Sunday, 13 October 2019

EVERYTHING YOU THOUGHT YOU KNEW ABOUT SPIDER-MAN IS WRONG...


Copyright MARVEL COMICS

Y'know, something about SPIDER-MAN's origin that never really gelled with me was the idea that he had the proportionate powers of a spider - simply because he was bitten by a radioactive one.  He certainly manifested similar abilities, though didn't possess the natural physical 'equipment' to produce his own webbing, making the first movie ridiculous in that respect, despite STAN LEE thinking it was an improvement.

Therefore, if (for the sake of discussion) we accept the original notion that he got his powers from the spider, he could obviously only replicate its abilities in as much as his own human make-up would allow him to.  But if that's true, then how did he manage to walk up walls while wearing gloves and (originally) thick-treaded boots?

Furthermore, whenever he was crawling on a ceiling, wouldn't his weight have brought it down - especially in offices where polystyrene ceiling tiles hid the electrical wires for air-conditioning and overhead lighting?  It doesn't really make much sense.  (I hear you - does any superhero concept?)  But we're not stuck with the 'official' explanation if we don't want to be.

My own opinion (despite what the comics may now suggest) is that it was simply the radiation that imbued PETER with enhanced powers, not the spider - it was merely the 'messenger'. The radiation allowed him to transcend his human limitations and do things that he otherwise wouldn't be able to.  Walking up walls? That was as a result of Peter having some kind of 'psionic' force that allowed him to defy gravity.

You see, in my view, because Peter saw the spider, it had a psychological influence on the way he understood and 'rationalised' his enhanced abilities.  Potentially, if he hadn't been limited by his own perceptions of what a spider can do (disproportionate strength and speed, the ability to cling to surfaces), he might have manifested even greater powers - like being able to fly for example.  (Even his so-called 'spider-sense' is merely a form of ESP.)  

What I'm suggesting is that the spider was merely the conduit for the radiation that gave him his powers, not the source itself.  The radiation affected his metabolism, increased his strength and speed, and also imbued him with the ability to develop just about whatever enhanced attributes he could imagine (within reason).  Now, though, his powers have become established and can't evolve further.

Anyway, I think there's great story potential in my idea.  I'd love to see a tale where Peter discovers he's a 'child of the atom', not the spider, and that the arachnid merely influenced how he interpreted his radiation-induced powers, and wasn't the genetic source of them itself.  What say the rest of you Criv-ites?  Let loose the dogs of dissent in the comments section.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Really interesting theory. I like it!
Spirit of '64

Kid said...

I must confess to being rather partial to it myself, S64.

Colin Jones said...

Another stupid thing about Spider-Man - we are expected to believe that the schoolboy Peter Parker created the Spidey costume. Look how complicated it is with all the webbing and whatnot - could you make something like that? Me neither. I can just about manage to sew on a button :D

Kid said...

Interestingly, CJ, there's a scene in a later Ditko Spidey ish where he has to mend his costume and he's 'all thumbs', so maybe he screen-printed the design? (Although, going by his first appearance, he did it in his bedroom.) Personally, I think anyone who's clever enough to invent web-shooters and web that dissolves after an hour, must be brainy enough to sew a costume together. Could I make something like that? Of course I could, 'cos as we all know, I'm a multi-talented genius. (And modest with it.)

Barry Pearl said...

It was interesting that in the 1940 chemicals, the era of the miracle drugs, created many super-heroes and villains. Captain America, the Flash and many others were given chemicals by doctors who died quickly or by circumstances that cannot be duplicated. Magic was also a source fopr Wonder Woman, Shazam and many others.

But the source for Marvel in the early 1960s was radiation and radioactivity. That transformed the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Captain America (Vita-Rays); Daredevil, The Hulk, many of the X-Men, The Red Ghost, The Radioactive Man, and so many others.

Of course, they all should have died from it.

But I enjoy the fact that you find little logic in the origin of Spider-Man. Where the hell did the spider-sense come from?

Kid said...

BP, I suppose the idea for 'spider-sense' came from the fact that, whenever someone tried to rescue a spider from the bath (or anywhere), it always seemed to know which direction they were being approached from. Of course, a ruddy big hand 100 times the size of the spider wouldn't exactly have been invisible to it, and it probably picked up the vibrations from someone's fingers touching the bath anywhere around the spider, but it looked as if it had a 'sixth-sense' to us daft humans.

TC said...

I seem to remember Stan Lee on TV (it may have been the History Channel documentary on the history of comics), commenting on some of the origin stories that he had written. He said something like, "There had been a lot of science fiction horror movies in the 1950s about people being mutated or turned into monsters after exposure to radiation."

So, as with the wonder drugs creating Captain America and the Flash ca. 1940, the origins of the early 1960s super-heroes and super-villains were probably a product of their time.

Kid said...

That's a reasonable assumption, TC. Movies seemed to lead the way through the decades with various concepts, and comics tended to follow in their wake.

Phil S said...

Why web shooters? Stan probably used this idea. https://www.cbr.com/comic-book-legends-revealed-golden-age-webshooters/

Kid said...

Ta, PS, I'll take a look. Apparently though, it was Ditko who dreamed up the web-shooters, although Eric Stanton claimed to have suggested the idea to him. (They shared a studio at one time.)

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