Movie Article

Swing Kids

How Peter Parker & Co. changed between the first and second ''Spider-Man'' films -- and how they compare to their comic book origins. SPOILER ALERT! MAJOR PLOT POINTS REVEALED!

Tobey Maguire
Image credit: Spider-Man 2: Melissa Moseley; The Amazing Spider-Man: Courtesy of DC Comics
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Tobey Maguire
Image credit: Spider-Man 2: Melissa Moseley; The Amazing Spider-Man: Courtesy of DC Comics

Peter Parker/Spider-Man

(Tobey Maguire)

In ''Spider-Man'' The nerdy Queens high-schooler gets superpowers after he's chomped on by a genetically altered super-spider (ouch). Following his uncle's death, he learns that with great power comes great responsibility -- and a set of red-and-blue tights.

In ''Spider-Man 2'' Now in college, Peter lives in a seedy Manhattan apartment that doesn't even have its own bathroom. He also works -- quite unsuccessfully -- as a pizza delivery boy (even Spider-speed can't help him meet a 29-minute delivery guarantee). As Peter struggles to pay his bills and attend class, he discovers more and more drawbacks to his dual existence -- and chafing from the costume is the least of it. He even finds his powers fading, leaving him unable to shoot webs or climb walls. Does Pete give up his secret identity forever? As if.

In the comic books ''The basic differences are very few,'' says Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Joe Quesada. ''But in the movies, the hero persona is at its beginning stages; in the comic books he's a pro at this point.'' Marvel's more recently launched ''Ultimate Spider-Man,'' though, features a perennially-in-high-school Peter Parker.

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