Why Spider-Man Is The Most Incompetent Hero Of All Time

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Whenever I talk about comic books and superheroes on this blog, I generally try not to single one particular character out unless I’m trying to make a point. I find that singling out one too many characters is like pointing out all the plot holes in a Michael Bay movie. It just becomes too frustrating and futile in the long run.

That means if I’m going to dedicate a post to a character, it better be for a damn good reason. They must be a uniquely compelling sex-positive female character or a potential prelude for future female villains. Well, after talking about why most superheroes are incompetent by design, I feel compelled to single out one particular character who is, within this context, the worst offender.

That character isn’t some obscure, little-known sidekick from a bygone era either. In this case, the worst case of inept superheroes who take their incompetence to the next level is one of the most recognizable superheroes of the past 50 years. He’s had multiple movies, multiple cartoons, and multiple actors play him with varying degrees of success and/or failure.

Image result for Tobey Maguire Dancing gif

Yes, I’m talking about Spider-Man, also known as Peter Parker. He is, by far, the most recognizable and iconic of Stan Lee’s many creations. He’s also, by a ridiculous margin, the most profitable superhero in terms of merchandise sales. He makes enough money for Marvel every year for them to eat caviar every day off diamond-encrusted gold plates.

So why, then, is he the most incompetent superhero of all time? Why is Marvel’s most iconic character a case study in how not to operate as a superhero? Well, some of it has to do with the built-in incompetence I mentioned before. Spider-Man can’t be too competent, otherwise his overall narrative just wouldn’t be as compelling and his toys wouldn’t sell.

However, compared to the many other orphaned heroes who get their powers through accident or tragedy, Spider-Man sets himself apart by not just screwing himself over, but also by completely undermining the very principles of power and responsibility that he pretends to cherish. He’s not just an incompetent hero. He’s a hypocrite, albeit not on purpose.

So what exactly makes Spider-Man so inept by both the standards of a superhero and the standards that he sets on himself? Well, that has everything to do with his tactics and how he goes about them. If you’ve ever read a Spider-Man comic, seen a Spider-Man movie, or watched a Spider-Man cartoon, you know those tactics well. It goes like this:

  • Someone commits a crime
  • Peter Parker springs into action, putting on his costume and mask
  • Spider-Man fights the criminal, making jokes and quips along the way
  • The criminal whines and complains about how he’s ruining their master plan
  • The fight plays out and Spider-Man wins
  • Spider-Man ties the criminal up with his webs for the police
  • Spider-Man goes back to being Peter Parker and uses the pictures he takes of himself to make a living

This is Spider-Man’s primary method for dealing with crime and irresponsibility. It is the primary structure of every major battle he’s ever fought, be it the Green Goblin, Dr. Octopus, or Venom. While he wins/survives many of those battles, and even goes onto marry a supermodel for a while, it’s only when you step back and scrutinize the larger picture that you see how he loses his war against irresponsibility.

First and foremost, it’s important to establish that Spider-Man is one of those heroes who doesn’t kill. Like Superman and Batman, he goes out of his way to prevent the loss of life, be it innocent life or that of his enemy. That’s an understandable position to take. Killing is one of those unambiguous moral lines and many superheroes define their heroics by respecting that line.

For Spider-Man, however, this moral stand against killing is a major liability and the catalyst for his ineptitude. Granted, it’s not intentional, but the byproducts are unavoidable and those close to him have suffered as a result. Just ask Gwen Stacy.

Now I’m not saying Spider-Man is directly responsible for such suffering. Like all heroes, his intentions are good. He wants to help people. He wants to save lives. The problem is that, with his tactics, he’s doomed to hurt far more people than he helps.

This is because his tactics essentially guarantee that he will be a target, his loved ones will suffer, and his enemies will become stronger as a result. This isn’t just because Spider-Man refuses to kill them, although that is part of it. It’s because of the very persona that Spider-Man creates that his efforts are so inept.

Spider-Man, unlike Batman or Daredevil, doesn’t present a very intimidating presence. He’s many things, but intimidating isn’t one of them. His costume isn’t that intimidating. He doesn’t operate in the shadows or anything. He’s actually a well-known public figure, thanks largely to his own efforts and those of his boss, the ultimate blowhard that is J. Jonah Jameson.

