Today is Spider-man’s birthday and to celebrate Marvel has dedicated some time each day from October 11th to the 14th to celebrate this event. Recently Marvel also had the 50th anniversary of The Amazing Spider-Man and soon the grand finale of the series will come with issue 700 landing December 26th. (Way to bring down the Christmas vibe Marvel!) I would like to share with you why I love Spider-Man.
When I was a kid, I had gotten my hands on a few comic books featuring the ol’ webhead, but my local comic book shop was too far away and I was too loose with my allowance to be a dedicated follower. Then stepped in Spider-Man: The Animated Series letting me get to know the whole story of Peter Parker, Spidey, and his gallery of rogues. As one of my favorite shows as a child, it is responsible for the beginning of my friendship with the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
Recently, I dove into comics for the first time with an adult funded bank account and a car of my own. One of the titles I knew that I must collect was The Amazing Spider-Man. Spider-Man: The Animated Series and the first wave of films released by Sony had never let my love of the character fade. Reading the latest story arcs has reaffirmed that love and I will not let go even as The Amazing Spider-Man ends and we don’t know what the future holds for Spider-Man come The Superior Spider-Man in January.
The first issue I grabbed as my foray into comics began was issue #688 of The Amazing Spider-Man. The issue featured the return of the Lizard and the beginning of the No Turning Back story arc. Not being familiar with the writing of Dan Slott, I had no idea what to expect, but it didn’t matter. As soon as I began, I was seeing Spider-Man again, reading his adventures of web-slinging, bad guy beat-downs, and wise-cracking. Then I read the letter columns in the back, and it cemented my feelings for Spider-Man. The letter read as follows:
I’m sixty-three years old, I’ve been reading Spider-Man since 1967, because I watched the television show with my brother when I was young. I loved everything about the Web-Head; my brother happened to be a big fan of Captain America, which spurred more than a few fist-fights over who was better. Boys being boys, I guess.
Well, my little brother passed away three days after he heard his number one hero, Joe Simon, died. In 2007, he was diagnosed with Osteo-Sarcoma, which ended up consuming most of his body. He wept over Joe Simon’s death; even though he was in so much pain, that loss still was the only thing that brought him to tears. It made me think about who the real heroes are.
Spider-Man has always been my hero, I love his story of redemption, and he gave, and still gives me hope. Hope that someday, we could all learn to forgive ourselves. God knows that’s what Peter wants to do.
I thought, maybe, the real heroes aren’t the Avengers, or the X-Men, or anyone like that. The real heroes are people like Mr. Slott, Mr. Wells, Stan The Man, and Joe Simon. I really would love to say thank you, to the entire Marvel Community, for giving me heroes, and for giving my brother and son heroes also. I would really appreciate you printing this in any upcoming issue of Amazing Spider-man, in memory of my brother Liam De young and his hero, Joe Simon.
Ron De Young
Stephen Wacker was the Senior Editor who responded to this letter as follows:
Ron, we’re flattered by your kind words. However, we’re just trying to entertain you each month. It sounds like the real hero in Liam’s life was the guy who wrote this letter.
I hope you and your son continue to enjoy the books. It’s an honor to have you here.
This is an very emotional sentiment from one man in honor of Spider-Man and his creators all along the years. What I realized is that the emotional impact of Spider-Man and his adventures has forever been the pull for me regarding the character.
Spider-Man is honorable, selfless, and, above all else, he uses his powers responsibly and holds himself responsible for his actions. My emotional bond to him is stronger than it is for any other comic book character.
Recently in an issue of the Avengers vs. X-men crossover, Round 9 to be more exact, Spider-Man informs Hope that “Sooner or later the time comes when it’s your turn to step up to the plate. You just gotta make sure you’re ready.” In the issue, his time comes, and he is ready to sacrifice himself (and that he does. I suggest you pick up that issue just for those panels alone) for the greater good as he has every time before. He is the one hero we can count on to give all of himself for the betterment of the world around him. He lives his lessons. He feels pain and gets hurt, but he always picks himself back up again. He loses loved ones and feels the sorrow and sadness that lasts a lifetime. All of the ordeals he has gone through have weight and the reader can feel the gravity of them. We have been with him through all his highs and lows, and as loyal fans we will always be. Come whatever may. (I’m looking at you, The Superior Spider-Man. You are warned Slott, make us not revolt)
Phew! Now that I’ve said most of what I wanted to say, I want your feelings! I want how you feel about Spider-man. How has he and his stories affected your life? Please let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget…
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SPIDER-MAN!!!!