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A Hero for Every Generation WITH GREAT POWER
Every October, crowds of pop culture icons and comic book fans descend on New York for New York Comic Con. With the biggest celebration of nerdom on the East Coast happening in my own backyard, I couldn’t resist letting my inner geek out this month. Like any good origin story, our tale starts in the ‘60s. In August 1962, Marvel Comics published the final issue of “Amazing Fantasy.” This short-lived anthology series would have likely been forgotten by time had that last issue not introduced the greatest superhero ever: Spider-Man. I wouldn’t discover the famed webslinger until a few decades later, when I was a kid at sleep-away camp. That summer, I spent a lot of time in the infirmary because I wasn’t feeling well. To pass the
“I’d like to think there’s something optimistic in how many people love ‘Spider-Man’ stories.”
time, I started reading Marvel comics. There was a pretty solid selection available, including “X-Men” and “Fantastic Four,” but my favorite by far was “Spider-Man.” Peter Parker was one of the first comic book teenagers who got to be a hero and not someone’s sidekick. As a kid, I identified with him best. He was a teenager who had to deal with school and homework and girl problems — plus he was very smart and a badass. Add in the superhero stuff, and was there any kid who didn’t want to be Spider-Man? Being a lifelong Spider-Man fan means riding with the highs and lows of the character. While the movies can be hit or miss, I love them all. There’s something about seeing your childhood hero brought to life that never gets old. I can’t pick my favorite movie, but I can say that of all the actors, Tom Holland’s performance as Spidey is the best iteration. You really believe he’s just a kid from Queens trying to do the right thing, which is wild when you remember the actor is British!
last two decades. The cynical part of me could say it’s a cash grab and that no one makes anything new anymore, but I’d like to think there’s something optimistic in how many people love “Spider-Man” stories. He was not a superhero who was born with his powers, like Superman, or a billionaire with tons of tech, like Batman. Peter Parker was just a kid who tried to do the right thing. That says something about who Spider- Man is as a character. He could have easily become a supervillain out for his own gain, but he decided to be a hero, no matter how hard things got. That famous line from the last issue of “Amazing Fantasy,” “With great power, there must also come great responsibility,” is a message for every generation. If we have the power to do something, then we have a responsibility to do something. I’m glad there’s a superhero out there to remind us of that fact.
That’s why if I’m ever bitten by a radioactive spider, you can bet the first thing I’ll do is swing through NYC, looking for bad guys.
Hollywood loves making superhero movies, but they keep coming back to Spider-Man. We’ve had three different “Spider-Man” franchises in the
–Dr. Harrison Linsky
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