Yesterday whilst watching the latest episode of Gotham I began reflecting that a lot of superheroes are perfect, larger than life characters, even their alter-egos, Batman is really handsome billionaire Bruce Wayne, Superman is strapping farmboy and metropolitan journalist Clark Kent, and Wonder Woman is a freaking mythological princess.
This led me to think about who is the ultimate everyman superhero and then it struck me, Spider-man. Peter Parker that spectacular, sensational, amazing, friendly neighborhood Spider-man. He truly is a man with the worst possible luck, orphaned at a young age and raised by his elderly aunt and uncle, this nonathletic, bookish, angst ridden teen was on the fast track to dying alone in his aunts basement. You’d think things would pick up for the guy after getting bitten by a radioactive spider, but if anything it makes his life go from bad to worse.
In an effort to make some cash out of his newfound abilities (and lets face it, who wouldn’t?) he tries his hand at professional wrestling, he then gets stiffed on his pay, when his boss gets robbed he lets the robber get away, this robber then goes on to shoot his uncle Ben, the man who raised him to believe the with great power comes great responsibility.
This leads Peter to take up life as a costumed crime fighter, but in order to pay his bills and finance his crusade on crime, Peter begins selling pictures of himself in costume to his greatest enemy J. Jonah Jameson, thus participating in his own lynching by public opinion.
What I love about Spider-man is that hes a spotty, nerdy , specky, smart mouthed, geek and even though he has a cool superpower, a nifty costume and yes even a spider mobile he still worries about things like covering his rent, turning in college work on time, or if a girl will so much as look at him. This in my opinion is what makes Spider-man one of the great heroes of comicdom.