Ben Parker

 In: Characters
 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Dave Sippel (E-Mail)
 Staff: The Editor (E-Mail)
File Photo





5' 9"


175 lbs


Ben Parker was a wise and loving parent.

Strength Level:

Normal human strength for his age and build.



Created By:

Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

Current Occupation:



Completed High School

Former Bases:

Forest Hills, Queens, New York

Former Occupation:

Former Carnival Barker, subsequent occupation unrevealed.

Known Allies:

Mary Parker, Peter Parker

Known Confidants:

May Parker, Peter Parker

Known Relatives:

May Parker (wife), Richard Parker (brother), Mary Parker (sister-in-law), Peter Parker (nephew)

Legal Status:

No criminal record.

Marital Status:


Place of Birth:

Brooklyn, New York

Real Name:

Benjamin Parker

Usual Bases:

Forest Hills Cemetary


"Memory Lane"

The first we learned about Ben is when he was a carnival barker back during a recession. He was a confident and out-going man, but wise and honest - a truly decent human being. He had one sibling, a younger brother named Richard. Ben was attracted to May Reilly and warned her that her boyfriend, Johnny Jerome, was a dangerous "cheap hood." May told him he was jealous and walked away to meet with Johnny. He was also much wealthier than Ben and May came from a modest background. After returning home from the carnival, May's father said he had heard that Ben Parker worked there. May told him that Ben did work there but she was with Johnny. Jerome was waiting for May in her window and he proposed to her but said they had to do it quickly. When May asked what was wrong, Ben was there to tell her that John and his friends had robbed a jewelry store and shot an old man. Johnny didn't have time to waste, and as he jumped from May's apartment, he was shot by the police. May was comforted by Ben. (Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #4)

”The Other”

Ben was at May’s side when her mother was taken off of life support. (Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 1) #525)

”Maybe Next Year”

It was the anniversary of Ben’s death and Peter let May visit his grave alone. Peter mourned in his own way, by going to see a Mets game. Ben took Peter to Mets games every year from the time he was a child until Peter was in high school. During his first game, the Mets were winning by a safe margin until they lost after the other team hit a grand slam. Peter pouted after the loss and of course Ben taught him that sometimes you lose even after trying your best. They did return every year and the Mets always lost. One year Peter got hit in the head by a foul ball and was startled when the mascot tried to cheer him up. At their last game together, the Mets won. Three days later Ben was dead. Peter returned every year to remember his uncle. (Peter Parker: Spider-Man (vol. 2) #33)

”A Prelude in Red”

Norman Osborn was holding a science exposition at Osborn Chemicals, which was attended by young Peter, May and Ben. Doing some good public relations, Norman asked the young man if he was enjoying the exhibits and was impressed by Peter’s enthusiasm. Norman told the boy that one day they’d either be very good friends or fierce competitors. (Peter Parker: Spider-Man #-1)

”Where Have all the Heroes Gone?”

While helping Ben and May clean the attic, Peter found a box of Ben’s old comic books. Peter loved them, thinking how great it must be to do good in the world and be respected by the public and police. (Amazing Spider-Man #-1)

”Moving Up”

Upon meeting Steve Rodgers (Captain America), an elderly May Parker told him that Ben had met Steve during the war. Ben had just gotten out of MP school and meeting Cap meant a lot to him. (Amazing Spider-Man #519)

”My Brother’s Son”

After accidentally upsetting ten year old Peter, Ben thought of his responsibility to his brother, Richard. He and Mary had been great parents. When they went away for work, Ben and May were always glad to look after the the kind and loving toddler. Ben was very aware that Peter had probably been too young to remember his parents when they died. Ben wanted to raise Peter the way that he thought Richard would have but he doubted himself. Peter was quiet and shy, which was fine but it made him hard to relate to. As Peter got older they drifted apart and May wondered if it was because Peter looked so much like Richard. If anything it made Ben want Peter to know that his father would be proud of him. In the end, he knew he’d have to raise Peter his way but he thought Richard would be proud of them both. (Amazing Spider-Man #600)

"Skin Deep"

When Peter was in high school, the only kid that was less popular than him was Charlie Weiderman. Charlie got beat up by bullies every day and felt like there was no one he could talk to, except Peter. Charlie was filled with rage and Peter knew that he was going to do something stupid. As the same bullies harassed Charlie the next day, Peter saw that he had a pocket knife with him. Peter "tripped" into Charlie and made him drop the knife before he could use it. The knife was seen by the coach and Peter confessed that it was his, to prevent Charlie from doing something stupid. Peter was taken to the principal and after Ben was called, Peter was lucky to only get two weeks detention. Peter had said the knife was his uncle's, and Ben lied to protect his nephew. On the way home, Ben wanted to know what really happened. After Peter finished talking, Ben told him he did the right thing in protecting the bullies.