This is a huge problem because it ensures that Spider-Man’s presence isn’t considered a major threat or danger to his enemies. He’s more of an annoyance or inconvenience. Whether they’re the Green Goblin or a simple mugger, they know Spider-Man isn’t going to kill them. He’s not even going to seriously wound them. He’ll just fight them, tie them up, and give them over to the police.

Even for those without access to overpaid lawyers, that’s not so much a threat as it is a frustration. On top of that, Spider-Man doesn’t really have meaningful conversations that get people to rethink their choices. He’s just cracks jokes, makes lewd comments, and generally carries himself with the maturity of a 13-year-old. Granted, this is part of his charm as a character, but it also ensures his tactics are doomed to fail.

It’s one thing to anger and annoy an enemy in the heat of battle. That can work to a hero’s advantage. However, the problems with Spider-Man manifest after the battle is over.

By annoying and angering his enemies, all he does is give them more incentive to fight him and hurt those he cares about. On top of that, he wears a flashy, distinct costume that’s easily recognizable in both night and broad daylight. It’s also well-known, thanks to his own efforts at taking pictures of himself and selling them to a newspaper.

Even before the era of smart phones and Twitter hacks, that’s putting a pretty big target on his back. He makes himself an identifiable figure on which his enemies can focus on. Even if they don’t know his identity, they know the source of their frustration. Since Spider-Man doesn’t scare them, they have every possible reason to fight him.

To make matters even worse, he gives his enemies a common threat to rally against. Anyone who knows anything about social psychology, or has just been to a Taylor Swift concert, knows that nothing unites people better than a common cause. He doesn’t just make his enemies stronger as individuals. He makes them stronger as a team. How is that responsible?

In essence, Spider-Man doesn’t intimidate his villains, doesn’t do anything to deter their irresponsible decisions, and gives them a common enemy to really around. If being responsible is deterring the kind of criminals that killed his Uncle Ben, then he’s the most irresponsible hero of all time.

I’m not saying Spider-Man has to start killing like the Punisher. I’m saying that his own tactics undermine his goals. Now you could make a similar criticism to characters like Batman or Daredevil because they don’t kill and their enemies constantly escape to torment them. However, there is one key difference that sets them apart.

Batman and Daredevil, despite their gaudy costumes, are intimidating. In fact, intimidation is a key tactic of theirs. Batman said it himself in the early scenes of “Batman Begins.” He seeks to strike fear in those that prey on the fearful. In this sense, he does succeed.

You could make the argument that because of Batman’s presence, there people in Gotham City who choose not to enter a life of crime. The prospect of dealing with Batman is scary. Fear is a powerful deterrent. Only the truly deranged criminals dare to enter this life and take on Batman. In that context, it makes perfect sense that the kind of villains he faces are the exceedingly deranged kind.

Spider-Man can’t make that claim. He can’t claim that he scares or intimidates people into not choosing a life of crime. If anything, his tactics may annoy ordinary people who wouldn’t otherwise consider such a life, but try it anyways just to shut him up or make a name for themselves.

Every hero is different. Every hero has their own set of tactics, goals, and ideals. However, no hero is as inept, incompetent, or irresponsible as Spider-Man. So long as he keeps doing what he’s doing, and Marvel has a huge financial interest in never allowing it to change, he’ll continue emboldening his enemies while guaranteeing that everyone around him suffers.

It’s both an irony and a tragedy. In his efforts to be responsible with his powers, Spider-Man conducts himself in the most irresponsible way possible. Even if it’s indirect and unintentional, the results are the same. He can still call himself a hero because of his principles. He just can’t call himself a very competent hero.

6 Comments

Filed under Comic Books, Jack Fisher, Superheroes

6 responses to “Why Spider-Man Is The Most Incompetent Hero Of All Time

  1. XRE

    Let me explain in copious detail why the OP’s statements are complete BS.

    This boils down a lot to a fundamentally flawed understanding of what Spider-Man’s goals are as well as not taking into account the restrictions placed upon the character by virtue of genre and dramatic necessities.

