“With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.”- Benjamin Parker
With the recent trend of Marvel heroes being portrayed in film I decided to indulge into one specific character whose reproduction will be coming to a theater near you in summer of 2012. Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in 1965, Peter Benjamin Parker emerges from New York city as the Amazing Spiderman and would soon become one of the most iconic characters of the Marvel universe. Yet very few know the man behind the mask.
After being orphaned as a young child, when his parents died in a plane crash, Peter Parker grew up in the suburbs of New York with his uncle Ben and aunt May. They become the parental figures that influence his life, to this day. As he grew older Peter began to display a heavy interest in science and his intellect grew beyond his other classmates. It was during a trip to a laboratory; teenage Peter wanders through the lab and is bitten by a radioactive spider. Upon returning home he begins to experience symptoms rather strange and by morning acknowledges that his life will never be the same. He has acquired the powers of a spider, able to crawl on walls, incredible speed, reflexes and strength. As a student working to be a scientist he makes a device that allows him to shoot artificial webs from his wrists and from that day forward he becomes Spiderman. However, the glory people connect with him begins with great tragedy as he participates in a contest at a local wrestling arena, to raise some money for a car, where he quickly defeated the reigning champion. He becomes enraged when the owner cons him out of his wins and shortly after, as he begins towards the door, the loser passes by him with a bag full of money, that he had robbed while Peter was talking to the owner. Peter doesn’t attempt to stop the thief, considering he wasn’t even paid for his triumph. Unknowing to Peter his uncle had found out about his nephews attempt to earn some quick cash and decided to drive his beloved nephew home instead of letting him walk home at night. As Peter walks out he notices a crowd gathering and his curiosity leads him to the epicenter of the crowd where he will experience the most tremendous pain of his life, his uncle had been shot by the very thief that ran merely inches away from him. He breaks into agony and rage, he could have stopped the man, he could have done something, anything. As the ambulance takes his deceased uncle to the hospital Peter sets out to avenge his fallen “father”. He encounters the man after a short pursuit and in his final act Peter kills the man by letting him fall from the edge of building to the concrete below. The young naïve Peter Parker died with his uncle, Spiderman will take his place, a shadow of his persona, that with great power comes great responsibility.
What would it feel like to see the only father figure in your life stripped of life, laying on the ground with blood flowing from his chest? To return home and face your “mother” and confess it was your fault. Of course she would never let you think that, but the pain remains nonetheless. From that day on Peter vows to protect the citizens of the world to his fullest potential. Death is something that no one can escape, you will die one day, as will I. Death is also a reoccurring theme in Spiderman’s life. The death of his first love, Gwen Stacy, his high school companion, Harry Osborn, and countless superheroes, most recently the Fantastic Four’s Human Torch, Johnny Storm. Mortality is something he must face on a daily basis and that in turn controls his actions during his life. Through the decades he matures and begins to become the hero that everyone has fallen in love with. His one liners and observational comedy throughout his books allow him to step away from the harsh reality that he represses, as most of us do. Yet his life is not full of turmoil, he begins friendships with many heroes that would influence his life like, Iron Man, Captain America, The Fantastic Four, black cat and many others. He will witness men at their finest and at their hellish worst. He will face enemies like none other, find friends in the shadows, and in time find true love, only to have it stripped away once again. He is Peter Parker, he is the Amazing Spiderman.