Why has Spiderman remain so popular over the years? Could it be that there is a little more we can identify with, than others of our favorite superheroes? Extreme ability beyond human powers was thrust upon a totally unsuspecting youth. Strength and agility beyond any mortal. Yet still containing all the inner frailties, which all of us suffers from.
Wrapped up within one dynamic human physique are the powers we would all crave to have, with the uncertainty and turbulent emotions that we all suffer from. Spider-Man, a superhero, yet so much like us. That combination increases the popularity of the Spidey character.
Deep inside of us all, is the wantonness to do good, but lacking the imaginary super human strength, or in this case, spider like strength and agility, we don’t really do what we want to. So, if for a few hours, we can get an emotional charge, by believing that Spidey can be real, it helps us get through our sometimes, mundane lives.
But I believe there is still an untapped hero in all of us. We need not have the strength of a spider or the web slinging ability of our gracious Spiderman character, but we can still live a life of good and just purpose. And if believing in Spider-Man for a few hours, helps to charge what we know is inside each and everyone of us, then good! Charge up and go out and battle evil (ha, ha).
“With great power comes great responsibility”. So ran the main theme throughout the Spiderman series created in 1962 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. History starts out with Peter Parker being born to Richard and Mary Fitzpatrick Parker. The Parkers both being CIA agents, were killed in a plane crash during their careers, which was orchestrated by Albert Malik, an archenemy (hmm, I didn’t know this).
Peter was then subsequently, left in the care of Richard’s brother and sister-in-law, Uncle Ben and Aunt May, whom resided in Forest Hills, which was in the neighborhood of Queens in New York City. Although, Aunt May had her doubts about raising Peter, because of the blame her parents put on her for destroying their marriage. In time, she warmed up to Peter and his presence even strengthened Ben and May’s marriage.
As he was growing up, Peter became a somewhat lonely and reclusive teenager and developed quite a talent for the sciences. While attending a science exhibit when he was 16 years old, Peter was bitten by an escaped spider, which had been irradiated during scientific experimentation. Due to the venom of this hybrid spider, Peter gained amazing spider like abilities. He had the speed, strength and agility proportional to a spider’s. He acquired a spider-sense that would warn him of impending danger and he had a fast healing ability, in which he would quickly recover from injuries and poisons. He also gained a spider’s ability to climb and stick to walls. A lesser effect also corrected his rather poor eyesight to perfection.
Peter also put his scientific knowledge and creativity to use by building mechanical web shooters. These allowed him to direct his silk web making capability in any direction he wanted and greatly enhanced his performance as the “Amazing Spider-Man”.
At the onset of his newly gained powers, Peter Parker designed and created a costume, took on the identity of “Spiderman” and set out to seek celebrity status and economic gain. These rather egocentric and selfish goals were rather short lived though. While his self indulgence was at its height, Peter let a petty thief go, feeling he no longer had to look after anyone but himself. He later discovered, that in the course of his getaway, this thief ended up killing Peter’s Uncle Ben. Thereafter he devoted himself to fighting injustice in memory of his uncle and the sense of responsibility he instilled in him. Though the death of a loved one is a commonplace motive for crime fighting in comics, guilt rather than revenge drives the webhead.
Although, being considered by some, little more than a lawbreaker himself, Spidey must pursue truth, liberty and justice for the America way (oops, wrong superhero). He must carry out the great responsibilities that come with his great powers, a philosophy he obtained from his Uncle Ben. And because of this obligation, we have been able to relate to and enjoy Spiderman’s amazing adventures for over 40 years.
For a more in depth review of Spiderman and the history of his personal relationships, here is an excellent Spiderman article.
Now if you happen to be into collecting and reading more about the Amazing Adventures of Spiderman, I have researched some excellent resources. Just click on the Spidey cover to the left. I don’t think you will be disappointed. Don’t stay too long though, and come back here.
You will be able to find other links to some very interesting and informational resources throughout my site. To get back to my comic book page, just close this browser. If you arrived at this page, then by all means, look at my main URL in your address window and go there for some amazing comic book information.