Despite his flashy costume, nifty web-slinging and catchy quips, there’s something so downright pedestrian about Spider-man that it takes even a bona fide fan like me a while to grasp his greatness.
Growing up, I never bothered with a Spider-man comic or cartoon. My favorite superhero was always Batman. This was the one torn soul in spandex who I could easily see myself becoming. I wouldn’t need ultraviolet rays, alien super-lord parents or ancient prophecies – like any of that stuff could ever be real. I just had to grow up, get rich and be tech savvy. To a nine-year-old kid who just discovered rechargeable batteries, that’s a pretty easy path to superhero-dom.
Of course, as I grew up, I realized that becoming a billionaire with entire sectors of Wall Street to burn on the latest in Kevlar and Teflon is about as realistic as having an alien father named Jor-El. And as my common man instincts kicked in, I could no longer identify with a presidential luncheon-declining corporate suit as my superhero – no matter his heart of gold.
Even so, Spidey was a tough guy to buy into. I wandered, between superhero idols for a period, and that’s about when the first of Sam Raimi’s “Spider-man” films was released.
Raimi’s Spider-man was so simple that it was impossible not to smile. Tobey Maguire’s almost serene naivet