"With great power, there must also come -- great responsibility."
The first time I picked up a comic book was about 10+ years ago. I was at the airport, on my way to a life-changing event that would forever shape my life, and as I walked through one of their small indoor stores, I was looking for some reading material for the plane ride. I stumbled upon a comic book, I didn't know what to think of it at the moment, it caught my eye, and I decided to buy it. It was a Spider-Man comic. I got instantly hooked to say the least.
What was its appeal? Was it the art? Was it the carefully drawn lines that contained bright and catchy colors? Was it the one-liners that the man in the spider suit told crooks and super-villains? It must have been something, because once I picked up that issue, I would never again be the same fifteen year old teenager I was prior to that plane ride.
Now I know what you are thinking, what does this have to do with Spider-Man?
Well, my dear reader. Pretty much everything.
To me, Spider-Man is more than just a hero. Spider-Man is also the man behind the mask. Peter Parker is as much a hero as the idea of Spider-Man is. Stan Lee and Steve Ditko created Spider-Man with the intent that ANYONE could be him. Anyone could be that hero. That guy behind the mask.
Peter Parker got his powers when he was back in high school--it was then that he discovered a valuable lesson from his Uncle Ben.
Now I will ask you to bear with me on what I'm about to dissect here; it might sound exaggerated and/or far-fetched to begin with, but all I ask is you listen (or read in this case).
I was in high school when I lost my grandfather. And believe me, he was the epitome of knowledge. He was a very smart man. And one day when I was going through a big hurdle in my life, he talked to me on the phone, and told me, "Everything happens for a reason. You have to be strong no matter what."
Now to me, this is my version of "With great power there must also come great responsibility."
Another variable is that Spider-Man is more human than most heroes. He is just an extraordinary, but at the same time, ordinary scrawny guy who went through high school unnoticed. He got bullied, picked on. He was the smartest guy in the room, but most people walked away from that. Spider-Man to me is more than just a superhero. He is a symbol. I relate to the guy a lot--and not only because I was also bullied in high school or because I was also the quiet nerd that wasn't the social butterfly. I relate to Spider-Man because I relate to the idea that if you have the ability to do good, you should do so.
And it could be that my hero complex was created because of my fascination with this fictitious character, but nevertheless, it's inspired in me to be the best version of myself. To help others. To lend a hand where no hand is being given. To be the hero. Not only because it's the right thing to do, but also because I feel I have the ability to do so.