Sally Avril (Bluebird)

Among the many classmates of Peter Parker, in Spider-Man: Homecoming, there’s also a chubby girl portrayed by Isabella Amara (she’s the one who sadly announces that Peter isn’t going to the competition in Washington D.C.); she’s quite smart, as she’s a member of the school’s decathlon team. Amara already confirmed she’s going to appear again in Avengers: Infinity War, so we haven’t seen the last of her… albeit it’s unlikely she’ll start wearing a costume and fight crime like Sally did in the comics. Even the first live action version of Sally didn’t do much in this sense: Kelsey Chow in fact portrays her in The Amazing Spider-Man, the hot girl who asks Peter if he can take pictures of her and her boyfriend on Friday night, laughing at the fact he believed she was asking him out. In the comics, Sally’s story is more deepened… and eventually more tragic. Let’s see together.

Sally Avril was born in New York City, in Forest HillsQueens. When she was a kid she attended the local Elementary School, where she met and became friends with a group she would have grown up with, consisting of Jason Ionello (her best friend), Liz Allan, Peter Parker, Tiny McKeever and Seymour O’Reilly. The group was quite inseparable, but when they arrived to Midtown High School everything changed: the new social division had quite an effect on her, and she immediately realized the new school was clearly divided between “winners” and “losers”, and she had no intention of being part of the second group. She did her best to be one of the popular girls, taking a distance from some of her old “best friends”… including Peter Parker, who was now the favorite target of bullies like Flash Thompson. Instead of defending her friend, Sally started dating Flash, and when Peter asked her out she laughed in his face and proclaimed she preferred “dream boats” like Thompson. She even arrived to the point of isolating Peter when his beloved Uncle Ben died, convincing Liz Allan not to be friendly with him even in such a delicate situation, so obsessed she was with high school’s role game. She finally obtained all the fame and the popularity she craved by winning all the school’s competition as a gymnast, but it still wasn’t enough, she wanted more… and Jason gave her the perfect idea to achieve it, as J. Jonah Jameson offered a big sum of money to whoever brought him the secret identity of the superhero he despised, Spider-Man. The two friends decided they would have been the ones to take money and glory.

Armed with binoculars and camera, Sally Avril and Jason Ionello started “hunting” for Spider-Man, and they found him during a meeting with Batwing. Spider-Man realized he had been followed, and warned the two kids not to, as it could be very dangerous; Jason wanted to follow his advice, but Sally decided to ignore it, as she was sure they would have succeeded. Next, they spotted Spider-Man as, brainwashed by Dr. Winkler, was stealing money for Electro. The two followed the hero, and prepared to take a picture just as Electro was about to unmask him… but their camera’s flash broke the hypnosis, and Spidey came back to his senses just in time. In the following fight, when Spider-Man was about to be defeated, Sally intervened in first person incapacitating Electro with a kick to the head, allowing the hero to knock him out for good: thankful, Spider-Man took a picture of Sally and Jason standing over the defeated criminal, a photo that would have been published on The Daily Bugle under the title: School Kids Foil Super-Villain. Intoxicated by the experience, Sally presented herself to Jameson asking for the position of free-lance photographer, but she was shocked in discovering that the job was already taken… by Peter Parker. Her former friend confirmed it, but she asked her not to tell anybody at school he was the one who took pictures of Spider-Man. This, however, brought Sally to change her plans: instead of becoming a photographer, she used the experience with Electro to decide to become a superheroine herself. She created a costume and built some (highly inefficient) gadgets, and named herself Bluebird, ready to take on New York’s criminality with her athletic skills. She even elected herself as Spider-Man’s partner, but the hero wasn’t too happy of having such an inexperienced and vulnerable sidekick “aiding” him…

Sally Avril is an extremely ambitious and glory-carving girl, a young woman quite obsessed with popularity who’s overenthusiastic over pretty much every single initiative she takes. As Bluebird, she’s an extremely skilled athlete and acrobat, but she doesn’t have any superhuman power; she has a number of gadgets, some useful ones such as insulated boots and her rope line, and some useless and dangerous ones like her Bluebird Eggs, “bombs” filled with ether that usually explode before even reaching their target. First a bully ready to forget any friendship and to step on anyone’s feelings for a little popularity, now Sally is a danger for herself and others, a rookie vigilante who’s too arrogant to realize that as an amateur she risks her life without being of any kind of help to her unwilling mentor Spider-Man.


