“Hey everyone.” With those two simple words, the latest trailer for Captain America: Civil War reminded me that Spider-Man is my all-time favourite superhero, hands down, and made it clear that I have to drag Jay to yet another superhero movie.
My love of Spidey started as a six year old who could not stop watching the 1960s cartoon, the one where Spider-Man would swing across the same three weirdly coloured sky backgrounds with no real need for anything to swing from (he swung across the Everglades at one point, above all the trees)! I am humming the theme song right now and hopefully so are you. I truly can’t imagine a better intro to a cartoon or a better gateway drug into the world of comic book consumerism.
Then came the comic books themselves. I still remember getting my first Spider-Man comic like it was yesterday. My parents bought it for me and it was, of course, a battle between Spidey and Doctor Octopus, where Spider-Man ends up saving Doc Ock at the end, because that’s what Spidey does.
From there, I was hooked. As I got older and realized that comics cost money, I supported my habit with paper route earnings. I wasted a bit of time buying Superman comics but quickly wised up and returned to Spider-Man. Though not quickly enough, as by the time I started buying Todd McFarlane-era Spider-Man comics, it was the height of the comic book speculation boom and some of them cost $20 each (which was a lot to a paperboy).
Of course, the market crashed soon afterwards but by that time I had moved on to playing sports, though occasionally I still drew my own comics until I got suspended from high school for it (seriously).
As a side note, my inker on that ill-fated high school comic strip ended up both rappelling down Toronto’s city hall in a Spider-Man costume and writing Spider-Man into Marvel’s recent reboot of Howard the Duck. As for me, the closest I ever came to wearing a superhero costume was owning a pair of Superman underoos. Underoos! “Hey everyone.” And with that, the circle is closed.