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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 June 2006, 15:30 GMT 16:30 UK
Spider-Man removes mask at last
Spider-Man, aka Peter Parker
Spider-Man tears off his mask at a press conference in the comic
Superhero Spider-Man publicly reveals his true identity for the first time in a new comic book.

In the story, the web-slinging icon removes his mask and tells reporters at a packed press conference that he and Peter Parker are one and the same.

The storyline in the Marvel: Civil War series involves a new Superhero Registration Act that requires fantasy creatures to disclose their identities.

Spider-Man is part of the faction supporting registration.

"I've guarded my secret identity pretty carefully over the years," he says. "But I'm proud of who I am, and I'm here right now to prove it."

Civil liberties

Intended to reflect current concerns about civil liberty issues, the Civil War series was conceived by British writers Mark Millar and Paul Jenkins.

Future instalments will involve such Marvel staples as the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and the Avengers.

"This series is unlike anything the comic world has seen before," editor-in-chief Joe Quesada said.

"The events that take place in Civil War will change the future of the Marvel Universe, tearing apart friends, families and teams."

The second issue of the seven-part Marvel: Civil War series is out this week.

It follows a recent announcement by Marvel's rivals DC Comics that Batwoman is to return as a crime-fighting lesbian.

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