The following is an excerpt of a recently discovered first draft of Spiderman. Dating back to the early 40s, this draft shows a drastically different initial vision of the character. While lacking the polish of the finished product, this draft shows a critical step in the creative process and development of Spiderman.
It was like any other day as a teenager for Peter Parker the spider. He woke up in his spider house (web) and ate a bowl of breakfast bugs. He lived with his five hundred brothers and sisters in Spider City. It was a Friday, so he packed up his knap-sac full of bugs and went to Spider High School. They were going on a field trip that day to some nuclear research center. He was a spider-nerd, so he was super stoked.
When he was at the nuclear research center he was nerding out so hard that he didn’t notice when a human accidentally touched one of the glowing nuclear rays that they shoot out at things. Everyone started yelling “Who let a human in here? Run for your lives!” It was too late, though. The nuclear human smushed poor Peter Parker the spider. All of the other spiders left him for dead, because they’re spiders.
The next day, Peter Parker the spider woke up. He was alive, it was a miracle! He crawled back to his spider house (web). He felt lucky that he survived being smushed, and a little weak. As he crawled around his room, he began to realize that something was wrong. He looked in the mirror, saw himself and was instantly terrified. Peter Parker the spider thought, “wait, who is afraid of spiders? Men!” The radioactive human must have given Peter Parker the spider the powers of a man. Peter Parker the spider was now a Spiderman! He would soon discover his new powers:
Aware of own mortality: Spiders, like all bugs, have no sense of self-awareness. Peter Parker the spider now had conscious thought and was well aware of his impending bug death. From that day on, he lived in fear of the inevitable.
Can do basic math: Most spiders are dumb as hell; hence the term “bug-brain”. Now Peter Parker the spider could add. Whoop-dee-fucking-doo…
Has the ability to speak: When you are the only spider that can talk there really isn’t anyone else to talk to.
Sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day: Most animals, especially bugs, spend their day outside doing nature stuff. Men, however, can be subjected to office work. Peter Parker the spider quickly became the most successful Spider Accountant ever, further driving him into spider depression.
Singing: Being able to sing like a human was actually pretty cool.
Disgusted by the taste of bugs: Like most humans, Peter Parker the spider now hated the taste of bugs. Unfortunately spiders only eat bugs, so he had to suffer through every meal for the rest of his life.
Super Shame: Many animals, particularly insects, lack the mental capacity for shame. Not our Spiderman, though! Good luck finding spider clothes, little guy.