People for Spider-Geddon, another crossover that's about killing even more Spider-Men.
But over the last few months, the Peter Parker from Marvel's Spider-Man has swung above the fray to become the biggest new Marvel hero in any dimension.
While the first trailers for Insomniac Games' Spider-Man were impressive, expectations were generally that the PlayStation 4-exclusive title game might just be another better-than-average Spider-Man game. But as the open-world action game's release date grew closer, it became clear that it was something special. In the weeks leading up to its release, the hype around the game grew to a fever pitch, with more previews and tie-in merchandise like toys and a prequel prose novel. In a massive vote of confidence, Marvel Comics even gave this video game Spider-Man a role in Spider-Geddon, one of the publisher's biggest comic book stories of the year.
When Spider-Man was released in September, it was an unmitigated success, earning widespread critical acclaim and breaking all kinds of sales records. In the first three days it was available, the PS4 sold 3.3 million copies and grossed over $198 million. That's way more than the measly $117 million that Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spidey's last solo movie, grossed during its opening weekend in 2017.
With the possible exception of Tom Holland's adventures as Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the game is almost certainly the most widely consumed Spider-Man story in years. According to Game Informer, the game has a 10% "Platinum Trophy" rate, which means an abnormally high number of people are finishing the storyline. And that number doesn’t factor in the millions of people who watched a stream of someone else playing through the game on YouTube or Twitch. Since the main story of the game takes around 20 hours to complete, players have spent way more time with this Spider-Man than they have with any cinematic version of the web-head.