By Strider92 53 Comments
I thought i'd take the time to shed some light about some of Spider-man's more confusing attributes as i've seen a lot of the same mistakes being made over and over again so here goes.
The Symbiote did NOT make Spider-man stronger:
This is one of the biggest misconceptions there is about Spider-man. Due to the Ultimate Universe, The Movies and the TV shows a lot of people think the Symbiote actually made Spider-man stronger, faster and enhanced his anger/took his morals. In fact it did nothing of the sort. When Spider-man first encountered the Symbiote on Battleworld and took to wearing it as his suit it did not enhance his abilities or take away his morals.
Here is the list of abilities the Symbiote actually gave him:
- Organic Webbing
- Change it's outward appearance
- A telepathic connection allowing Spider-man to call it to him and communicate with it
And yep thats pretty much it. Its thanks to things like the 90's TAS:
That people think it augmented his abilities when in reality 616 Spidey had no augmented abilities or aggression.
(fun fact: Spider-mans Black Suit was actually a rip-off of Julia Carpenter's original Spider-woman costume)
Spider-man's Spider-sense ISN'T just a warning of danger:
This is another common misconception. Spider-man's spider-sense is far more complex than just a danger warning sense and its full potential is often overlooked or largely unknown in battle thread in particular. His Spider-sense does not just warn him about the impending danger but actually forces him to avoid it. If it was a simple warning of danger it would not differ from DareDevil's radar sense but it does work differently.
I'll use DD's radar sense as the example to illustrate the difference as the two have been compared quite a bit. If someone points a gun at DareDevil he can tell via his radar sense when the man is going to fire and when to avoid the danger. So in a sequence it would go something like this:
Trigger is about to be pulled> DD senses it> thinks about moving to avoid> his body responds to the information collected by his brain and moves
Or more simplified:
Danger> Danger warning> Think about moving> Move
Now Spider-sense works differently in 1 respect and that difference makes it phenomenally different. That difference is that Spider-man does not need to think about moving. When his danger sense goes off it forces him to move automatically and without need for conscious thought or decision to do so. So in Spider-man's case:
Trigger is about to be pulled> Spider-man senses it> His body reflexively responds
Danger> Danger warning> Move
Now this may seem only a small difference but the effect is very very big. Whereas most people have to make a conscious decision to react Spider-man does not his body automatically chooses the optimum way to avoid getting hurt without having to think. So to put it simply his spider-sense can and does react faster than his enemies or even himself can think. Now you can really see how fast his reactions are when using his Spider-sense and that it is not a simple warning of danger. Here's some scans that illustrate the point:
In the first scan he says "put your reactions on auto-pilot" inferring he does not need to think to react. In the second it states it outright in the first box.
Spider-man is a NOT 10 tonner:
The generally accepted strength level for Spider-man is 10tons but this is far from the case. Even when not under duress Spider-man has performed feats over the 10ton range for example:
Here Spider-man is under no kind of duress and manages to bring down a huge portion of a building into the river now you might say something like "All he has to is break the supports and the building comes down by itself" however you also have to take into account the level of strength required to do that with pressure of the entire building holding it in place. What makes this even more impressive is that he is also pushing against the pressure of the water.
Here's another that is far simpler to analyze:
I'm sorry but look at the size of that thing and without anger, motivation or duress he is keeping it off the ground with hardly any trouble. Now helicopters range in weight from only a few hundred kg to the massive people carrier ones that are in the high end multiple ton region.
With motivation anger and duress his true strength does emerge from time to time:
My point is that he is used as a 10tonner when really he can and has without anger and duress used his full strength when he has to. So him being a 10tonner without becoming strained is wrong it would take visibly more than 10tons before putting him under strain.
