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'Uncle' Benjamin Parker (Marvel)

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During the Great Depression of the 1930s, Ben Parker, then a young man, worked as a carnival barker at the amusement park in New York City's Coney Island. He was deeply attracted to May Reilly, who was then a strikingly beautiful, young woman who lived with her parents in his Brooklyn neighborhood. May, however, believed herself to be in love with a young man named Johnny Jerome, who clearly had far more money than Ben. Jerome, she thought, offered her the promise of a more exciting life in this time of severe economic hardship. Ben warned May that Jerome was actually a criminal, but she dismissed what Ben said about him as a jealous slander.

One day, however, Jerome unexpectedly confronted May and proposed to her on the spot, saying that he wanted them to leave together right away. May heard the police out on the street and realized that something was wrong. Then, an angry Ben came in and told her that Jerome and some accomplices had just robbed a jewelry store and had shot a man who tried to call for help. May realized that Jerome was indeed a criminal and told Jerome she could never marry such a man. Jerome left and was almost immediately captured by the police outside. Ben comforted the weeping May in his arms. Jerome was convicted of murder and burglary.

The night that Jerome proposed to her was a turning point in May Reilly's life. She began to set aside her fantasies about marrying someone well off financially, and learned to make decisions about the direction of her life. Coming to appreciate Ben Parker and his devotion to her, May fell in love with him. Ben married May, and their life together was long and happy.

Ben had a considerably younger brother, Richard, who became an intelligence agent. Richard married another agent, Mary, and the two of them had a son, Peter. While Peter was still an infant, Richard and Mary were assigned to infiltrate the Algerian based spy ring controlled by a Communist agent, the Red Skull. The moment the Red Skull learned that Richard and Mary Parker were double agents, he had them killed.

When Richard and Mary were on assignments, Ben and May took care of Peter. Ben and May had never had children of their own, but after Richard and Mary died, they became Peter’s surrogate parents and raised him as if he were their own son. The teenage Peter, before he gained superhuman powers, was shy and studious, and felt alienated from his fellow high-school students. Ben and May provided him with the love and emotional support he needed, and they were the only two people Peter truly cared for.

Through an unusual accident, Peter gained superhuman powers. He decided not to tell anyone what had happened to him, not even Ben and May, and created the costumed identity of Spider-Man for himself.

As Spider-Man, he became an overnight success in the entertainment world. After one television appearance, he saw a guard chasing a thief in the studio building. The guard called out to Spider-Man for help, but the masked youth, Peter, ignored him -- thinking that capturing criminals was none of his business, and the burglar got away.

This unidentified burglar, however, had been the cellmate of the infamous depression era gangster "Dutch" Mallone. In the 1930s Mallone lived in New York City's Forest Hills section in the very same house that was now inhabited by Ben, May, and Peter. Eventually, Mallone was captured at the same house by a force of Treasury agents led by the celebrated "untouchable" Elliott Ness and was convicted on tax evasion charges. It was long rumored that Mallone had hidden millions of dollars away somewhere. Mallone was sent from one prison to another, and finally, as an elderly man, he became the cellmate of the burglar whom Spider-Man had allowed to escape. The burglar heard Mallone talk in his sleep about where he hid the money. It was somewhere in his old house in Forest hills. (Unknown to the burglar, however, the money was hidden in a box behind a wall in the House, but had long ago been devoured by silverfish.)

One night, a few weeks after the burglar and Spider-Man had crossed paths in the television studio, the burglar broke into the Parker home while Peter was away making a personal appearance as Spider-Man. The burglar took the Parker home by surprise and held Ben and May at gunpoint. Saying that he needed her to show him around so he could find something, the burglar grabbed May. Furious, Ben ordered the burglar to unhand May and angrily reached toward him. Frightened, the burglar shot Ben and fled. May wanted to send for an ambulance, but the mortally wounded Ben knew that it was too late for a doctor to help him. Telling her that he loved her, Ben Parker died.

Returning home, Peter was told by policemen that a burglar had killed his uncle and was now trapped by the police in the Acme warehouse at the waterfront. Infuriated, Peter donned the Spider-Man costume, went to the warehouse, and captured the burglar. Upon seeing the burglar's face, Spider-Man realized to his horror that it was same thief he had let escape at the television studio. Had he captured the burglar then, Spider-Man told himself, his beloved uncle Ben would still be alive.

Spider-Man turned the burglar over to police. Years later, the burglar, made a second attempt to find Mallone's treasure, held May Parker prisoner, and threatened to kill her if she didn't aid him. Spider-Man defeated the burglar, who died of a heart attack brought on by his sheer terror of his costumed nemesis.

