Published October 3, 2023

'Marvel's Spider-Man 2' Explained: Who Is Spider-Man (Peter Parker)?

Read on for everything you need to know about Peter Parker AKA Spider-Man before playing 'Marvel's Spider-Man 2'!

'Marvel's Spider-Man 2' Explained: Who Is Spider-Man (Peter Parker)?

The world’s most iconic web-slinging Super Hero is back in action in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 for PlayStation 5, with Peter Parker and Miles Morales teaming up to stop a new threat to Marvel’s New York. Though Peter successfully saved Manhattan from Doctor Octopus and his Sinister Six in 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man, he’s going to need all the help he can get to save the day this time, even with Miles holding his own. Peter’s personal life will also be tested, just as the young hero made major strides in balancing both aspects of his persona, especially his rekindled romance with Mary Jane Watson.

With Peter confronting his own heart of darkness in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, on sale October 20 from PlayStation and Insomniac Games, here’s a quick overview of the story of Peter Parker so far in both the preceding video games. And for those curious about how Peter’s journey in games compares to the comic books, also included is a quick look at how Peter Parker’s life in the comics is similar and radically different than the games.


What Happened to Peter Parker in Marvel’s Spider-Man?

At the start of Marvel’s Spider-Man, Peter is 23 years-old and has been defending Marvel’s New York as the Super Hero Spider-Man for eight years, now a seasoned crime-fighter. Peter works as a research assistant for Doctor Otto Octavius, a robotics specialist, who has become something of a father figure for Peter. After apprehending the Kingpin, a new super-powered crime syndicate known as the Inner Demons become the largest criminal organization in the city, led by the mysterious Mister Negative.

The Inner Demons attack a mayoral reelection event for Norman Osborn, with police officer Jefferson Davis killed. Peter befriends Jefferson’s teenage son Miles Morales and the two help a local nonprofit organization named F.E.A.S.T. headed by activist Martin Li, with Aunt May volunteering for the nonprofit as well. Li is eventually exposed as Mister Negative, who holds a grudge against Osborn for being experimented on by Oscorp, and is defeated by Spider-Man.

Meanwhile, Octavius uses an experiment harness with four powerful mechanical tentacles, with the unstable neural interface controlling them affecting his mind. Calling himself Doctor Octopus, Octavius frees several Super Villains from prison to aid him while unleashing Devil’s Breath, a bioweapon secretly developed by Oscorp that claimed the lives of Li’s parents. Osborn blames Spider-Man for instigating the chaos and declares him a public enemy, supplementing local law enforcement with mercenaries led by Silver Sable.

Spider-Man defeats each of the villains and fights Doctor Octopus for the antidote to Devil’s Breath, claiming victory after a bitter battle where Octavius revealed he knew Peter was Spider-Man all along. With the limited amount of antidote, Peter uses it to mass-produce into a cure for the entire city, a choice even more heartbreaking as it means May wouldn’t be saved in time from her Devil’s Breath infection. In the aftermath, Peter rekindles his relationship with Mary Jane Watson and agrees to train Miles to become a Super Hero after Miles gains similar superpowers from a bite from a genetically engineered spider.


Where Was Peter Parker in Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales?

Peter is away for most of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, appearing only in a supporting capacity at the beginning and end of the 2020 game. After a civil war breaks out in Symkaria, Silver Sable’s home country, Mary Jane is tasked with covering the conflict for the Daily Bugle. Peter decides to accompany her, with their European trip lasting several weeks and Peter entrusting Miles to defend Marvel’s New York in the interim, impressed by how Miles helped him defeat the Rhino.

Peter sporadically emails Miles over the course of the game, providing him with updates on his and Mary Jane’s Symkarian adventures and offering words of guidance. After seeing news reports about what’s occurring in New York in his absence, Peter offers to cut his trip short and return to help but Miles convinces him to remain in Europe as Miles becomes a Spider-Man on his own terms. Returning from Symkaria four weeks after Miles saves Harlem from the Tinkerer and Roxxon Corporation, a proud Peter resumes his Super Hero career with Miles as his partner instead of his protégé.


Peter Parker’s History in the Comics

Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in AMAZING FANTASY (1962) #15, Peter Parker becomes the iconic Super Hero Spider-Man after being bitten by a radioactive spider. Though he and Doctor Octopus don’t have the close backstory they do in Marvel’s Spider-Man, Octavius is one of Spider-Man’s oldest and deadliest enemies, debuting in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) #3. The games echo Peter’s personal relationships in the comics, from his on-again/off-again romance with Mary Jane, mentorship role for Miles, and flirtatious dynamic with master thief the Black Cat.

Several key differences between the comics and the video games’ story is that Aunt May is still very much alive and well in the comics, as opposed to her noble sacrifice at the end of Marvel’s Spider-Man. Norman Osborn, while a conniving and shady businessman in both iterations, holds the office of Mayor of New York City, a position he never held in the comics. And though certainly antagonistic, Osborn is a more explicit Super Villain in the comics, becoming the Green Goblin in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) #14. This may pay off in interesting ways as he does whatever he can to save his ailing son Harry in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.

For all his experience as Spider-Man, Peter Parker is in for the fight of his life in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. With enemies like Venom and Kraven the Hunter, Peter and Miles’s partnership will be tested, with the fate of Marvel’s New York hanging in the balance. But if there’s anything Peter has proved over the years, it’s never to count out the friendly neighborhood Super Hero, no matter what the odds.

'Marvel's Spider-Man 2' Explained: Who Is Spider-Man (Peter Parker)?

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 releases October 20th, 2023 only on PlayStation 5Pre-Order the title now on PlayStation StorePlayStation Direct or your friendly neighborhood retailer!

For the latest news on Marvel's Spider-Man 2, follow Marvel Games on X (formerly Twitter)!

Start Here: Spider-Man
Essential Reading
Start Here: Spider-Man
New to comics or looking to read up on the Wall-Crawler? Try one of these introductory series or story arcs, recommended by the Marvel Unlimited team!


Shop Marvel Must Haves: Spider-Man Is Back


Shop Marvel Must Haves: Spider-Man Is Back

Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man came back to the big screen! Grab your favorite Spider-Man merch from this collection of Marvel Must Haves!

VENOMVERSE REBORN (2024) #1 cover by Tony Daniel


June 19's New Marvel Comics: The Full List

Enter the Venomverse, meet the Ultimate Universe's Kingpin, stand against the vampire hordes of 'Blood Hunt,' and more in this week's comics!

DEADPOOL #4 Marvel Vs. Alien Variant Cover by Greg Land


'Marvel Vs. Alien' Variant Covers Send Xenomorphs After Marvel Heroes

To mark the first-ever crossover between the Marvel and Alien universe, five Marvel Vs. Alien Variant Covers will hit stands starting in July.

SCARLET WITCH (2024) #1 cover by Russell Dauterman


June 12's New Marvel Comics: The Full List

Stand with Scarlet Witch, meet the new mutants of the Ultimate Universe, resist the vampire hordes of Blood Hunt, and more in this week's comics!