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The Enduring Popularity of Spider-Man

Whether it’s Peter Parker, Miles Morales, Spider-Gwen or one of the other dozen versions of Spider-Man, people love this character. What is it about this character that has endeared him to audiences for over 50 years. Is it the stories that he’s been involved in, the cast of characters around him or is it what he represents that has resonated with people so well for so long. By looking at the history of the character through all mediums, analyze what is it about the wall crawler that makes him and all his variants such a timelessly likable character.

  • I like this topic a lot because one of the most important things for superheroes to be popular and culturally important is their relatability. Even some of the most popular characters like Superman and Batman that have unbelievable abilities maintain some aspects of ourselves as humans like struggling with restraint, trauma, loss, identity, belonging, etc. Looking through the history of Spider-Man, he seems to be marketed as one of the most clearly, universally relatable heroes since his iterations are usually young humans dealing with very common young human issues like love, family, and even work-life balance. I think writing on this topic would require the targeted marketing of Spider-Man as an every-man/woman type to be explored more fully in connection with his overall likability and resonance. – Aaron 5 years ago
  • I think even beyond his colorful and striking design, Spider-Man's resonance is sourced from him dealing with everyday problems many, if not, most people can relate to. Though he's a hard worker, he's poor, he's bullied, struggles in romance, handling his job, etc. All this on top of being a superhero who risks his life every day defending NYC citizens who are often ungrateful (depending on the writer). It grounds him as a character and shows that anyone can wear the mask, i.e be a hero who helps others, even in the face of adversity. – ImperatorSage 5 years ago
  • The spider-man story usually starts in high school, and I think that is part of what makes it so appealing. The character is so average and relatable. He acts like any one of us would act. – kairigainsborough 5 years ago
  • Very broad, unspecific and unoriginal. – T. Palomino 2 years ago

Analysis of Spider-Man’s origin story

In the comments section of my recently published article on Batman’s origin story, the topic of Spider-Man’s origin came up. I’d be fascinated to see an analysis of it. This includes the spider that bit Peter Parker and the death of his Uncle Ben, inspiring him to be a hero.
What changes in the origin story when Spider-Man is rebooted or we get an alternate universe version? What stays the same, and what meaning can be found in that?
What tropes does Spider-Man’s origin story include? Does it subvert any tropes? What impact do these tropes have?
How original, deep, or personally impactful is Spider-Man’s origin compared to others?

  • Oh, one more thing. A commenter pointed out Spider-Man’s origin seems similar to Dr. Octopus’ backstory. That would be an interesting point of comparison and contrast. – noahspud 5 years ago
  • I think there is a significant overlap in content that would be discussed, considering that both involve a murdered love one at some point. Regardless, it would still be interesting to contrast and compare. – Gliese436B 5 years ago
  • Unnecessary personal information provided that does not help to clearly understand the topic proposal. – T. Palomino 2 years ago

Marvel Spider-Man TV Show Character (1994-98) VS. Spider-Man Comic Book Charater

The synopsis of the show is "The series focuses on Spider-Man and his alter ego Peter Parker during his college years at Empire State University. As the story begins, Peter has already gained his superpowers and is a part-time freelance photographer for the Daily Bugle. The show features most of Spider-Man’s classic villains, including the Kingpin, the Green Goblin, the Lizard, the Shocker, Doctor Octopus, Mysterio, the Scorpion, Rhino, the Vulture, the Chameleon, and Venom. Over the course of the series the single Peter contends with the romantic love interests of Mary Jane Watson, Felicia Hardy and her alter ego, the Black Cat. The show also features appearances from various other Marvel superheroes; including the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Daredevil, Blade, Doctor Strange, the Punisher and Captain America."

What this should focus on is the progression of Spider-Man from then and now. How he has progressed as a character and why you think they have made the changes they have made thus far. This show lasted five seasons and had a pretty decently long run and Daredevil has made an appearance along with some other characters from the universe. Showing how they have changed in appearance and personality as well in the series from now is something to focus on too.

The focus here is Spider-Man as a comic book character in comparison to the TV show, they are very similar in some retrospects, but also not in many as well. There are also characters such as Captain America and Daredevil who also have origin stories in the show and some things alter in the comics as well.


    What would have happened if Tom Holland wasn't picked to play Spider Man?

    There were lots of extremely good choices for the next Spider Man character. It was highly projected at one time that Asa Butterfield would land the role, but by June, Butterfield was out. There were several other choices as well, and Marvel and Sony both spent an entire year searching. Holland has characteristics that overqualify him, such as his ability to dance and do his own stunts, especially flips. But what were to happen if someone else was chosen? How would they rank against Tom, and each other? If Tom wasn’t a good choice, who should they have chosen? Spider Man, according to Marvel.com, is "the most successful franchise in the history of Sony Pictures, with the five films having taken in more than $4 billion worldwide," after all. Did they pass off the role to the right person?

    • It would be a little odd and wrong to judge actors against Holland without the film actually being released yet. Perhaps instead of comparing to Holland you could inclue him in the discussion into what would make him a good Spider-Man as well as the "what ifs". Other than holland and Butterfield I didn't really know which actors were up for consideration so maybe as well as discussing the actors you could talk about the different people who have taken on the persona of Spider-Man: obviously Peter Parker and Myles Morales but maybe also an older Parker or a new character altogether. – Jamie White 9 years ago
    • It's a marvel film, I don't think it really matters. They could used a chimpanzee, call him Banana Parker and fans will still love it – Lazarinth 9 years ago