Here is the second post in a season of blog posts by members of the group that attempts to look at the question: what do super heroes mean to you?
Since the 1960’s, comic fans all over the world have delighted in the stories, involving our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man. With an arsenal of enemies to fight, adventures in other dimensions and clones appearing to take Mr Parker’s place. Spidey is a character that I’ve always managed to connect with – feeling a certain kinship with the character.
Why do I feel so connected though? What makes Spidey stand out to me more than say Superman? A lot of it boils down to characterisation, for me, we have Peter Parker a typical teenager. Not the most popular person at school, in fact he’s probably one of the least popular. Yet it’s this little quirk, which allows him to be the coolest! Peter Parker is so easy to relate to, and I guess that’s because he reminds us of ourselves, back when we were typical teenagers trying to find our way in the world.
It’s so easy to relate to Mr Parker, although he has some awesome powers, he like us, is far from perfect. Although he has his Spidey sense, he can’t seem to work out females (a bit like me!). He loses himself in his science, and at night within his costume we see a more confident, although sometimes cocky side to the character - unleashed upon the streets of New York.
The human side
The stories themselves, revel in the action and sometimes over the top villains – however I’ve always found it amazing how these villains sit within the world on such a natural level. Then behind the scenes we get to see Spidey grow up, having to make choices the same as us. He’s not a billionaire, just like me, he struggles sometimes to pay the rent. We see him going from job to job, trying to settle in to adulthood. Reading the comics since I was 11, I guess I’ve actually grown up with Spidey. Making that connection so much sweeter.
With his world based in New York, with real life streets and places, our two realities intertwine making for stories, which follow real life events. Creating a distinct natural flow where I feel right at home.
Keeping it real
I can relate to Spidey more than other heroes, thanks to how real the character feels. The writers have created a hero born from tragedy, who faces the normal daily trials of our everyday life. Take away the powers and web slinging and we have a very normal kid just trying to make his way through the world.
By Paul Everitt
You can catch the whole series at CGNG talks shop.