It would be the acme of foolishness to bake Spider-Man a rhubarb pie, as way of reciprocation, should he save you from one of the Green Goblin’s pumpkin bombs. Don’t get me wrong. Pies are nice, but as we all know: ACTION is the Spider-Man’s TRUE reward.
YES, Virginia, Spider-Man is an adrenaline junkie. One might get the impression that ole’ Web-Head regularly engages in sports that we meager mortals might deem X-TREME. Our minds begin to conjure pictures of Spidey bungie-jumping off of the Empire State Building with his webbing or competing in the New York Marathon by running along the sides of buildings.
Imagine if Mayor Bloomberg had managed to get the Olympic games for New York! It would have been a prime target for super-villainy, as most of Spidey’s foes are blubbery dorks like Dr. Octopus and The Vulture who probably hate decent things like curling, ping-pong and the luge. NOW Imagine Spider-Man competing in a snow-boarding competition with Slyde, the frictionless bank robber, or playing solo as the only member of the US Hockey team not affected by a shrink-ray against Dr. Doom’s Latverian team of identical Doom-Bots!
Wow, this stuff just writes itself.
NO, NO, NO! I’m getting way ahead of myself. YES Spidey does what he has to do to keep us safe, but remember: the Amazing Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker, and his alter ego is far more spectacled than spectacular. Peter Parker is an amateur chemist, a professional photographer and likes to wear sweater vests. In short: he is a nerd.
WHATEVER A SPIDER CAN
Peter is nerd in dress and a nerd in action. As a nerd, Peter enjoys comic books, Weird Al music and, of course, gaming. He especially loves strategy games like Axis and Allies and Risk. Take for example Amazing Spider-Man #533, the issue after he unmasked publicly for the first time. Peter was almost late to the unmasking NOT because the 6 train suddenly stopped running local (a common occurrence in the lives of most New Yorkers) NOR because he had to fight Swarm, a Nazi skeleton covered in Bees (a common occurrence in the life of Spider-Man) but because he was playing the Settlers of Catan board game with nerd buddies Henry Pym and Hank McCoy, the Avenger’s known as Yellow-Jacket and the Beast!
Spidey prefers to be the red pieces and prefers to build his cities quickly rather than buying development cards.
And who can forget Amazing Spider-Man #603 where we learn that NOT ONLY is Aunt May going to get married to John Jonah Jameson, father of the Daily Bugle publisher and perpetual Parker foil J. Jonah Jameson, but that Pete is a 57th level Night Elf warrior who fights for the Horde on the Twisting Nethers server?
In DC vs. Marvel #2 (this is WAY back in 1996, kids) Spidey is comparing utility belts with Batman and quips “Does your’s have a place to store your Magic Cards, too?”
Peter Parker is Nerd-core.
So the next time Spider-Man pulls you out from underneath falling debris or stops the elevated train from falling off a bridge by applying the ole’ Flintstone’s brake-pads to the problem, you might want to think about thanking him in a manner befitting a nerd. Invite him over to your place for some beers and a game of Apples to Apples, Scrabble or even Bananagrams.
Just don’t break out your copy of Scene It “Spider-Man Edition.” He doesn’t have to play that one, man. He LIVED it.