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  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikkorod29 View Post
    Batman has always been my favorite superhero. But I’ve always had a soft spot for Spider-Man. You can relate to the trauma that Batman as a hero has to go through, and can connect to some of the personal dilemmas he faces. But the average person can’t relate to the life of Bruce Wayne. They can with Peter Parker. He is the underdog. He has real life problems. He’s a nerd who gets picked on and has a crush on a girl that is way out of his league. He has to deal with school bullies, not having many friends, and has to cope with his general shyness. Peter often times has to hide the truth from his aunt, which at some points may led to unwanted altercations between the two, and eventual worry and disappointment from his aunt. Even though Peter never intends it. He has to cope with making a living in the biggest city in the world. He has to take odd jobs just to make rent because he’s broke, takes jobs that he doesn’t like but needs, deals with crappy bosses, and has to face failure day in and day out. He has to learn to deal with girls despite his awkwardness. He often times finds himself caught up in love triangles with his own friends. He tries his very best not to disappoint his aunt and make her proud and at the same time keep his girlfriend happy. Whether that be Mary Jane, Gwen Stacey, etc. His work often times intersects with his personal life, which affects his relationships. He faces personal dilemmas in which he has to chose one thing or the other, and deal with the consequences of not picking the thing he’d rather do but instead pick the thing that he has to do. He often ruins things for himself and drops the ball, which makes him feel like nothing ever goes his way. Most importanlty, he struggles with having to do something for the greater good, which prevents him from doing the something that would make him happy. I think we all struggle with some of these problems in life. Sure we’ve never been bitten by a radioactive spider, but we can connect to Peter on a human level. In my opinion, Spider-man is the most relatable superhero there is.
    I agree to an extent.

    I think the problem is that a lot of the things you've described are negatives, and if they are emphasized too much, they can seriously hamper the wish-fulfilment aspect that is inherent in all superhero characters to some extent.

    On some level, we should all want to be Spider-Man, despite the challenges. If Peter is eternally broke, depressed, lonely and basically doing what he does solely out of guilt...then that's a really miserable character that I wouldn't want to spent too much time with.

    Let's not forget that in many ways, the first real ''Golden Age'' for the character started during the Lee/Romita years, when Peter went to college, had friends, a cool apartment with Harry, a girlfriend in Gwen and another potential love interest in MJ, and generally was somewhat happy in life despite all the challenges he faced both in and out of costume. This is actually the era which has served as the template for most Spider-Man adaptations, albeit sometimes with some of the angst dialled up.

    I think the strength of Spider-Man is that he brings the everyman aspect to a pretty fantastical universe, even if by being part of that universe he isn't strictly an ''everyman''. He has the closest approximation to a normal life among Marvel heroes (Daredevil being another notable example) who mostly live in their ivory towers (be it the Baxter Building, Avengers Tower, Xavier Institute) and descend upon humanity to save them. Peter lives among us. Which doesn't mean of course that he needs to be miserable while doing so!
    Last edited by bat39; 08-27-2021 at 06:58 AM.

  2. #17
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    Relatability is subjective. No two people's experiences are 100% the same.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    I agree to an extent.

    I think the problem is that a lot of the things you've described are negatives, and if they are emphasized too much, they can seriously hamper the wish-fulfilment aspect that is inherent in all superhero characters to some extent.
    Absolutely. Both Stan Lee and Steve Ditko wanted Spider-Man to be an adventure hero first and foremost.

    On some level, we should all want to be Spider-Man, despite the challenges.
    Right. Daredevil is the guy fans don't want to actually be - blind, working day-in/day-out in a profession that brings you face to face with corruption, burying multiple girlfriends and burning through all his relationships, etcetera.

    Although even Daredevil has more wish-fulfillment aspects (being a badass ninja, ladies' man) than...Hank Pym who's truly radioactive.

    Even aside from that if people truly felt misery was relatable then the best-selling characters in popular culture would be say...stars of British kitchen-sink dramas who have no superpowers at all and live a forever life of drudgery. That should be the #1 merchandise thing in popular culture.
    Last edited by Revolutionary_Jack; 08-27-2021 at 05:02 AM.

  4. #19
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    Spider-Man has almost universal appeal. I think moreso than any other superhero, he crosses all national, racial, gender barriers in terms of appeal. The teaser trailer for the next Spider-Man just surpassed the 24 hours record for Avengers Endgame. That's insane to me.

    When I was younger I used to collection Batman and Spider-Man almost exclusively.

    Spider-Man is just the right blend of superhero action and personal drama. The struggles he faces in his personal life are the kind of struggles any of us could face or are already facing in our life time. Nova, OG 5 X-Men, New Teen Titans, Wally West, Danny Phantom, Max Steel, literally every teen superhero ever with a coming of age story are riffing off the formula that Spider-Man helped codify.

  5. #20
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    Good points were made in this thread.

