I used to be the biggest Spider-man fan. Not because of Tobey Maguire, and definitely not Andrew Garfield (no dock against either actor). It’s just my fandom started in the nineties. I had the toys, posters, and even jewelry. I entered a Fruit Roll-ups Create-a-Villain contest and took third place, winning a copy of Spider-man Cartoon Maker.
Late 90’s Spider-man is open to its share of controversy. This is the era where the critically panned Clone Saga came out. And even though I still ate that up, it’s not my reason for being a fan.
I can’t remember if I was hooked on the comics or the cartoon first, but each had an equal amount of influence. The X-men were on the rise too, of course, but Spidey was just easier to relate to. After all, who was I supposed to connect with on X-men? Jubilee?
Spider-man isn’t like Superman or Batman (I know those are DC characters, nerds, please!). He does have a tragic origin story, but I don’t think it weighs down on him the same way it does to Bruce. He believes in doing the right thing, but he doesn’t have to carry this overly noble sense of justice like Supes.
Most importantly, Spidey has a sense of humor. He quips while he thwips. Even when he has the weight of responsibility on his shoulders (because with great responsibility, you know?) he doesn’t ever take things too seriously.
Or maybe he does. But, he’s able to joke around anyway.
I have mixed feelings on the Spidey movie-verse. As a whole, I still think they’re pretty good. They completely missed out on the funny stuff though.
It ain’t easy being Spider-man, but that seems to be one-note theme Raimi and Webb have focused on. When Peter Parker puts on that mask, it’s his escape. Superhero theatrics is his stress relief, and he loves it. He knows how to get a rise out of people just by using words.
And even if a dozen of his one-liners bomb, he has the audacity to keep throwing them!
I have huge respect for people who are able to laugh things off, even if their daily life might be in the toilet. I’ve struggled with taking myself too seriously for the longest time. And what I can draw from Spider-man is, communication of self is a great power.
In other words, what I am has no meaning. What I’m able to convey to myself and others… that’s the identity that matters. Christian Bale’s Batman would later echo similar sentiments, but hey– Spidey taught me first!