Caught in the web we analyse Spider-Man

reading a spider-man comic book

Spider-Man, comic-book character who was the original everyman superhero. In Spider-Man’s first story, in Marvel Comics’ Amazing Fantasy, no. 15 in the ’60’s (1962), American teenager Peter Parker, a poor sickly orphan, is bitten by a radioactive spider. As a result of the bite, he gains superhuman strength, speed, and agility along with the ability to cling to walls. Writer Stan Lee and illustrator Steve Ditko created Spider-Man as a filler story for a cancelled anthology series. At the time, a teenage lead hero was unheard of in comic books. However, readers responded powerfully to Peter Parker and his spider-like abilities, prompting an ongoing title and, ultimately, a media empire, including video games, several animated and one live-action television series, a live-action film franchise, and a musical.

Spider-Man was a radical departure from the established conventions of the comic book superhero genre: he was a teenage character who was not given to sidekick status unlike an older, more experienced hero. In addition to his enhanced speed and strength, Parker also possessed a “spider sense” that allowed him to protect people from danger. Using his inborn scientific talents, Parker created a unique adhesive “web fluid” and built wrist-mounted web shooters that enabled him to shape the webbing into various use forms, which allowed him to swing across New York’s most iconic skyscrapers. He also designed a red and blue costume that quickly became Spider-Man’s visible trademark and costume which every Spider-Man has worn throughout the Marvel universe.

From the very beginning, the Amazing Spider-Man’s behaviour detached completely from super heroic norms. Instead of selflessly dedicating his superhuman gifts to crime-fighting or the general betterment of humankind, the newly empowered Spider-Man cashes in on his talents by becoming a television celebrity. After his first performance before the cameras, he refuses to stop a robber from stealing the television station’s studio box-office receipts. Spider-Man’s world abruptly collapses a few days later when a burglar murders his uncle, Ben Parker, leaving Peter’s Aunt May now his only surviving guardian. The grief-stricken Spider-Man tracks down Uncle Ben’s killer, only to make the horrible discovery that the murderer is the very same robber he had allowed to escape from the television studio. Spider-Man’s origin story closes with the famous quote: “And a lean, silent figure slowly fades into the gathering darkness, aware at last that in this world, with great power there must also come—great responsibility!”

Spider-man also quickly developed a more in-depth storyline as include characters such as the Daily Budgle’s newspaper publisher J.Jonah Jameson, girlfriend Gwen Stacy (to be replaced later by Mary Jane Watson, following Stacy’s death), and variety of super villains such as Doctor Octopus, the Sandman and the Green Goblin. For many years, Peter Parker earned the money he needed to keep his aunt alive by selling photos of himself in action as Spider-Man (taken surreptitiously with an automatic camera, usually webbed to a wall) to his unsuspecting newsprint nemesis, Jameson. Although Parker’s earnings are barely sufficient to make ends meet, he generally approaches life and crime-fighting with an upbeat attitude and a sly sense of humour that often comes out in the middle of a battle scene.

Spider-Man’s Superpowers

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Spider powers have been part of the Marvel universe since 1962 when Spider-Man had his first debut. The most common include wall-crawling, enhanced strength, speed, reflexes, durability, stamina, healing and agility, as well an six sense dubbed “Spider-Sense” powered by Peter Parker.

In the Marvel comics his super powers are ranked as following:

  • Superhuman Strength.
  • Superhuman Speed.
  • Superhuman Reflexes.
  • Superhuman Durability.
  • Healing Factor.
  • “Spider-Sense” Alert.
  • Heightened Senses.
  • Wallcrawling.

