The cat’s out of the proverbial bag, folks. Doc Ock is the new Spider-Man. A few weeks behind on that news? Why yes, yes I am. That’s not what I am here to talk about though. It seems our friendly neighborhood superhero has jumped on the bandwagon of becoming a much darker and grittier character. It seems many of our favorite superheroes these days are taking this approach. But, are these the kind of heroes we NEED right now?
Events throughout the years have shown that the world is drastically becoming a much darker and scarier place. Many people, through the decades, have looked for ways to escape the real world. Whether it be through TV, movies, books, music, and like many of you reading this, comic books. Now, way back in the day, comic book characters were created to inspire our fellow men. They were to give us strength and faith in places we never thought possible. They were a beacon of hope.
Now thanks to the success of a certain Dark Knight , it seems more and more heroes are going the route of becoming more like Sir Gloomy. But, does Batman’s success mean we have to change the ways of all the superheroes? No, it shouldn’t. Not every hero is Batman. Not every hero can play bad cop. And before all you Bat-fans get your Bat-panties in a bunch, I’m not saying anything negative about The Dark Knight.
Even the big “S”, Superman, has become a gloom-and-doom version of his former self thanks to the New 52. It’s not just personality changes either. Anti-heroes are on the quick rise. Yes, I agree, our favorite merc with a mouth is pretty bad ass. And, who doesn’t enjoy the occasional Wolverine or Punisher story? But does this have to mean that the genuinely good heroes go by the wayside?
We still need heroes like Spider-Man, Superman, Captain America, and The Flash (Barry pre-flashpoint…Boy, he messed that one up didn’t he?). Heroes who are just unrelentingly good to their core. Now, I know all of you are thinking,” Oh man, that’s so lame though.” . Just ask yourself, “Is it really?”. Is it lame to inspire to be something better? Is it lame to want to live in a better world? Is it lame to bring hope to people who have none? Is it lame to want to see the best in people and believe they will do the right thing? Thats what these heroes have done.
Yes, I understand that these heroes are fictional. But, does that mean we can’t learn from them? Comic books are a great medium for people to be something better than they are. They are not just some nerdy fantasy for people to enjoy. They can give us light in a much darker time. They give us heroes to look up to and aspire to be someone better.
Spider-Man was the epitome of this kind of hero. Spidey put the needs of others before the needs of himself. Especially towards the beginning of the end of his run when he brought on his “NO ONE DIES” policy. Dan Slott understood and knew this while he was preparing to end Peter’s life in Amazing Spider-Man #700. He still kept Spider-Man true to his core until the very end. Refusing to kill Doc Ock even if it meant sacrificing his own life. Spidey displayed heroism unlike any other in the comic book world. Is it really that bad to want to be Spider-Man? Better yet, Peter Parker?
It’s heroes like this that need to become more abundant in comics. Darker times are falling upon us in every aspect. We need to raise hope in any form that we can. We need more heroes like Peter Parker to come back. So, does the world REALLY need Peter Parker? Undoubtedly, Unmistakably, Unquestionably, Unequivocally…YES.