Curtis “Curt” Connors (Lizard)

lizardfilmIt’s villains time, as we find yet another one of Spider-Man‘s enemies in casualgamer‘s list. This time we meet Lizard, one of the oldest (and deadliest) foes of Spidey. He first appeared in Spider-Man 2 portrayed by Dylan Baker, but we only saw his human alter-ego Curt Connors: Connors appeared as Peter Parker‘s mentor and lab supervisor, a friend of Otto Octavius and a capable scientist. In Spider-Man 3, Peter brings to him the alien symbiote he’s found to have it analyzed, and Connors warns him to stay away from it. Finally, in The Amazing Spider-Man, we see another version of Connors, portrayed by Rhys Ifans: this one is a geneticist working for Oscorp, who experiments on himself his innovative regenerating serum when his supervisor, Dr. Rata, threatens to fire him… the serum works, but it transforms him into a human-sized lizard who wants to transform every single human being in a creature like himself. Luckily enough, Spider-Man is there to stop him. Now, let’s take a look at the original one.

Curtis Connors was born in Coral GablesFlorida, from a middle class family. A brilliant young man, he attended Medical School, and obtained doctorates in both biology and biochemistry. In college he met Martha, a girl he fell in love with; while they were still engaged, Curt was enlisted in the US Army as a war surgeon, and left to serve his country in many war zones. His talent was undeniable, but working in such an environment was dangerous nevertheless, something that Connors learnt on his own skin when an explosion took away his right arm. After the accident, he came back to the United States, were he found a job as a researcher; he also got married with Martha, and some years later the two had a son, Billy. The loss of his arm deeply traumatized Connors, and it also influenced his work: he grew obsessed with finding a way to regrow people’s lost limbs, and he started studying reptiles and their unique ability to replace a lost tail or limb, wanting to “borrow” that characteristic and to use it to lizardcomics1make human DNA better. His work absorbed him so much that he eventually left his home and moved to a lab house in the Florida Everglades, continuing his research with the help of his fellow scientist and war buddy Ted Sallis. All the time spent on his experiments eventually rewarded him, as Connors managed to synthesize a serum based on reptiles’ DNA, compatible with human organism and (allegedly) effective in regrowing lost limbs. After a rabbit had his missing paw successfully regrown, the last step was, of course, human experimentation, and Connors obviously tested his serum on himself: overwhelmed with joy and satisfaction, the scientist saw his right arm growing back, but that was before the side-effects kicked in. The reptilian DNA mixed with his own and modified it, turning him into a humanoid, vicious lizard, who disappeared in the Everglades. The monster hunted in the swamps, and the local population was terrified by the creature. Sightings of “The Lizard” gained the country’s attention, so much that even a newspaper like The Daily Bugle got interested in the story: in order to investigate the presence of this man-slaughtering lizard-man in the Everglades, editor J. Jonah Jameson arrived in Florida with his photographer Peter Parker.

