Monday, August 10, 2009

Here Comes the Spider-Man

Magnet # 7: Spider-Man Hologram

Material: Plastic

Purchased by: N/A - given to me, free

So just what is the average life-span of an arachnid? Because this one's lasted a pretty long time! Spidey debuted this month, back in 1962 (no specific date). His first appearance was in the final issue of Amazing Fantasy, # 15. He marked a major shift in the depiction of comic heroes. Until then, heroes like Superman, Batman, and Captain America were pretty much idealized, adult human beings and their major problems consisted of duking it out with supervillans. Sure, Batman had suffered the tragic loss of his parents and Superman as Clark Kent was ignored by Lois Lane, but writers didn't dwell on those issues.

Enter Stan Lee. With Steve Ditko at his side, he created a skinny teenager superhero with problems readers themselves faced. He was alienated by his peers. He was constantly broke. His love life was either nonexistant or a total joke. And, thanks to the Spider-Man movie, practically everyone knows how he was partially responsible for the death of his beloved Uncle Ben. That's some serious angst! And that was something readers latched onto and demanded to see more of. Spider-Man returned to the newsstands in March of 1963 with his own comic book and has gone on to become Marvel Comic's flagship character. This spider sure seems to have a lot of life left in him.

So, yeah, I like comics. And Spidey is a favorite of mine. I read far less comics than I have in the past, but I always like to know what's going on with him. As for this magnet, it used to be a sticker until I put a magnet on the back. I'm pretty sure it was a freebie I received in a bag of goodies given to me at the end of a tour of Marvel Studios back in 2000.

Yes, I have toured Marvel Headquarters in New York City. It was extremely memorable, considering they had all kinds of Marvel paraphenalia and Spidey himself was the tour guide. I first found out this was possible in an issue of Wizard, the comic-focused magazine. They warned the wait list for a tour could be years long, but I mentioned the tour to a professor at my college who was organizing a trip to the city, and he was awesome and contacted them to set up the tour on my behalf. Maybe that's why we were able to bypass the wait list? Only about six of us went, but I think we all had a pretty great time. If you're interested, contact them about a tour. Even if you have to wait, it's well worth it.

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