Most all of us have our own connection to Spider-Man. Whether it be the comics, the Tobey Maguire movies, or even just recently with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, those who love the webslinger have their own history and their own love. Maybe that’s what makes the characters who take on the mantle of Spider-Man so special; they can reach all of us in different ways and remind us again and again why we love them.
So, for me, #SpiderManDay is the perfect time to share why we all love the Spider-Man legacy and, in this particular case, for me to share why I love Peter Parker.
I was ten years old when 2002’s Spider-Man came out. I went to the theater with my big brother, and it was the first time I got to really go to a late-night movie without my parents. It was great because Peter Parker was just a kid who wanted to be cool in school and, through his nerdy escapades, became a superhero.
For years, though, we had to watch as men who were nearly thirty brought him to life, making the teenager I loved a grown man and taking me out of the story, but that all changed when Tom Holland took over in the MCU and brought the two aspects I loved about Peter Parker together.
There are two sides to him. There’s the Peter Parker aspect, and then, there’s Spider-Man. When it comes to Peter, he’s sassy and smart and loves photography and science, but with Spider-Man, it takes that sass and that smartass way about him and dials it up to eleven. Prior to his appearance in Captain America: Civil War, both of these ideas had existed separately. Maguire was great at being Spider-Man, and Garfield was great at being Peter Parker, but they weren’t fully there for both sides of the character.
Maybe it’s because I’ve always been a little too invested in the world of Spider-Man’s New York or maybe it’s something else, but there’s just something so satisfying about seeing Peter Parker come to life onscreen. He’s been through so much, seen so much death and destruction around him, and still, he smiles and makes jokes. He’s ready to be the hero people need even if he can’t have the life he wants to lead.
Peter Parker is probably the only superhero whose secret identity I understood. He didn’t want his loved ones hurt, and that makes sense. I understood why he did things. I liked to watch him figure out how to take on someone like Dr. Curt Connors or his best friend’s father, Norman Osborn.
I risked my life to go see Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and loved every second of it, because there’s something about Peter Parker that will always have a soft spot in my heart.
When I moved next door to my now-best friend when we were eleven, we didn’t know what to do, and she suggested we watch Spider-Man together. Our bond over Spider-Man is to the point that when she told me she was having a baby, I bought her a plaque that said “I love you 3000” because, as much as we wanted to be Peter Parker as kids, it was time that I realized I’d be the Tony Stark to her daughter’s Peter Parker, and that was okay by me.
From there, he’s always been a part of my life, my friends, and now, I get to write about Peter Parker all the time. If you told me when I was a kid that I’d get to talk about Spider-Man all the time and what Peter Parker means to me, I’d be the happiest kid around, and I still am. Peter Parker is a great character to love because he’s fun, he puts his duty first, and he’s always there with a joke or excitement over some weird science thing.
Love you lots, Peter Parker. Thanks for all the amazing years, Spider-Man.
(image: Marvel Entertainment)
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