Peter Parker was orphaned at the age of six when his parents were killed in an airplane crash overseas. He went to live with his uncle and aunt, Ben and May Parker, in Forest Hills, New York. Parker was extremely bright and became a high honors student at Midtown High School. Parker's shyness and scholastic interest often made him a social outcast. One evening, Parker attended a public exhibition demonstrating the safe handling of nuclear laboratory waste materials sponsored by the General Techtronics Corporation. During the demonstration, a small Common House Spider happened to be in the path of a particle accelerator's beam and was massively irradiated. The stricken spider fell on to Parker's hand, broke his skin with its fangs, and died. With his hand burning from the bite, Parker left the exhibition. Parker made his way home and passed through an unfamiliar section of the city where he was accosted by a gang of hoodlums. Tossing the gang members aside, Parker was shocked by his own display of strength. As he fled from them, he ran into the path of a speeding car, and leaped to safety about 30 feet up onto a nearby wall. To his growing surprise, he discovered that he was able to stick to the wall with his fingertips. As he easily walked down a guy wire to the street below, he realized that he now possessed a superb sense of balance. Parker quickly associated these spider-like abilities with the bite from the irradiated spider.
Parker went home, where his Aunt May sent him on an errand to deliver clothing to a charity driver located in a nearby National Guard Armory. There he saw a wrestling match which offered a prize for anyone who could remain in the ring at least 3 minutes with a professional wrestler. Interested in testing his new-found powers, Parker decided to accept the wrestler's challenge. Wearing a mask to conceal his features to avoid embarassment in case he lost, he easily defeated his opponent. A television producer's talent agent spotted him and promised him a segment on a network variety show. Parker, calling himself the "Amazing Spider-Man", accepted the offer and decided to use it as a springboard to a show business career as a spectacular stunt performer. Over the next several evenings, Parker used equipment borrowed from his high school to fabricate a fluid that imitated a spider's silk web, and spinneret devices to project that fluid from his wrists in the form of a web strand. He also silkscreened his original design for a costume onto a body stocking and full-head mask. Thus prepared, Peter Parker appeared as Spider-Man on national television and was an immediate media sensation.
Just after the conclusion of the television show, a buglar, being pursued by a security guard, ran by Parker who impetuously allowed him to pass although he could have easily stopped him. When reprimanded by the guard, Parker arrogantly replied he was a professional performer and that chasing criminals was the guard's job. Parker promptly forgot the incident. A few days later, Parker returned home to find that his Uncle Ben had been murdered by a burglar. A police officer informed him that the burglar had been trailed to a nearby abandoned warehouse where the police had him trapped. Grief-stricken, Parker rushed to the warehouse to seek vengeance. At the warehouse Parker, as Spider-Man, easily captured the burglar and realized that he was the same person that he had allowed to run past him earlier that day in the TV studio. He realized that if he had acted responsibly earlier, he might have prevented the death of his uncle. Filled with remorse, he realized that with power comes responsibility, and he vowed to never shirk that responsibility again.
Peter began to use his powers to fight crime. He also tried to join the hero team Fantastic Four in their formative stages but was dismissed. As a solo hero, Parker took pictures of his fights as Spider-Man using an automatic camera, and then sold the pictures to the Daily Bugle. Spider-Man rapidly became one of the most well-known citizens in New York City, although, unfortunately, many people think of him as a menace due to the editorials of Bugle's editor J. Jonah Jameson. Parker's main concern about Aunt May was that, if she ever found out his secret identity as Spider-Man, it would aggravate her weak heart condition.
During this time, Parker dated Betty Brant of the Daily Bugle, although Liz Allan had a crush on him. At the same time, both Aunt May and her neighbor, Aunt Anna, were encouraging Parker to date Anna's niece, Mary Jane Watson, whom he would not meet until months later.
After high school, Parker enrolled in Empire State University, and divided his time as a hero, a student, and photographer. Eventually, Parker moved into his own apartment. During this time, he developed a relationship with Gwen Stacy. Unfortunately, during Spider-Man's conflict with the original Green Goblin, Stacy was killed. Some time later, Parker developed a steady relationship with Mary Jane. Parker proposed marriage, although Mary Jane declined, and soon left Parker's life for many months.
Eventually, Parker graduated from ESU, and pursued his career as a hero and photographer. As he continued to live on his own, as his Aunt May decided to transform her house into a senior citizens' boarding house. At one point Parker began a romantic relationship and heroic partnership with the Black Cat, although Parker later broke it off due to the Black Cat's disdain for Parker's life apart from being Spider-Man.
