When Spider-Man first appeared in the early 1960s, teenagers in superhero comic books were usually relegated to the role of sidekick to the protagonist. The Spider-Man series broke ground by featuring Peter Parker, a high school student from Queens behind Spider-Man's secret identity and with whose "self-obsessions with rejection, inadequacy, and loneliness" young readers could relate. While Spider-Man had all the makings of a sidekick, unlike previous teen heroes such as Bucky and Robin, Spider-Man had no superhero mentor like Captain America and Batman; he thus had to learn for himself that "with great power there must also come great responsibility"—a line included in a text box in the final panel of the first Spider-Man story but later retroactively attributed to his guardian, the late Uncle Ben.
After finally freeing himself of a circular orbit in an imploding dimension the superhero known as Quasar returned to the site of a major battle between himself, Doctor Strange, The Thing, Thor and the evil Elder God Set. Shocked to find his comrades dead, Quasar screamed into the Heavens as a glowing red light consumed him. It changed him and infused him with the powers of Captain Universe. After merging the Uni-Power with his own Quantum Bands; Quasar took Doctor Strange's Eye of Agamotto and left the imploding dimension.
The cowl's basic design has remained unchanged; however, it has been frequently updated to advance Batman's crusade. The one aspect of the cowl that does undergo variations is the ears, although the length and pointiness of the ears are supposedly primarily due to the style of the artist drawing Batman, and tends not to be tied to the functionality of the cowl in any way. However, artist, Karl Kerchl has drawn Batman's costume vault showing that he has a wide selection of cowls with ears of different lengths (Adventures of Superman #643).
Spider-Man has many abilities but the most amazing of all is his uncanny Spider-Sense. It is a tingling sensation on the back of his skull that acts as a "sixth sense" and it manifests when he is around or targeted by incoming dangers. It's a precognition ability that is pheromone based and is similar to Daredevil's radar sense, increasing his reaction time and awareness. The spider-sense can manifest when Peter's secret identity is about to be compromised. It also manifests when he encounters someone who might pose a threat to him or to someone he cares about. For example, when Peter saw his roommate Michele Gonzales with one of her clients, his spider-sense warned him that the client was actually a thug who was participating in a super-villain gladiatorial contest. While the spider-sense cannot discern the specific nature of the impending threat, he can identify which direction it is coming from and the severity of the danger by the intensity of the spider-sense. Sometimes it becomes strong enough to be painful. When Spider-Man is blinded, the Spider-Sense works as another set of eyes to avoid bumping into objects. When Daken used his pheromones on Spider-Man, Peter closed his eyes and relied only on his spider-sense to defeat his foe because the pheromones corrupted his sight. A similar situation happened when Peter fought the new Vulture who blinded him with acid in the eyes. Spider-Man relied on this ability to survive this fight. Of course his Spider-Sense is a great help when he faces people in the dark. This has been proven in his fight with Iron Fist. The spider-sense can lose its effectiveness when Peter is too distracted, tired or when he chooses to ignore it although its difficult to do so because it is heavily linked to his reflexes. There were also times that his spider-sense wasn't very effective due to the Spidey's previous lack of formal training, but this has since has been largely rectified since learning the Way of the Spider. Under extreme circumstances, such as fighting in the dark or against powerful characters, Spidey has often used his spectacular spider-sense in a more effective and better way. The Spider-Sense also gave him his own free-style form of combat, allowing him to go head-to-head with the best martial artists in the Marvel Universe and his H2H skill has improved significantly since merging his Way of the Spider training with his Spider-Sense. Furthermore, the Spider-Sense also allows Spider-Man to detect certain radio frequencies on which his spider tracers' signals are based upon. During Spider-Man's first encounter with the Chameleon, the villain used a certain radio frequency to send a message to Spider-Man via his spider-sense. The Spider-Sense, combined with his speed and reflexes allows Spider-Man to dodge almost all conventional attacks. Due to the similar nature of their powers, Spider-Man is unable to sense other "Spiders", such as Ben Reilly, Ezekiel, and Kaine. During the Big Time story, Spider-Man used a device to block Alistair Smythe's minions' enhanced senses, but also disabled his own Spider-Sense. After the events of Spider-Island, Peter regained this ability.
In "What If? Spider-Man vs. Wolverine" Spider-Man goes to Russia with Wolverine on a rescue mission and eventually becomes a Black-ops version. Through training alongside Wolverine he enhances his spider-sense and becomes more confident. He eventually decides to join up with Wolverine permanently and leave behind his old ways. He also develops a change to his web shooter which enables him to shoot bullets out of it, which he does, killing a man. He is shown in a sleeker black and red suit more fit for his new lifestyle. This Spider-Man appears in Spider-Verse as "Assassin Spider-Man" and is killed by Daemos.
Most of the supervillains of Spider-Man would be introduced in The Amazing Spider-Man comic book starting with the Chameleon. The early villains would be introduced in the 1960s in the Silver Age of Comic Books, and created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. John Romita, Sr. replaced Ditko starting with the Rhino. Gerry Conway later replaced Stan Lee and helped create new adversaries for the web-slinger and also helped pave the way to the Bronze Age of Comic Books with the death of Spider-Man's long time romantic interest, Gwen Stacy. Many collaborators would soon take over The Amazing Spider-Man title. One of the more popular examples included Todd McFarlane's Venom in the Modern Age of Comic Books.
Spider-Man was declared the number one superhero on Bravo's Ultimate Super Heroes, Vixens, and Villains TV series in 2005. Empire magazine placed him as the fifth-greatest comic book character of all time. Wizard magazine placed Spider-Man as the third greatest comic book character on their website. In 2011, Spider-Man placed third on IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time, behind DC Comics characters Superman and Batman. and sixth in their 2012 list of "The Top 50 Avengers". In 2014, IGN identified Spider-Man the greatest Marvel Comics character of all time. A 2015 poll at Comic Book Resources named Spider-Man the greatest Marvel character of all time. IGN described him as the common everyman that represents many normal people but also noting his uniqueness compared to many top-tiered superheroes with his many depicted flaws as a superhero. IGN noted that despite being one of the most tragic superheroes of all time that he is "one of the most fun and snarky superheroes in existence." Empire noted and praised that despite the many tragedies that Spider-Man faces that he retains his sense of humour at all times with his witty wisecracks. The magazine website appraised the depiction of his "iconic" superhero poses describing it as "a top artist's dream".
Halloween costumes in the contemporary Western world sometimes depict people and things from present times and are sometimes read in terms of their political and cultural significance. Halloween costumes are sometimes denounced for cultural appropriation when they uncritically use stereotypical representations of other groups of people. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Secretary Julie Myers was involved in a scandal when she awarded "Best Costume" at the ICE Halloween party to an 'escaped Jamaican prisoner' dressed in dreadlocks and blackface.