Sunday, July 22, 2007

With Great Power...

Heh. I'm a big Spider-Man fan, so I guess this is appropriate.

You Are Spider-Man

Quick and agile, you have killer instincts (literally).
And that kind of makes up for the whole creepy spider thing.
I normally don't go for these silly types of things, and I don't ever take them seriously, but this one strikes me, because it actually seems kind of accurate (not the description, but the actual character). I grew up liking most of the comic book superheroes, but Spider-Man was always my favorite. I think it was because he wasn't the most powerful superhero, and the books focused as much on Peter Parker as they did Spider-Man. He was really the only character where the actual person (Parker) was more important than the superhero persona. If you think about Batman, Superman, and all the others, the superhero is who they are -- the alter ego is just an empty suit.

Not so Spider-Man. Everything he does as a hero is impacted by his life as Peter Parker -- he is always aware that what he does as Spider-Man has a consequence in Peter Parker's life. This is evident in the theme of all the Spider-Man comics; with great power comes great responsibility. In a way, Spider-Man of all the comic characters most closely espouses Christian principles. He is gifted with a power he didn't deserve, yet humbly uses those powers to serve others. Like so many of us, it took a terrible lesson to teach him this; I can think of a time or two that God confronted me with the consequences of my selfish actions to make a point to me. Spider-Man also struggles with his powers, sometimes to the point of walking away, much like we do sometimes when we try to hide from God because we may not want to hear what he has to tell us. I can't think of any superhero that deals with issues like this; Superman is a being beyond normal humans, and Batman is vengeful. Captain America is certainly selfless, yet he is a little too perfect.

Finally, there is another reason I identified with Spider-Man: I was a lot like Peter Parker. I was always rather bookish, but was not attractive or coordinated, nor was I popular. I saw myself in the skinny nerd who was given amazing powers by spider bite. It was a nice escape to imagine myself in the snazzy blue and red tights (I never like the black outfit, even after Venom was gone), wisecracking as I righted the wrongs of the world. I'm sure I was not alone.