Along Came a Radioactive Spider: Strange Steve Ditko and the Creation of Spider-Man by Annie Hunter Eriksen and Lee Gatlin

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Spider-Man’s web of stories began far before the first drawing of nerdy teenager Peter Parker. They started with Steve Ditko, a kid who loved comics so much that he would brave blizzards to get new issues. Steve was strange―he was introverted, his art was shadowy, and his characters didn’t fit the mold of handsome heroes like those crafted by Marvel legends Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. But it's not so strange that the traits that made Steve different were what made his characters stand out.

Swing into the life of Steve Ditko and discover how he transformed a brawny, super-powered Spiderman into the perpetually awkward teenager who we know and love: Spider-Man, a character who relies on his inner strength more than super strength, who got his powers not through magic but through the bite of a radioactive spider…

This biography takes the mask off the famously reclusive artist and shares the story of how his wall-crawling hero became a friendly neighborhood icon.