Exploring the surroundings, Parker found Connors’ lab (Sallis wasn’t there, having being transformed into a monster himself and wandering the Everglades as Man-Thing), and his notes as well. The photographer was secretly the heroic Spider-Man, and when Lizard emerged from the swamps for hunting, he was there to face him: starting from Connors’ notes, Spider-Man managed to develop an antidote, and despite being heavily overpowered during his fight with the monster, he managed to force the beast to assume the new serum. Connors turned human again, regaining his appearance and personality… as well as his missing right arm. Unable to put up with his handicap, Connors perfected his serum and tried it once again on himself, but Lizard returned: this time, Curt’s former colleague Charles Xavier sent his X-Men to track him down, and at the end of the fight Iceman froze the monster, keeping him hibernated as long as they found a cure. Beast managed to develop a new serum, and lizardcomics2Connors was apparently cured from his condition, with his monstrous alter ego gone for good. Finally, Connors gave up, and came back to his family; they moved together to New York City, in the effort of leaving behind the misadventures with Lizard. In New York, Curt became friends with Spider-Man, and helped him in more than one occasion: he cured May Parker when she was poisoned with radiations, and he developed a special acid to destroy Rhino‘s armor, thus allowing Spidey to defeat him. This period of peace wasn’t meant to last long: the Lizard was now part of Connors, and was ready to come back any time. First, he transformed back to Lizard because of the exposure to the chemicals he had used to fight Rhino: again, Spider-Man barely survived the experience, but he eventually managed to force the antidote into the monster and to have Connors resurface. Lizard didn’t need chemicals anymore, however, and when Curt was kidnapped by Silvermane to create a rejuvenating formula for him, the fear, rage and stress were enough to trigger the transformation; this time, only the combined effort of Spider-Man and the Human Torch managed to subdue Lizard. Now, Curt Connors knew that he had become a constant threat even for Martha and Billy, as his mammal-hating counterpart was ready to take control of him everytime he experienced a strong emotional stress.

Curt Connors is a brilliant and idealistic man, a scientific genius bent on assuring a better future for humanity with his work; a loving father and husband, he’s a gentle and dedicated man who suffers for his physical handicap, but who managed to defeat his trauma. His reptilian alter ego, on the opposite, is a brutal and pitiless monster, driven by a deep hatred and disgust for mammals and humans in particular, who aims at restoring reptiles’ dominion over the planet and who recognizes strength as his only value. Lizard possesses vast amounts of superhuman strength, durability, speed and agility, he can stick to any kind of surface, he has heightened senses and an outstanding regenerative healing factor, as well as deploying sharp fangs and claws and a prehensile tail as useful tools in battle. He also shows some level of telepathic abilities, being able to control any kind of reptilian life in a wide range, and even to manipulate human brain’s reptilian complex, making people act on their lower instincts. Torn between a human personality who wants to help mankind and a reptilian one who seeks to destroy it, Curt Connors constantly struggles with Lizard for control, in a neverending battle that makes him an extremely dangerous threat to everyone around him.

Eugene “Flash” Thompson

flashthompsonfilmcasualgamer‘s list goes on, and we meet another secondary character (at least, he used to be) in the Marvel Universe: Flash Thompson, the bully who tormented Peter Parker in high school. His first live action appearance was in the first Spider-Man movie: portrayed by Joe Manganiello, he is the boyfriend of Mary Jane Watson, as well as the school’s bully, until he’s knocked out with a single punch by a now-superhuman Parker; Manganiello reprises the role in a brief appearance in Spider-Man 3, where Flash is seen attending Harry Osborn‘s funeral. The character appeared again in The Amazing Spider-Man, this time portrayed by Chris Zylka: in here, he plays basketball rather than football, and he’s obviously humiliated by his former victim Peter Parker after he gains spider-like powers; he also appears briefly in the extended cut of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, where it’s revealed that he’s now friends with Parker. In the comics, his role doesn’t differ much, being always the big bad bully who eventually turns out to be a pretty decent guy. Let’s see together.

