Per the Wikipedia article on Spider-Man's webcasters, in the original comic book Peter Parker develops the webcasters on his own as "an extremely intelligent and creative" scientist. Per the same site this is further explained in 1994's Spider-Man: The Animated Series. In it Parker explains that when he became Spider-Man, he also became subconsciously aware that a combination of certain enzymes would create a strong, sticky fluid reminiscent of a spider's webbing. He then built web-shooters as in the comics.

However, in The Amazing Spider-Man while we see Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker assembling his web-shooters, the Oscorp Biocable box on the table (and accompanying voiceover description) insinuates his source of webbing is from Oscorp. It never shows any other location/place/source that Peter might make his own webbing. If that is the case, why wouldn't anyone think to try and trace purchases of the webbing to identify Spider-Man? Also, even if Peter did happen to start making his own webbing, wouldn't investigators initially assume it MIGHT be Oscorp bio-cable and attempt to trace at least his first purchase?

If perhaps Peter didn't purchase the first box, wouldn't the police still make an effort to trace who might have had access to obtain biocable? E.g. if Peter obtained it through his internship contacts while at Oscorp, he would likely show up on a leads list of suspects. A routine background check asking about him at school would quickly turn up the fact that he had behaving oddly and demonstrating superior physical skills.

In fact, Denis Leary as Captain George Stacy alludes to the fact that Spider-Man "makes mistakes". He is sloppy and leaves clues. I would think leaving the biocable webbing around at his activity sites would be a pretty good lead on which to follow-up.

Is there something in the movie I might have missed on this that someone can help point out to me?

  • Also, in the newly released Spider-Man: No Way Home, Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker mentions that he "makes his own"... Commented Dec 21, 2021 at 0:45

4 Answers 4


I enjoyed the Amazing Spider-Man, but it is not exactly flawless. This question identifies quite a major hole in the film's logic. When I re-watched it I realised that Peter Parker just has the box of Oscorp "biocable" in his bedroom, with no prior explanation of how he got it. I began to wonder ...

"Wait, how could he afford something like that? It can't be cheap. And why would any multi-million (or -billion) dollar corporation sell it to a teenaged kid? Wouldn't he have to send in some sort of evidence or ID to prove that he works for another corporation/research facility capable of correctly and legally utilizing it? He's just a friend of Doctor Connors, how does that grant him access to this stuff? Wait a minute ... did he steal it? Did he obtain this scientific miracle illegally? Or did Curt Connors put in a request for the biocable because Peter had asked him for a favor? Wouldn't Connors be a little suspicious of such a request if this was the case?"

We just don't know! Peter Parker just - has it! Now, maybe I'm mistaken and missed something, but I cannot remember a single mention of how Peter Parker got his hands on the box of webbing. So, really, this is a question that can't be answered because the questioner, Beichst, is completely right. If a man in red and blue spandex appeared on the news, swinging from building to building using spider-silk, and a certain world-renowned R&D company had been known to produce synthetic spider-silk, would it be that hard for the police to put two and two together and figure out who was purchasing this material? It seems to me that Beichst asked this question to point out a hole in the film's logic - and he succeeded spectacularly! There is no rationalizing it - it doesn't make sense that Spider-Man's secret identity could have remained secret.

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    I thought he took it when he visited the labs ?or at least saw it and went back for it post powers
    – howler
    Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 15:10
  • 1
    Yeah, he definitely got it from the Oscorp labs (since the box is labelled 'Oscorp'), but how he would be authorized to get it, let alone afford it, isn't told to us. Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 22:03
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    Maybe he created the Oscorp labs box himself as a decoupage project in which to place his treasured keepsakes. Then later he had it lying around, so he packaged up the webbernator parts inside because they were important to him.
    – xdhmoore
    Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 0:46
  • We see him looking at a website where they're advertising the cable. It's not a big jump to assume that he bought it.
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 5, 2021 at 17:56
  • Maybe Oscorp sends out free samples of the webbing? Or he bought it for a "school project"
    – alexgbelov
    Commented Feb 5, 2021 at 20:43

The cops would have a hard time tracing the web because it disappears after about an hour. (Source: same as listed above) City cops even in NYC do not have the resources to scientifically examine or preserve such evidence. Even an FBI mobile crime lab would be need hundreds of samples to figure out what was going on with that webbing, if they even could. The FBI would never get that chance, of course, because in the Marvel universe the agency S.H.I.E.L.D. controls such investigations and Nick Fury already has a full file on Mr. Parker. Since that file is classified, any federal employee who tried to access it would have an agent show up and tell them oh so politely to stop investigating.

