"With great powers comes great responsibility." This is the motto that Spider-Man lives up to. He isn't the only one that sees this as the way of life once they've made the step to becoming a hero. It can be a thankless job with long hours and no time to relax but that's simply the life they've chosen.
Not all heroes live by this standard. There are some that have made an effort to brand themselves as an actual superhero. They've gone to great lengths in costume design and through their actions to tell the world and their fellow heroes in in the superhero community that they are there to do their job. Yet after all their talk and minimal action, they tend to do less than those around them.
Since there seems to always be a need for superheroes, is it a problem when these heroes decide to only perform heroic deeds when it suits them? What does this mean for the other heroes that have to work harder and save more lives to make up for these unmotivated heroes? Should these heroes simply be allowed to work when they feel like it or should more drastic action be taken against them?== TEASER ==
It's easy to say that because they are heroes and doing it because they can, they shouldn't be forced to always be on duty. The long hours and sacrifice can take its toll and some super-powered individuals may feel the little they do is more than enough. Every little bit can help and if they do their job with minimal effort, at least they are contributing something to the greater good.
Where this becomes a problem is for the other hero that has to work harder to make up for them. The heroes that embrace the obligation tend to be more active in order to get the job done. People depend on someone to be there and it falls to these heroes to make more sacrifices. Heroes like Batman, Spider-Man and even Wolverine are constantly running around saving lives. They rarely have time for their personal lives because they know someone needs to be out there doing the job. These are the heroes you see in multiple titles. You don't see these heroes getting a break often or being able to go on vacation. Yet some of their counterparts have no problem calling in sick or not showing up for their duty.
Some heroes have certain areas they patrol. This is the main place they work and can be expected to be around to save lives. They become known as the hero for that area and the citizens expect them to be there when they are needed. Take Daredevil for example. He does a lot for his community as a lawyer but hasn't always been there as a hero. He is supposed to be the hero of Hell's Kitchen but only seems to take on one battle at a time when he isn't out trying to romance the ladies. He recently even left his post which required Black Panther to step in to watch over Hell's Kitchen.
Is Daredevil less of a hero than Spider-Man? Not only does Spider-Man take on multiple enemies in order to save as many lives as possible, he's also become part of the Avengers and Future Foundation in order to reach and save even more lives. Daredevil has become part of the Avengers as well but how often has he actually been part of the team on missions? He's probably too busy with Black Cat, Kirsten McDuffie or who knows what else. To be blunt, it almost seems as if his priorities lie in his pants and his job as a hero helps him to have more 'fun.' He might have been fighting the "Megacrime Families for weeks" but with all the information he had on them, he could have easily taken them out. After needing Spider-Man and Punisher's help, he feels he deserves some time off while the others continue doing their duties.
There are other heroes that feel the need to step up and take more responsibility. The Thing also recently became part of the Avengers as well as being a member of the Future Foundation. Unlike the Human Torch, who seems to be content sitting around Peter Parker's apartment, going out on dates or throwing parties. Ben understands that he has an obligation to those in need. Hawkeye is a member of the Avengers, leader of the Secret Avengers, an occasional instructor at the Avengers Academy and even has time to go on missions with Captain America.
One hero can't do it all. They may get used to having to do it all but that doesn't mean it's what they want. It might seem that the less motivated hero's help will be welcome as every bit does help but others need to know who they can count on. The superheroes that have to constantly be on duty would probably love to be able to go on vacation but how can they rest knowing that those that should be covering for them can't fully be counted on? It's healthy for everyone to take some time for themselves but is that possible when it results in things falling apart because someone couldn't bring themselves to doing their duty?
If a person takes on the job as a hero, they should embrace it and be fully committed. They know what they are getting themselves into when accepting the responsibility. It's not a job that can be half-assed. Either they do it or turn in their costume. There are many that would love to be a beloved superhero. It's not fair to them, the community or the hero that has to do all the work.
(Note: Of course we don't really think Daredevil is lazy...but he sure does find time to do other things).