Josh Kominars

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The Hero’s Journey:

The Call: The call in the movie Spiderman is when Peter goes on a field trip to a laboratory where he is bit by a radioactive spider. He then returns to his Aunt and Uncles’ house that night and passes out in his bedroom. The next day, Peter wakes up with perfect vision, wrists that exert webs, and cat-like reflexes. Peter Parker changes from an everyday human to a man of great powers. The call in this film is when Peter Parker is bit by the spider and is initiated into the challenge of having spider-like powers.

The Threshold: After gaining new powers, Peter Parker witnesses a dispute between Mary Jane and her boyfriend who is bullying her. When her boyfriend starts a fight with Peter, Peter easily wins the fist-fight. Realizing that he has acquired spider-like powers from the spider bite, Peter climbs up walls, jumps rooftop to rooftop, and swings through the city. Peter enters the unknown world and trains himself for a world filled with challenges and danger.

The Challenge: One challenge in Spiderman is when Peter enters himself in a wrestling tournament with his newly set powers. In order to win money, he has to beat Bonesaw Mcgraw. The main reason Peter joins is that he wants to use the money to buy a sports car in order to impress Mary Jane. At the wrestling match, Peter defeats his competitor in an epic battle. Unfortunately, he only receives one hundred dollars due to winning the match early.

Another challenge in Spiderman is Spiderman’s first battle with the Green Goblin. Norman, who is the father of Peter’s best friend Harry Osborn, injects himself with an unusual chemical due to pressure from the military. Norman is now stronger and becomes insane, transforming into the Green Goblin. The Green Goblin goes on to kill his work assistant at Oscorp and several scientists who are his competitors. Peter Parker now has to stop the Green Goblin from killing more people in the Oscorp fair. Peter Parker, who is now Spiderman, drives the Green Goblin away at the fair and refuses to join his clan.

The Abyss: The Abyss is when Spiderman has to save Mary Jane and a bus full of children falling from a bridge simultaneously. When the Green Goblin finds out that Spiderman has feelings for Mary Jane, the Goblin lures Spiderman in by using his ultimate lover and fellow civilians. Even though it is a difficult task to save both the bus full of children and Mary Jane, Spiderman ends up rescuing both.

The Transformation: The Transformation takes place when Spiderman defeats the Green Goblin and returns the Goblin’s dead body home. Spiderman is then seen by his best friend Harry Osborne and quickly leaves. Spiderman realizes that he is the ultimate crime stopper, and it is his duty to protect the city.

The Revelation: The revelation occurs when Peter Parker attends Norman’s funeral (Green Goblin).After the funeral, Mary Jane tells Peter that she loves him. This is a sudden change in thinking for Peter.

Atonement: The atonement is when Peter tells Mary Jane that he can only be friends with her because he is dedicating his life to being Spiderman. Ultimately, Peter knows he cannot be with Mary Jane because it would be too dangerous, and other enemies would threaten their relationship. Peter walks away from Mary Jane, who is in tears.

The Return (with a Gift): Spiderman now understands his responsibility within the city. He returns to the city and recalls his Uncle Ben’s words: “With great power comes responsibility”.


Primary Character Archetypes:

Peter Parker is a modern, everyday man archetype. He goes to school just like the rest of the students attending high school in Forest Hills. Peter Parker has a few talents such as photography but no special talents like flying or climbing up buildings. Peter also lacks the ability to flirt with girls in his neighborhood/school.
Spiderman is the protagonist of the story and also the superhero archetype. He possesses spider-like senses and can cling and climb up walls. He also has perfect vision and webs attached to his wrists which enable him to swing from building to building. With all these special abilities, Spiderman is ultimately the savior and leader of the city. He saves the helpless and stops crime. His biggest task is to stop the Green Goblin from doing harm to the city. Spiderman is ultimately a champion, leader, and savior of many civilians.

Mary Jane can be considered the damsel in distress archetype. She is a vulnerable woman who is constantly used as bait to trap Spiderman. Mary Jane is consistently taken by the Green Goblin and must be rescued by Spiderman. Spiderman has always had feelings for her and Mary Jane uses him as her boy toy.

The Green Goblin can be categorized as a super villain archetype. He is armed with a variety of weapons including his “Goblin Glider” and also many small grenades and smoke bombs. The Green Goblin intends to defeat Spiderman in order to become the boss of crimes in the city. The Green Goblin constantly possesses a threat to the city and fights Spiderman in order to achieve his goals.

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Uncle Ben fits the archetype of a mentor. He takes the position of Peter Parker’s father throughout his life. Ben is not only protective of Peter, but also supportive with his studies. Then, Uncle Ben starts to worry when Peter starts acting out of the ordinary. He tells his nephew: “With great power comes great responsibility.” These words have a great impact on Peter, especially after Ben dies. They inspire Peter to become the well-known Spider-Man.

Impact of Archetypes on the Film as a Whole:

When a poisonous spider bites Peter Parker and gives him special powers, viewers are captured by this film. Such archetypes like the superhero show up frequently because everyone idolizes the idea of transforming from a normal everyday person to a well known hero. Most people would love being popular, and to transform from zero to hero, would fulfill a person’s dreams.

It is obvious that after receiving spider-like powers, Spiderman will face a challenge, or more specific, a super villain. We also accept the fact of a bad guy and how it is Spiderman’s duty to defeat him. Throughout our everyday life, we encounter enemies such as everyday bullies. In the film, Spiderman not only faces the everyday bully, but also a destructive villain.