Peter Parker, aka Spiderman, is a Marvel favorite among many people. Peter’s Uncle Ben and Aunt May are the characters we have grown to know as Peter’s guardians, but who are Peter’s real parents and what happened to them?
A good backstory is essential for any superhero and Spiderman is no exception. The teen orphan is known for his antics and driven to do what is right. Peter is working hard to live up to the ideals set by his parents, even though he does not know them well.
Larry Lieber and Stan Lee created Richard and May Parker but did not provide the public with any insight into the couple’s background. Richard and Mary Parker are the parents of Peter Parker but make very few appearances in any of the shows. Not much is known about the pair and they have no superpowers, yet they are powerful individuals forming part of government organizations.
Peter’s parents only feature in photos and flashbacks in movies and comics of Spiderman. In 1968, The Amazing Spiderman Annual #5 was published and shed light on Richard and Mary Parker, as well as their eventual demise.
Richard Meets Mary
Part of the United States Army Special Forces, Richard Parker took pride in his country. He was a prestigious soldier and had the rank of Captain. Nick Fury later recruited Captain Parker to become part of the CIA.
Mary Fitzpatrick attends prestigious schools and also worked for the CIA. She was a data analyst and did translations, following in her father, “Wild Will” Fitzpatrick’s footsteps. Mary later took on a role as a CIA field agent.
Richard met Mary whilst working for the CIA. The couple fell in love and eloped. A large celebration was held at a later stage but not many knew they were already married. Richard and Mary Parker both started working for the CIA as field agents. Their marriage also provided extra cover on the job.
Baroness Adelicia Von Krupp was the first person the couple had to investigate. A friendly agent had been captured by the Baroness and was rescued from her claws. The agent has varying identities, some know him as Logan and others as Wolverine; Agent Ten is another alias.
Mary reveals that she is pregnant after the couple save Logan. Richard was shocked at the news and went as white as a sheet. The first person to congratulate the couple on their pregnancy was Logan.
Everyone knows of Peter Parker; the young child looked after by Uncle Ben and Aunt May. Ben looks after Peter at the request of his younger brother, Richard. As field agents, Richard and Mary cannot have Peter with them at all times and it is safer to confine him to the care of his aunt and uncle.
Another CIA agent featured in the Spiderman stories is Teresa Parker. There is a lot of speculation regarding her and some people believe that she may have been another child of the Parkers. This has never been confirmed by Marvel.
A Final Deadly Mission
Richard and Mary were assigned to many missions during their careers. One of these was to investigate the third Red Skull, known as Albert Malik. The couple infiltrate the Algerian organization by being double agents and portraying themselves as traitors.
Eventually, Malik uncovers the true American identities of the Parkers and arranges for their murders to take place. An assassin is hired and sabotages the plane carrying the Parkers. The resultant crash contains the unidentifiable remains of two bodies.
It is believed that the bodies are those of Richard and Mary Parker. The pairs remain were never officially found. After being declared missing in action, the Parkers were eventually presumed dead.
Peter Parker Searches For Information
Six years after the start of Spiderman, audiences are allowed into the world of Peter Parker as he searches for more information about his parents. Peter finds newspaper clippings about his parents, specifically mentioning accusations of treason. Longing for closure, the young man confronts Aunt May.
Aunt May has flashbacks of the time when they found out about the accusations against her brother-in-law and his wife. The flashback also contains a very young Peter playing in the room. Since the Parkers died shortly after the news was given to Ben & May, we can assume that Peter was still an infant at the time of their deaths.
After Peter does his own investigations, he uses his Spidey skills and gets a ride to Algeria with the Fantastic Four. He hunts for the truth and eventually confronts Malik, the third Red Skull and a KGB agent. Malik reveals that Richard was an “American Counter Spy” but Peter already knows that his parents were Americans with their country’s priorities at heart.
Richard And Mary Return
The 30th Anniversary of Spiderman was celebrated in 1992 and suddenly Peter’s parents returned to the comic. This was a shocking event in Amazing Spiderman #365 and after two years came another revelation – it wasn’t really Peter’s parents.
The Chameleon conspired with the Green Goblin to create robots of Richard and Mary. The robots were supposed to entice Spiderman into revealing his true identity as Peter Parker. This does not happen, and it comes out that the Green Goblin new Peter’s identity all along. The Green Goblin’s real motive behind the robots was too build Peter’s hope and then watch as his world crumbles into pieces.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
Marvel published additional stories in July 1997. Titled “Untold Stories of the Marvel Universe”, the organization released an issue named “ Untold Stories of Spiderman” #Minus 1. The issue boasted a cover image of Richard and Mary Parker and mentioned they were Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Peter Parker may have grown up an orphan but his parents were truly remarkable government agents. They set the path for him to follow on in full Spiderman glory.