Sometime later, Spider-Man revealed his identity to the Black Cat who would end up breaking up with him. She was unable to bear the fact that Spider-Man liked to live a civilian life as Peter Parker instead of staying in costume. Mary Jane would return to New York and she visited Peter in his apartment. Meanwhile, the Puma had tracked down Spider-Man but Peter sensed his presence using his spider-sense.
By most definitions, characters do not require actual superhuman powers or phenomena to be deemed superheroes. While the Dictionary.com definition of "superhero" is "a figure, especially in a comic strip or cartoon, endowed with superhuman powers and usually portrayed as fighting evil or crime", the longstanding Merriam-Webster dictionary gives the definition as "a fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers; also: an exceptionally skillful or successful person". Terms such as masked crime fighters, costumed adventurers or masked vigilantes are sometimes used to refer to characters such as the Spirit, who may not be explicitly referred to as superheroes but nevertheless share similar traits.
"People often say glibly that Marvel succeeded by blending super hero adventure stories with soap opera. What Lee and Ditko actually did in The Amazing Spider-Man was to make the series an ongoing novelistic chronicle of the lead character's life. Most super heroes had problems no more complex or relevant to their readers' lives than thwarting this month's bad guys.... Parker had far more serious concern in his life: coming to terms with the death of a loved one, falling in love for the first time, struggling to make a living, and undergoing crises of conscience."
Not until 2000 would Spider-Man return in his own game. Spider-Man made his triumphant video game return in 2000, with not one, but two games, as a character in a fighting game and a special guest appearance that year. Spider-Man for the Game Boy Color was published by Activision and met with moderate success. Later that year Spider-Man, developed by NeverSoft, for the PlayStation was released. The game was met with critical and commercial success. The game was ported over to the Nintendo 64 the following year, but lacked the full motion cut scenes due the systems hardware. Spider-Man was also one of the playable character in the arcade game Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes (which later was released on the Sega Dreamcast, Sony PlayStation 2, Xbox). In September of that year, Spider-Man made a special appearance in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 as a hidden character. In 2001, sequels to the successful Activision titles were released. Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro for the PlayStation and Spider-Man 2: Sinister Six for the Gameboy Color. Spider-Man made an early appearance on Nintendo's new handheld system, the Gameboy Advance with Spider-Man: Mysterio's Menace. Spider-Man was also featured as a guest character in the fighting game X-Men: Mutant Academy 2.
When they finally reach the base, Chameleon reveals himself as being disguised as Ezekiel the entire time. Spider-man then gets ambushed and killed by the Kravinoff's. With Kraven finally back from the dead, he shows his anger at Sasha by confirming that the blood was not that of the real Spider-Man but of his clone Kaine. When Peter awakens, he finds Kaine's body in a coffin with a note reading "Hunt me" and his black costume lying beside the coffin. Spider-Man begins to hunt the Kravinoff's one by one, first taking out Chameleon and nearly killing Vladimir with a giant tombstone before dodging a point-blank shot from Alyosha's rifle. Spider-man than appears on the roof of the mansion and attacks Sasha, leaving the mark of Kaine on her face (using his finger's abilities to rip the skin off of her face) in revenge for the death of his clone and "brother". Spider-Man and Kraven then proceed to engage into battle and the fight proves to be completely one-sided as Peter goes all out with the intentions of killing Kraven for the murders of his friends. As he is about to deliver the killing blow to Kraven with his own spear, Arachne (As the new Madame Web) appears and shows Spider-man a grim future that would follow if he decided to murder Kraven. Spider-Man lets Kraven live and tells him that it's his second and last chance to live.
In a different version of Spider-Island, Spider-Man was supposedly killed by the spider-infected Avengers which inspired Agent Venom to lead the resistance. However, he is discovered to be alive and captive in the Spider Queen's facility. He aids Flash to stop the Spider Queen and becomes the Baron of Spider-Island after she is defeated at the cost of Flash's life.
Spider-Man has become Marvel's flagship character and has often been used as the company mascot. When Marvel became the first comic book company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1991, the Wall Street Journal announced "Spider-Man is coming to Wall Street"; the event was in turn promoted with an actor in a Spider-Man costume accompanying Stan Lee to the Stock Exchange.:254 Since 1962, hundreds of millions of comics featuring the character have been sold around the world. Spider-Man is the world's most profitable superhero. In 2014, global retail sales of licensed products related to Spider-Man reached approximately $1.3 billion. Comparatively, this amount exceeds the global licensing revenue of Batman, Superman, and the Avengers combined.
Many new openly gay, lesbian and bisexual characters have since emerged in superhero fiction, such as Gen¹³'s Rainmaker, Apollo and Midnighter of The Authority, and Wiccan and Hulkling of the Young Avengers. Notable transgender or gender bending characters are fewer in number by comparison: the alter ego of superheroine Zsazsa Zaturnnah, a seminal character in Philippine popular culture, is an effeminate gay man who transforms into a female superhuman after ingesting a magical stone. Desire from Neil Gaiman's The Sandman series and Xavin from the Runaways are both characters who could (and often) change their gender at will. Alysia Yeoh, a supporting character created by writer Gail Simone for the Batgirl ongoing series published by DC Comics, received substantial media attention in 2011 for being the first major transgender character written in a contemporary context in a mainstream American comic book.