    I'd add that the negative aspects of the character (socially awkward, broke, lost a lot, etc.) IMO aren't "the point" of the character, but rather, a means to convey that he's a regular person. And in life, people face struggles and success, good and bad, tragedy and comedy. Above all I believe Spider-Man is a symbol of that, overcoming adversity, taking the good and the bad in stride. No matter what, he keeps going.

    When people overemphasize the negative he becomes a more pitiable character, rather than a relatable one.

  6. #21
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    I love Spidey. Always have. Always will.
    DC: Batman, Detective Comics, The Flash, Superman, Adventure Comics, Justice League, Robin, Green Lantern
    MARVEL: Avengers, Daredevil, Amazing Spider-Man, Captain America, Fantastic Four, X-Men, Moon Knight, Miles Morales

    BRING BACK THE JSA!!!!

    The Punisher...damn I miss Frank.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Not when he's fighting Mysterio, Vulture, Chameleon, Kraven the Hunter, The Lizard, or most of his rogues barring Doctor Octopus, Venom, Green Goblin, Rhino, Sandman.

    Spider-Man is the odds-on favorite against most of his enemies.



    He has some real life problems.

    Fundamentally, Spider-Man's life is charmed and sanitized compared to the majority of Marvel heroes. Of the lot only Miles and Kamala Khan have it better than him, and that's it:
    -- He's had more profound and deeper and meaningful relationships than Iron Man's ever had or ever will.
    -- He's faced fewer tragedies than Matt Murdoch, Frank Castle, and a lot of the X-Men (some of whom are genocide survivors after Genosha).
    -- His self-loathing and guilt is nothing, and I mean, nothing compared to Hank Pym.
    -- Likewise his loneliness and angst doesn't compare to Captain America who lost his entire world when he went under the ice.



    Actually no friends. To be honest, I always find it odd that people claim to relate to Peter's friendlessness growing up because my understanding is that this is quite rare (I didn't have friends growing up so when I related to Peter, it was because he was exceptional and not universal in that regard). Most average people do grow up having friendships and so on as I was constantly reminded and insulted about growing up.

    Peter Parker is also a character who relates more to women than men, and his relationships with women are always deeper and higher priority than any of his male friendships, which is also quite rare [a]in life, [b]in pop culture.



    A lot of people feel that way and I relate to Spider-Man but I don't know if he is the "most relatable superhero" because it's presumptuous and tends to put the character on a pedestal.
    Peter is the most relatable hero for one reason: He is not elitist. Most heroes have surrendered their other identity and choose to be superheroes 24/7 and when not fighting the baddies, basically only deal with other heroes (Krakoa and Avengers Mansion for example). Comparing Peter to other heroes is almost like comparing the cop on the beat or the firefighter to the Hollywood type millionaires looking down on others. I know which ones are more financial successful, but we also know who is more popular with the average person ( I include myself).

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by NC_Yankee View Post
    Peter is the most relatable hero for one reason: He is not elitist. Most heroes have surrendered their other identity and choose to be superheroes 24/7 and when not fighting the baddies, basically only deal with other heroes (Krakoa and Avengers Mansion for example). Comparing Peter to other heroes is almost like comparing the cop on the beat or the firefighter to the Hollywood type millionaires looking down on others. I know which ones are more financial successful, but we also know who is more popular with the average person ( I include myself).
    Having a public identity doesn't make you elitist. As for living in a mansion, only a small number of Avengers do that and even then the place is more like a base of operations than a home. Even then, they interact with normal people just fine in their solo books and are rarely, if ever, actually portrayed as looking down on others.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by NC_Yankee View Post
    Peter is the most relatable hero for one reason: He is not elitist. Most heroes have surrendered their other identity and choose to be superheroes 24/7 and when not fighting the baddies, basically only deal with other heroes (Krakoa and Avengers Mansion for example).
    While I don't think this is necessarily exclusive to Peter, I agree to an extent.
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  10. #25
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    Well, I think he is up there at least.

    He has a lot of troubles that other heroes don't seem to have or it least they don't delve in these others heroes lives they same way they do PP's. And I am pretty sure that is PP's specialty: Relatability. Even when he was more successful in life he still kept that factor. And people grew with him. Of course you have a whole new generation of fans that have Petey back to square one. I think if you like a character you just have to reach into the back issues for that. But that's another topic.
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  11. #26
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    I think it really depends, for someone thatís relatively poor, is the cause of the death of the most important persons in their life, and never managed to accomplish something relevant in their academic and professional life, itís definitely the more relatable.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterParked View Post
    I think it really depends, for someone that’s relatively poor, is the cause of the death of the most important persons in their life, and never managed to accomplish something relevant in their academic and professional life, it’s definitely the more relatable.
    Never accomplished anything relevant?
    - Peter got into ESU on scholarship.
    - He created the web shooters and other gadgets.
    - He’s always found work and been employed by multiple companies (Garid, Tricorp, Horizon)

    He’s never had to live on food stamps, on welfare. So yeah he’s accomplished a fair bit for someone starting out with limited resources.

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