Eugene Thompson was born in New York, in Forest HillsQueens. He was the son of police officer Harry Thompson and of his wife, Rosie; he grew up with his younger sister, Jesse, and had a normal and happy childhood… apparently. Harry, in fact, was an alcoholic, and every time he got drunk (something that happened pretty often) he used to beat his firstborn son. Eugene soon learnt to hate and fear his father, but all the rage he felt for him was something he simply could not vent on its cause, being his father so much stronger and bigger than him: to hide his pain and to release some of his anger, he became the living nightmare of his schoolmates, especially the weak and defenseless ones, people in which he saw himself, and who he released all his violent rage upon. A feared bully, Eugene was also an ace in sports, especially in football, and his talent, his prowess and speed earned him the nickname “Flash”. Flash Thompson attended Midtown High School, where he was revered as a god by flashthompsoncomics1the “cool guys”, and feared as a monster by all the others; his favorite target was Peter Parker or, as he called him, Puny Parker, a smart and scrawny boy whom he bullied on a daily basis… mostly because he was secretly envious of his intelligence, something he obviously would have never revealed to anybody. His usual friends were Tiny McEever, another bully who shared his same family history, Jason Ionello and Seymour O’Reilly, but he also had a crowd of worshiping girls following him, among which Sally Avril and Liz Allan, the most popular girl in school, who was his girlfriend for a while. When Flash realized that Liz kind of liked Parker, he even intensified his bullying, making him the nearly exclusive target of his beatings and his pranks. Only once Peter fought back, during an improvised boxing match in the school gym: in this occasion, surprisingly enough the skinny boy managed to dodge each and every punch from Flash, knocking him out with a single hit immediately after. Impressed, Flash and the others soon forgot the “incident”, especially considering that things came back to normal soon enough.

Some days after Parker’s unexpected victory, a new superhero appeared in New York, the one who immediately became Flash’s undisputed hero and role model: Spider-Man. Despite the popular opinion considered Spider-Man little more than the criminals he captured, and J. Jonah Jameson convinced many citizens with his Daily Bugle editorials that he was a menace for all the innocent people of New York, Flash never faltered in his admiration for the hero, going as far as to found the first Spider-Man Fan Club, inviting every single schoolmate (Parker excluded) to join him. He even sent Jameson’s reporters away when they were trying to discredit Spidey in Midtown High, and his faith won even over evidence, since he remained the only one to believe in Spider-Man’s innocence even after he was photographed while robbing a bank (it turned out Flash was right, as the culprit was actually the villain Mysterio impersonating the hero). The enthusiastic fanboy even tailored his own Spider-Man costume: he flashthompsoncomics2first wore it trying to scare Parker, but he ended up captured by Doctor Doom, who believed him to be the real deal; luckily enough, the real Spider-Man intervened to save him from the villainous monarch. The second time he dressed up as Spider-Man was when the hero was publicly deemed a coward after escaping a battle with the Green Goblin: Flash, in his costume, faced three car thieves, hoping that the real hero would have showed up like the last time; unfortunately, this time the boy was on his own, and the thieves ended up beating him badly. After this, Liz broke up with him, telling him she wanted nothing to do with a “muscle-bound goop”; obviously, Flash vented his frustration over Parker as always, but as the end of high school approached, the tension between the two started dampening, and Eugene’s admiration for Peter’s intelligence eventually overcame his unmotivated grudge against him. Flash and Peter met again in Empire State University, which they both attended, and they got closer thanks to a mutual friend, Harry Osborn. The two former rivals put away their former enmity for good, in a relation that would have eventually become a close and strong friendship.

Eugene “Flash” Thompson is essentially a scared kid who acts all tough and mighty to hide his private pain and fear. A violent bully and a boasting athlete, he’s actually pretty insecure, and most of the time he envies the very people he torments on a daily basis. Behind all his fake arrogance and his public role of “popular guy” there’s a good young man trying to emerge, a selfless and honest boy ready to take his own responsibilities, desperately trying to become a different man from his father.