High school Peter Parker does make a lot of mistakes when it comes to keeping that identity secret. His anonymity is paper thin, meaning if somebody suspected Peter Parker was Spider-man, they would quickly be able to prove it. Just pulling his cell phone GPS data would pretty conclusively out him, since who else could possibly be moving around Manhattan at 120 m.p.h., well, ever?

However, they would first have to figure out that Peter Parker is the guy they should suspect. Captain Stacey figured it out because he had a lot of contact with Peter, on top of being naturally suspicious of boys around his daughter. Most cops aren't going to have that advantage. Even mask off, it's almost impossible to get a clear shot of Spider-man, so that avenue is shut off as well.

One additional point, that has nothing to do with the above case. Spider-man continuities don't flow across the different mediums. In other words, the film continuities might address the subject totally different than I have described because they aren't beholden to the source material. It's unlikely, but it could be Spider-man comes out a la Tony Stark at the very beginning of the next movie. Nobody knows until they actually address it in the movie. Everything I've stated above could be invalidated at a later date.

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    Collecting hundreds of samples would be difficult, unless Spiderman had a habit of delivering large quantities of the stuff directly to the police station. Say, as something tying a criminal up.
    – Phoshi
    Commented Apr 26, 2013 at 21:20
  • @phoshi you should work on your reading comprehension. There would just a soup of chemicals as evidence. Unless one of the chemicals is exotic (Hint: they aren't), the police have no way to track it. Once again, only top flight forensics would be able to do anything with it, and Shield owns all those. In other words, by the time it got bumped to a level that could narrow it down to Parker, Shield would put a stop to it, since there isn't any mystery to Parker's ID at the (inter)national level. Commented May 2, 2013 at 10:47
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    A soup of chemicals that just happens to exactly match both the composition and behaviour of an advertised, commercial product? You don't need forensic science to make that link, you just need the TV on in the background while you work. That Shield would shut down an investigation if they learned of it is quite plausible, but to say it's impossible for the police to figure out what he's using is strange. In the comics and earlier trilogy, yes, but in this new one no.
    – Phoshi
    Commented May 2, 2013 at 17:07
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    "in the Marvel universe the agency S.H.I.E.L.D. controls such investigations and Nick Fury already has a full file on Mr. Parker" - source? Does that apply in the universe that The Amazing Spider-Man is set in? Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 13:55
  • IN both the Maguire and Garfield series of films, the producers (god knows why) decided that it was hard to believe that a teenager could invent a super strong polymer, and a delivery system for same. (being able to climb walls after being bitter by a radioactive spider was perfectly acceptable, however) So in the Raimi films, the webs were part of the mutation, and in the Garfield films, he based the tech on existing inventions, which is at least closer. In the new films, while Stark improves on the tech to a great degree, the initial inventions are Peter's. Commented Dec 17, 2018 at 13:52

There may be many people for whom the purchase of Oscorp BioCable could tie them to the identity of Spider-Man

The original radioactive spiders that were used to create the silk were originally intended for being able to cure humans by injecting DNA though the spiders - Norman originally intended to turn them into biological super soldiers, but they were unable to produce more of them, so it appears that Oscorp used them to create the silk which was then sold as Oscorp BioCable.

It seems likely then, before the spiders were killed after the Lizard made it untenable for the research to continue, that by the time people would have encountered Spider-Man and attempted to track down who they were, the Oscorp BioCable shipping records may have included a large number of researchers trying to find additional uses for them, or corporations attempting to put applications to use for profit.

When trying to find out who Spider-Man is, it's probably hard to isolate it down to the person who bought 24 units at a time - and I don't know if he buys more, but if he hadn't, then it begs the question as to why people would think that someone who only bought 24 units of Oscorp Biocable had enough Biocable to be Spider-Man, who uses their webbing many more than 24 times.


Down the line during the movie, he mentioned that he developed his own webs. He might have been lying but when I thought about it, there is a chance he might not. He was working at Oscorb at the time he got the box of materials that he needed but who is to say that he did not make the webs himself in the time that he was there. The Spiders and the whole project was terminated and he still had the webbing in the second movie. So my guess in that he did make the webs and put them in the canister and then the box to carry it home. The box it boxes itself was not for the webbing but a random box he happened to get his hands on. It would be very strange he Oscord was just selling webs like that, then everyone would have it.

  • 2
    This seems like guesswork/fanfic. Can you offer any evidence to back this up?
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 28, 2021 at 19:10
  • Reasonable guesswork, based on the claim in the first sentence. However, the answer would be improved if that claim was quoted directly from the movie.
    – Spencer
    Commented Feb 28, 2021 at 23:46

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