While Spider-Man’s origin is well-known, the story of his parents, Richard and Mary Parker, is less straightforward. Across various adaptations, their fate ranges from tragic encounters with villains to unfortunate accidents. In the comics, they were CIA agents tragically killed by the villain Red Skull. In film adaptations like “The Amazing Spider-Man,” they perished in a plane crash while in others like the MCU’s version, their story remains largely untouched. Dive deeper with us as we detail the many renditions of Spider-Man’s parents across different media.
Exploring the Diverse Narratives of the Parkers
Peter Parker, the quintessential superhero transformed by a radioactive spider bite, boasts powers like wall-crawling, heightened strength, agility, and a precognitive spider-sense. But beyond his superhuman abilities, the lingering question for many fans revolves around the enigma of his parents. Different versions have been presented across comics and films, each adding a layer to the rich tapestry of the Spider-Man mythos. From espionage-filled tales to heart-wrenching tragedies, the legacy of Richard and Mary Parker continues to captivate audiences.
What happened to Peter Parker’s parents in Spider-Man: Homecoming?
As you may know, Richard and Mary Parker are the names of Spider-Man’s parents. Their characters have adapted differently in various movies, series, comics, and video games. We have seen many adaptations of Peter Parker’s; nevertheless, let’s start with the official and latest version first introduced in Spider-Man: Homecoming. We say it’s the “official version” because it’s the first appearance of Peter Parker within the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), part of the acclaimed Marvel franchise. As a quick reminder, Marvel is the company that owns this superhero, so the other movie versions of this friendly neighborhood superhero are not the “official.”
Although the box-office film Spider-Man: Homecoming is his first appearance of him within the MCU, his parent’s situation is a complete mystery. This new reboot doesn’t give a clue about Peter’s parents; Marvel didn’t include what probably is the most tragic moment in Spider-Man’s life. The furthest that the plot goes back in time are the events in Captain America: Civil War; besides that, there’s nothing more about his origin. We don’t know if they choose not to mention his parent’s absence because it’s usually the same explanation in the films. However, it’d be interesting to see if Marvel decides to go further into Peter’s past in the upcoming movies. There are many essential facts about the Parker couple to dig deep in.
What happened to Peter Parker’s parents in the comics?
Unlike the movies, the comics are extensive and give us more information about who exactly was Spider-Man’s parents and what happened to them. Their first appearance was in 1997 in the comic “Untold Tales of Spider-Man #1,” and Stan Lee and Larry Lieber created both.
The original story: Untold Tales of Spider-Man #1
On the one hand, in the original universe of Marvel, Richard Parker was a CIA agent and the younger brother of Ben Parker, Peter’s uncle. On the other hand, Mary Fitzpatrick also worked for the CIA as a translator and data analyst; as colleagues, they eventually met and fell in love with each other. After that, they worked together as spies; later, they married and lived happily with the arrival of two children, Peter and Teresa Parker, but their peace and bliss weren’t for too long.
Sadly, their happiness didn’t last in this comic because they were both killed in a plane crash by Albert Malik, who was the supervillain Red Skull. That event happened on a mission while trying to stop his operations; unfortunately, Malik sabotaged their airplane, killing them. After that, it’s the story we know; Ben and May took care of Peter, but Teresa grew up elsewhere so she could grow up safely and secretly.
Ultimate Marvel Universe
In this new reboot of Marvel’s Universe, Richard and Mary were just ordinary citizens with no background in the spy field. Here, Richard was a biologist working with scientist Eddie Brock Sr. in a biological suit whose purpose was to bond and repair a host body. To prevent the case from being used for evil purposes, Richard left audio to his son so that he could later learn everything about that experiment.
Then, in “Ultimate Spider-Man #33,” Richard and his fellows, including his wife Mary, were on a plane together when they had an accident, and everyone died. When they died, Peter was just six years old and taken in by Ben and May; this is almost the same ending as the Parker couple’s previous comic. The only difference in this storyline is that a villain didn’t kill them, but their fate isn’t better.
In this comic prequel series, the famous writer Brian Michel Bendis adventures to explore and gives a different and bizarre plot to Peter Parker’s fathers. In this new story, Richard Parker, along with fellows Hank Pym, Bruce Banner, and Franklin Storm, is part of the well-known super soldier project. Here, Captain America wasn’t the only success of this program. Nick Fury was an excellent soldier too. During the testing process, Mary showed up unexpectedly with baby Peter.
While trying to use Bruce as a test person, he transforms into Hulk for the first time, destroying the building and accidentally killing Richard and Mary. After that tremendous disaster, Nick Fury miraculously found Peter safe and sound in the debris and sent him later to live with Ben and May.
What happened to Spider-Man’s parents in the different movies?
Many of us grew up watching this famous spider character, an orphan teen with enormous potential and charm who lives with his aunt and uncle in Queens. Although we all know and love the fantastic aunt May and the iconic uncle Ben, they’re not his biological parents. However, that didn’t stop them from raising and caring for him with deep love by teaching him essential values like responsibility and caring for others.