Helen Stacy

helenstacyfilmLast recurring character in The Amazing Spider-Man 2: at the beginning of the film, when Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy attend to the ceremony of the end of high school, Gwen’s numerous family can be seen. While in the comics she has no brother (she has three in the movies), she surely has a mother, who answers to the name of Helen Stacy. Portrayed by Kari Coleman, Helen appears just at the beginning and at the end of the movie; she already appeared in the first film, during an embarrassing family dinner during which Peter had to try not to appear a total creep to George, Gwen’s father (thus earning Helen’s sympathy). She also appeared at the end of the movie, attending to her husband’s funeral. In the comics, she’s less than a secondary character, especially because she only appeared in a single story, but we know something of her nevertheless. Let’s see together.

Absolutely nothing is known about Helen ‘s early life, not even her maiden name. She was born in New York City, likely in a wealthy family; we have no clue about any brother or sister. At a certain point in her life, she met George Stacy, a young man who had just entered New York City Police Department along with his brother helenstacycomics1Arthur. Helen fell in love with him, and the two ended up getting married a short time after. George’s career in the NYPD was quite a bright one, and he became renowned for being one of the most efficient and overall honest cops in the city; by her side, Helen was quite proud of her husband, even if, for him to be a good cop, it meant for her that she saw him very little. When George and Arthur were still quite young detectives, they received an assignment involving a serial killer operating near Oscorp: Helen understood quite well how much dangerous this task would have been compared to the others, but, despite being clearly worried, she didn’t even try to prevent her husband from doing what he knew was right. Helen, in the meanwhile, had gotten pregnant, and she gave birth to a beautiful daughter, Gwendolyne: she started questioning her husband’s commitment to his job, since he now had a family to take care of, and a person who depended on him entirely. Helen’s bad feeling about the Oscorp’s affair proved to be right, and both her husband and her brother-in-law risked to die dealing with a supernatural creature, a science freak which would have been nicknamed the Proto-Goblin: George came back home, but his leg was broken, and from that point he would have needed a walking cane to move. Now that he was hurt, and that he had experienced a kind of crime normal cops weren’t enough to stop, George was more inclined to listen to his wife’s worries, and he decided to retire from NYPD to spend his life with his family.

Helen finally had her family reunited under the same roof, and she could stop worrying about receiving a phone call at late night telling her her husband had been killed in line of duty. However, despite George spent happy years with his wife and daughter, he never really stopped caring for his city and his job, and kept contacts with his former colleagues in the department. Helen focused on her daughter Gwen, who grew up to become a beautiful and brilliant girl, deeply helenstacycomics2attached to her parents, her father especially. When the vigilante Spider-Man started his activity, Helen was influenced by her husband’s positive view over the superhero, a position that put him in contrast with his colleagues. In that time, Gwen had finished high school and started college, and George felt his presence at home wasn’t needed as much as before: when US Colonel John Jameson called him out of retirement, Helen saw her husband donning the uniform again. She was quite worried, especially because of his old age and of the kind of city NY had become with all the superhumans in the streets, but tried to support her husband the best she could. Unfortunately, once again she proved to be right, and George ended up being killed during a battle between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus. In order to help her cope with the loss, Helen encouraged Gwen to move to England for a time, while she stayed in New York waiting for her to return.

Helen Stacy is essentially a good woman, deeply devoted to her family. Despite she supports her husband George in whatever he needs her to, she’s often worried for him, and she tries her best to be a mother for Gwen when her husband is out for work. Helen is the proverbial great woman behind a great man, patient, caring and understanding, proud of her husband and her daughter, but often acting only behind the curtains as a supporter of both.

Gustav Fiers (The Gentleman)

Gustav FiersAnother recurring character from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 today, despite he’s quite a surprise in his own right. At the end of the first The Amazing Spider-Man, doctor Curt Connors is visited in jail by a mysterious figure, known only as “The Man in the Shadows“, who tells him Norman Osborn has got some plans in store for Peter Parker. The character’s identity has been a mystery until now… and he’s not someone anybody was expecting: Michael Massee is finally credited as Gustav Fiers, and he once again appears just for a few minutes, promising further development for both the character and the general story line. This time, Fiers visits Harry Osborn in prison, updating him on the state recruitment of his new team: while he visits a secret section of Oscorp, we clearly see some very known equipment: Rhino‘s armor, Doctor Octopus‘s tentacles, and the Vulture‘s wings, so it’s quite positive he’s assembling the Sinister Six… just like he did in the comics. Let’s see together.

