This article contains spoilers for Amazing Spider-Man # 1, on sale by Marvel Comics
Since its creation in 1962, Spider-Man has astonished fans from all over the world. Most know him as the Amazing Spider-Man, and others know him as the geeky Peter Parker. Like any superhero story, Spider-Man has had his fair share of struggles, both behind the mask and without it. And yet, it has been his struggles as a person that have made him one of the most relatable characters in Marvel Comics.
Before his step into adulthood, Peter was like any teenager: struggling with women, getting bullied, and trying to get into college. Now, as an adult, fans continue to witness his conflicts in the latest installment of the beloved character, Amazing Spider-Man # 1 (written by Zeb Wells and artist John Romita Jr.). This series aims to return Spider-Man back to his classic appeal, starting with him hitting rock-bottom.
On the first page of this issue, Peter finds himself in an icy crater, gasping. The comic book flashes forward six months later, and suddenly, everyone is upset with him. The Fantastic Four do not want to see him and Mary Jane does not want to talk to him. Even the kind-hearted Aunt May has had enough with Peter’s secrets. Despite everyone’s frustrations, it seems like they just want to help.
Fans can take notice of Peter’s distant attitude towards his loved ones. His former roommate, Randy, has nothing but concern for him, but Peter does not want his help. Peter brushes off Johnny Storm, aka The Human Torch, when he flies by his apartment to check up on him.
In his absence, his medical bills have been accumulating, and up until his return, Aunt May has been paying. Now that he’s back, Peter has to dodge this debt collector. The web-slinger looks for a job, but finds the task to be difficult. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to find a job, which many adults can no doubt relate to.
Having a life and identity beyond the mask proves to be just as challenging. Even without the suit, his friends and family know of his connection to the]Wall Crawler. Even Tombstone, a long-time bad guy of the hero, confronts Peter to get in touch with Spider-Man after he thwarts one of his deals.
Seeing a remarkable character such as Spider-Man struggling, not only as a hero, but as a human being reminds readers of his vulnerability. It is because readers of all walks of life can place themselves in his shoes. Because at some point, they’ve been there. People can relate to Peter, whether it be through his grief, his troubles navigating life, or even maintaining relationships.
Throughout all of his struggles, it can serve as a reminder that no matter how hard things get, the important thing is to never let it keep you down. Even when Peter starts off the issue at rock bottom, fans can expect to see him come out on top and continue to be an inspiration to those who deal with so much.
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