Box Office success for Marvel

The Spider-Man films have been generally well-received. They have collectively grossed over $6.3 billion at the global box office, with Far From Home becoming the first Spider-Man film to gross over $1 billion worldwide as well as Sony’s highest-grossing film ever. Additionally, Into the Spider-Verse won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Spider-Man and the Avengers

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Tom Holland’s role as Peter Parker began by playing a high school student who gained spider-like abilities, fighting crime across New York City as the alter ego Spider-Man, hoping someday, he will live up to his idols and heroes in the Avengers. While Parker juggled his studies and superhero duties, he was approached by Iron Man (Tony Stark), who recruited Spider-Man to join Nick Fury’s team in Avengers Civil War, putting Spider-Man into brief contact with his favourite superhero, Captain America. Parker agreed to join the team for this mission and was given a new suit with Stark’s technology in exchange for all his help.

While Spider-Man continued to provide his worthiness to Iron Man so he could join the Avengers, Parker then encountered all the illegal activities of Vulture aka Adrian Toomes, who was attempting to sell his Chitauri based weapons onto the black market. Believing that capturing Vulture who was played by Michael Keaton in Spider-Man: Homecoming would secure his status as New York’s most Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman. Spider-Man had decided to go after this super villain alone, with only Ned Leed’s assistance, while keeping all his secrets from his beloved Aunt May, gaining interest from Liz Toomes, and also trying to win his decathlon finals. Eventually Spider-Man had learned Vulture was Toomes’ father and had then stopped his robbery of their Stark Cargo Plane, resulting in Stark offering Parker his place with the Avengers, which Parker turned down in order to protect the citizens of New York.

Spider-Man was pulled back into the Avengers’ conflict during Infinity War when the Black Order invaded Earth and then managed to successfully kidnap Doctor Strange, which resulted in Spider-Man being dragged on their spacecraft with Iron Man. Having then rescued Strange with assistance from the Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man failed to stop Thanos from collecting the six infinity stones and changing the timeline of the universe by whipping out half of Earth’s population which included the death of Holland, Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Dave Batista (Drax) and Pom Klementieff (Mantis). Leaving Iron Man, Doctor Strange and Rocket as some of the last team members to reverse the damage made by Thanos.

It took the team five years to bring back Spider-Man, as the remaining Avengers team went back in time to collect the stones and reverse the snap with the success of Hulk ( Eric Bana’s knowledge and Starks technology. However, in the final battle which left many fans stunned by the amount of superheroes on screen from the Marvel universe they were left devastated like Parker when his role model sacrificed his life to save the world.

The bereaved and traumatised Parker decided to take some time off his hero duties following the death of Tony Stark, seeking refuge on his trip to Europe with his high school crush Michelle “MJ” Jones (played by Zendaya who is Holland’s real-life girlfriend), and his best friend Ned Leds (Jacob Batalon) he witnessed an elemental attack and was recruited by Nick Fury to work with Mysterio to defeat the creators. Once the duo defeated these enemies, the media dubbed Spider-Man a Night Monkey and handed over Tony Stark’s glasses, which gave Mysterio access to all of Iron Man’s technology and weapons. With the help of Stark’s best friend Happy Hogan, Spider-Man followed Mysterio into London by exposing his illusions and defeated his former ally. However, upon his return to America, leaked footage of Spider-Man was sent to The Daily Bulge, which exposed Peter Parker’s identity to the entire world and incriminated him as a mass murder.

Spider-Man: No Way Home

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The wait is almost over for Spider-Man: No Way Home. The third Tom Holland-led Spider-Man film will exclusively swing its way into cinema this week on December 17, 2021, and looks to open wide the doors of the Multiverse. While many are wondering if Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield will once again suit up as their versions of Spider-Man in the film, we do know that Holland will be facing off against such returning villains as Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin, Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus, and Jamie Foxx’s Electro.

The trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home racked up an-all time viewership record of 355.5 million global views in its first 24 hours, blowing away the previous record holder, Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame, which drove 289M views. Simply, wow. No Way Home‘s draw is more than double that of the second trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home, which hit 135M views at the 24-hour mark. That movie, released in 2019, became Sony’s largest-grossing film in history with $1.131 billion. So, we expect this film to be a film to be a showstopper like Avengers: Endgame.