Prior to this, Spider-Man was among the heroes kidnapped by the powerful Beyonder to fight in his so-called "Secret Wars." When his costume was damaged, Parker tried using the futuristic technology on the Beyonder's planet to repair it, and instead, replaced it with an alien "symbiote" which transformed into a black version of Spider-Man's costume, perhaps based on the newly appeared Spider-Woman. Parker used the symbiote for his costume, which was capable of transforming into street clothing as well as generate webs. When the costume behaved strangely, Parker sought help from the Fantastic Four's Mister Fantastic, who discovered the costume was a living organism. He helped remove the costume by force, and kept it in Fantastic Four headquarters in captivity. The symbiote would later escaped, plaguing the life of Parker again and ultimately merging with one of Spider-Man's critics Eddie Brock, creating the villain Venom.
As Spider-Man, Parker has met and fought alongside nearly every hero in Manhattan, if not the world. Although he had fought with the hero team Avengers many previous times, he tried to join their number when he learned of the financial stipend their members received. Parker helped them stop an invasion and subsequent breakout of the energy research and villain interment facility, Project Pegasus. Spider-Man was deemed, however, to disruptive to the team's cohesiveness, and was denied membership. Later, however, Spider-Man met the international mercenary Silver Sable, often working on her behalf.
Later still, Mary Jane returned to Parker's life, and, after a battle between Spider-Man and the Puma, she revealed that she had known (or at least suspected) Peter Parker's secret identity from almost the beginning of his career. Soon after, the two were married.
Peter's old friend Harry Osborn leased the couple a loft in the building that Harry and his family are also living in. Mary Jane's niece Kristie also temporarily moved in with the Parkers at one point. Eventually, however, the Parkers had to move into a room in Aunt May's house due to financial problems.
At this time Spider-Man once again allied with the Avengers to stop the alien Nebula from destroying reality with her Infinity Union. An increasingly unnerved Spider-Man, unaccustomed to dealing with cosmic-scale menaces, accidentally allowed Nebula to absorb the power of the Infinity Union, although the Avengers, Spider-Man, and the alien Stranger thwarted her regardless. Parker was told again that Spider-Man may not be suited for Avengers membership, although later he was inducted into their number on a provisional basis.
Parker later returned to his studies and postgraduate work as a lab assistant at Empire State University. During this time, Parker was briefly endowed with the powers of Captain Universe, in order to stop a series of robots, including the mutant-killing Sentinels. Once the menace was defeated, the extra powers left him.
Later still, Aunt May supposedly suffered a debilitating heart attack and died shortly after revealing she knew Parker's secret. This also led to Parkers meeting Ben Reilly, whom he had fought earlier as a clone of himself. Reilly created a similar spider-costume, dubbed the Scarlet Spider by the Daily Bugle, and helped Spider-Man in his adventures. Shortly afterwards, Mary
Jane became pregnant. Peter and Mary Jane briefly moved to Seattle, as Parker considered retiring from being Spider-Man in order to start a family.
Reilly eventually assumed the identity of Spider-Man himself, since the second villain by the name Doctor Octopus tarnished the reputation of the Scarlet Spider. Mary Jane, meanwhile, was to give birth to baby May Parker, but has rushed to the hospital under the pretense of medical emergency. The baby was stolen by the original Green Goblin, unknown to the Parkers, who were told the baby died in miscarriage. When the Green Goblin tried to kill Peter Parker, Ben Reilly jumped in front of the Goblin's glider, sacrificing himself to save Parker.
After many more months of adventuring, Spider-Man was framed for a crime and increased pressure was placed on capturing him. In order to continue his crime-fighting career and investigate the fraudulent claims, Parker relinquished his Spider-Man identity while creating four unique and separate ones: Dusk, Hornet, Prodigy, and Ricochet. As Dusk, Parker was able to investigate the villain Trapster and publicly exonerate Spider-Man, at which point he resumed the identity.
When the Avengers were attempting to reform their number after disbanding for a year after the crisis known as Onslaught, Spider-Man was contacted due to his past affiliation with them. However, by his own choice Parker decided to dissolve ties with the Avengers.
Aunt May was later discovered to be alive; the woman who seemingly died was in actuality a genetically modified actress. Parker, Mary Jane, and Aunt May moved to an apartment in Manhattan. Parker had promised Mary Jane to give up his Spider-Man identity, but he would continually sneak out at night as Spider-Man. Their marriage began to strain, in part because of a new modeling career of Mary Jane and in part because Parker's secret was discovered. Before they could reconcile, however, Mary Jane was supposedly killed when her airplane exploded. For a long time, Parker refused to believe her dead, but eventually grew to accept it.
