The Big Three (I): Does Whatever a Spider Can

One of the potential joys of restarting this site is “doing things right”. Such as introducing (or reintroducing) myself to the Reader. Laying out my interests, showing where this blog will lead. I’m not saying I did it wrong the first time. But I am strongly implying that.

How to do it varies, but I think I’m going to start by talking about the Big Three Heroes of my childhood. After that, I plan on reposting a few of the essays related to these oh so similar characters before moving on to other things.

Where to start with these three is ease enough: Spider-man. As in all likelihood he really was the first fictional hero I had.

When I was a little guy (a very little guy) my most favorite cartoon was the original Spider-man series. I would watch it on channel 44 so often that the number 44 was my favorite. From the cartoon I’d go on to the PBS series Electric Company, which on occasion had a Spider-man sketch, and, of course, the comics themselves. If it was related to the Wall Crawler in any way, I no doubt saw it in my youth. From Spider-man and His Amazing Friends to the live action TV series to even slightly connected stuff like Spider-woman.

This has continued to a degree to this day. I’ve been collecting Marvel Masterworks of the original Amazing Spider-man run, the Marvel Team Ups, and even Spectacular Spider-man. Up until Disney got its claws in him, I’ve watched most every series, with Spider-man Unlimited.

All of this begs the question, why? What has Spider-man got that other super heroes don’t? For me, at least.

Maybe it’s a combination of things. When well written, the comics are entertaining adventure stories, full of wit and excitement. While powerful in his own right with his spider strength and spider-sense, Spider-man tends to be the underdog, especially in the early days. His foes range from dastardly criminal minds to mag geniuses to literal monsters. A good Spidey story is a thing of beauty, something I can reread again and again.

I should point out that the teenager aspect was never a part of his charm for me. I was a toddler when I started being a fan. He might as well have been Batman’s age for all I cared.

Still kind of saddens me thinking about how much older that he is I am now.

As this site continues, I’ll no doubt be going into further details, talking about stories and characters I like or dislike, trying to make a case for the opinion. I’m not much of a fan of the newer stuff. Around the Nineties they started moving away from what I liked about the character and these days he’s Flanderized beyond belief.

And I don’t plan on talking about Miles Morales. Ever.

Next on the list, a larger presence on my childhood. Much. At least thirty stories high, breathing fire, standing in the sky…

2 thoughts on “The Big Three (I): Does Whatever a Spider Can

  1. henrybrennan

    Hey Cullen – I’ve been a reader of your site for YEARS and more than one NaNoWriMo 🙂 Nice to see you gearing back up for posting. I’ll be out here (in the Philippines, these last 14 years) reading what you post 🙂

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