Uncle Ben


Uncle Ben

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character_name=Uncle Ben
publisher=Marvel Comics
debut="Amazing Fantasy" #15 (August 1962)
creators=Stan Lee
Steve Ditko
full_name=Benjamin Parker
supports=Spider-Man|

Benjamin "Ben" Parker, usually called Uncle Ben, was a supporting character in the Marvel Universe’s Spider-Man stories. He was created by writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko.

Parker was the uncle and adoptive father of Peter Parker, Spider-Man’s alter ego. His death at the hands of a burglar that Spider-Man declined to pursue earlier forever propelled Spider-Man into the role of superhero.

Publication history

Uncle Ben first appeared in "Amazing Fantasy" #15 (August 1962) and was killed in the very same issue.

Although his history as a supporting character was very brief, Uncle Ben is an overshadowing figure in Spider-Man’s life, often appearing in flashbacks.

Notability

Uncle Ben was notable as one of the few Comic book deaths that stuck (along with Gwen Stacy). He was a member of the "Big Three", referring also to Jason Todd and Bucky whose notable deaths, along with Ben's, gave way to the phrase "No one in comics stays dead except for Bucky, Jason Todd, and Uncle Ben". Later, the revivals of both Bucky and Jason in 2005 led to the amendment, "No one in comics stays dead except Uncle Ben". In fact, if one includes the Ultimate Marvel rebooted continuity, Uncle Ben is the only one to have stayed dead across all major continuities.

There have been examples of Uncle Ben remaining alive, including stories featured in Marvel's "What If" (in which he forces Peter to unmask in front of J. Jonah Jameson), and a storyline of the 1994 "Spider-Man" animated series featured a universe where Uncle Ben had never died, and Peter Parker became a successful industrialist, having never really bothered to use his powers responsibly as everything always seemed to work out for him. This fact is used to defeat the rampaging Spider-Carnage by exposing him to the one person he will trust and listen to: the Uncle Ben of that reality.

A storyline in "Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man" has suggested that Ben may be alive. This Ben, however, was actually from an alternate timeline where Aunt May died in a random accident, leaving him to raise Peter. This alternate Ben came to the 616 reality as part of a plot devised by the Hobgoblin of 2211 to defeat the Spider-Men of different eras. Here he met the 616 version of May Parker, still alive. Confronting her, he ended up in a fight with Jarvis, with whom she at the time has a relationship with. Lacking direction, Ben wandered into an alleyway where he encountered a shadowy figure who told him that any action he takes would simply create another universe where he took the opposite action. After this Hobgoblin was erased from history by a Retcon Bomb of her own invention, the Spider-Man of 2211 met with what he presumed to be the same Ben Parker to take him back to his own timeline. In a surprise twist, deciding he rather wanted to "stick around for a while", this Ben Parker shot this future Spider-Man. At the same time, another Ben Parker was shown dead in the alley, meaning one Ben Parker had killed the other and taken his place.

It was revealed that the Ben Parker who had died in the alleyway was the Uncle Ben of the alternate reality, while the Ben Parker who killed Spider-Man 2211 was, in fact, the Chameleon of 2211.

Fictional character biography

Ben Parker was born in Brooklyn, New York. He has had some military training and was once a singer in a band. He had known his future wife May Reilly since their high school days, but she in turn was naively interested in a boy who was involved in criminal activities. When he came to her one night and proposed to her on the spot, Ben was there to expose him as a murderer, and to comfort the heart-broken May when the boy was arrested. Their relationship evolved into love, and they enjoyed a happily married life. When Ben's much younger brother, Richard Parker, and his wife Mary were killed in a plane crash, Ben and May took in their orphaned son Peter and raised him as their own.

In high school, a radioactive spider bite gave Peter superhuman powers. Creating the costumed identity of Spider-Man for himself, Peter sought first to exploit his newfound powers as a masked wrestler and then as a television star. Coming from a television appearance, Spider-Man saw a burglar [Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Spider-Man 2005] being chased by a security guard. The guard calls to Spider-Man for help, but the nascent Peter brushes his calls off, believes that catching criminals is not his job, and lets the burglar go.

The burglar, however, ends up coming that night to the Parker residence, looking for a stash of money that had been hidden in the house years earlier by mobsters (unaware that the money had already been devoured by silverfish). Ben confronts the burglar, who panics and shoots Ben. Telling May that he loves her, Ben dies in her arms.

