A Hero Like No Other

As everyone’s favorite friendly, neighborhood, arachnid-themed hero, Spider-Man is an interesting and complex figure in comics media. On this blog, we’ll be exploring his character through diverse perspectives and maybe learn a little bit about ourselves along the way.


October 30th, 2019

New essay added to Responsibility Series

Spider-Man First. Everyone Else Second

Peter prioritizing his duties as Spider-Man over his responsibilities to the people in his life is a frequent sacrifice he makes as a hero. But does it have to be that way? Is it time for a role he created as a lonely high-school kid to change? Let’s look at a pivotal moment where he must choose what roles, responsibility, and commitment mean as an adult.


June 23rd, 2019

New essay added to Spinning the Web

Our Revisionist Minds

There are many pivotal moments in the story of Spider-Man, but what happens to the meaning of those events when we extract them from the context of the storylines in which they existed? How do they change, and is it for the best? We look at Mary Jane Watson and the events preceding and following Gwen Stacy’s death and the true impact of her closing the door.


May 23rd, 2019

New essay added to Clearing the Cobwebs

The Fantasy of the Mask

For most of Peter Parker’s life, his role as Spider-Man has complicated every romantic relationship he’s had. What happens though when it’s his civilian side that detracts? Let’s look at the dual romances of the Black Cat and the alien symbiote and see how the fantasy of Peter’s heroic side conflicts with what he needs as a whole person.


May 2nd, 2019

New essay added to Spinning the Web

The Impact of Time on Spider-Man

Managing the passage of time for a character that’s over fifty-years-old with thousands of stories in publication is a daunting task for creative teams. Let’s look at the different methods they employ to keep Spider-Man young through decades of time and generational change.


April 24th, 2019

New essay added to Clearing the Cobwebs

The Cathartic Gratification of Teaching

Being a superhero can be a draining responsibility, both physically and spiritually, where someone like Peter Parker might feel like they’re always giving and what’s given is never enough. See how through the act of teaching, he’s able to engage in constructive heroism, a concept that helps to counterbalance the strain of his Spider-Man duties. 


April 16th, 2019

New essay added to The Fairer Web

The Dead-End Evolution of Gwen Stacy: Part 2

The tragic death of Gwen Stacy in Amazing Spider-Man #121 was as devastating as it was unexpected. Or was it? Part 2 follows Gwen’s story after her father’s death and explores how the increasing limitations placed on her character from a storytelling perspective led to her final fate. 


April 11th, 2019

New essay added to The Fairer Web

The Dead-End Evolution of Gwen Stacy: Part 1

The tragic death of Gwen Stacy in Amazing Spider-Man #121 was as devastating as it was unexpected. Or was it? In this two-part series we’ll follow the arc of her character from the beginning to her final fate and see how it was only going to end one way.


April 5th, 2019

New essay added to Clearing the Cobwebs

Coping with Disability

With an ability to recuperate from any injury that doesn’t kill him, Spider-Man rarely has to consider what it might be like to suffer from a permanent disability. When he’s blinded by an energy blast designed to permanently disable him, he has to grapple with his new vulnerability and with his loss of independence and purpose. Good thing Daredevil is here to help.


April 1st, 2019

New essay added to  The Fairer Web 

 The Remarkable Humanity of Sadie Frickett

When we meet people, our first impressions inform our expectations of who they are, but these biases aren’t always accurate. Meet a middle-aged barfly by the name of Sadie Frickett and see how our expectations conflict with her genuine humanity, especially in a medium that uses physical attractiveness to assign value.


March 24th, 2019

New essay added to The Fairer Web

Declawing the Cat: Infantilizing Felicia Hardy

Felicia Hardy aka “The Black Cat” started as a confident woman whose cleverness and unique skills at manipulating her environment put her in league with one of the strongest street heroes in New York City. So it’s a genuine tragedy when she returns for her sophomore adventure much less the character she once was. Explore how her great introduction is undermined by her unfortunate second story.


March 8th, 2019

New essay added to Clearing the Cobwebs

 Point of No Return Over Hot Cocoa 

Peter’s relationship with Gwen Stacy is reaching a crossroads. Is he ready to let her and her father in on his identity as Spider-Man or will his fears of vulnerability and rejection hold him back? Read about the rather innocuous, but pivotal moment that’s Peter’s best chance to come clean with who he is.


 

March 2nd, 2019

New essay added to the  Responsibility Series 

 …Comes Great Accountability 

If Great Responsibility follows Great Power, what follows Great Responsibility? We explore the role of accountability in Peter Parker’s life and his struggle to take ownership for his actions.


February 20th, 2019

New essay added to  Clearing the Cobwebs 

Science Fiction vs. Occult Origin

Did the spider have intent or not? Let’s explore these two contrasting origins and whether or not there’s anyway to reconcile their differences.


February 17th, 2019

Two new deep-dive essays in Responsibility Series have been added.

Spider-Man as Responsibility Fantasy

How Peter Parker subverts the male power fantasy and in what ways a responsibility fantasy may be a better fit.

Parker Luck: Absolution from Responsibility

How Peter Parker uses a capricious force of his own invention to avoid responsibility for his personal wellbeing.