From the night he first captured the burglar, the same night that Ben Parker died, Peter Parker's attitude towards his life and superhuman abilities was radically changed. The fact that he could have saved his Uncle Ben’s life by taking the time to stop the burglar at the studio weeks before, demonstrated to Peter Parker that with great power there must also come great responsibility. His guilt over failing to prevent the death of Ben Parker became the motivating force behind Peter Parker's career as Spider-Man. Peter vowed never to let harm come to an innocent person ever again if he could help, and so it was that Spider-Man became the crime fighter that he remains to this day.


First Appearance: Amazing Fantasy (1962) #15

Favorite Characters:
'Uncle' Benjamin Parker (Marvel) is a favorite character of 2 users

View a chronological listing of this character's appearances

Issue Appearances:
Alpha: Big Time (2013)
Amazing Fantasy (1962)
Amazing Fantasy (1995)
Amazing Spider-Man Family (2008)
Amazing Spider-Man: Going Big (2019)
Avengers (2017)
Avenging Spider-Man (2012)
AXIS: Revolutions (2014)
Blade (2006)
Cloak and Dagger (1985)
Crossover Classics (1991)
Deadpool (1997)
Die Spinne (1980)
Edderkoppen (1978)
Fred Hembeck Destroys the Marvel Universe (1989)
Free Comic Book Day 2011 (Spider-Man) (2011)
Free Comic Book Day 2012 (Spider-Man: Season One) (2012)
Free Comic Book Day 2018 (Amazing Spider-Man/Guardians of the Galaxy) (2018)
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man (2005)
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man (2019)
Giant-Size Spider-Man (2014)
Guerras Infinitas (2019)
Hämähäkkimies / Spider-Man (1980)
Incredible Hercules (2008)
Marvel 75th Anniversary Celebration (2014)
Marvel Encyclopedia (2002)
Marvel Graphic Novel: The Amazing Spider-Man ''Parallel Lives'' (1989)
Marvel Knights Spider-Man (2004)
Marvel Limited: Fantastic Firsts (1994)
Marvel Masters (2007)
Marvel Masterworks (1987)
Marvel Milestone Edition: Amazing Fantasy (1992)
Marvel Tag Gratis-Exemplar (2017)
Marvel Tales (1964)
Mythos: Spider-Man (2007)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2008)
Origins of Siege (2010)
Peter Parker: Spider-Man (1999)
Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man (2017)
Petey (2010)
Secret Wars Too (2016)
Spectacular Spider-Man (2003)
Spider-Girl (1998)
Spider-Man (1990)
Spider-Man - Gratis Comic Tag (2012)
Spider-Man and Batman (1995)
Spider-Man Collectible Series (2006)
Spider-Man Family (2005)
Spider-Man The Secret Story Of Marvel's World-Famous Wall Crawler (1981)
Spider-Man Unlimited (1993)
Spider-Man Unmasked (1996)
Spider-Man XXX: A Porn Parody (2011)
Spider-Man, Power Pack (1984)
Spider-Man: Chapter One (1998)
Spider-Man: Fear Itself (2009)
Spider-Man: Fever (2010)
Spider-Man: Season One (2012)
Spider-Man: The Mutant Agenda (1994)
Spider-Man: The Official Movie Adaptation (2002)
Spider-Man: With Great Power... (2008)
Spidey (2016)
Superior Spider-Man (2013)
The Amazing Spider-Man (1963)
The Amazing Spider-Man (1999)
The Amazing Spider-Man (2014)
The Amazing Spider-Man (2015)
The Amazing Spider-Man (2018)
The Amazing Spider-Man & Silk: The Spider(fly) Effect (Infinite Comics) (2016)
The Best of Spider-Man (1986)
The Clone Conspiracy (2016)
The Incredible Hulk (2000)
The Marvel Encyclopedia (2006)
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition (1985)
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Book of the Dead 2004 (2004)
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Master Edition (1990)
The Sensational Spider-Man (1996)
The Sensational Spider-Man (2006)
The Spectacular Spider-Man (1976)
Trouble (2003)
True Believers: Absolute Carnage - Maximum Carnage (2019)
Untold Tales of Spider-Man (1995)
Web of Spider-Man (1985)
Web of Spider-Man (2009)
Webspinners: Tales of Spider-Man (1999)
What If? (1977)
What If...? (1989)
Within Our Reach (1991)
World War Hulks: Spider-Man vs. Thor (2010)

Movie Appearances:
Spider-Man (2002)
Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Group Affiliation(s):

Famous Quotes: - Add a Famous Quote
""With great power comes great resposibility.""

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