When Peter returns home that night, he hears that Ben had been shot and killed, and that the killer was trapped in a warehouse. Donning his Spider-Man costume, Peter tracks him down, only to realize to his horror that it was the same burglar whom he could have effortlessly captured earlier at the studio. As a result, Peter considers himself morally responsible for Ben's death and has resolved to fight crime as a superhero -- realizing that with great power comes great responsibility -- and vowing never to let another innocent person come to harm if he could help it.

May later reveals that she felt responsible for the tragedy, as she and Ben had argued a little while before the burglar arrived. She felt that if they had not had the argument, Ben would not have been where he was when confronting the burglar.

Ben Parker's death was truly avenged when Carradine returns for the money once more, threatening Aunt May. Carradine dies from a heart attack upon beholding his old nemesis Spider-Man once again.

Other versions

Bullet Points

In this alternate reality, a young Ben Parker is working as a military policeman. He is assigned to security for Doctor Erskine, a scientist for the Captain America program. An assassination attempt on Erskine succeeds, killing Ben in the process. Later on, May still attempts to raise Peter on her own, but without the influence of Ben, Peter grows up to be angry, cynical and mean-spirited.

Ultimate Ben Parker

Ben Parker in "Ultimate Spider-Man" differs slightly from the original Ben Parker. In the Ultimate Spider-Man comics, Ben Parker is younger than his original counterpart. He is also a former hippie who wears his hair in a ponytail and teaches Peter to be nonviolent. Parker also reminisces about the period he lived on a commune in the first issue of "Ultimate Spider-Man".

"With great power comes great responsibility"

The often-quoted Spider-Man theme of "with great power there must also come great responsibility" is widely attributed to Uncle Ben. However, this was not initially true. In "Amazing Fantasy" #15, the phrase appears in a narrative caption in the comic's last panel, not as spoken dialogue. In fact, Ben has only two lines in the entire comic.

However, later stories and flashbacks that took place when Ben was still alive retroactively made the phrase one of Ben's many homilies he would lecture Peter with. Recent reinterpretations of Spider-Man, such as the "Spider-Man" movie and the "Ultimate Spider-Man" comic, depict Ben as saying this phrase to Peter while he is still alive, in their last conversation. Both the aforementioned adaptations also had Peter lash out at Ben just after he says it, and both also mention his father. Also, in , when the player speaks with Spider-Man, they attempt to say the phrase to him, only for him to interrupt them.

In other media

Television

"Spider-Man" (1994 TV series)

In "," he was voiced by Brian Keith. He appeared in the series as a spirit talking to Spider-Man whenever he was frustrated in a mission or missions. The spirit of Uncle Ben first appeared in Mysterio's debut episode. It was revealed, like in the comics, in the second episode of the third season that Ben was killed by a crook Peter let go from a wrestling ring, causing him to turn into Spider-Man. In the series finale of the show, when Spider-Man had to stop the evil Spider-Carnage- an insane version of Spider-Man who had merged with the Carnage symbiote- from destroying all reality, he managed to make contact with the Uncle Ben of that world, realising that his counterpart in that reality had "never" failed or had any difficulties in his life, and hence would have saved Uncle Ben. Thanks to Ben's influence, Spider-Carnage was convinced to stop what he was doing, but, unable to rid himself of the symbiote, he instead used the 'reality bomb' he had created to create a portal that would disintegrate whatever entered it, subsequently committing suicide by entering the portal to end the symbiote's threat once and for all. After Carnage's death, although they lived in different realities, Spider-Man and Ben hugged, with Ben saying that he was proud of his different-reality nephew, while Spider-Man assured Ben that he'll always have him in his heart.

"The Spectacular Spider-Man"

In "The Spectacular Spider-Man", he appears in a flashback, and as the representation of Peter's good side in the episode "Intervention", and was voiced by Edward Asner.

Films

"Spider-Man"

In the Spider-Man film series, Ben Parker is played by Cliff Robertson and his character remains faithful to the comics, including his being shot by a criminal his nephew Peter failed to stop (Although in the comics he was shot trying to defend May during a break in at their house and in the film he was shot during a carjacking). He appeared in the first film as a father figure for Peter. The amiable Uncle Ben is fired from his job as chief electrician for 35 years and worries about his nephew's strange behavior. His words of wisdom, "With great power comes great responsibility," inspires Peter to become Spider-Man. But Peter lashes out at him during this speech, telling him to stop acting like his father. Later that night, Ben is believed to shot by the burglar whom Peter refused to stop when cheated out of out for his money. Peter and his aunt greatly mourn his passing. By the end of the film, Peter has accepted Ben as the father figure of his childhood.

