Spider-Man is undoubtedly Marvel’s greatest creation. Created by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee, Spider-Man stands apart from other superheroes like Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. Neither born into great wealth nor from an outer planet, Peter Parker is just a teenager who was accidentally bit by a radioactive spider. Without any prior experience, Peter Parker instinctively chose the side of light and became the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man to keep New York City safe.
Hardly managing to make ends meet, Spider-Man is a teenager who faces regular teenage problems like most of us have faced. From school assignments to social awkwardness, Peter Parker faces all these problems while simultaneously saving the city as Spider-Man. Unlike Iron Man or Batman, Spider-Man continuously faces issues which we normal folks can relate to. Despite everything, Spider-Man triumphs every time he finds himself against insurmountable odds through his ingenuity, kindness, and goodness of heart.
As one of the greatest superheroes, it is hard to imagine the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man to embrace evil. But, what if he did? Here, we have compiled a list of what makes Spider-Man the greatest superhero, and what can make him the most dangerous supervillain, if he chooses to tread that path.
10. Hero: Overcoming Loss
In every hero’s life, there is a moment which triggers them to sacrifice their lives for the greater cause. Similarly, in Spider-Man’s case, it was the death of the beloved Uncle Ben. The murder of Uncle Ben traumatised Peter Parker as he blamed his inaction for his untimely death.
Yet, before leaving the mortal realm, Uncle Ben left Peter with some words of wisdom which would turn him into the greatest superhero of all time. Uncle Ben’s iconic dialogue “With great powers comes great responsibility” stayed with Peter and helped him choose the right path, and eventually overcome the loss of his uncle.
9. Villain: Path of Vengeance
The same way a traumatic incident can trigger a person to become a hero, it can also work as a negative trigger too. The loss of Uncle Ben left a lasting impact on Peter which he handled with maturity and grace. But, what if he could never overcome his loss?
Alternately, the death of Uncle Ben could have made Peter Parker into a villainous killer walking down the path of vengeance. Not the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man anymore, this version of Spider-Man could have killed all kinds of criminal with his own personal brand of justice. Fortunately, Marvel has the Punisher so that we never meet this version of Spider-Man.
8. Hero: Genius Intellect
Despite being a teenager, Spider-Man’s intellect is often underestimated by a lot of people. For starters, Peter Parker could hack into Iron Man’s suit while swinging across the streets of New York City for instance.
Often considered as one of the smartest characters in the Marvel Universe, Spider-Man uses his genius intellect to strategize and take down foes much more powerful than him. His ingenuity and sarcastic humour are what makes him such an amazing superhero.
7. Villain: Evil Genius
Genius intellect is a double-edged sword. Even heroes like Iron Man and Charles Xavier have been tempted by the dark side in the past. What’s stopping Peter Parker from using his brains to wreak havoc on the heroes?
As one of the smartest characters, Spider-Man has ample opportunities to become a fearful evil genius who can take down legions of superheroes, if the need arises. Imagine Spider-Man leading the infamous Sinister Six alongside Doctor Octopus, the Vulture, and other dreaded villains. Pretty much game over for the Avengers.
6. Hero: Amazing Superpowers
After getting bitten by a radioactive spider, Peter Parker gained spectacular abilities ranging from super-strength to spider-sense. His arsenal of powers and tricks paired with his genius intellect make him one of the most accomplished superheroes in the Marvel Universe.
The web-slinger’s variety of abilities plays a major role in defeating formidable foes like Doctor Octopus and the Venom. His super speed, enhanced agility, and the ability to crawl on walls are what keeps New York City safe from villains.
5. Villain: Lethal Prowess
The same way superpowers can be used to fight evil, they can also be used to attack the innocent. Spider-Man’s range of abilities makes him a powerful enemy to go against, even for some of the most powerful heroes of Marvel.
His super-strength enables him to punch through walls with much ease. His agility helps him to evade bullets, and his spidey sense can detect threats moments before they actually take place. Definitely not the person you want to see fighting alongside the villains.
4. Hero: Upbringing
As an orphan, Peter Parker was raised by Uncle Ben and Aunt May. Their teachings have always been a major inspiration behind Spider-Man’s commitment to stop evil and never use his powers for personal gain.
After the death of Uncle Ben, Peter was left with Aunt May in abject poverty. Hardly being able to make ends meet, Peter Parker understand his situation and empathizes with people who resort to petty crime to earn some quick bucks. A true hero, indeed.
3. Villain: Abject Poverty
As a teenager, it is almost unfair to see Peter Parker suffering so much at such a young age. From losing Uncle Ben to working extra time to earn money for himself and Aunt May, it is quite natural that Peter might feel frustrated with his life.
Blessed with such amazing superpowers, it is almost a cakewalk for Spider-Man to rob banks and wealthy businessmen for some quick bucks. In one storyline, Spider-Man forcibly takes away the stolen cash from a petty thief to pay for his rent and providing a well-deserved holiday to Aunt May. But, his morality stopped him from doing it and he soon threw all the cash in the streets of New York City.
2. Hero: Teenage Idealism
In our teenage years, most of us wish to be superheroes, saving the world. This idealism is still believed by Peter Parker as he believes everyone should be given a second chance at life.
In most of his fights, Spider-Man tries to avoid combat as long as possible. Only used as a last resort, Peter tries to understand the pain caused and subdue the enemy by communicating effectively.
1. Villain: Confused Teenager
It is surprising that Spider-Man did not turn out to be a villainous arachnid character who is confused between his own morality and materialistic pleasures.
Without anyone to guide or mentor him, Spider-Man became a hero on his own, without anyone’s assistance. As a result, this could have pushed him to the dark side, as his lack of experience and raging hormones during teenage years acting as catalysts.