Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 29
  1. #1
    Incredible Member
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    761

    Default How much of a loner and/or outgoing is Modern Peter Parker?

    Just a few ground rules...
    • I'm referring to Modern Age Peter Parker and not pre-spider bite Peter or Lee/Ditko Peter.
    • I'm referring to the 616 version, but we can use examples from any version heavily inspired by 616 like The Spectacular Spider-Man or the Insomniac games. Versions of Peter that deviate too far from 616 (i.e. Noir) don't count.


    The reason I ask is because I noticed differences in how Peter's loner status and outgoing nature is perceived among the fanbase.

    Just some examples...
    • The second issue of Life Story. Some of us thought thought Peter not liking the disco atmosphere made sense because he is supposed to be a square, others often say that Peter outgrew his squareness in the Lee/Romita era where he is shown frequently dancing with Gwen and MJ (when he is Spider-Man, of course).
    • The debate over how much of Spider-Man's solo status has to do with Peter's personality. Some attribute Spider-Man's refusal to work in a team to Peter's loner status since high school, others say this is is a false dichotomy because Peter has his own supporting cast while most of the Avengers are each other's supporting cast.
    • The discussion as to who Peter's close friends are, and how many he has. Some see Harry as Peter's best friend and only close friend, others argued that his closest friends are within the superhero community (Human Torch and The Defenders), and a few people have stated that Peter doesn't have close friends period due to the nature of the secret identity.


    I realize that Peter is a fictional character and an everyman, and that therefore everyone will project part of their personality and life experiences onto him. But I'm curious if we can arrive at a more objective answer.

    In my opinion, Peter is what I would jokingly refer to as 'an extroverted introvert'. That is to say he is someone who leans more on the introverted side and prefers a close handful of people to bigger groups, but has enough of an extroverted side to make the Spider-Man persona function and to seem "normal" whenever he does happen to go out - as in to not seem socially awkward or be completely quiet, even if not as talkative while under the mask. However, as someone who generally fits that description, I admit I could be biased.
    Last edited by Kaitou D. Kid; 05-12-2021 at 11:25 AM.

  2. #2
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    8,412

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaitou D. Kid View Post
    In my opinion, Peter is what I would jokingly refer to as 'an extroverted introvert'. That is to say he is someone who leans more on the introverted side and prefers a close handful of people to bigger groups, but has enough of an extroverted side to make the Spider-Man persona function and to seem "normal" whenever he does happen to go out - as in to not seem socially awkward or be completely quiet, even if not as talkative while under the mask. However, as someone who generally fits that description, I admit I could be biased.
    That's my take as well, more or less.

    I think it varies per writer. Since BND, writers have made Peter more social and outgoing but they also do issues where Peter is guilt-tripped for being a bad friend because melodrama.

    The classical era of Spider-Man is a story of an introvert who grows up, becomes more social, gains friends and gets married. There's a forward arc of progression. But once OMD removed that, you have editorial-mandated and writer-mandated melodrama.

  3. #3
    Better than YOU! Alan2099's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    4,786

    Default

    An interesting thing I've always noticed about Spider-man is that how well he fits into a team depends on the age and experience of the other members.

    With younger more inexperienced heroes, he tends to take a leadership role, or at least a mentor role.

    With older more experienced teams, he's more likely to cut loose and goof off.

    Either way, he's always struck me a guy that can make friends easily (even if he under estimates how much others value or appreciate him). Given the choice though, he's the type more likely to take time off by himself.

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    2,982

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan2099 View Post
    An interesting thing I've always noticed about Spider-man is that how well he fits into a team depends on the age and experience of the other members.

    With younger more inexperienced heroes, he tends to take a leadership role, or at least a mentor role.

    With older more experienced teams, he's more likely to cut loose and goof off.

    Either way, he's always struck me a guy that can make friends easily (even if he under estimates how much others value or appreciate him). Given the choice though, he's the type more likely to take time off by himself.
    So, basically like a Shonen protagonist?

  5. #5
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    New Jersey, U.S.A.
    Posts
    11,563

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan2099 View Post
    An interesting thing I've always noticed about Spider-man is that how well he fits into a team depends on the age and experience of the other members.

    With younger more inexperienced heroes, he tends to take a leadership role, or at least a mentor role.

    With older more experienced teams, he's more likely to cut loose and goof off.

    Either way, he's always struck me a guy that can make friends easily (even if he under estimates how much others value or appreciate him). Given the choice though, he's the type more likely to take time off by himself.
    The goofing off may be a factor in his own underestimation of how much others value or appreciate him, as in a team with more experienced and established fellow heroes, he seems to think he doesn't have much to contribute besides his sense of humor and willingness to do what's needed . . . even if some of them have occasionally attempted to convince him he can do or contribute more.
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  6. #6
    Incredible Member
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    761

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PCN24454 View Post
    So, basically like a Shonen protagonist?
    There are surprisingly a lot of overlaps between Spider-Man and Shonen protagonists, even down to the colors they wear (red and blue). It's probably why he is so popular in Japan.