    The OP codifies that Spider-Man’s goals is to combat crime and irresponsibility but has flanderized the former to make Spider-Man out to be like Batman levels of trying to deter crime when…that isn’t the case.

    A lot of people use Batman as a comparison for this but it just doesn’t hold up. For starters crime in Gotham city is NOT the way it is in Marvel New York city. Gotham when Batman’s career began was CORRUPT to it’s core and infected with street crime. The citizens of Gotham were in effect prisoners in their own home unless they were members of the elite. The poorer, or even middle class citizens, categorically lived in fairly frequent fear of crime, whether it posed a threat to their property and livelihoods or their lives. The death of the Waynes made this point hardcore because they were the elite of the elite and the smallest of criminals took their lives.

    The point was no one was safe and worse the system was broken.

    Batman arose and used the methods he used to combat crime under these extenuating circumstances.

    And he succeeded to a point. He has yet to eradicate corruption in the police department or the system as a whole, and street crime still exists in Gotham. This is to say nothing of the rise of super criminals after Batman appeared who were a thousand times worse than the regular street punks

    He did majorly alleviate the problem though.

    Marvel New York City and DC’s Metropolis were NOTHING like that and so never necessitated Batman’s methods of fear and intimidation to build a legend and frighten criminals.

    Metroplis in most incarnations is NEVER depicted as particularly crime ridden. At worst it’s in the behind the scenes grips of Luthor. Superman has off and on removed Luthor’s influence over Metroplis but never permanently. And he has never put a halt to all street crime (hence Intergang is a thing), despite every criminal knowing he could apprehend them even if he is literally another country away.

    Spider-Man in contrast lives in Marvel NYC. Crime and corruption exist but it’s not like one big bad dude controls 2/3 of the workforce whether they know it or not or where crime and corruption have such a choke hold on the city no one is safe.

    I should also point out Spider-Man neither possesses powers on Superman’s scale nor the resources of Batman. Batman could never have achieved what he achieved without a shitton of technology at his disposal, even if he had Spider-Man’s powers. His vehicles allowed him quick access around the city. His corporation could provide all the tech he needed and money was never an issue. If he needed medical attention or a loved one needed it hey no problem. These resources also allowed him to better conceal his identity and gather vast intelligence for his activities.

    Now compare and contrast that to Spider-Man who whether as an adult or a teenager basically had to earn a living to support himself and his family (including a mother with expensive health problems) and be a superhero in addition to that. He also had obligations to family and friends which took up his time. Batman has had these too but never to the same degree. Most of his close abiding relationships exist with people within his inner circle and who’re involved in crime fighting themselves. And Peter obviously doesn’t have supersonic speed to get where he needs to be whenever he wants more or less.

    He’s the working class superhero who can’t afford to dedicate himself solely to superheroing but also hasn’t got powers and resources that prevent superheroing from having a detriment upon his normal life.

    But lets get back to goals.

    Spider-Man’s goal has never been to eradicate all crime. I don’t think Batman’s is either and if it is that’s stupid and impossible without becoming a monster himself. Spider-Man does NOT seek to eradicate all crime.

    He’s your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man.

    It’s not just a catchphrase, its a descriptor of who he is. He’s the little guy superhero who helps out the little guy. His focus is smaller scale. He goes on patrol and stops crimes as he sees them, pursues leads on crimes he gets a whiff of or otherwise intervenes as he comes across crimes by chance.

    Which to begin with isn’t that dissimilar to ACTUAL methods of policing except he can’t do much as far as intelligence gathering is concerned because

    a) He is one man and
    b) He lacks resources to do that and
    c) He does have other obligations

    Spider-Man’s mantra stemming from his origin story is simply this:

    If you have the power to help it is your duty to help.

    He DIDN’T help when he saw a crime in progress and it resulted in something tragic. He does his best to not repeat that mistake.

    However on a broader level his story is about living up to his responsibilities but those extend BEYOND crime fighting. His family’s welfare, his friendships, his education, his own well being, these are all his responsibilities as they are all of OUR responsibilities.