"Spider-Man 2"

The second film features a sequence where Peter contemplates giving up his Spider-Man identity to Uncle Ben who, in the flashback, is a physical representation of the entity and ideology of Spider-Man, encouraging Peter to continue on as a superhero.

"Spider-Man 3"

Robertson returns in a flashback scene (as well as a dream sequence) in the third film. In the film Captain George Stacy tells Peter and Aunt May of new evidence that suggests the thug Peter killed in the first film was only an accomplice of Flint Marko , who was Uncle Ben's real killer; Peter then imagines Marko throwing Ben out of the car and gunning him down in cold blood. Robertson appears again at the end of the film during a more accurate flashback, as Marko explains to Peter that he only wanted Ben's car, but his partner's interference caused Marko to accidentally pull the trigger when Ben was trying to reason with him. Seeing the truth, Spider-Man forgives Marko just before he slips away.

Franklin Richards' Uncle Ben

Franklin Richards of the Fantastic Four often refers to Benjamin Grimm, the Thing, as "Uncle Ben". Franklin Richards and Peter Parker also have the same middle name, Benjamin, as the Thing and Ben Parker are their namesakes. Spider-Man is aware of this, and told Franklin, "Uncle Bens are always right."

The son of Spider-Man

In "Amazing Spider-Man" #500 , Spider-Man falls through time, encountering all of his enemies from the past, and sees himself in the future. The future Peter Parker tells him that he should tell Mary Jane and their son that he loves them every day. "Our son is called Ben", he says, "but it would pretty much have to be, wouldn't it?" However, because of the way time-travel in the Marvel universe works, it should be noted that this is only a potential future, not necessarily a definite one.

pider-Girl's Uncle Ben

Like her father, Spider-Girl also has an Uncle Ben. However, unlike her dad, May never knew her uncle: Ben Reilly, Spider-Man's clone. If Spider-Girl has any children in the future, they too would have an Uncle Ben - May's baby brother.

References

External links

* [http://www.spiderfan.org/characters/ben_parker.html Uncle Ben's Profile at Spiderfan.org]
* [http://marvel.com/universe/Parker%2C_Ben Uncle Ben on the Marve Universe Character Bio Wiki]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Uncle Ben — s  Cet article concerne la marque de riz. Pour le personnage de Spider Man, voir Benjamin Parker. Logo de Uncle Ben s …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • Uncle Ben's™ — Uncle Ben’s™ [Uncle Bens] a US product name for rice produced by the Uncle Ben’s Converted Brand Rice Company. The original Uncle Ben was a farmer in ↑Texas who supplied rice to the Converted Rice Company …   Useful english dictionary

  • Uncle ben\'s — (англ. От дяди Бена ) брэнд скороварящегося риса и связанных с ним пищевых продуктов. Владеет маркой Mars, Inc., этот брэнд был впервые использован Converted Rice Inc., позже купленной компанией Mars. Рис Uncle Ben’s был впервые представлен на… …   Википедия

  • Uncle ben's — Uncle Ben’s (англ.  «От дяди Бена»)  бренд скороварящегося риса и связанных с ним пищевых продуктов; принадлежит корпорации Mars, Inc. Бренд был впервые использован корпорацией Converted Rice Inc., позже купленной компанией Mars. Рис… …   Википедия

  • Uncle Ben's — Uncle Ben’s (англ.  «От дяди Бена»)  бренд скороварящегося риса и связанных с ним пищевых продуктов; принадлежит корпорации Mars, Inc. Бренд был впервые использован корпорацией Converted Rice Inc., позже купленной компанией Mars. Рис… …   Википедия

  • Uncle Ben's — Cet article concerne la marque de riz. Pour le personnage de Spider Man, voir Benjamin Parker. Logo de Uncle Ben s …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Uncle Ben’s{™} — a US product name for rice produced by the Uncle Ben’s Converted Brand Rice Company. The original Uncle Ben was a farmer in Texas who supplied rice to the Converted Rice Company. * * * …   Universalium

  • Uncle Ben's Rice — Not to be confused with the Uncle Ben character from Spider Man comics. Uncle Ben is a brand name for parboiled (“converted”) rice and related food products. Owned by Mars, Inc. in the U.S. by its subsidiary Masterfoods, the brand was first used… …   Wikipedia

  • Uncle's Ben — Uncle Ben s  Cet article concerne la marque de riz. Pour le personnage de Spider Man, voir Benjamin Parker. Logo de Uncle Ben s …   Wikipédia en Français


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