    A lot of Shonen protagonists are also clearly inspired by Spider-Man, such as Deku / Izuku Midoriya.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan2099 View Post
    An interesting thing I've always noticed about Spider-man is that how well he fits into a team depends on the age and experience of the other members.

    With younger more inexperienced heroes, he tends to take a leadership role, or at least a mentor role.

    With older more experienced teams, he's more likely to cut loose and goof off.

    Either way, he's always struck me a guy that can make friends easily (even if he under estimates how much others value or appreciate him). Given the choice though, he's the type more likely to take time off by himself.
    Which is why I think there is a smidge of truth in the idea that Spider-Man is about youth, but not in the way Quesada thinks. Spider-Man at times can be a kid in an adult body in a good way. It is arguably part of why he is able to connect with younger characters so well even once he is past the teen years himself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Huntsman Spider View Post
    The goofing off may be a factor in his own underestimation of how much others value or appreciate him, as in a team with more experienced and established fellow heroes, he seems to think he doesn't have much to contribute besides his sense of humor and willingness to do what's needed . . . even if some of them have occasionally attempted to convince him he can do or contribute more.
    This might be a good time to bring this up, but Peter to me (depending on the writer and portrayal) doesn't always come off neurotypical. I would argue at least Stan Lee's Spider-Man, Bendis', and JMS' all show signs of anxiety and ADHD. That would explain some of the goofing off and talkative attitude, as well as some other stuff like the childhood alienation and the fact he had a harder time maintaning a work-life balance than Miles Morales did at the same age.
    Last edited by Kaitou D. Kid; 05-12-2021 at 09:04 PM.

  7. #7
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    66,968

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaitou D. Kid View Post
    This might be a good time to bring this up, but Peter to me (depending on the writer and portrayal) doesn't always come off neurotypical. I would argue at least Stan Lee's Spider-Man, Bendis', and JMS' all show signs of anxiety and ADHD. That would explain some of the goofing off and talkative attitude, as well as some other stuff like the childhood alienation and the fact he had a harder time maintaning a work-life balance than Miles Morales did at the same age.
    A part of it is also a different upbringing/lifestyle, where Peter ended up being the breadwinner of his family when his uncle passed away and had to maintain a job, school, and being Spider-Man all at the same time (and Aunt May's health) while Miles usually just has to worry about his school life and being Spider-Man.

    I kind of wonder if the Morales' are more well off than the Parkers.

  8. #8
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    New Jersey, U.S.A.
    Posts
    11,563

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaitou D. Kid View Post
    There are surprisingly a lot of overlaps between Spider-Man and Shonen protagonists, even down to the colors they wear (red and blue). It's probably why he is so popular in Japan.

    A lot of Shonen protagonists are also clearly inspired by Spider-Man, such as Deku / Izuku Midoriya.



    Which is why I think there is a smidge of truth in the idea that Spider-Man is about youth, but not in the way Quesada thinks. Spider-Man at times can be a kid in an adult body in a good way. It is arguably part of why he is able to connect with younger characters so well even once he is past the teen years himself.



    This might be a good time to bring this up, but Peter to me (depending on the writer and portrayal) doesn't always come off neurotypical. I would argue at least Stan Lee's Spider-Man, Bendis', and JMS' all show signs of anxiety and ADHD. That would explain some of the goofing off and talkative attitude, as well as some other stuff like the childhood alienation and the fact he had a harder time maintaning a work-life balance than Miles Morales did at the same age.
    Anxiety, I'll give you. He is definitely an anxious man, that Peter Parker. As for ADHD . . . that's more debatable to me, as he doesn't seem to have that hard a time focusing, even if that focus is mostly directed at his own imperfections and failings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    A part of it is also a different upbringing/lifestyle, where Peter ended up being the breadwinner of his family when his uncle passed away and had to maintain a job, school, and being Spider-Man all at the same time (and Aunt May's health) while Miles usually just has to worry about his school life and being Spider-Man.

    I kind of wonder if the Morales' are more well off than the Parkers.
    Hmm, well, considering Miles's parents are both alive and together, and expectations for teenagers in the 21st century are rather different from expectations for teenagers back in the 1960s . . .
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    2,982

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Huntsman Spider View Post
    Anxiety, I'll give you. He is definitely an anxious man, that Peter Parker. As for ADHD . . . that's more debatable to me, as he doesn't seem to have that hard a time focusing, even if that focus is mostly directed at his own imperfections and failings.
    Hyperfocus and obsession isn't just common in ADHD patients; it's expected. Him being focused on something can't be used as evidence of the contrary.

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    2,388

    Default

    He is as much a loner as the writer wants to make him. He recently has all the spider-people and now his New Avengers crew backing him up.

