Spider-Man Proves Why the Movies Shouldn’t Ignore His Childhood Trauma

Warning: spoilers for The Amazing Spider-Man #2 are ahead. ,It may sound cliché, but Spider-Man’s confidence in dealing with even the scariest villains stems from navigating the horrors of his high school experience as Peter Parker – which was far darker in Marvel Comics than his family-friendly movies let on. The extent of the trauma that Peter Parker endured daily in the comic books, primarily at the hands of Eugene “Flash” Thompson, is something that has galvanized him as a hero and an experience that he still reflects on to this day. On a deeper level, this is also presented as the reason that the radioactive spider found and empowered him in the first place, suggesting that his origin was no accident.,Though the original Spider-Man trilogy directed by Sam Raimi and the MCU trilogy both touch upon the abuse and social isolation Peter Parker feels in high school, the comics presented him with far greater misery. On the page, Thompson’s bullying is more menacing and relentless in nature, including berating Peter for his bookish ways, busting his glasses, and referring to him derisively as “Puny Parker.” Given that Spider-Man’s alter ego appears scrawnier in the comics and that Flash feels more physically imposing, the threat of violence exists in a more pronounced way. This is why it is a bigger turning point for Parker’s personal growth when he finally stands up to his bully.,Related: Amazing Spider-Man’s Biggest Mistake Gets Even Worse in Marvel Comics,As a callback to his days of being bullied in high school, Peter Parker notes in The Amazing Spider-Man #2 by Zeb Wells and John Romita Jr. that Tombstone’s attempts to intimidate Spider-Man are in line with the view of villains as overpowered bullies. This is a class of scoundrel that he has dealt with often in his daily life. Parker says of the self-styled crime boss, “He’s a bully. He tries to move into your head. But I’ve been dealing with bullies my whole life. Threats don’t work on me.”,It slips under the radar, but Spider-Man’s intimate understanding of being the little guy may be just as consequential to his desire to protect the city as Uncle Ben’s famous advice of “With great power, comes great responsibility.” That is why when Uncle Ben abandoned this rhetoric, Spider-Man remained undeterred and still found a way to do what was right. When there was a mysticism added to Peter Parker’s fateful radioactive spider bite by The Gatekeeper in Amazing Spider-Man #507 by J. Michael Straczynski and John Romita Jr., this deity said it was precisely because of how he had suffered and longed to strike back that he was chosen. His list of abuse was extensive, describing times when he had been “tripped, struck, beaten and humiliated before others.”,His unfortunate history with bullying puts so much of Parker’s personality and ideals into better perspective, whether it is his dogged determination to get back up after any significant physical or psychological blows or Spider-Man’s ability to disarm his foes with humor. His banter is not just to amuse himself and others – but serves as a way to flip the script on bullies, laughing at them instead of being intimidated by them. With the pervasiveness of bullying in the real world, it is important to drill down into the torment that even one of the most likable heroes of all time suffered. By providing Peter Parker‘s trauma only in small doses in his big screen adventures, much of what has made Spider-Man so relatable, and an animus that drives him to this day, is missed.,Next: Marvel Comics Is Cheating Readers With Latest Spider-Man Cover,The Amazing Spider-Man #2 is available now from Marvel Comics.