As originally conceived Peter Parker is a tragic character with some key events happening in Amazing Fantasy 15 (death of his uncle), The Amazing Spider Man 121-122 (Gwen Stacy death).

The following quote is from the Wikipedia article on issue 121-122 (my emphasis):

In the comic book collection The 100 Greatest Marvels of All Time: #9-6 (Amazing Spider-Man #121 was the #6 comic), Conway explained that Gwen and Peter were a "perfect couple", but taking that relationship to the next level (i.e. marriage or at least Peter revealing his secret identity to her) would "betray everything that Spider-Man was about", i.e. personal tragedy and anguish as root of Peter's life as Spider-Man. Killing Gwen Stacy was a perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone: breaking up the "unfitting" relationship and reinforcing the element of personal tragedy which was, in his opinion, the essence of Spider-Man.

So I wonder, are there particular literary influences or examples for the development of the character and the tragic makeup of his life?

  • 2
    Hello drmanhattan, and welcome to the site. It’s always a nice courtesy (in fact, it’s required) to add a link that shows what it is exactly you’re quoting, so I’ve gone ahead and added one in for you, as well as making your quote stand out more by formatting it as a blockquote. If there’s anything about the site you need help with, the help center is a good place to start. :-) Feb 12, 2016 at 21:25
  • This is a little ill-defined. How closely do you want the other character to match Peter Parker? You could make a case for Tarzan, or Pip from Great Expectations, or even Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights.
    – Spencer
    Jun 10, 2021 at 12:35
  • @Spencer only if that's what the writers have said though
    – AncientSwordRage
    Jun 14, 2021 at 12:21
  • @AncientSwordRage The question says "Possible" literary influences, not "confirmed". Admittedly, though, the question would be much tighter if OP asked for statements from the writers about their influences.
    – Spencer
    Jun 14, 2021 at 13:32
  • @Spencer I assumed that 'possible' mean that it was possible the writers were influenced, or possible they weren't. Any other interpretation boils down to speculation and opinion which is off-topic.
    – AncientSwordRage
    Jun 14, 2021 at 14:27


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