    Does he always succeed at them? No. Because few of us succeed at them all the time. frequently we have to juggle and things can and do go wrong just as they can and do go right. Example: my father is constantly stressed because the type of man who does things for everybody and to an exent he’s let his health suffer for it. At the same time things with his work can take abrupt unexpected turns which have knock on effects on other parts of his life (and by extension my own). Often times he is constantly stressed due to living up to all these burdens. Now not EVERYONE is like this, but a lot of people are.

    This is who Spider-Man is. It’s really unrealistic and cheap to say “Well if he only did this then it would fix everything and him not doing it shows he’s bad at his job and stupid!”

    Returning to what I said was his ACTUAL goals, like I said Spider-Man doesn’t WANT to remove all crime in NYC. Not only is that impossible, not only are there OTHER heroes working on that at the same time as him, but his goals is simply to help where he can.

    And…it works!

    In Sacasa’s Senssational Spider-Man run we see a beach full of people who represent a tiny number of people who’s lives Peter has saved. In ASM #500 Peter decides NOT to change history by preventing the spider from biting him because he knows how many people could be hurt because he wasn’t there to save them. Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Surpeme that he is stated in the same issue that the greatest gift anyone can give another human being is the chance to make a difference just once and went on to say Spider-Man has no idea how many times HE has made such a difference.

    Want some proof? ASM #3 Spider-Man averts a nuclear disaster. Spec #75 he averts ANOTHER nuclear disaster. PPSM #98 he literally saves the whole planetary population from being wiped out by Norman Osborn.

    Want some more proof? You say Spider-Man does NOTHING to deter crime. Well again…that’s not his goal. He knows crime won’t be deterred by him. Crime isn’t deterred in NYC despite it having the single highest concentration of superheroes of any city in both Marvel AND DC. Crime isn’t deterred by Batman OR Superman’s presence, at least not completely (and is still siginifcant enough to be a real danger). So what’s Spider-Man going to do really? Not to mention that Spider-Man was a kid when he began his career. How was he even going to THINK of deterring crime on a large scale?

    More than this once he got older to comprehend that idea (which again was stupid and pointless anyway) it was too late as his reputation had been established. Sure he COULD’ve switched to a new identity but again that’s dramatic contrainsts at work and we can’t hold that against the character. It’s called Spdier-Man so the protagonist has to be SPIDER-MAN!

    Does Spider-Man intimidate and scare his opponents? Depends. Sometimes he can do that. Michelinie issues of Spider-Man had him bend metal and frighten some thugs into surrender. The black costume was also pretty scary.

    But again…scaring people isn’t Spider-Man’s deal. Jameson already made people hate and fear him and it made his criem fighting career HARDER not easier. It’s also not who he is as a person. He doesn’t operate as a force of fear like Batman (again this is a lot of the bullshit ‘Batman is the best hero ever!’ mentality at play which condemns other heroes who doesn’t operate the same way he does). Many heroes don’t use those tactics and again Peter is a pretty friendly person and nice guy. He doesn’t want to frighten innocent people which is exactly what would happen if he did employ those methods. Given how he also operates in the day in a bright costume intimidation isn’t much of an option the way it is for Batman, who cultivated an urban legend which by nature relies on staying out of the limelight. Spider-Man can’t do that since he needs money to survive and earns it from literally making himself famous through pictures.

    But even taking AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALL that into account…Spider-Man DOES deter crime in NYC. In the Spec cartoon Tombstone states that Spider-Man scares criminals off of the streets before they’ve committed any crimes in the first place. And in ASM #50, you know the comic book Spider-Man friggin 2 was based on, it was PROVEN that Spider-Man’s absence saw an increase in crime rates. So Obviously his efforts were reducing crime.

    Now as for his humour? Does it dissuade criminals from villainy? No. Does it make them hate him more? Maybe.

    But to begin with criminals are gonna hate ANYONE who captures them so the latter point isn’t a big deal. As for the second…who the fuck in Batman’s rogue’s gallery was ever deterred from being a super villain by him scaring them? No one I know of? Street punks maybe but none of the major villains.

    But even then…Spidey isn’t the only humourous superhero out there. Silver Age Daredevil cracked jokes at villains too just not to the same extent.

