Friday, April 3, 2015

Why Spider-Man Should Be Married


So I just read this article here on IGN, which states that Spider-Man should remain single. I disagree fundamentally. Spider-Man is a story about growing up, responsibility, and finding your place within the world. That's what the mythos are at it's core. Marriage is natural part of growing up for many of us, so it makes sense for the everyman of comics to face what the everyman does: commitment to someone else. Furthermore, nothing makes someone feel as in over their heads as fatherhood. You want a beleaguered Peter? Try being a father who has to go take out the Rhino, that's much more complicated. And finally Peter and MJ do actually belong together. The two of them (especially in JMS's run) share a common core and MJ is in much the same boat as Peter being a super-model as he is being a superhero. 

Spider-Man is the ultimate everyman, the guy who is a hero while still going home and maintaining everything that a normal man can under the circumstances. What's more normal than having someone to share your life with?  Peter's a good guy, he would attract someone like that to himself eventually. Heck, it doesn't make sense if he doesn't , most Americans will. That creates a different type of story, to be sure. Peter now has to deal with living with someone else and how he and his wife will change as a result. Given how tumultuous a marriage can be without the added stress of supervillains screwing up your home that makes for one eventful marriage and one heck of a story. Again, JMS pulled it off, what's preventing other writers from doing that? If they're not even able to grasp that basic part of Spidey then what are they doing writing him in the first place?

And a lot of people comment on how Peter wouldn't be so down on his luck and identifiable as a married man. Excuse me, but what universe do you live in, where being a father and husband doesn't immediately give you a whole host of commitments that are stressful to keep without being a superhero? Can I live there? Cause, as a husband and as-of-last-week father, that sounds like a nice world to live in! Things get much more complicated as a normal dude, I can't imagine what it would be like  to be Spider-Man on top of that. That's a good story.

Finally, the article in question asks why it has to be MJ, since Peter's had multiple loves. Um, who are you counting here? Black Cat? Cause that looks a lot more like lust a lot of the time than love. Ooh, Betty Brant? Yeah, she's with Flash, probably not such a true love thing (and even if she isn't right now you certainly get my point). No, it has to be MJ at the end, and that's because the two of them are actually very similar in all the right ways. MJ, as a model, has a lot of public scrutiny on her and projects her own image, producing her own secret identity. I always saw the two characters as being more of a yin-yang, sharing the same core while expressing it in very different ways. That's MJ portrayed at her best and I can't imagine those two not being together.

To say that Peter is more relatable being single is to miss the entire point as to what marriage gave him (or sometimes did, depending on the quality of the writer) in the first place. All you have to do is to take what normally happens in a marriage and run with it. It's easier said than done as some of those 20 years of marriage showed, but at it's core it's still the same hard-on-his-luck guy trying to make his way in a world that requires him to be a hero, even if he really doesn't feel like one a lot of the time. If anything, marriage would just make that matter more.