I Love Spider-Man. And I'm Not Ashamed To Admit It.
With The Amazing Spider-Man hitting theatres today I decided that it would be a good time to sit down and reflect on my life. You see, for the past five years — Since Spider-Man 3 was released way back in 2007 — I have been anxiously waiting for a new Spider-Man film. Originally I thought I was getting Spider-Man 4, but then when I found out a reboot was coming I was equally excited. But even before that, seven years ago, right after Spider-Man 2 came out, I found myself counting down the days until Spider-Man 3.
For a moment, think how long ago seven years was. Seven years ago there was no such thing as YouTube, most people had never heard of Facebook, and 3D wasn’t being crammed down everyone’s throats. The Avengers wasn’t even the smallest inkling of an idea by anyone at Marvel Studios (since it didn’t exist at that point), The Hunger Games wasn’t even a book, and Arrested Development hadn’t even been cancelled yet. Seven years ago we were all seven years younger, and some people reading this weren’t even born. After Spider-Man 2 was released the concept of the superhero film franchise was solidified in every Hollywood executive’s mind and the push to make bigger and better sequels had just begun.
Web 2.0 was in its infancy and I barely knew how to use a computer, but I fired up Internet Explorer 6 and started searching for anything about the next Spider-Man movie that I could find. After months and months of nothing I finally found a black and white image of Spider-Man perched on top of a high building. Except the picture wasn’t black and white, it was his suit. It was the first image released for the film, and it was the very definition of a teaser. I needed to know more. I had to know more. After many more months of following the film and viewing pictures, watching trailers, and seeing clips, the release date was coming close. I knew everything there was to know about Spider-Man 3. I was the one who was informed. I was updating my friends and telling them everything I knew. When it came out, Spider-Man 3 was the first movie I’ve ever seen at midnight, back when midnight meant staying awake way too late.
I never cared more about a movie as much in my life as Spider-Man 3 by the time it came out. Release dates, promo material, Internet blogs, entertainment news; it was all new to me. Following Spider-Man 3’s production is the reason I fell in love with movies. It’s the reason that I’m here right now writing this. It’s the reason that every movie that is now released I have known about for at least two years prior to the release date. Spider-Man is why I am who I am, but it happened even before Spider-Man 3, before Spider-Man 2, and before the first Spider-Man film almost exactly a decade ago. Looking back, Spider-Man has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.
Before the movies was the 1994 Spider-Man cartoon series. It was on every day after school and it was amazing. Since I wasn’t much into comics as a kid, this television series was my introduction to Spider-Man. Like most kids I fell in love with the blue and red superhero. He was cool, he fought bad guys, and he could swing from webs. What higher aspirations could anyone have?
I had Spider-Man pajamas (and I still do), Spider-Man t-shirts (still do), and Spider-Man bed sheets (check). While most kids would pretend to grow out of Spider-Man but still secretly like him, I never pretended. In fact, my bedroom currently has exactly eight Spider-Man related items on display, including a bobble-head, a movie poster, and a lunch box. Also, I’m literally wearing an Amazing Spider-Man t-shirt (that I got from the ride at Universal Studios) as I’m typing this right now.
The point I’m making isn’t to prove that I am weirdly obsessed with Spider-Man, but instead to prove that Spider-Man is forever. The character, in all his incarnations, has stuck with me and been a monumental part of my entire life. And I know the same can be said by hundreds of millions of other people across the world. Between cartoons, movies, and video-games, Spider-Man has always been there in one way or another when I needed him most. He’s a symbol of hope, determination, strength, and goodness. He’s also just the fucking coolest.
So while my five-year wait for a new Spider-Man movie may be over, my two-year wait for a new new Spider-Man movie has just begun. And after that the wait is going to start all over again; and I’m not only okay with it, but I couldn’t be happier. The world counts on Spider-Man to provide them with entertainment, happiness, freedom, relief, and joy. He’s an incomparable mix of iconic, symbolic, and did I mention that he’s just downright fucking awesome?
After having spent my whole life so far with Spider-Man somewhere in the background, I’m ready to come full circle on the Internet and admit to everyone that I love Spider-man. If my younger self would have stumbled on this article seven years ago on Internet Explorer 6, I think he would have first been confused as to how he accidentally time-travelled, and then later be proud that I (we) admitted something so profound to the entire world.
I realize now that everything that I am I owe to nature, nurture, and Spider-Man. So this is for you, Spider-Man. Thanks for everything, and here’s to a lifetime of happiness together.