    More importantly Spider-Man isn’t fighting villains for the long term and shouldn’t be either. His goal is to rectify the IMMEDIATE emergency right then and there.

    A mugger is threatening a civilian. So he cracks a joke and gets under their skin causing them to make mistakes which he can then use to resolve the situation more quickly whilst also putting the victim and possibly himself at ease, the latter being a good thing as it allows him to fight better and the former being he good thing because it reduces any trauma the victim might have later on. Meanwhile the punk goes to jail and spends a few years rotting there before MAYBE resuming a career of crime.

    But again…he’s fighting someone with SUPERHUMAN powers. Is he scared? No, but he also knows his chances of capture are VERY significant and his chances of success very low against that person. Meanwhile if he doesn’t run into the unthreatening and humourous Spider-Man again he might run into Daredevil, the FF, Punisher, Moon Knight, Dark hawk, Nightthrasher or any of the other DOZENS of NYC based superheroes and vigilantes he stands absolutely no hope of overcoming.

    Now for the costume, again this is a stupid argument against the character since it’s tied up with superhero conventions. Yeah it’s easy to spot but

    a) Suspension of disbelief
    b) It’s more entertaining for him to wear a costume like that because it looks cool
    c) Daredevil wore fucking Yellow to begin his career
    d) He then switched to bright (not dark, bright) red which is also easy to spot
    e) Moon Knight walks around in white
    f) Wolverine’s main outfits have been different combinations of bright blue and bright yellow and he literally worked as a spy

    Moving onto his public persona, again…COUNTLESS heroes operate this way. Batman is the exception NOT the rule and even he doesn’t succeed entirely at his goals it is arguable.

    More than this Spider-Man ALREADY had a public persona because he was a goddam wrestler and TV star! He isn’t cultivating anything he’s already been established as what he is.

    The claim that he is daring people to come after him is also a major extrapolation by the OP. No one is saying that is how criminals tthink regarding him due to his outfit. It’s especially bullshit given how the black costume didn’t change that much at all.

    Additionally is daring people to come after him a bad thing in a fight where it distracts them from hurting civilians?

    Now to address the ‘it makes him a target and gives his enemies a common threat to rally around’…again EVERY hero has this. Dude…Batman was MORE of a urban legend and stealthy ninja in the Nolan movies where his costume was solid black and people debated his very existence. But the entire plot of the Dark Knight was that the criminal underworld rallied together and even trusted a mad man to end a threat to their business ventures despite his public appearances and persoinality being more reserved than his comic book counterpart.

    EVERy superhero more or less has a time where their enemies team up to take them down. Friggin SUPERMAN has that and he’s probably more powerful than most of his enemies one on one and is even MORE public than Spider-Man. he has an even flashier costume and is a globally recognized and revered figure. And he also has a Superman Revenge Squad who’re more active against him in many versions than the Sinister Six have ever been against Spider-Man. Hell the second Sinister Six story didn’t even have the Six form against Spidey specifically. In fact they didn’t even do that in their debut. I mean you are saying criminals and villains would unite to take down their common enemy Spider-Man but the actual Spider-Man comics mostly dispprove that. not only has that not happened all that often but it rarely works, either because they are unable tow work harmoniously because they are bad guys or because Spider-Man is able to beat them.

    In fact Spider-Man’s powerset and abilities make his chances of success BETTER when he fights groups since he’s faster than most of them and can turn their abilities on one another. Frequently Spider-Man has fared worse in one-on-one battles than in group villain battles.

    If we wanna go comics….how many tiems have the Batman rogue’s gallery teamed up against Bruce in various combinations seriously? Like the Trial episode from the animated series doesn’t prove this idea to be bullshit?

    As for his villain don’t have a reason to stop what they are doing…this is illogical.

    Thier reasons for stopping should be that Spider-Man will kick their asses (Spidey once beat Doc Ock so bad he developed an outright phobia of him) or that they will go to jail. And again let me ask which villains, yes even batman’s, actually have ever ceased being bad guys because of their heroe’s intimidating them? Certainly not Joker or Poison Ivy that’s for sure? Luthor or Toyman? Fuck no. Jigsaw? Nope. Kingpin? Hahahahahahaha.

