Comic Legends: The Accidental Invention of Spider-Man's Spider-Sense

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the seven hundredth installment where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

As part of our celebration of SEVEN HUNDRED of these things, this will be a special weekend where we honor seven comic book greats that we lost this year with a legend devoted to each one of them (Steve Ditko, Russ Heath, Gary Friedrich, Marie Severin, Norm Breyfogle, Carlos Ezquerra and Jim Novak).

NOTE: If the CSBG Twitter page hits 11,000 followers, I'll do a bonus edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed that week. Great deal, right? So go follow the CSBG Twitter page!


Spider-Man's Spider-Sense came about due to a mistake in the first issue of Amazing Spider-Man.


Basically True

Our first comic book great that we're featuring is the legendary Steve Ditko.

While Steve Ditko and Stan Lee eventually stopped collaborating closely on Spider-Man plots over the years, to the point where the last year or so of their partnership was spent with the two men not speaking at all and Ditko just delivering finished stories that Stan Lee would then add dialogue to, in the early days they still talked the issues over together. Ditko would still note that Lee would do very little writing at this stage of the process, but at least they were talking.

One of their discussions ended up catching a mistake that changed Spider-Man for good!

Spider-Man, you see, did not have a "Spider-Sense in his origin story in Amazing Fantasy #15 or the first story in Amazing Spider-Man #1.

It first came up because Stan Lee couldn't figure out how Spider-Man was able to locate Chameleon on these pages...

At his great website, Dial B for Blog, "Robbie Reed" quoted Ditko on the subject...

"That idea [for 'Spider-Senses'] came after Stan and I were going over the penciled Chameleon story/art pages. Stan asked me a very good question: "How, in a darkened room, does Spider-Man know where Chameleon is?"

"At some point, I took a pencil and drew squiggly lines radiating from Spider-Man's head, and said, 'Spider-Man has Spider-Senses, the way bats can detect, sense insects, objects at night.' Stan accepted the idea as valid. We went over the earlier pages, and wherever we thought appropriate, I added the squiggly lines denoting spider-senses around Peter Parker/Spider-Man heads."

Here are the earlier pages they added the Spider-Sense to, with Lee adding appropriate dialogue....

Amazing case where the "Marvel Method" helped change a character for good!

Thanks to Dial B for Blog for the amazing (pun unintended... but I guess since I wrote this and didn't change it, then I guess it is intended now) Steve Ditko quote! Dial B for Blog rules!

Check out some entertainment legends from Legends Revealed:

Was the Wampa Attack in Empire Strikes Back Written to Explain Away Mark Hamill’s Facial Injuries He Suffered from a Car Accident?

Check back tomorrow for part 2 and probably 3 of this week's special legends!

And remember, if you have a legend that you're curious about, drop me a line at either brianc@cbr.com or cronb01@aol.com!

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