I do not like spiders, but ironically, my favorite superhero was Spider-Man when I was a kid. Back when it was the only superhero comic I read. (We used to get them in the mail, cool huh? I wish that still was a thing.) And while Scott Free and Big Barda may be my new favorites, along with Wonder Woman, Spider-Man will always hold a special place in my affections.
And that’s why I have now seen the Tobey Maguire movie version of it, which was the most true to comic book version that I have seen. (I couldn’t have been the only one disappointed by the less mature, and more goofy Spider-Man in Civil War, though even so, he was the best of it, in my opinion.)
I’ve talked about Superheroes in general a lot, but I haven’t talked about most of them specifically, let’s do that.
In my view, Spider-Man and Batman are a lot alike. (I apologize for the hyphens, but autocorrect keeps putting them in.)
I don’t mean personality wise, but let me say, I’d forgotten how sad Peter Parker’s story was. It was even worse seeing it then reading it. I guess that means the actors were convincing. The movie version is even more like Batman because Peter sees Uncle Ben after he’s shot and goes off at once to stop the killer. Only to find in an un-Batman-like twist, that it was a guy he could have stopped.
Lesson Learned: Revenge is stupid and so is yelling at someone over nothing.
But I would not be flippant about it, Spider-Man had a legitimately crummy life, whatever version of him you know. he gets dumped constantly; his friends turn into villains; his villains turn into worse villains; his family dies. Not fun.
The amount of times Peter Parker gets really hurt, emotionally and physically, are enough to make you ache in sympathy. Why? You ask. Why do the writers keep doing this to him? (If anyone knows the answer tot hat, please comment it, seriously.)
By contrast, Batman witnesses one personal tragedy (though more later in some versions of him) and is scarred for life. Ig et that there’s a difference of age here, but still…
Really, it’s their personality. Spider-Man is a wisecracking kid trying to dot he right thing and pay the rent at the same time. Batman is a rich kid with nothing else to occupy his time except making business deals and going to events. Nott hat I fault him for that. To each his own, but perhaps Batman gets more of the luxury of wallowing in Self Pity.
After all, Peter has to support his aunt, and keep any eye on Mary Jane and his other friends. (Though they dwindle.)
Maybe it’s true that idleness is worse for your character than almost anything else. Bruce Wayne can be kind of self absorbed, though he does a lot of good. Peter doesn’t have that option. So even though he’s younger, he’s got more heart. (Like Captain America says.)
Maybe that’s why my favorite version of Batman, and the only one I really like and respect, is the Justice League Unlimited one. AS much as I wanted someone to punch after he turn down Wonder Woman, he still is at his best when he’s with the League.
It brought him a bit out of the shell of darkness most of his movies place him in. It’s even in the background. Most of the JLU adventures take place in the daytime, whereas if you go to a Batman only film or show, most of it is at night. Interesting, right?
I could go on for a whole other post about Batman’s good moments in the League (maybe I will, who knows?) But for now I think it’s enough o say he needs friends.
Another difference between them, despite their similar origins, is that Batman usually has people around him who wish he’d let them be more of friends or family to him, but he won’t.
Where as Spider-Man will, but he gets deserted or libeled or overlooked.
I really think Peter Parker just needed to be cut some slack by his writers, but I guess that just doesn’t leave people o the edge like horrible things happening does.
I ought to have learned by now that a person like me, who likes peace, tranquility, and happy endings; is never going to be satisfied with superhero material unless I purposely stop before it gets ruined again.
It’s the never ending battle of super-heroism that is what I don’t like about the concept. And no one said it had to be that way when the genre started, it just evolved into that. And that was what kept stuff selling. Which we can only blame consumers for.
Apparently, I’m pretty much a minority in my tastes on that score.
Anyway, you might be wondering if I liked the movie. The answer is: I neither liked it nor disliked it.
The Green Goblin is without a doubt the scariest Spider-Man (or Marvel itself even) villain I’ve ever seen, though there are DC villains even worse than him. He was too real. I firmly believe what happened to him could happen in real life, and probably has.
Nonetheless, it was not exactly a tragedy because he chose it himself and kept choosing it. My sister said choice was the big theme of the movie.
I agree, and I would add so was the difference between being given power, and trying to take it.
This difference is sort of pointed out in Frozen, when people think Elsa is using sorcery, but as we know, she was born with her powers, making them a gift.
That’s actually a subject worth covering in another post, but I can’t delve into it here.
The Green Goblin, or Osborne, made all the bad things happen to himself by poor planning and experimenting with dangerous things and ultimately committing murder and hurting his son’s emotional well-being. A classic case of a villain who doesn’t know he’s a villain. Only, he does, in a way.
Peter, on the other hand, directly cause only on of the bad things that happens to him, and is sorry for it. Not blaming anyone else. But instead of letting it crush him, he does the only thing he could to honor Uncle Ben’s last bit of advice to him, he uses his powers for good instead of selfish gain.
You have to pick up the pieces after your life is shattered, or you and everyone around you will step on the broken glass.
And those are my words of wisdom for now, until next time–Natasha.