Later that day, Charlie ran to the Parkers home begging for help. Someone had slashed the bullies tires and they were after him. They followed Charlie to Peter's house, wanted Ben to hand Weiderman over and he refused. When the teens rushed him, he quickly kicked their butts, thanks to what he learned in army basic training. They left, and Ben asked Charlie if he cut their tires. He denied it and Ben didn't believe him. He gave Charlie a half hour to stay and let the bullies leave but after that, was never to see Peter or come to their home again. (Amazing Spider-Man #516)

”Feast or Famine”

While walking through the city with May and Ben, Ben told Peter to give some cash to a homeless man. The man gratefully accepted and as the Parkers walked away, Peter said he could spend the money on something bad. He reminded his aunt and uncle that they couldn’t pay the phone bill. May said that it wasn’t for them to judge, that’s not what helping is about. Ben didn’t know what the man would spend it on but when someone needs help, you don’t walk away. (Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man (vol. 2) #7)


One fateful night, a few days after the events which saw the creation of Spider-Man, a burglar entered the Parker household and killed Ben. As we all know, that same burglar had formerly robbed the TV station at which Spider-Man had appeared. The young web-slinger had the chance to halt the criminal, but had declined through selfishness. Pursuing the criminal and realizing the connection, Peter was devastated that his earlier inaction had caused the death of his beloved Uncle. (Amazing Fantasy #15)

"The Gift"

As May was dying after a stroke (it turned out that the woman wasn't really May, but a genetically modified actress), Peter's long lost clone, Ben Reilly (who took Ben's first name and May's maiden name as an identity), had returned to New York. Ben Reilly had learned that May was dying and wanted to see her one last time. Peter and Ben had teamed together, despite their discomfort with each other, several times after Ben had come back. There was just enough trust between them that after Ben showed up at May's home, he and Peter went to the back yard to talk. Reilly took a moment to remember how he had climbed the tree in the yard as a six year old and couldn't climb down. Uncle Ben climbed up to get him, and then couldn't get down either. May had to get the fire department to get them out of the tree and Ben Parker was completely embarrassed. Reilly was all too aware that none of those memories were really his, just implanted in him in a lab. (Amazing Spider-Man #400)

"The Humanity Agenda"

After Ben Reilly took over as Spider-Man, he took a job at the Daily Grind coffee shop. One of his regular customers was named John Diaz, and he and Ben had some things in common. They both loved old black and white movies, but Ben said that he only learned to like them from Ben. His uncle showed him a bunch of Marx Brothers, Fred and Ginger, Orson Welles and Frank Capra. John was surprised, he had never met anyone with those interests. John turned out to be one of Peter's clones, Spidercide. (Ben Reilly: Spider-Man #1)

”The Ultimate Responsibility”

The daughter of the burglar that killed Ben was Jessica Carradine and she believed that Spider-Man killed her father. For extra drama, she was also dating Ben Reilly after he took over as the wall crawler. She learned his secret and hated Ben for deceiving her. She still believed that he was a murderer, until she saw him rescue people from a burning high rise. She brought flowers to Ben’s grave to show respect. (Sensational Spider-Man (vol. 1) #6)

”The Best Medicine”

Mary Jane was thought to be dead in a plane crash over the Atlantic (Amazing Spider-Man (vol.2) #13) and Peter had trouble accepting it. It took an intervention with his friends and coworkers to convince him. Even so, it was when the travel company sent back MJ’s possessions that he truly believed in her passing. Peter went to Ben’s grave to confess that nothing was funny anymore and his life had become joyless. He took time to remember moments in his life, which gave him some comfort. As he left the cemetery, a car drove past and splashed him with muddy water. He laughed. (Peter Parker: Spider-Man (vol. 2) #20)

"Happy Birthday"

