-by Joshie Jaxon
Picture it; Sicily 1962. A lone comic book writer creates a comic character so awesome that he’s still around over 50 years later. Readers, that lone comic book writer was me, and that character, was Peter Parker, Spider-Man. Sorry. I’ll try not to have Golden Girls on as background noise when I write.
Seriously, how awesome is Peter Parker? Granted, he didn’t start out that way. He was not only a loser, he was interested in science. Poor Peter was never gonna get the girl, and that was fine with me. I could relate to Peter. I wasn’t a science nerd, but I was still a geek. I loved comics, cartoons, and games. Still do. There was a period when such things weren’t as chic and celebrated as they are now. I was so ahead of my time.
I can’t say that Spider-Man was my first comic ever, that honor goes to Eastman and Laird’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures, I can say that my first Marvel Super Hero comic was Spider-Man. It was the early 90’s, during the Trial of Peter Parker portion of the Clone Saga. I can still remember what store I got it at. It made that much of an impact on my life. I’d found a character that I could relate to. I too, had a clone. Kidding, of course, but how awesome would that be?
Peter was everything a closeted teenage boy could want. Actually, I only knew I was different, I didn’t quite understand what gay was at the time. Anyhow, Peter had a great body, and never missed a chance to show it off. He’s got a variety of costumes, but I’ll cover those in a later post. Not just exposed flesh, but a skin-tight outfit made for an accelerated heart rate to say the least. Though as I covered in my Nate Grey post, it wasn’t enough for me to risk ruining my books over, the way certain older men do with a maxim. Damn close though.
Speaking of Nate Grey, he and Peter became friends. On their initial meeting, they skipped the obligatory fight, and opted to go for coffee instead. Tea for Nate, naturally. If only MJ hadn’t been in the picture, things might have ended differently. I’ll just leave this picture right here.
Not only is our web-slinger super smart, he’s also funny. Peter has a quip for nearly all of the villains in his rogues gallery. From calling Vulture, vulchy, Green Goblin, gobby, to telling Hydro Man the dogs must love him, Peter showed me that there are ways to deal with bad guys besides violence. I dunno if Spider-Man influenced my own wit or not, but I’ll give him partial credit. I was an impressionable teen after all. Though, like Peter, I didn’t come into my own until after high school.
Peter isn’t without his share of pain. He lost his uncle at a young age, and was semi responsible. He lost what was very well the love of his life at the hands of a madman. He lost what would be considered a brother to him, in the form of Scarlet Spider, Ben Reilly. He and MJ even lost their daughter. Those last three were all to the same nutcase, whose personal mission is to destroy Peter’s life.
Despite life and villains knocking him down, Peter always gets back up, ready to face the next challenge head on. After all, with great power comes great responsibility.