  11. #11
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    66,968

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Huntsman Spider View Post
    Hmm, well, considering Miles's parents are both alive and together, and expectations for teenagers in the 21st century are rather different from expectations for teenagers back in the 1960s . . .
    I don't know if it's so much a different period of expectations so much as vastly different life circumstances...I guess now there would be more of an expectation of May working and them being on welfare, but he'd probably still need to work.

  12. #12
    Incredible Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Posts
    731

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    A part of it is also a different upbringing/lifestyle, where Peter ended up being the breadwinner of his family when his uncle passed away and had to maintain a job, school, and being Spider-Man all at the same time (and Aunt May's health) while Miles usually just has to worry about his school life and being Spider-Man.

    I kind of wonder if the Morales' are more well off than the Parkers.
    Peter had to maintain a Spider-man,Job and school.He was also bullied, worked for the man who hates him and is just an jerk and difficult in general and has no one to talk to about Spider-man stuff.Miles's had a family, he had a best friend and an entire team and many more friends who helped him with Spider-man stuff, hell his parents even know now.He didn't have to work a job and had not a lot of academic pressure.Peter had to hold his family together while Miles's family held him together.

  13. #13
    Incredible Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Posts
    731

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I don't know if it's so much a different period of expectations so much as vastly different life circumstances...I guess now there would be more of an expectation of May working and them being on welfare, but he'd probably still need to work.
    Not as much as time as situation.Miles's parents both work good jobs and have family as we have seen who would be willing to help(not that they need it).Peter was always living from one cheque to the next.

  14. #14
    Astonishing Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    2,982

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiderfan001 View Post
    Peter had to maintain a Spider-man,Job and school.He was also bullied, worked for the man who hates him and is just an jerk and difficult in general and has no one to talk to about Spider-man stuff.Miles's had a family, he had a best friend and an entire team and many more friends who helped him with Spider-man stuff, hell his parents even know now.He didn't have to work a job and had not a lot of academic pressure.Peter had to hold his family together while Miles's family held him together.
    Miles only became friends with Ganke after he joined the academy.

  15. #15
    Incredible Member
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    761

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Huntsman Spider View Post
    Anxiety, I'll give you. He is definitely an anxious man, that Peter Parker. As for ADHD . . . that's more debatable to me, as he doesn't seem to have that hard a time focusing, even if that focus is mostly directed at his own imperfections and failings.
    People with ADHD can still focus, it's just that their brain can't self-regulate their focus like in a neurotypical person. They may hyperfocus on trivial things and not focus as much (or at all) on more important things.

    I think Peter shows signs of hyperfocusing when working on his science, and in the way he tends to get lost in his head sometimes and not notice a person talking to him (I remember this happening multiple times in the Lee/Ditko run and at least once in the JMS run).

    Since we are on this topic, I wrote a more detailed post about it in another thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaitou D. Kid View Post
    Since we are on the topic of Peter Parker as representation...Peter Parker is arguably a good icon for neurodivergent people too. I think you can make a strong argument he shows signs of ADHD and OCD.

    Just some evidence I noticed over the years:

    1. Peter as a teen had a tendency to get lost in his head, hyperfocus on activities he likes, and generally had a hard time fitting in. He is also often portrayed as very neurotic, which overlaps with ADHD and OCD.

    2. Peter tends to blame himself for everything and (more importantly) for every little thing. If Peter has ADHD, this behavior is more explainable as people with ADHD can be very hard on themselves.

    3. Peter in his teen years has shown a lack of impulse control, particularly when he used to snap at others in the Lee/Ditko era. As Spider-Man, multiple characters have noted his inability to stay quiet or to simply not move. (Doctor Strange jokes in JMS' run that standing still and quiet for a few minutes would be the hardest thing ever for Peter.)

    4. Other teenage characters in similar circumstances have shown they're a bit better at getting organized and balancing out their dual-lives than Peter was at the same age. Peter himself has noticed this on at least one occasion. This suggests that Peter's earlier difficulties at balancing out his dual-lives maybe can't entirely be attributed to his age. Peter might have a harder-than-average difficulty at getting organized due to ADHD.

    5. People with ADHD are more likely to rely on nonlinear thinking. Peter's plans and tactics as Spider-Man usually comes off more nonlinear than the ones Batman or Captain America use in battle. Also in ITSV, both Peters had the most nonlinear narration. Miles and Gwen were able to give a clear, linear explanation of their origins while Peter was all over the place ("Blah blah blah, saved the city some more...by the way, don't invest in a Spidey-themed restaurant...anyways, then this portal opened and...").

    I would never want Marvel to confirm whether or not Peter is neurodivergent in any way because I don't think it would be fair to everyone else, but you can make a fanfic case for it nonetheless. Like someone else mentioned, the strength of the character is that he is an everyday man that can be interpreted in many different ways and that everyone can insert themselves into to one extent or another.
    The only thing I would add is that JMS also depicted him as someone who has trouble sleeping at night due to an active mind, which is another ADHD symptom.
    Last edited by Kaitou D. Kid; 05-13-2021 at 08:39 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •