Greetings from the Odinson,
The Anatomy of a Super Hero: Spider-Man
We all know the story.
Peter Parker, orphaned at an early age, was raised dotingly by his elderly Uncle Ben and Aunt May. In school, Peter was really quite intelligent with an aptitude for science. However, ignored by girls and picked on by bullies, he was painfully shy, physically small, and considered little more than a wallflower and bookworm by his fellow classmates.
But, that all changed the day he was bitten by a radioactive spider.
The arachnid’s super charged bite endowed Peter with the proportionate strength and speed of a human-size spider. So, what does that mean? How are Peter’s super powers defined?
Physical Attributes: A quick Google Search reveals that a spider can lift 170 times its own body weight. So, if Peter weighs around 150lbs, then he is able to lift approximately 25, 500lbs (12.75 tons)! His super human strength also allows him to leap great distances and bound up and over buildings. His altered physiology has granted him super human equilibrium and amazing super human agility. And, he’s fast enough to dodge bullets.
Supernatural Abilities: Like a spider, Peter can climb up walls and walk on ceilings. He is able to stick to nearly any surface and because of his improved equilibrium, he is able to comfortably remain sideways and upside down indefinitely. Perhaps, one of his most interesting super powers is his “Spider-Sense.” This is a supernatural precognitive early warning mental message that warns him of impending danger. Peter’s Spider-Sense allows him to stay one step ahead of his foes at all times, making him a very perplexing sparring partner and next to impossible to sneak up on.
Peter Parker’s Most Important Super Power: All his amazing abilities aside, Peter Parker’s most valuable super power has always been his brain. Being a wicked smart science savant, Peter was able to mix together chemicals and create a malleable “web-fluid” which he can use to snag criminals in webs with the tensile strength of steel, cast impact webbing, create safety nets to catch falling victims, and many more spectacular feats, not least of which is web-swinging. He also constructed his nifty “Spider-Tracers,” little tracking devices that are attuned to his Spider-Sense which he places on escaping foes so he can track them down later.
However, it is not all these amazing super powers that makes Peter Parker a hero. No, it’s his heart, his courage, and his sense of responsibility.
Peter Parker is easily one of the most relatable characters in comics, and Spider-Man is many young fans’ (including the Odinson’s) introduction to the astonishing world of comic books. After he was bitten by that radioactive spider and given all these wonderful super human abilities, Peter did not go right out and start fighting crime. No, he did what any normal kid that had just been handed the keys to the kingdom would do, he set out to make some money.
And really, who could blame him?
His whole life to that point, Peter was an unassuming, shy kid that had been picked on and now he had the ability to really give back as good as he got. So, what was wrong with making a little scratch on the side? Unfortunately, power like he possesses can go to the head and it isn’t long before he starts buying into his own hype. In a moment of selfishness, Peter allows a robber to run by him and get away, even telling the police officer that was in pursuit that it wasn’t his (Peter’s) problem.
Later, Peter’s Uncle Ben is murdered by a home invader. Peter uses his new super human powers to track down the suspect and to his dismay learns the man that murdered his beloved Uncle Ben was the very same robber he could have easily stopped earlier. It was a harsh lesson, but that is the moment Peter Parker learned that WITH GREAT POWER MUST ALSO COME GREAT RESPONSIBILITY.
It’s a creed he lives by to this day.
Peter Parker is the ultimate underdog. Doctor Octopus is smarter than Spider-Man. Scorpion is stronger than Spider-Man. The Lizard is faster than Spider-Man. Electro is more powerful than Spider-Man. And, Morlun eats spider-men for breakfast.
The deck is always stacked against him. It is very rare that Spider-Man flat out defeats his foes because of the super powers that bite from a radioactive spider gave him. His amazing abilities keep him alive long enough for his true super powers to win the day.
It isn’t his spectacular super human strength, his sensational ability to climb on walls, or his amazing agility that makes him a hero. What makes Peter Parker a hero is his good heart, his unwavering courage, and his strong sense of responsibility.
That is what makes Spider-Man a super hero.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
NOTE: Be sure to check out my book – The Survivors: A Glen Haven Tale. Available in Paperback, Kindle, and Audiobook.