As you may know, the MCU adaptation of Peter Parker isn’t the first nor the only version of this superhero. Spider-Man has inspired many movies, series, cartoons, and more over the decades, so it does not surprise his vast material. Below, you will find a recap of the story of Richard and Mary Parker within the different box-office films produced in the last few years.
Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire)
In 2002, Tobey Maguire starred in this Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man version; it was this hero’s first successful Hollywood movie. The popularity was so immense that Raimi produced a whole trilogy; Tobey won everyone’s hearts with flawless acting and charm. However, although we have these three incredible movies by Sam Raimi, they don’t exactly give us a detailed explanation of the life of Peter’s parents.
Sadly, in the three movies, we have just one small reference to Spider-Man’s parents, Richard and Mary Parker. As Peter is growing up, he falls in love and has a good friend, Harry Osborn, and they attend college together. One day, when these friends were walking by the school, Peter saw his friend’s father, Norman Osborn, and after a quick chat, he told him that he didn’t live with his parents. Besides that, there are no more clues about the whereabouts of his parents; this is quite surprising because they developed three full films without mentioning them again.
The Amazing Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield)
If you’ve seen The Amazing Spider-Man movies by Mark Webb, you know that the protagonist is Andrew Garfield. In this three-movie saga, the Parkers are mentioned a bit deeper; in this version, Richard Parker is a geneticist. He worked with colleague Norman Osborn on an experiment with genetically engineered spiders to improve human DNA. In the beginning, we see Richard and Mary leave their 4-year-old son in uncle Ben’s and aunt May’s house to get their plane. After that, they don’t show more, just that Richard left recordings for Peter so he can find out Oscorp’s true intentions for the experiments.
On the other hand, in the second movie, we finally find out what happened to Peter’s parents after they took that plane. In the first minutes, Richard is on the plane trying to upload his research into a secret location as he worries about Oscorp’s intentions. Suddenly, the pilot betrayed them, stabbed Mary to death, and started a fight with Richard as the plane approached the ground, and the rest is history.
Supposedly, Richard succeeded in uploading his work and beating down the villain. Still, unfortunately, he didn’t survive the plane crash, leaving his son orphaned. Nevertheless, in this second movie, there’s a deleted scene that shows an old Richard comforting Peter when Gwen Stacy dies, although it’s not official.
Spider-Man (Tom Holland)
The charming Tom Holland is the star in this MCU version of Spider-Man, and again, we don’t find much about his parents for not saying anything. Instead, the only parental figures that Spider-Man knows in this new trilogy are his aunt May, not even uncle Ben this time. However, the well-known and loved aunt May appears much younger and more relaxed than the one we have known through the many stories and years.
That new version of May is interesting; Marvel probably didn’t want to recreate the same story with the same character features that other plots have done. On the contrary, making aunt May this way gives a more authentic and closer aunt-nephew relationship. However, this doesn’t affect the essence of May because even though she’s not a sweet grandma, she also deeply cares for and loves Peter.
Sadly, May dies in the latest movie of this new Spider-Man, leaving him completely alone and taking him away from the only parental figure he knew. On the other hand, uncle Ben isn’t mentioned; the MCU gives a small reference in “Spider-Man; Far From Home.” There Peter uses a suitcase with the initials of his uncle. We still don’t exactly know why Marvel chose not to introduce Peter’s parents in this trilogy, but at the moment, this new Peter Parker has no family bonds.
Next Spider-Man Movie
Tom Holland is the current Spider-Man, and undoubtedly “No Way Home” left us with many questions and theories about the future of Peter Parker. Luckily it has been confirmed that Holland’s legacy will continue for many years as there will be a new trilogy with this fantastic and talented actor. We don’t have a title or release date yet; hopefully, it won’t take so long, but we’re sure it will blow our minds again.
Rumor has it that there will be plenty of new characters, but there’s nothing confirmed yet, but we’re dying to see Tom Holland’s acting after the events in No Way Home. After seeing Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Men again on the big screen, the multiverse opened the door to developing multiple new stories. Fans have been rushing and creating tons of theories about the future of the three Peter Parker, especially now that they’re canon in the MCU. That introduction is fantastic because their stories and backgrounds are now part of this universe, and Marvel can dig more into Richard and Mary Parker in the future.
Summarize about what happened to Peter Parker’s parents
Despite the different adaptations of Spider-Man and how his parents died, the most crucial fact is that, unfortunately, they’re not present with his son. Despite the love of his uncle and aunt love Peter had to grow up alone, which made it extremely difficult for him because they weren’t there every time he needed them. Not having parents it’s tough, mainly for a kid; however, that shaped Peter’s personality to become one of the most famous and beloved heroes.
The deaths of people he cares about taught him considerable strength and responsibility, it’s sad to say this, but that helped him to mature at an early age. Without everything that has happened to him throughout his many versions, we won’t know the current Peter; it simply won’t be the same. Thankfully, this character has been and will continue to be a hit over the decades, so let’s be positive because maybe we will know more about Peter’s parents in some other storyline. Marvel has always done a fantastic job with Peter Parker; they never disappoint when it comes to him, so we need to wait to hear more news about him and his parents.