Son of August and Elizabeth Fiers, Gustav was raised in a wealthy environment, since his parents had enriched themselves with the slave trade prior to Civil War. Gustav had a younger brother, Karl, and a younger sister, Isadora, and the three of them were taught the “ideals” of racism and lust for money that moved August. The whole family in 1912 took a pleasure vacancy on the Titanic, and when the ship hit the iceberg, they all thegentlemancomics1survived thanks to their money, since they were able to pay for their place on a lifeboat: from that moment, Gustav became truly devoted to his father’s philosophy of life. Isadora died early for encephalitis, and Karl became the only rival in inheritance: the young man, however, became attracted to anarchist ideals, and left his family to become a ruthless mercenary known as the Finisher. When August died, Gustav was the only son left to inherit their fortune, and he managed to make it grow in a very brief time. Fiers wasn’t satisfied with normal ways of making money, and became involved in a number of criminal activities: from smuggling to blackmailing, from political murders (often entrusted to his brother Karl) to drug-dealing, there was no activity Fiers wasn’t involved in. He also became a financial adviser to powerful men of the ‘3os and ’40s (Al Capone included), and financed many wars and uprisings both abroad and in the USA. To protect himself, he started going only by the name The Gentleman, but he ended up being tracked by a treasury agent named George Williams, who almost captured him in Lakehurst, New Jersey, in 1937. To cover his escape, Fiers engineered the LZ 129 Hindenburg tragedy, an expedient that also made him even richer, since he had already invested a big amount of money on a new flying technology, the airplane.

Fiers escaped to Europe, and during World War II he kept raising up his patrimony by selling weapons to both the Axis and the Allies. However, Williams had followed him in Casablanca, where The Gentleman was operating, and managed to contact the Invaders, the American superhero team led by Captain America. Cap and the others thegentlemancomics2arrived in Morocco to arrest Fiers, but he managed to escape by blowing up a nightclub. He kept working with the Nazis, especially with his friend and ally Johann “Red Skull” Schmidt, and survived the fall of Germany by escaping from the Allies’ forces. Fiers was apparently involved in all the major events of the century: he was aboard the Andrea Doria, he prevented Anna Anderson (maybe Anastasia Romanova) from claiming her lineage, and got involved in the spy game of the Cold War. He also finance AIMHYDRA, the Red Brigade and other terrorist organizations, taking pleasure (and wealth) from the chaos he created. His organization, eventually, was infiltrated by foreign agents led by George Williams: Fiers captured one of them, Canadian mutant Logan, and tortured him for information. Realizing his cover had blown up, Fiers escaped, leaving the Canadian to die, but Logan was rescued by two American agents, Richard and Mary Parker. When the Finisher started to work for the new Red Skull, Albert Malik, Fiers recognized the Parkers among his ranks, and informed the Skull that they were American spies, having them killed by his brother. From that moment, Fiers started monitoring the life of Peter Parker, the spies’ infant son, so that he could have exact his revenge when the boy would have been old enough to “appreciate it”. Thanks to his constant spying, Fiers learnt that Peter had become Spider-Man, and enjoyed seeing both the progresses and the misfortunes happened to the young hero. When his brother Karl ended up being killed by Spider-Man himself (an ironic event that resembled Spider-Man’s origin), The Gentleman decided it was time to intervene personally, and contacted his old friend the Chameleon to gather once again the Sinister Six, an alliance of Spidey’s deadliest foes. Blood called for blood, and Fiers was eager to claim what was his by right.