More recently, however, Parker discovered Mary Jane was alive, captured by a villain who had been stalking her prior to her airplane flight. After a brief reconciliation, Mary Jane requested to leave Parker once more, saying that she needed time to adjust by herself. He soon took a job as a teacher at his somewhat beloved Midtown High. After getting this job, he encountered a strange old man named Ezekiel (Amazing S-M V2 #30) who possessed powers very similar to his. He knew Peter's secret identity and talked to him about things about his powers he had never thought of, like, "Did the radiation enable the spider to give you these powers? Or was the spider trying to give you those powers before it died?" After many questions, telling Spidey his powers were 'totemistic' in nature, and showing Peter what he could've done, had he stayed in showbiz, Ezekiel warned Peter about a totemistic predator named Morlun, who would try to kill him. After ignoring the warnings of Ezekiel, and being defeated by Morlun, Spidey attempted to get Ezekiel to help him. Refusing to do so, Spidey went after Morlun again after Spidey found him terrorizing innocent people. After being nearly beaten again, Ezekiel helped Spidey, but seemingly perished. Spidey then injected himself with radiation at a nuclear plant, which hurt Morlun, thus enabling Spider-man to defeat him. However, after the brutal battle, Spider-man returned to his apartment, and fell deep asleep. Aunt May came by, only to find that Peter had severe wounds and scars, and a tattered Spider-man costume on the floor. After a day of coming to grips with the fact that her nephew is Spider-man, Aunt May revealed that she knew. Now their relationship is stronger than ever, and eventually, Mary Jane and Peter reunited for good. Later still, after a breakout at the Raft Security Prison, Spider-man joined the New Avengers. May, Peter, and Mary Jane have moved into Avengers Tower after an enemy destroyed both Peter's and May's places.
Changes resulting from a confrontation with Morlun (The Other storyline) have caused Peter to try and reconcile 'the man and the spider' within himself. He has now gained greater speed, poisonous, razor-sharp stingers located within his arms, night vision, increased sensory awareness via vibratory patterns transmitted through the hairs on his body and through his weblines, a greater clinging ability, and equal superhuman strength in order to carry heavy objects on his back.
Following the latest events of "The Other" and along Spideys "The Road to Civil War" (Amazing S-M: 529-531) Tony Stark used his knowledge and highest-tech equipment to tailor Peter a new and in many ways extraordinary suit. It is based on nano-fibre and is controlled by Peter himself by thinking of what he wants it to do. In its appearence and funtion it quite resembles Iron Man´s armor and since Spider-Man very much became Tony´s right hand, Spider-Man was dubbed "Iron Spidey"...
Since the Civil War started, Spider-Man has been having an inner conflict with himself on deciding whose side he should be on. On one hand, Iron Man (Spider-Man's new boss and friend), wants him to be for the Superhero Registration Act (as seen in the books, also referred to as Superhuman Registration Act by some creators and other officials, referring to it as SRA seems most appropriate). However, having had a secret identity, Spider-man would´ve rather been with Captain America, against the SRA. That's changed now. After talking to Aunt May and Mary Jane who totally back him up and reassured him, Spider-Man recently (Civil War #2) revealed his secret identity at a press conference held by Iron Man to an entire room of stunned media, name and all!
This was Peter’s show of commitment to the cause and a show of solidarity with his mentor, Tony Stark. Peter went above and beyond the requirements of the SRA when he outed himself. It was a question of loyalty, and a very, very personal choice. Peter feels indebted to Tony for all he's done for him and his family; this is one way of repaying that. After all Peter is Tony´s right hand in this conflict and just like Tony he very much needed to unmask to be able to stand for what he represents.
Also, if Peter hadn't revealed his identity, he would've become an outlaw. It would've cut him off from his family, or put them on the wrong side of the law. Peter knows the meaning of: "With great power comes great responsibility." He feels that burden every day, and when something is law or something is made illegal, he takes it extremely seriously. People like J. Jonah Jameson have been declaring for years that Spider-Man has no regard for the law. If he openly defied the Registration Act, then he would have verified once and for all the worst things that had ever been said about him.
Poor Jonah ;)...
Spider-Man's main form of transportion is "web slinging" with the aid of his spider-webs. One of Spider-Mans more notable modes of transportation was the Spider-Mobile. Ironically, Spider-Man/Peter Parker to this day does not have a drivers license... leaving one to wonder how well he did drive the Spider-Mobile.