1 The Death of Uncle Ben
While Uncle Ben's death and the lasting lesson is taught Peter may seem obvious in hindsight, there was a time before Stan Lee and Steve Ditko taught Peter Parker anything about power and responsibility. Before Spider-Man, super heroes were passive viewers of their own tragic origins. Superman was a baby when Krypton was destroyed, exerting had no control over his fate; Bruce Wayne was a helpless victim of a violent crime as a child, unable to stop the mugger who gunned down both his parents. Peter Parker played an active role in his origin. By now most know the story: a burglar Peter refused to stop murdered the good and kind man who had sacrificed so much for his orphaned nephew. "Amazing Fantasy" #15's ending was part gut punch, part "Twilight Zone" and its DNA can be felt in each and every "Spider-Man" story that has followed. Not a single story, a single battle or a single moment goes by that does not point to that origin and the moment where Peter sees the face of the man he could have stopped. An overwhelming tragedy brought about by the hubris of a young man gifted with great powers is almost Shakespearean in scope, teaching Peter that "with great power comes great responsibility," a mantra that has come to define Spider-Man as a hero of almost mythic proportions. The lesson resonated not only with Peter, but also with fans, as it was rare to see a cover feature in one of Marvel's anthology series graduate to their own book. Spider-Man made the improbably leap, and in doing so became one of the most legendary heroes in comics.