Welcome to the first installment of "Why Do We Love ____", where I will take a popular character from various forms of media and try to figure out why so many people like them. Today's article focuses on everyone's favorite web-head, Spider-Man.
When you think of Marvel Comics, the first hero you probably think of is Spider-Man. That's great. That means someone at Marvel is doing their job right. What do I mean? Well...
Spider-Man is an underdog. He's a nerdy dude who lucked into becoming a slightly less nerdy superhero that can crawl on walls and make things sticky (don't you dare take that out of context, or I will find you). His story is very popular because most people find him easy to relate to. Before he was a hero, he was just a normal guy with the same struggles as everyone else. He wasn't born with these powers, and he certainly didn't ask for them. But he got them, and that's made his life a lot better.
...Most of the time...
So, we know he's easy to relate to. That's a big part of it.
"But Copper!" I hear you ask, as you raise your hand high in the air. "Aren't effective superheroes not supposed to be like that? I mean, they're "super" by nature! We shouldn't be able to relate to them, they're not like us!"
To which I reply...Put your hand down, man. I'm not in the room with you, you look silly.
And to answer your question, no. Superheroes are different, yes, but the mark of an effective hero is the total opposite of the thing you just said.
Of course there are exceptions (Superman, I'll get to you later...), but most heroes are generally pretty fallible. And that's important.
Think of it this way...
If you put someone flawless in front of someone with flaws, you're going to start to see resentment. There's a certain disdain for people who are better off than the rest of us, because we aspire to be what they are, but what they are is unattainable. We can try all we like, but we'll never reach the same level of greatness as the flawless person.
Spider-Man isn't flawless. As I've said before, he was just a person prior to getting his powers. Some freak accident involving a spider, a lab, and some radioactivity (not the start of a joke, I assure you) turned him into the superhero we all know and love. And guess what? Accidents can happen.
And that's just it. Accidents CAN happen.
Now, I'm not saying you'll get spider powers if you get bitten by one, but with the suspension of disbelief we have a hero that could very possibly exist within our world. We have a hero that can actually be real.
We have a hero that can be one of us.
Instead of being some billionaire genius playboy philanthropist, he's an average Joe. Instead of being a super soldier, he's the guy next door. Instead of turning into an enormous rage monster from time to time, he's the kid who sits next to you in psychology, and offers to tutor you when he realizes you're failing.
I think that's why people like Spider-Man so much. He embodies everything we are, and somehow remains everything we want to be.
Why do we love Spider-Man?
Because he's us. He's you. He's me, them, him, her...
We love him because we love ourselves.
That came out a lot cheesier than I meant it, but you get the point. See you next time!