What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘superhero’? The first obvious image would be that of a man of ripped musculature, superhuman courage and profound wisdom. And also a dash of supernatural abilities.
These typical superhero characters were the staple of the comic world, once. Superman, Batman, Iron man, Captain America ruled the superhero landscape back then. But then an amazing spider bite happened. And it changed the world.
Marvel Comics introduced a new superhero – the ‘Spiderman’
And he was one of a kind.
Spiderman was the first teenager superhero as compared to other superheroes who were mostly adults between 25 to 35. This made him relatable to the teenage audiences world wide.
The other thing that made spidey different was his physique. He wasn’t a buffed up bodybuilder. Instead, his body was lightweight, athletic and agile – more akin to that of a gymnast. Spiderman made being sleek look sexy.
And there’s a hundred lines to be said about the costume – the key selling point of spiderman’s aesthetic. Back in the ages of Superman and Batman, superheroes never had their face fully covered. Spiderman was the first superhero to hide his real identity behind a fully concealing mask.
And also, the costume is simpler than other superheroes. Except for the detachable mask, the rest of the costume is a one piece spandex jumpsuit. It fits spidey’s body perfectly. This helps in accentuating his movements while fighting crime.
The rise of Spider Man indicated the emergence of a new class of heroes – which includes Deadpool, Ant Man and many others. And then, gradually, comic book culture deviated from macho heroes to heroes who embraced their weaknesses and used them against their villain.
So may be, there will be no hero as unique as Spiderman. Or maybe if fans are lucky, we’ll get another hero that breaks the norms like Spider Man did. Until then, Spiderman will remain 1 of a kind.
If Steve Jobs had ever designed a superhero, it would be Spider Man.