Comic book realism 05.15.2007
You have good metaphors. You have good analysis. And then you have taking and analyzing something much too seriously. The article attempts to couch Spider-Man in real world terms. I have nothing against the article, merely the way it exploits pop to strike home a point only marginally related to anything in said pop.
Why he has to remain poor is not explained very well. He complains that the door on his apartment doesn’t work right, but he doesn’t think to hop over to Home Depot and pick up a new knob. The paint in his apartment is cracking and dingy but he somehow can’t take a Sunday afternoon off to do some renovation work, and neither can his proletarian landlord across the hall. He has to use a payphone to make calls when he could just Skype (actually, it is rather interesting: I can’t recall any computers in the film at all). He keeps selling his photos at below market rates, without thinking to offer them to a newspaper besides the Daily Bugle.
The really easy answer to all of this is: it’s not real.
It’s a comic book. With comic book physics and comic book justice and comic book governments and comic book society.
If Peter Parker were real, he’d be in bed, sick, withered, balding, and dying from radiation.