Spider-Man not your regular superhero

By Lizzie Yin Source:Global Times Published: 2017/9/24 5:03:42


Illustration: Xia Qing/GT

Spider-Man is no doubt my favorite superhero compared to all the other characters created by the two US comic giants DC and Marvel.

Before I started watching the Spider-Man films and animation series and got hooked on superheroes, all the superheroes from the US and Japan were just colorful tights-wearing, muscle-bound, half-human weirdos to me. They only fought hideous villains who were clearly designed to make them look good.

It didn't make sense. First of all, what's with the muscles? If their power comes from their muscles, then they should each have at least five tons of muscles. But if not, as was most often the case, then they don't need all those muscles to appear tough at all.

I like my heroes to look tidy and unworldly. He has to be wise and powerful but be able to kick his enemy's ass without having to lift his arms.

I also couldn't relate to the typical American comic hero "origin story." Their origin stories often involve the death of a loved one. Batman's parents were killed right in front of him. Superman lost his entire planet.

In the previous Spider-Man films, Peter Parker goes through his uncle's death and eventually learns that "with great power comes great responsibility."

Although the market will testify that these storylines sell well, the personal growth of a superhero does not have to be achieved by the death of a loved one.

What a lack of imagination, I thought to myself back then. The new film didn't mention the "origin story" where Uncle Ben was killed, and it makes sense. Why should the heroes have to go through hell and suffer just because they have more power? Can't they just have fun, do awesome things and still like themselves?

Therefore, Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) is by far the best Spider-Man film in my opinion.

It doesn't include the sad "origin story" of how a superhero becomes the hero that people want. He is just a simple, sort-of-lame teenager who happens to gain cool powers. He is your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

Any girl would want this Spider-Man for a boyfriend. He is easy on the eyes. He is fit but not overly so. He is responsible. He is smart. He does well in school and wins prizes. He is shy, but always enthusiastic. He likes Star Wars and admires Captain America like all other geeky young people.

Sure, he is lame. Unlike other superheroes, he constantly worries about money, his internship, getting caught by Aunt May, and whether the girl he likes likes him back. But hey, that's kind of cool too.

This Spider-Man reminds me of a Chinese hero who is beloved by the Chinese, the Monkey King. Both heroes are lonely. They don't know the world quite well yet. With each step, there's growth, and it feels like a search for meaning in life. They are not cookie-cutter heroes made to fit into the market-oriented "superhero box," and I quite like that.

This article was published on the Global Times Metropolitan section Two Cents page, a space for reader submissions, including opinion, humor and satire. The ideas expressed are those of the author alone, and do not represent the position of the Global Times.


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