After Spider-Man and Doctor Strange had defeated Dormammu and sent his Mindless Ones back to their dimension, Strange found a gift for Spidey in his cloak. It was a small box with a note inside that said, "You have five minutes. Spend them as you wish." He then heard Ben's voice behind him saying that he and May had just had a fight and he had just returned home. As he entered the front door he thought he heard a gunshot, which didn't make sense to him. Ben said it really didn't matter because he was glad Peter was there. Peter wanted to ask Ben for forgiveness and he said there was nothing needing to be forgiven. Ben said he would only be disappointed if Peter didn't fight for the kind of life that he wanted. He didn't want Peter to settle for less because he was afraid to do it, or to ever walk away from what he believed. Peter told him that he hadn't and Ben said that he had been taught right and his life had meaning. Ben then asked if Peter was happy. Everyone has pain in life and will suffer but at the end of the day, is that person happy? Peter briefly thought of all of his enemies but told his uncle that he is happy and has a good life. Ben told him that that is all that matters. They said that they miss each other and Ben wanted Peter to take care of May. Peter promised and then Ben was gone. Peter then went back to the apartment and to Mary Jane. (Amazing Spider-Man #500)

"The Conversation"

May discovered that Peter was Spider-Man after she walked into his apartment bedroom and found his battered body in bed. On the floor was the bloody and torn Spider-Man costume, destroyed after his first encounter with Morlun. After steeling herself for a while to prepare for confronting him, she came back to the apartment. Peter eventually confessed to her that he was Spider-Man and was responsible for Ben's death. May told him that no, she was the one responsible. They had had an argument that night of his death and he went outside to stop it. May considered telling him to come back inside because it was a silly argument. She didn't do it. Ben went for a walk and while he was out he was shot. Both Peter and May had been silently carrying guilt for years. (Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 2) #38)

One editor’s theory

Ben was a generous man, and had given a loan to a co-worker at the textile factory so he could go to college. The college refused to let Colm Mulligan enter, because he was too late with payments. Ben gave him the money anyway and a few hours later he was dead. (Spider-Man Unlimited (vol. 1) #10) May didn't say what the argument was about, but the Parkers were never rich. In fact, May pawned her jewelry soon after Ben died, after refusing to let Peter drop out of high school to get a job. (Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 1) #1) Maybe she didn't like that he gave Mr. Mulligan the money.

"The Final Curtain"

One winter, Peter went to visit Ben's grave. He was able to talk to his uncle and knew exactly how Ben would answer. When Ben asked why Peter wasn't wearing the gloves that May knit for him, Peter said they cut off circulation at the elbows. Peter remarked how May always hated their snowmen, even though they were legendary in the neighborhood. She always had the same reaction: "You pair of twits!" When Ben asked what was the real reason Peter came to visit him, Peter said the pressure of being Spider-Man, and May now knowing his secret, was a heavy weight. He hoped that he was treating Mary Jane fairly and how he never really tells her how much he loves her. He never did it for Gwen Stacy either. He wants to make the world a better place, but there are so many nasty people.

Ben told Peter that he was always going to be someone like Spider-Man, regardless if he hadn't died or the spider hadn't bitten him. It's just the kind of person that he is. Ben hated to see Peter beating himself up over the past. He was killing himself inside with guilt over Ben, Gwen, George Stacy and everyone else that he feels that Spider-Man should have saved. Peter had to forgive himself and be with the people he loves. His deceased loved ones would be waiting for him. After Peter left, May came to visit the grave. She found Peter's scarf around the tombstone and some odd snowmen nearby. (The Spectacular Spider-Man (vol. 2) #22)

"Down Among the Dead Men"

After Peter admitted to May that he was Spider-Man, they spent a day reminiscing about Ben. After Ben's murder, people told May that she needed to move out or she'd always be reminded of her husband's death. They said she would always see him smoking a cigarette while making his awful potato omelets in the kitchen, or peeing with the bathroom door open. In the end, May said she had more good memories in the house than bad. Later, Peter was teaching a class when another teacher told him he had a phone call. He was soon at the cemetery, standing over the crushed tombstone of his uncle. The groundskeeper assured him it was probably done by dumb kids, but Peter's phone rang and a voice told him that he knew he was Spider-Man. The voice then insinuated that May had been kidnapped. (Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #1) The voice and kidnapper was eventually revealed to be the Scorpion. (Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #9)

