Spider-Man is without a doubt the most recognizable Marvel superhero. He is the Marvel counterpart of Batman and Superman, two of DC’s most popular superheroes. Even non-comic book readers can easily recognize Spider-Man’s iconic red-and-blue suit, which can be attributed to his prominence in media.
Since 2000, Spider-Man, as a solo character, has appeared in 5 live-action movies, 3 animated TV shows, and 18 video games across multiple gaming platforms. Only Batman comes close to these credentials. Spider-Man’s popularity also stems greatly from his relatability: he is arguably the most “human” superhero. To elaborate more, here are 5 reasons why everyone loves Spider-Man (the Peter Parker version).
1. He’s relatable because of his real-life issues
Unlike most other superheroes, Peter had to go to school. And we all know about the responsibilities that came with that. So aside from worrying about his adversaries – no, not homework, we mean supervillains – Peter had to sweat out his grades. Peter also has a shitty job. Not to mention he has a shitty boss who doesn’t appreciate his efforts and absolutely hates his alter-ego. He has to balance his real job and his superhero job. If he goes full-time on the former, supervillains will have a field day. If he goes full-time on the latter, he goes broke.
2. He’s a bona fide nerd
Peter is a nerd in every sense of the word. He’s the socially awkward unpopular kid at school who got bullied and made fun of. Last checked the majority of comic book readers are nerds. So for most comic book readers, every time they read a Spider-Man comic book they can see themselves in Peter’s shoes. But despite being a nerd, Peter got not one, but two girlfriends. Not at the same time, obviously. Because that would have made him a douchebag. Peter shows that even the unpopular kid at school can get a girlfriend, which is pretty much a beacon of hope for everyone lacking in social skills.
3. He isn’t “too super” for a superhero
Sure, Spider-Man is super-powered. But compared to Superman, Captain Marvel, Thor, and Hulk, he seems like just an “ordinary” superhero. He even builds his own web-shooters with money he earned from his low-paying job. Not many superheroes have this kind of problem. No, Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark don’t count because both have endless resources. Also, when up against supervillains, Spider-Man regularly takes a beating before managing to outsmart them in the end. And then he has to wash his suit when he gets home.
4. He’s a very funny dude despite his problems
Spider-Man is one of the funniest comic book characters, with jokes and quips that are too often out of place. Unlike Batman who’s always serious, Spider-Man doesn’t mind being silly even in the middle of a fight. But when you really think about it, though, Spider-Man’s ability to find humor even in the darkest of times is kind of sad. Remember, he has all sorts of problems to deal with aside from his superhero business (work, school, relationships, etc.). Once you think about that, it’s hard not to feel admiration for Spider-Man’s always-on humor and silliness.
5. He always tries to do what’s right
Peter could have easily used his powers for un-superhero-like things. Like, you know, steal loads of money so he doesn’t have to worry about his bills. But no, he always tries to live his life the right way – both as Peter Parker and as Spider-Man. He is as responsible as he is kind-hearted, often attending to simple superhero tasks that he could have easily ignored (like saving a kid from being bullied, as seen in The Amazing Spider-Man 2). Also, he doesn’t give up in a fight, no matter how outmatched he is – he always perseveres.
Obviously, avid Spider-Man fans have a lot more to add to this list. But these five are the most often-cited reasons why everyone loves Spider-Man.