|Appeared in|| The Amazing Spider-Man|
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
- "So as a scientist, my choice is very clear now. I have to disappear, I have to get as far away from here as I can. But as a father, it means, I may not see my boy again. And nothing is as important to me as my son, Peter. Nothing in this world. But I have a responsibility to protect the world from what I've created, and protect him from what I know Osborn is capable of. People will say I'm a monster for what I've done, Maybe they're right, I always thought that I'd have more time."
- ―Richard Parker[src]
Richard Parker was a brilliant scientist who worked together with his friend and colleague, Dr. Curtis Connors, a fellow scientist with a missing right arm. Together, they worked hard to pursue the development of Crossed-Species Genetics, a radical scientific study that was scoffed off by most of the scientific community, who deemed it impossible and mocked Parker and Connors as mad scientists. But the biggest breakthrough in their research happened when Parker successfully created a breed of genetically modified spiders, opening up new possibilities for their research and receiving enthusiastic funding from Oscorp.
One night at home, during a game of hide and seek, Richard's son Peter found Richard's office ransacked. He called for his father, who ran in and started acting nervous. He and his wife took Peter to Richard's brother's house and left him there. This was the last time Richard and his wife Mary ever saw their son.
Years later, Richard Parker's work and absence would still linger with those who were associated with him. Oscorp still possessed, or bred more of, the genetically modified spiders created by him, which fatefully would bite Richard's son Peter and transform him into a human with abilities of a spider. Peter, who has become a socially awkward and isolated teenager, still questioned the reason for his father's absence and sought out his colleague, Dr. Connors, for answers. And Dr. Connors, who still dreamed of restoring his lost right arm through Crossed-Species Genetics, never did know why Richard disappeared along with his research.
Peter helped Dr. Connors by providing his father's Decay Rate Algorithm, one of the very few pieces of Richard's research left behind, and together, they succeeded the process of transferring the lizard's ability of limb-regrowth to another species, but they did not perfect the process. The dangers of their research became a reality when Dr. Connors hastily tested the formula on himself. As a result, Connors would not only periodically regrow his long desired right arm, but also transform into a ferocious humanoid lizard. As the influence of the lizard continued to deteriorate Connors' sanity, compelling him to create a "world without weakness" by turning all of humanity into lizard people like himself, it fell to Richard's son Peter, now the superhero Spider-Man, to stop Connors, using the spider powers granted to him by the spiders born from Richard's legacy.
It was revealed that during Richard Parker's employment under Oscorp, the immoral leaders of Oscorp planned on weaponizing his research for foreign countries. Parker discovered this and relocated his research materials and equipments into an abandoned subway station, where he would hide from Oscorp and operate in secret. But on the night when their house was ransacked and they were forced to abandon their son to his brother's care, Richard and his wife Mary attempted to flee the country. As they left on a private plane, Richard recorded a video testimony and remotely uploaded it to his lab in the subway station, hoping that proof of his story continued to exist. On their way out of the country, Richard and his wife were killed during an assassination attempt set up by Oscorp, leaving much mystery surrounding their plane crash and deaths unsolved.
Richard's son, Peter, using the spider powers made possible by his father, had finally established himself as the superhero known as Spider-Man, loved and praised by the city at large. But Peter still longed for answers regarding his missing parents. Peter began noticing and investigating suspicious activities connecting to Oscorp, and with the few remaining materials that his father left behind, he discovered his father's secret lab in the abandoned subway station, and came across his father's recorded testimony. In the video, Richard explained that the spiders developed at Oscorp were the result of merging Richard's DNA into the spiders, thus making the transfer of spider powers possible only to Richard's son Peter. Peter also learns that his father fled because he had a duty to protect the world from what Oscorp planned to do with his research. Upon hearing his father's last words, Peter finally found closure to the loss of his parents, and Richard's hopes that his story and final words would not disappear are realized when they reached his son.
- Peter Parker - Son.
- Mary Parker - Wife; deceased.
- Ben Parker - Brother; deceased.
- May Parker - Sister-in-law.
- Curt Connors - Friend and colleague.
Behind the scenes
- An alternate ending for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 revealed that Richard was alive and convinced Peter to resume his role as Spider-Man with the line "With great power comes great responsibility."
- In the comics, Richard Parker along with his wife Mary Parker were CIA agents, but when things went bad for the CIA they became S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. Richard and Mary Parker were later killed by the third Red Skull, Albert Malik.
- In the Ultimate Comics Universe, Richard and Mary were scientists working at Trask Industries until they died in a plane crash orchestrated by the mysterious benefactor of Richard's Venom project (heavily implied to be Oscorp) when Richard refused to give up the suit (which was a bodysuit rather than symbiote in this continuity). In the trailer, Peter finds a device similar to what he would use as his web-shooters, and Ben attributes it to Richard, therefore implying this incarnation of the character is also a scientist.