Gustav Fiers is a greedy and unscrupulous man, a hidden preeminence behind some of the bloodiest and worst events happened during the XX Century. As The Gentleman, he has no superpowers, but he uses his genius-level intellect, his nearly limitless wealth and his vast knowledge to control people and organizations. Despite being very old, he has maintained both his mind and body into shape, and he’s able to easily overpower men much younger then himself; his walking cane is just a way to pretend to be weaker than he actually is, and hides more than a weapon. Extremely powerful, influential and dangerous, with thousands of enemies who both fear and hate him, The Gentleman can be seen as the man who truly shaped the XX Century, an agent of chaos that prospers over death and disorder.

Benjamin “Ben” Parker

Film Title: Love HappensFinally, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 hit the screens (at least here in Europe, in the US you’ll have to wait some more days), and there’s quite some characters to speak about. Let’s start with the old ones, so that we’ll avoid potential spoilers. First of all, we get another glimpse at beloved Uncle Ben, again played by Martin Sheen: he only appears in a couple of flashbacks, first speaking with his brother Richard about taking little Peter with him, and later with a couple of FBI agents informing him that Richard escaped with secret researches to be sold to the best bidder (something he just couldn’t believe). The character already appeared in the original Spider-Man trilogy, portrayed by Cliff Robertson: as always, he’s introduced to die, as his death is the trigger to Peter’s evolution into Spider-Man. He then appeared in dream sequences speaking with his nephew. Despite not being much different, let’s see together who he is in the comics.

Benjamin Parker was born in New York City at the beginning of the ’20s. Since his very childhood, his difficult familiar situation forced him to become an adult before time, and he acted as a father figure to his much younger brother Richard. He unclebencomics1served in the Army, and immediately after came back home to take care of Richard. He fell in love with May Reilly, a beautiful girl from Brooklyn, but he didn’t have quite the time for girls and started working as a carnival barker in Coney Island to earn some money for his family. Despite his many commitments, Ben kept courting May, but she was attracted to Johnny Jerome, a man much richer than Ben and quite the adventurer, a guy who, May thought, would have given her a better, more exciting life than the one Ben could ever give her. Ben didn’t give up on May, especially because his instinct told him Johnny wasn’t the one who could have made her happy: in fact, he found out that he was a criminal, and told the girl. Unfortunately, May took him for a jealous liar, and didn’t listen to him. One night, Jerome reached for May and proposed to her, asking her to flee together, but Ben followed him, and told the girl that her soon-to-be fiancée had just killed a man with some accomplices and robbed a jewelry, and that police was arriving. Hearing the sirens, May realized the truth, and broke up with Johnny, who was arrested immediately after. Ben spent the night with her, comforting her weeping in his arms.

Finally, Ben’s determination and honesty brought results, and May, freed from her teen-aged delusions of a wealthy and adventurous husband, learnt to appreciate him, and eventually fell in love with him. Ben and May got engaged, and eventually unclebencomics2married, moving to a small but comfortable house in Queens. They lived together a long, happy time, darkened only by the lack of children: despite it had been a common choice, the two started to realize what they had renounced to only when they got too old to change their minds. The “solution” to their problem came unexpectedly when Richard, who had become a CIA agent in the meantime, was assigned with his wife Mary a risky mission in Algeria, and he asked his trusted brother to take care of his infant son, Peter, as long as they came back. Unfortunately, the never came back, as they died during the mission. Despite being quite old at the time, being the closest relatives Ben and May obtained the custody of Peter, and acted as his parents. Ben was the closest person to his shy and studious nephew, and supported him all his student’s life, when he was bullied by his schoolmates. When Peter gained superhuman powers due to a radioactive spider’s bite, he abruptly changed his character, and alienated from his uncle and aunt. Ben tried to teach one last lesson to him, one that he had learnt by experience: with great power, there must also come great responsibility, but Peter had become too self-confident and arrogant to listen. When a burglar enter the Parkers’ home, Ben tried to defend May, and was shot and killed by the criminal. When Peter realized the killer was the same thief he didn’t stop just some hours earlier, he finally understood his uncle’s lesson, and became Spider-Man.

