Superhero Moving Targets

So as I am watching each new superhero movie, I am constantly amazed at how entertaining and frustrating they are to me. My personal favorite superhero is Spiderman because of his wit, his nerdiness, his strength, and his toys. He is a combo superhero, a veritable Swiss army knife of a warrior. However, he is also the most frustrating of superheroes at the same time because his tool belt and his strength is so unevenly applied to the reality that is dictated by the cartoon (or movie) itself. Now I realize that by entering into this discussion there will be superhero people that will ask me to define which Spiderman that I am referring to. To this I would respond by saying that you may be wearing your replica Spiderman tights/PJ’s a little too tight.
Here is the issue as it relates to Spiderman, why is it that he is vulnerable to one supervillian one episode, and almost immortal when it comes to another? Don’t worry, I will turn this around to address more serious issues in the third (or fourth) paragraph, but for now I need to rant about the uneven power distribution that exists in the comic book world. Why has some other superhero not gotten a hold of the web formula? Or a better question, why has the web formula not been used to solve a whole slue of problems from innovative packaging and transport problems to special forces applications? It seems to me that Spiderman initially came up with the webbing solution as a scientific innovation, not a radioactive spider bite. Uh Oh, I just aggravated the pajama guy again I better move on to less sensitive topics.
As I watch these movies I am frustrated by the lack of consistency that exists in each movie(or comic)individually as well as the lack of consistency from one movie to the next. People, no matter how much they want to believe it, are shaped by what they are exposed to both passively and actively. If we spend much of our lives watching television, playing video games, or surfing the web we will be shaped by the overt and implied messages that are presented. So here is the implied message that I struggle with when it comes to superheroes:
Their power and tools seem to be decided by what the story presents. Think about the implications of that; they have whatever power is needed to make the story what it needs to be, not consistent power that would help us to be able to put a finger on what his or her true capabilities are. People, by implication, are being taught that the story will help them to decide what they are capable of, not their reality. If I am faced with an obstacle in my way, the reality of who I am will not be the determining factor that solves the predicament. Instead, I will look for something outside myself to give me something that I don’t have to solve a problem that I had not prepared for.
I will now change out of my Batman PJ’s and go to work.


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