Peter Parker Might Be the Poster Boy for Using Power with Responsibility…

…but even he can succumb to the temptation of ego.



A common theme in superhero movies these days is the “weaponizing”

of invention. Someone designs a suit of armor, a replacement body part

or an energy potion, and someone else strives to snatch every trace or

copy the blueprints to wage war on some group, company or nation

with new ammo/power. It’s not just fiction. That fiction came from the

same species capable of creating the madness and/or destruction. When

do we reign in our potential and use our power wisely?



We can do better.


12 Responses to “Peter Parker Might Be the Poster Boy for Using Power with Responsibility…”

  1. July 15, 2014 at 2:58 am

    There’s a lot of experimentation (and rightfully so) when a superhero first acquires his/her powers, and after that, their choices are governed by their moral compass, which is shaped or misshaped by experience. Learning to use powers wisely is an iterative process.

    • July 15, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      True. I was also pointing out Spider-Man/Peter’s knack for boasting and taunting which may not be a super power. It gets him in trouble.

      And, when heroes get a little careless with what they create/leave around, someone steals this and turns it into a weapon to do the very harm the hero wants to stop. I think it’s a tool comic book creators implement to keep the story going…but it’s also a tad discouraging/twisted.

      • July 15, 2014 at 8:24 pm

        Reminds me of FIFA: someone capitalizes on someone else’s mistake. What’s your favourite comic book character?

      • July 15, 2014 at 9:30 pm

        FIFA? As in the recent World Cup of soccer? How do you make the comparison? A slip in a sporting event creates an opening for the opponent and may mess with the maker’s head/s. But, it’s not turning a tool of good into a weapon of evil.

        I have so many characters I like for different reasons. A few of my favorite male heroes: Iron Man, Spider-Man (though I think the costume is a bit too complex), the Thing/Ben Grimm (Fantastic Four) and Green Lantern. I like Batman to some degree. But, the bat gadgets are a bit of overkill. I wasn’t fond of the recent movie Batmobile, either. It was less “batty” but also a poorly aesthetic military piece of junk.

        Female heroines I adore: She-Hulk/Jen Walters (though not her casual sex affairs), Spider-Woman (mostly just her look/costume, not the creepier stories as much…namely Daddy Longlegs which creeped me out), Catwoman, Ms. Marvel/Warbird/Binary, Jaguar/Maria Deguzman (Impact comics), Witchblade, Zealot of WildCATS (and her mate Grifter), Marrow, Storm and Jean Grey/Phoenix from X-Men…

      • July 16, 2014 at 2:14 am

        My comparisons are all based on what comes to mind first, and FIFA was definitely on my mind. The media flurry surrounding the whole David Luiz failing to defend Brazil turned fans into hate mongers (catch the pun?). I could’ve perhaps chosen a better analogy. : P

        Interesting that you mention Iron Man and Batman. The more gadget-reliant superheroes have their parents’ affluence as a catalyst towards heroism, and I wonder if that makes them more heroic because they’re not forced to take up the mantle, but because they want to. What do you think?

      • July 16, 2014 at 4:35 am

        I guess I am missing the pun…maybe I am too busy studying your face:D

        Well, both Batman and Iron Man suffer from the loss of their parents. But, Bruce Wayne mourns the loss and seeks revenge while Tony Stark somewhat despises his father for pressuring him and not expressing love of his son, thus he takes up drinking, blows money on women, etc. Yet, he keeps Dad’s business alive…but, eventually, under different terms. Another key difference…crooks may try to steal Batman’s gadgets, but I am not aware any ever tried to misuse his tools other than remote controlling the Batmobile once or twice. But, Tony Stark’s technology became a dangerous tool in the hands of many thieves.

        I don’t think wealth had anything to do with their heroism other than providing potentially vital resources/connections. The family legacies were like keys to the kingdom of crime/war.

        No one forced Kal El/Superman to be a hero, either. He needed something to do with his powers, and his adoptive dad gave him moral ambition.

        As I already said, Batman’s motivation was vengeance for his parents’ death and to make an impression on other criminals (as a form of therapy). Inevitably, his antics also created a number of his villains/enemies.

        Iron Man took to heroism to counter the misuse of military weaponry. He decided–after being injured by one of his own in a critical way–to change the business of his dad’s business and try to use weapons in an avenging/defensive–rather than dominating/consuming–way.

        Batman is fighting his own demons. Iron Man is protecting the world from itself and his own genius…while dealing with the temptations of women and alcohol.

      • July 17, 2014 at 1:22 am

        The common theme is that they are all products of their environment. The environment is like Silly Putty, and it’s up to them to shape it into something good vs bad. I always felt that Batman was suffering from terrible PTSD, and it’s almost a good thing that he’s healing (in increments) through crime-fighting. Heck, if all patients of trauma could do something so hands on, sign me up!

      • July 21, 2014 at 10:44 pm

        So…the Silly Putty made them what they are…and now they must mold the Silly Putty from which they came? Is that like jabbing your hands into the womb that gave you birth and doing something with that?:P hehe

        Yes, but Batman’s “trauma” spilled out of control and affected so many villains’ lives. Then, he had to clean up his mess. Harley Quinn was a psychologist who lost her mind and signed up with the Joker. You want to join her ranks?:P

  2. 9 elmediat
    July 22, 2014 at 3:09 am

    Actually, Batman’s psychology has become a bit more complex than just revenge. In the real world , Bruce Wayne might of found meaning in the tragedy by somehow helping improve the city to reduce crime and hat would be the main goal. In the comic book world he seeks to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else by directly confronting the criminals. 9 This also why he keeps trying to take on young apprentices to create a family and to help them confront their own tragic circumstances) To overcome their fearful image impressed on his childhood memory, he becomes something more fearsome, the Bat-Man. As Millie suggests, the role is a form of self affirmation.

    In order to create worthy opponents for him to face the writer & illustrators created more grotesque characters ( a mix of pulp magazine villainy & Dick Tracy’ rogue gallery). To explain this, they now suggest that Batman somehow created them. The new Gotham City TV show will deconstruct that interpretation, showing that the city created both the villains & the hero.

    Poor old Tony started out as a playboy merchant ( capitalist ) of war technology ( Daddy Warbucks for the 60s) gradually they added the family issues & alcohol abuse to make the character more interesting/sympathetic. Initially, Iron Man fights communist agents and other “corrupt” capitalists-industrialists, while dealing with Washington politicians who want to steal his ideas. It is more difficult to put Tony on a moral high ground and that is why the current comic book version is played as a hairs breath from being an obsessive villain.

    Tony represents the potential reality we face with large industries & countries competing for technological superiority. Batman is a metaphor for American society’s effort to confront & deal with random violence.

    • July 22, 2014 at 8:29 pm

      It seems he also takes on apprentices to ensure he won’t be the last to “wear the mask.” He harbors a secret fear of having no legacy, no children of his own. Afraid to be a parent yet eager to have someone carry on his vigilance. That’s what his successor in Batman Beyond expresses, anyway.

      You seem well aware/versed in Batman lore. As well as me, perhaps. You just take it a step further into psychological/ethical metaphors.

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