The Many Myths of Spider-Man
According to Joseph Campbell, a universal heroes pattern “ involves a process by which the hero leaves the ordinary world of waking consciousness, enters the dark world of the supernatural, overcomes those who would destroy him there, and then returns to the ordinary, possessed of new knowledge and powers for his people” (Leeming, p.217). Spider-Man in his own way was involved in this process. Peter Parker leaves the safeness of reality every time he suits up as Spider-Man. He goes from a gifted science student on the fast track to college, to a superhero whose main concern is stopping the bad guy. Once the day is saved, he simply returns to the ordinary, going back to the simple life of Peter Parker, a gifted student living in Forest Hills, Queens. “More often than not the hero is miraculously conceived and born under unusual circumstances” (Leeming, p.218) Spider-Man was born a little different from most other mythological characters. Peter Parker started out as a typical teenage nerd, The Spider-Man myth was born about 50 years ago in 1962, over the years there have been several stories of how he got his powers and started his journey. No matter how the tale starts, in each one; he receives his powers the same way. Peter Parker (or Spider-Man) is bitten by a radioactive spider that promptly dies. Leeming states, each hero faces death but escapes it and emerges into a new individuated existence. Experiencing the bite of a poisonous spider may have killed another; however Peter escapes the destiny and assigned a new one. In the Buddha myth, the Queen could be the original hero, dying after giving birth, “therefore it was that the mother of the future Buddha died when he was seven days old” (Leeming, p.231), leaving behind her creation, the “Great Buddha”. This makes to two myths similar, also similar to the Buddha myth, Spider-Man was also birthed or created while standing, somewhat. After being bitten by the spider, he feels...
Cited: Leeming, D.A. (1990). The World of Myth: an Anthology. Oxford Press. New York: Oxford.
Kistler, A. (). Comic Book Resources. Retrieved from http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=39377
Comic Vine. (). Retrieved from http://www.comicvine.com/spider-man/4005-1443
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