"The Clone Conspiracy"

Ben's grave was desecrated a second time, this time by Ben Reilly. (Reilly had died years prior at the hands of the Green Goblin but this was a perfected clone of Reilly.) In his unstable mind, Ben was acting as his creator, the Jackal, and was cloning everyone whose death Peter felt responsible for. This included criminals and friends alike. After Peter learned that Ben was the one behind the mask, Reilly explained that New U Industries was better than cloning. The dead might as well have never died to begin with. Ben knew that Peter felt guilt over any death, so this was the ultimate way to erase his guilt...and provide emotional blackmail. Ben showed Peter their uncle's coffin. (The Clone Conspiracy #3)

After seeing in awe all of the dead that Ben had "resurrected," Peter knew that Ben would never actually bring their uncle back. Reilly had cloned them without hesitation but not Parker, because Ben Reilly knew that Ben Parker wouldn't approve. Knowing that Spider-Man wouldn't be swayed, the Jackal ordered the cloned supervillains to kill him. (The Clone Conspiracy #4)

After the Jackal was beaten, Peter went to Ben's coffin. S.H.E.I.L.D. agents arrived to confiscate the technology, and they allowed Spider-Man five minutes alone. While Peter knew Ben would approve of what he did, he still wished his uncle were there. (The Clone Conspiracy Omega #1)

"Last Remains"

Peter had been dealing with nightmares for months, being taunted by a demonic entity called Kindred. All that was known was that Kindred had known Peter personally and considered him to be responsible for the deaths of many people that Peter loved. When Spider-Man finally found his enemy, Kindred had assembled the corpses of those that he had failed to save at a dinner table. This included Gwen and George Stacy, Flash Thompson, Marla Jameson, Jean DeWolff and Uncle Ben. (Amazing Spider-Man #853)

”In Memory”

While visiting Ben’s grave, Peter ran into an old neighbor named Dave Sullivan. (I wonder how Ben’s remains survived the fire that resulted in the fight between Spidey and Kindred, and the questions of why he was exhumed in the first place. Never mind.) Peter hadn’t seen him since he had been a kid but remembered him as a drunk. Sullivan told Peter of how Ben always talked about responsibility and felt that he had been irresponsible in how he treated May and Peter. Ben felt that he should have been more assertive in his job, looking for promotions and better pay. He tried to make up for it by helping everyone in the neighborhood. Ben had been sympathetic to Sullivan’s difficulties with alcoholism but that ended when Sullivan became abusive to his wife and daughter. Ben helped them leave and Sullivan had been furious. He had been drinking and Ben laid him out. After years, Sullivan got control of his drinking problem and had been sober for a year. He gave credit to Ben’s memory. He finally had a relationship with his daughter and granddaughter. He invited Peter to dinner and he accepted. (Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 5) #74)

Image Gallery


Cover Date Appearance Information
Dec 1992 FB: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #370 (Story 1)
Aug 1975 FB: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #147
Jul 1997 FB: Flashback - Untold Tales of Spider-Man #Minus 1 (Story 1)
Year 1968 FB: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) Annual #5 (Story 1)
May 1989 App: Spider-Man: Parallel Lives
Year 1968 FB: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) Annual #5 (Story 1)
Dec 1992 FB: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #370 (Story 1)
Year 1995 FB: Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) Annual 1995 (Story 1)
Aug 2000 FB: Peter Parker: Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #20
Jan 1999 FB: Peter Parker: Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #1 (Story 1)
Aug 2000 FB: Peter Parker: Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #20
Jul 1997 App: Flashback - Sensational Spider-Man #Minus 1
Jul 1997 App: Flashback - Peter Parker: Spider-Man #Minus 1
Jul 1997 App: Flashback - Amazing Spider-Man #Minus 1 (Story 1)
May 1989 App: Spider-Man: Parallel Lives
Aug 1962 App: Amazing Fantasy #15
May 1989 App: Spider-Man: Parallel Lives
Jan 1980 FB: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #200
Dec 2003 App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #500
Feb 2005 FB: Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #9

Thanks To

 The assistance of the Marvel Chronology Project is gratefully acknowledged.

 Some of the above information is extracted from the various versions of the Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe and the more recent Marvel Encyclopaedias.

 In: Characters
 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Dave Sippel (E-Mail)
 Staff: The Editor (E-Mail)