Getting powers in Marvel Universe is mostly due to accidents, miracles, or simply bad people trying to experiment on others. Or, in the ‘Ruins’ storyline case, most superheroes are dead when that happens. However, the main Marvel Universe introduced us to many regular people getting superpowers that made them one of the most powerful beings in the universe, and Peter Parker is one of them. The mythos around Spider-Man’s origins varied over the years, but in most cases, Peter Parker became Spider-Man when the special spider bit him, which gave him the superpowers. But what kind of spider bit Peter?
Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider that was revealed to give the teenager spider superpowers. According to comics, the spider that bit Peter Parker was caught in a special radiation test at a public exhibition demonstrating the safe handling of nuclear waste materials, and before it died, it bit Peter Parker, then a student of Midtown High. However, due to exposure to radioactive radiation, the spider remained alive and became a Gamma mutate, which allowed it to communicate with all mutated spiders, including the ones to which it gave powers, Silk and Spider-Man.
At first, the radioactive spider was just that, but over the years, Marvel writers developed a whole storyline, which included the Web of Life and Destiny and the same spider calling itself a Goddess. A really interesting path Marvel chose with this unlikely character, which we will discuss in this article.
What species of spider bit Peter Parker?
We all know how Peter Parker became Spider-Man – as a high school student, he was present during one of the scientific exhibitions where he was bitten by a spider that immediately died.
However, the story doesn’t stop there because there is a whole lore behind “special” spiders in Marvel Universe. Of course, if we look into the basic biology of the spider that bit Peter Parker, we have to look at the pictures and biology of the animal.
Since his first appearance in Marvel Comics (1962), the spider that bit Peter wasn’t anything special, or at least, if we look at the comic book panels of that era. In the first issues created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, we see an “ordinary” spider biting Peter Parker.
Of course, as with any story that is just starting, the writers didn’t necessarily care about the source of Spider-Man’s powers since it was merely a plot device for Web-Slinger’s creation.
The spider’s red color revealed that it was more than the ordinary ones we see in nature since it did absorb radiation, but still, it wasn’t that important for the story. However, that didn’t stop the fans from speculating what kind of spider bit Peter Parker. They decided that the New York native was bitten by an American house spider, which was predominantly spread across that area of the U.S.
Over the years, that notion/speculation changed since fans thought that the Black Widow spider was responsible for biting Peter because it was black before the radiation exposure.
It seems that particular species of spider did stay as the “canon” insect that bit Spider-Man since the comic book stories expanded the lore of the animal and decided that it was more “supernatural” and extraterrestrial than we thought.
However, according to Marvel lore, the radioactive spider that bit Peter Parker is an Araneae, the air-breathing arthropods that have eight legs and have fans with which it can inject venom.
What kind of spider bit Peter Parker?
This leads us to comic books and the expanded lore of the radioactive spider. Yes, the radioactive spider bit Peter Parker all those years ago, and venom changed the teenager’s DNA, ultimately giving him the powers of a spider.
However, this wasn’t the only “victim” of its bite because the same spider bit another person – Cindy Moon, also known as Silk. So yes, the modern era of Spider-Man expanded the spider lore and even established that it didn’t die after these incidents. Because of its radiation exposure, the spider survived because of the gamma radiation, transforming into a “Hulk-Spider.”
There is another twist – when the spider bit Peter and Cindy, it gained the intelligence and abilities of humans. The story of the radioactive spider continues with being “captured” in the lab and split in two by the Isotope Genom Accelerator.
The story only goes further, and we learn from the ‘Marvel Voices’ comic book from 2020 that the spider eventually learned how to speak and gave itself the name “Goddess.”
The Goddess learned how to communicate with other spiders, Spider-People, connected itself to the Web of Life and Destiny, and got inspired by Silk and Spider-Man to become a hero on its own.
Quite a strange story at first, but these only expanded the Spider-Man lore, especially during the Spider-Verse event that confirmed that all Spider-People are connected through the Web of Life and Destiny and can communicate if they want.
There is lore regarding the spiders in Marvel Universe, including extraterrestrial forces, special realms, and very big insects. Nevertheless, the Goddess is the name of the spider that bit Spider-Man and Silk, eventually becoming a whole force to be reckoned with and the hero in its own right. It seems strange, but if dogs and cats have powers, spiders can too.
Besides the Goddess, the radioactive spider, many different arachnids in the Marvel Universe created many more versions of Spider-Man. One that stands out and is quite different from the traditional radioactive spider is the so-called “Oz Experiment Arachnid No. 00” that was created by Oscorp in Ultimate Comics.
This particular spider bit Peter Parker of Earth-1610 and is mostly called the genetically-enhanced spider who gave the teenager from Queens spider powers. The drug Oz, which the same company developed, tried to recreate the Super-Soldier Serum for S.H.I.E.L.D. and ended up with this result.
Of course, another similar spider from Earth-1610 bit Miles Morales a few years later, and it was called “Oz Experiment Arachnid No. 42.” This Oz formula spider gave Miles slightly different powers, but this one died immediately after biting the Brooklyn native teenager.
There is so much more regarding these spiders, but we will stop right here. What are your thoughts about this topic? Let us know in the comments below!