Ben Parker is a good man: wise, honest and strong, he has the gift of making the life of everyone around him better with just his presence. A tender and loving husband for May and a dependable father figure for Peter, Ben uses his wisdom and good heart to give precious advises to his nephew and to whoever asks him. He’s also a determined and strong-willed man, who never gives up on what he thinks he’s right. Beloved by everyone, he’s the man who forged and indirectly created Spider-Man.

Mary Teresa Fitzpatrick

maryparkerfilmSecond and last character seen in the new trailers from The Amazing Spider-Man 2Mary Parker, the hero’s mother, portrayed by Embeth Davidtz. Being dead, she’ll appear in some flashback or something similar. Peter Parker will look for the truth about his parents in this one, so it’s likely we’ll see something more than the usual family photo. In the first movie, she appeared at the very beginning, leaving little Peter with Ben and May and then fleeing with her husband Richard from unknown enemies, never to be seen again because of a plane crash. Now, let’s see who she is in the comics.

Born Mary Teresa Fitzpatrick, she was William Fitzpatrick‘s only daughter. Her mother died when she was still very young, and this tragedy made her and her father form a deep and strong bond. Her father had been a skilled O.S.S. agent, famous as Wild Will Fitzpatrick, and Mary, growing up with him only, ended up following his footsteps and becoming interested in secret service. Ending school with the maximum grades, Mary later entered CIA, where she was given a job of translator and maryparkercomics1data analyst. On work, she met a fellow agent, young and bold Richard Parker, and she fell in love with him. They knew relations between colleagues weren’t exactly allowed in the Agency, so they decided to keep it a secret, managing to fool their own superiors through elaborated plans that became some sort of secret game for them. Eventually, Mary became a field agent too; tired of hiding, she and Richard finally got married, and, as a married couple, they later got paired up also on the field, since they now had at disposal a natural and perfect cover. Now Mary Parker, she proved to be quite a skilled spy, able to stand toe to toe with her husband. During one of their first missions together, the Parkers had to rescue an ally Canadian agent, kidnapped by Nazi Baroness Adelicia Von Krupp. They managed to infiltrate the Baroness’ castle and to free the fellow agent, who proved to be Logan, the future Wolverine. After the mission, Mary got sick and was brought to the hospital… where she was told she was pregnant. Logan was the first one to congratulate with the couple, mocking Richard for getting that much scared with a baby on arrival and staying absolutely calm and steady under enemy fire.

Mary gave being a spy up for a while, and gave birth to a son, Peter. After the baby’s birth, however, both Mary and Richard came back on the field, a career that forced them to leave Peter with his uncle and aunt, Ben and May, respectively Richard’s brother and sister-in-law. Because of their undoubted skill, they were assigned a secret, very dangerous and risky mission: they had to infiltrate a terrorist agency in Algeria and to identify and arrest (or kill) its leader. They maryparkercomics2managed to fool the enemy and to enter the Algerian base, posing as double agents, and they discovered that the base was controlled by Albert Malik, the communist Red Skull. Something, however, went wrong, and Malik saw through their story. As soon as Richard realized their cover had blown up, he took Mary and tried to escape from Algeria with their plane. Unfortunately, Malik had sent one of his best assassins, the Finisher, to stop the spies; the Finisher had already mined the plane, and the moment Mary and Richard were high-flying, the plane exploded, killing them both. Because of the secrecy of their mission, Richard and Mary died with their country believing them to be traitors; only years after their son Peter, who had become the superhero Spider-Man, cleaned their names exposing the Red Skull and the Finisher, finally proving that his parents died as heroes.

Mary Parker is a strong and determined woman, raised by her father to be second to no man. She’s a skilled spy, a markswoman and a martial artist, proud to serve her country… and to prove to anybody that being a field agent isn’t just a man’s work. She’s deeply in love with her husband, Richard, and she also loves her son Peter, but settling up isn’t something she’s ready to do, even for her family.