Similar to any movie or band, the debate over the world’s best superhero is one that has no definite answer. Any regular comic book reader or 10 year old boy could fight you tooth and nail about why their favorite hero is the best. For example, I could spend 30,000 words writing about the greatness of Iron Man and why he is, bar none, the greatest hero.
And this was before his popularity grew with all the movies.
No, today, I take a backseat to my own opinions and talk about whom I believe to be the greatest hero based on facts, not opinions.
In fact, this guy has a movie coming out next week.
Today and tomorrow we’re going to discuss the Amazing Spider-Man.
There’s sure to be some sighed breaths out there, seeing as how some people might have a bad taste in their mouth left over from the last Spider-Man movie “Spider-Man 3”. I understand that feeling better than most, as “Spider-Man 3” is a basis upon which I judge other movies that were close to being good, but failed to reach it.
No, even with that movie striking fear into the hearts of moviegoers excited at the prospect of seeing him swing through New York City, I think we all forget one thing.
Spider-Man is a true hero.
Hardly has there been a time in comics when Spider-Man was forced to become something other than what he is: a man trying to do right. No matter what obstacle is thrown in his way, this is a man that is unyielding, never-stopping and, above all, heroic.
As far as inspirational role-models goes, this is a guy that should never NOT be given to youngsters as an inspirational focus. Spider-Man is a fantastic role model.
So why have not seen people act as excited for his upcoming movie as opposed to “The Avengers” or “Dark Knight Rises”?
I think people are afraid of him. The biggest draw when Spider-Man was created 50 years ago was that he was a character unlike one that had been made. Before Peter Parker was bitten by that famed radioactive spider, almost all superheroes had it going on. They were rich, famous, powerful or, all in all, likeable.
Anyone who knows Spider-Man comics, movies, etc. know that almost everyone hates Spider-Man, even though he’s really just a guy trying to do good in the world. In fact, he succeeds most of the time.
This creates an almost bizarre parallel to our world, where I’ve met people that dislike Spider-Man for incomprehensible reasons.
Why? What’s wrong with a man that sacrifices and does nothing but give, even at the expense of his own happiness?
Hasn’t that been what we’ve been calling for in our presidents and leaders? Or, towards the people in control of any sort of power or office?
Just two days ago in New York, the city itself dedicated the Empire State Building to him by lighting it up with his colors similar to the end of a recent Spider-Man story. (More on that later.) This kind of monumental acknowledgement is unheard of for any other kind of character, I suppose, but the point stands.
This is all getting a little too long winded, yes, but I just needed to get a simple point across.
No matter how much more I may like other heroes, I will always concede to this simple fact: The greatest super-hero in the world is Spider-Man. And I’m looking forward to his newest cinematic outing.
If you want some great Spider-Man reads, I cannot speak enough great things about these stories. Check them out and let me know what you think.
1) Amazing Spider-Man: Spider Island
What makes Spider-Man special? Is it his awesome strength? Is it his ability to jump, leap and flip his way out of danger? Spider-Sense? Wall-Crawling?
Well, if every single person in New York has spider powers, what makes Spider-Man so special?
That’s the core question in this storyline, as the island of Manhattan is overrun with people that suddenly possess spider powers. Not just the average New Yorker, from regular criminals down to super criminals, the spider infestation of New York has begun and no one is safe. Save for Spider-Man.
The Empire State Building being lit up in red and blue? It came from this story.
2) Ultimate Spider Man Vol. 1 HC
I can specify this one as the first appearance of our brand new Spider-Man, Miles Morales, the young half-Mexican, half
African-American boy who took up the mantle once Peter Parker was killed in combat.
This is one of those stories that I’ve already written about in extended form already, but one that I constantly recommend again and again for its high quality storytelling and artwork.
Miles Morales is handed the keys to a legacy, the legacy of Spider-Man. As a mild-mannered middle school student, it’s apparent he’s not the next logical choice to be a hero. However, once he springs into action, it’s obvious he is.
Just his character alone is enough to make you want to pick this collected edition up, even if it’s not Peter Parker.
3) Anything “Ultimate Spider-Man” by Brian Michael Bendis
I’ve written at length about Brian Michael Bendis numerous times, but his most extensive work is his Ultimate Spider-Man work, which has lasted more than ten years and well over 150 issues.
This is Peter Parker as he should be, in high school, exploring his powers, and finding out the world you think you know is not always the one you thought.
Any of these collections would be great to have, but sometimes starting at the beginning is the best. Get volume 1 and go from there. It’s all great reading.
Tomorrow: I review the newest issue of Amazing Spider-Man in a Comic Matters Review post. It’s the beginning of a new storyline featuring The Lizard and promises to be one of the darkest, most exciting Spider-Man stories of late.
In addition to writing for the column “Comic Matters” for the Tucson Citizen website, Bobby Acosta is also a 5th Grade Elementary school teacher, frequenter of local comic book shop Heroes & Villains, and explorer of the importance of comics. He recommends each and every comic he writes about. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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