It was in 1962 when the first story in a comic book of one of the most famous super heroes ever appeared in popular culture. We talk about Spider-Man, created by the team of cartoonists Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, whose stories were part of the Marvel series. The purpose of this brief study that follows is to analyze the character of this super-hero, to try to understand why he was so different, what made him unique, and try to understand why his fame. Spider-Man was actually a young man named Peter Parker, a teenager like any other. His main problems were the same like other adolescents, starting in love problems and also money problems faced by his grandparents, with who he lives. One day is bitten by a spider during a scientific experiment, but wasn’t a normal spider. After this, he noticed he gained some strange powers that give him abilities similar from a spider, like the ability to climb walls with the greatest of ease and even bring up cobwebs of his wrists. Thanks to this, he has enough speed and invincibility to be a superhero and eventually become known for its suit red and blue, which covers the entire body including his face. But what have this superhero which represents a novelty in relation to other comic book super heroes? Let’s try to remind us of other super heroes.
The most famous of all is perhaps Superman, because it was the first comic book hero to be created. The Superman in his early stages represented American ideals of goodness, justice and ability to win. It is true that this hero, Clark Kent, is a common man, an American every day, not always handy, and only when he changes his suit wins his super powers. But either this, the public continues to look for the Super-Man as a character clearly superior to humans. In the end, he even came from planet Earth, but from Krypton. He didn’t belong to the human race, was foreign to her and he was also superior to it. Batman, the bat man who chases the criminals of Gotham City, is just a human, who comes from planet Earth. But he seems to have a character of superiority to the most common humanity. Whether because of the fortune he inherited from his family, allows him, Bruce Wayne, to put himself in a position of prominence in the city, either because of its principles to combat the evil, which it adopted as a child and he saw his parents being murdered and who never gave up, even in the worst moments of his fight against evil villains like the Joker.
And how stands the Spider-Man in the middle of these heroes? The differences seem to be quite noticeable. Unlike Superman, he’s no superior being from another planet, who from his childhood was destined to have all his powers. These powers were due simply to an accident and Peter Parker himself was not more than a normal teenager, with which young people are easily identified. Peter Parker dramas were similar to those of many Americans at the age of attending school, for example, his passion for Mary Jane. Peter is just an ordinary young whose fate has brought him something he didn’t and which came by chance, without being aimed at it since childhood, and at first he didn’t know how to use his super powers and had to get used to them every day. Readers of the time knew that Spider-Man was one of us, someone who wasn’t so superior as Clark Kent. And it turns out that Peter Parker wasn’t a millionaire who was in a privileged position as Bruce Wayne, the Batman. Parker belongs to a poor family, and during his younger years had to face several problems due to lack of money, being obliged to resort to solutions such as participating in illegal fights.
If Superman is representative of American ideals of justice, Batman always remains true to its objectives, Spider-Man seems to have gone through several indecisions over its early days with his powers, and only after some time he concludes that it should use this new strength to fight crime. At the beggining, he hadn’t among his plans and that was why he let a thief ran away, without even bother to stop him, he was so absorbed in their own problems. But after the murder of his Uncle Ben he realizes that the guilty of this crime had been the man who had ran away and Parker realizes this new powers put him in a position to play an important role in society, then he comes to the conclusion that “with great power comes great responsibility” (a phrase often cited). We are already beginning to realize who was Spider-Man, what made it different from other comic book heroes. He wasn’t chosen by his higher powers, he was an ordinary human being who had is his destiny different due to chance.
He wasn’t a character with values of kindness and justice rooted right at the beginning when he became a creature with super powers, he had to win those values after suffering some tragedies, only after that realize the importance of what we could do. But we can continue to analyze and compare now Spider-Man with not so beloved characters like Batman or Superman. We can now talk about Hulk, the famous green giant who could scare whoever was around. Bruce Banner was accidentally exposed to atomic radiation and therefore has become a giant green and angry every time something influenced some of their basic instincts of self-defense. He was a dangerous monster, capable of causing destruction without stopping, and throughout their stories he only become able to contribute for the good if it is used against an enemy even more dangerous. Like Spider-Man, Hulk was also a victim of an experience that gave him powers that he didn’t have. The difference was Hulk couldn’t control all these powers and was therefore considered a dangerous creature, a hero who often was approached to a villain (which is not strange at all to Spider-Man because he was considered too a criminal in some of the episodes of his adventures). But we must focus on some of the villains that populate the universe of Spider-Man and which he had to face throughout his career.
The Green Goblet is a monster that arose when a scientific experiment gave powers to an egocentric scientist named Norman Osborn, who was the father of one of the best friends of Peter Parker, Harry Osborn. From that moment, Norman will use these powers doing evil above all. This character is not so different from Spider-man. He was also a product of experience from an accident that happened by chance. He also was an ordinary human being whom fate had superior powers. The difference is Green Goblet chose a completely opposite to what Peter Parker picked over time. This is due to his evil nature, even before became a monster, a scientist Norman was selfish and willing to do anything to be successful. This was the feature that distinguished the Spider-Man’s from Green Goblet, while Green Goblet was inclined to evil, Peter earlier in his career as a super hero doesn’t have immediately adopted the fight against crime, but He had some moral notions of good and evil. Venom, one of the greatest enemies of Spider Man, his story is somewhat different.
He is closer to a Super-man and is also a creature who is foreign to humanity, an alien who comes from outside the planet earth. The difference is he is a totally evil creature that needs to ally itself with the body of a human to gain power to do evil. At the beginning, Spider-Man was also an ally of Venom, even before realize that it was an evil creature which fight against him. We can say this symbolizes the nature of spider-man, a hero who didn’t make the fight against the evil one of his early ideals. Somehow he was still wavering, in the beginning could have become a villain or a superhero and his alliance with Venom can be a good clue for his ambiguity. In the end and concluding our analysis of our hero, we can say Spider-Man is halfway between Hulk and heroes like Batman and Superman. Unlike these heroes he wasn’t a superior hero between the rest of humanity, but a normal human being and like so many others; Hulk was a victim of an accident which gained his powers.
But the truth is he hasn’t become a dangerous creature like Hulk or Venom and other villains who are part of his stories and who were also victims of accidents. This is due to the fact that he, besides being able to control his powers, something that Hulk couldn’t do, have gained a sense of justice and the capacity of what we can do with the powers he has acquired, although he has losing this notion in life. After all, this is what makes Spiderman a peculiar hero, he didn’t ask to be a hero, but when he was, He started to learn how to deal with it as best as possible without doing evil, even oscillating between right and wrong in some moments of his career, especially at the beginning. He is an example of a human being like everyone else who learn how to harness his skills to do the best with them and that’s what caused the public to easily identify with him and also to like this character.
_ Misiroglu, Gina. The Superhero Book: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Comic Book Icons and Hollywood Heroes. Visible Ink Press. 2004.