    This is thus a foolish line of reasoning. As is the idea that repeatedly being beaten by Spider-Man makes them stronger in the long run. Like…why? Where is the A>B>C logic of them growing stronger through repeated defeats? Not to mention…it’s literally not true. There is no evidence to suggest Shocker grew stronger as a villain through his battles with Spider-Man. Nor did Kraven or Doc Ock. But Spider-Man with his immense experience and frequent battle experience sure as fuck was growing more powerful whilst they rotted in jail. He’s one of the greatest street level MU fighters.

    Now for the loved ones angle. You know who else the laws of probability are working against? Superman. Batman. The Flash. Daredevil. Police officers. Judges. Politicians. Political activists. Gangsters. People who testify in court. You. Me.

    Spider-Man has a secret identity which protects people and a Spider sense to help maintain that. does this guarantee safety? No. But Spider-Man is far from alone in this regard and has kept his identity safer than most people. His identity provides BETTER protection from criminals with axes to grind than people in real life who put criminals away without the benefit of anonymity.

    Plus again they live in New York. COUNTLESS super villains put the citizens in danger all the time, much as they do on Gotham. But in Peter’s case FREQUENTLY his loved ones have been endangered by things which had nothing to do with him.

    Doctor Octopus lived with Aunt May for reasons independant of him being Spider-Man.

    Jonathan Caesar kidnapped Mary Jane because SHE was famous and he was obsessed with her

    The Hobgoblin targeted Harry Osborn because his Dad was the Green Goblin

    Betty Brant and Ned Leeds’ wedding was interrupted by Mirage because he happened to be pulling a heist there

    Eddie Brock happened to be batshit insane and delusion ally picked Peter as the target of his hatred

    The Scorpion has beef with J. Jonah Jameson because HE created him

    And FYI, Gwen died because PETER made a mistake in the way he saved her. Goblin was still at fault though.

    And just what exactly is the OP trying to say here?

    That if only Peter had adopted a less bright costume and a scarier demeanor *coughbeenmorelikeBatmancough* his loved ones could’ve been spared. Because you know that worked so well for Rachel Dawes in the Dark Knight and Alfred was 100% not at risk from Bane in Knightfall obviously.

    Or is the OP saying Peter just shouldn’t have loved ones? Which you know is OBVIOUSLY the healthy thing to do right?

    Finally explain to me with SPECIFIC examples how precisely ‘the more he does the worse things get’?

    Lets move onto the whole ‘its stupid that he doesn’t kill people and that’s inept’.

    Dude…he’s not LEGALLY sanctioned to kill people. He already bends the law in pursuit of addressing immediate dangers he encounters and sparing dangers posed to other members of law enforcement.

    He’d 100% go to jail if he killed someone. That is not his role in the legal system. He is a glorified special officer. He intervenes in crimes as he sees them and halts the immediate threat. The legal work and legal system is then left to deal with it and it’d be a gross ABUSE of power for him to decide to act as judge jury and executioner. It crosses a line and puts him on a slippery slope to say nothing of the psychological toll that takes on a person. Killing deliberately can be incredibly psychologically damaging and is partially why many police officers and soldiers develop mental issues in life, including PTSD or alcoholism to cope with what they’ve seen and done. For someone with raw physical power the temptation to abuse it is always there but he doesn’t give into it or risk becoming as bad as the bad guys.

    Whatever else he may be no one man should EVER have the power to decide life or death unless in cases of self defence or defence of another.

    So in the grand scheme of things the OP doesn’t know what they are talking about, has taken things out of context, failed to do much research, has defined an illegitimate set of criteria through which the situation (hinging upon using Batman and Punisher as a valid basis for comparison) through and over all taken a needlessly cynical aapproach to the character.

    I mean for God’s sake. Please tell me how Spider-Man is such a massive failure compared to fucking Daredevil? Elektra and Karen Page’s deaths along with other’s and MULTIPLE examples of his identity going public tell an entirely different story. Like seriously when you have to fake your own fucking death because you are that bad at keeping your identity secret (despite having the obvious alibi of being blind) the fuck do you suck more than a guy who’s identity only wnet public when he decided to make it so? Like goddam.

