Dorky teen Peter Parker runs after his school bus after missing it. His crush Mary Jane gets the bus to stop, but sits with her jerky boyfriend Flash. Peter arrives at a college for a field trip, where his friend Harry Osborn is dropped off by his rich father Norman, who is impressed by Peter. They tour the university lab and Peter gets bit by a spider, then goes home to his aunt and uncle and heads quickly to bed. He wakes up super-strong.
Why Peter might be hard to identify with: He’s a bit of a mopey sad sack. The main thing he wants is to hook up with the hot girl, which is easy enough to identify with, but also disappointedly unambitious.
- He avoids saying what he wouldn’t say. When Norman Osborn says “Your parents must be very proud of you,” he neither lies nor says “I’m an orphan.” He says, “I live with my aunt and uncle and they are proud.”
- His aunt and uncle talk like real people, not kindly old stereotypes. “Just don’t fall on your ass.” “I’m already on my ass, May.”
- We begin with him running after a school bus that refuses to stop for him, then he gets on and no one will let him sit with them. When he’s trying to meet his crush’s eye on the bus he gets tripped by a bully.
- The ultimate care moment. He thinks his crush is waving to him and waves back, but she was actually waving to her friends behind him, and when they catch up to her she points at Peter and tells them he waved back.
- His best friend uses his facts to hit on the girl he likes.
- He gets, y’know, bit by a spider, which seems to almost kill him.
- He’s super-smart, able to talk to Norman like a colleague. He’s a go-getter, taking pictures for the paper.
- He’s endearingly gung-ho. After he drops a science fact, Harry says, “Peter what would make you think I would want to know that?” Peter perkily responds “Who wouldn’t?”
- He wakes up with super-powers at 17 minutes in.