    Some final points to finish up

    • Spider-Man isn’t seriously going to wound his opponents? Tell that to Kingpin in Back in Black

    • Its not Spider-Man’s fucking job to actually try and REFORM his enemies. Shit Batman to my knowledge rarely if ever does that. Same with Superman and MOST superheroes. It’s not their job the same way MOST cops don’t actively try to reform the criminals they capture. That’s the job of OTHER people in the legal system. Laying the blame for everything on the superheroes’ shoulders is disgustingly cynical and short sighted.

    • Spider-Man carries himself with the maturity of a 13 year old? Not in the comic I’ve read which by the way is a shitton. And you exemplify this by posting a picture of Ultimate Spider-Man. I.e. the Spider-Man that is 100% non-canonical to the mainstream version. How well researched of you

    • You realize the Fantastic Four render themselves even bigger targets than Spider-Man right? And they have much more powerful enemies. Doctor Doom alone has sent the Baxter Building into space and Frankling Richards to Hell.

    • Batman’s enemies gang up together all the time, often to fight him. they mostly know he isn’t super human so they could in theory kill him with a mere gun. And they sure as shit aren’t afraid of him

    • Well I actually DO know a fair amount about social psychology. So I know that when you have that many big egos as supervillains with raw physical power have or crime lords they are far from guaranteed to unite harmoniously towards a major cause. Shit, the debut of the Sinister Six saw them unable to fight together to the point where they just decided to fight Spider-Man one on one…and he beat them all…at age 18….

    • Spider-Man doesn’t ‘fight irresponsibility’ you know that right?

    • You codify that ‘being responsible is deterring those types of villains’. But…it’s not. NOTHING sets in stone that THAT is the responsible thing to do. The responsible thing to do is to just stop crimes when he sees them. Because given how most of his enemies are power hungry, power mad, stupid assholes reform is unlikely. The Sandman is an exception not the rule. Most of his villains have spent their careers in prison where logically they would’ve been exposed to rehab programs which have never worked. Some criminals are lost cuases and since Spider-Man began his career as a kid and lacks any formal training in this field is is idiotic to discredit him or reprimand him for ‘not trying to change their behaviours’. And again BATMAN and Daredevil have categorically failed in this regard too. Penguin has never been reformed nor has Kingpin. Nor Mr Hyde nor Joker. They also haven’t been deterred from lives of crime.

    • David Michelinie stated he created Venom specifically because no other Spider-Man villain actually WANTS to tangle with him. Even Doc Ock only rarely conspired plans specifically to get rid of Spider-Man. Mostly Green Goblin and Venom were is. Most other villains would rather just avoid Spider-Man than go after him. most of them were NOT bent on revenge, they just wanted payback if given the opportunity.

    • It is continually brought up how intimidating Daredevil and Batman are. And I will thus keep brining up how at times that wasn’t always true and how being intimidating does little to honestly deter crime since it is still around in Gotham and Hell’s Kitchen. I will also keep bringin up how OTHER characters are not intimidating in their looks or personalities but MANY criminals are intimidated by the mere prospect of you know…fighting super powered beings. No one knows Daredevil has powers, and by now most people know Batman doesn’t either. Spider-Man though really does not seem human at all and has been shown to intimidate criminals but just not outright scare them. But again, he isn’t trying to combat ALL crime in NYC. That’s stupid and would never work. He is just trying to help out where he can is all. At the same time we know from ASm #50 that his presence does deter criminals so in theory there are people who avoid crime because of his presence…and you know…every other hero’s in NYC.

    Long story short the premise and arguments laid out by the OP are bullshit and hinge upon worshipping Batman, Daredevil and Punisher and their methodologies despite all of them having major problems on par with or greater than Spider-Man’s.

    Or to put it another way the OP doesn’t know what the Hell he is talking about.

    • Wow, thank you so much for taking the time to make such a thorough and insightful post. I really appreciate it. I don’t necessarily agree with you, but I can definitely respect your passion and your thorough research. Thanks again. With fans like you, I think Spider-Man will always have a future. 🙂

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