Spider-man does NOT use hairs on his fingers to stick to walls:
Although this one is less common I have seen it crop up a few times so I feel I should address it. Although real Spiders do use small hairs in order to grip to things Spider-man does not. Spider-man 2099 (O'Hara) uses fibrous claws made up of these hairs and so is closer to how a spider would truly climb than Peter. This myth came from the first Sam Rami film where we see the shot of the hairs growing on Peter's fingers. If you have never asked yourself how Spider-man clings to walls in the comics then this seems like a reasonable conclusion to jump to however 616 Peter's clinging powers work differently.
In the comics Peter in fact uses Electrostatic force to cling to objects. The ability manifests itself in the form of mental control over the flux of inter-atomic attraction between molecular boundary layers. So he is in fact using this to force attraction between molecules and is not limited to his hands and feet (any part of his body can stick to any surface including places like his back or chest). Something that when you think about it is VERY big deal. He essentially sticks to things using this form bio-electrostatic force on a molecular level not simple surface adhesion. To illustrate the point Kaine, Peter's clone uses this ability offensively:
The reason it burns is because Kaine can use his ability to stick to walls in the same manner as Spider-man but is instead is using the ability to repulse/break down the molecular bonds that he would normally try to attract in order to stick to surfaces. Once you actually look at the enormity of what is being done here then in theory Kaine is in fact breaking down what he touches on a molecular level. This is essentially tactile molecular manipulation.
If this truly is the case (which it does seem to be) Spider-man's ability to stick to walls and Kaine's ability to use his burning touch could be considered a molecular level attack and given that even Carnage felt his burn twice despite the fact he has thrown down with much stronger and more powerful opponents and not been hurt in the slightest it does make sense an attack that is attacking the symbiote on a molecular level would undoubtedly hurt like hell.
Spider-man does NOT have peak human level durability:
Now Spider-man isn't the most durable guy on the block and unlike people such as Luke Cage he is not bullet-proof. However simply because a bullet doesn't bounce off him does that make him human level of durability? Of course not. Spider-man is far more durable than say Captain America or Batman. Honestly I could go into details and show countless scans but it is so much easier just to post this one scan and let you guys dispel the illusion yourselves. I've put it in a spoiler block as the scan is so damn massive:
Now Rhino is an 80tonner and not only was Spider-man not ko'd after that but still on his feet. The kind of beating he took there would not have ko'd someone like Cap or Batman but killed them outright.
Another example is Spider-man grabbing onto a missile flying out god knows how far and fast and having it blow up in his face again well beyond peak human:
If you need anymore convincing when visiting a doctor the man told him that the injuries were humanly impossible for any normal human to survive:
Now you may be wondering why this doesn't have a more specific title well the reason that is, is because a lot of how it works and how strong it is, is large unknown or inconsistent so to go over this i'm going to use what has been given to us by Marvel/Spider-man themselves. First is how strong his webbing is. Now one thing to bare in mind is that Spider-man has used organic webbing in the past (notably post-Disassembled) so the strength has varied with the different versions. I however will only be addressing his artificial webbing as it has more quantifiable feats and thus is easier to gauge.
Spider-man's webbing is stated to have a tensile strength of 120lbs per square millimeter:
This means that to break a mere millimeter of it you would need to apply 54kilos worth of force and a staggering half ton of force for only 1 centimeter (this information was found on another site but I checked it out myself and it seems to be right). Now Spidey's MO is to incap people and if a single centimeter strand takes half a ton of force to break imagine if he where to coat you it in it? 2 centimeters would require 1 ton of force, 4 centimeters would require 2 tons and so on. if you where coated in the stuff it would undoubtedly require a high range tonner to break out of it (80-100tons) and given that he can change the thickness of the strand it is theoretically possible for him to create a strand only a mere centimeter long that could take up to 10tons of force to break thats just a single centimeter!:
One argument that comes up a lot is that people can cut Spider-man's webbing and this is true to a certain extent. Something people tend to forget (or might not even know) is that his webbing is sticky all over not just the tips. This means that attempting to cut or tear it will only result in getting more and more caught in said webbing:
So if someone like say Wolverine were to attempt to cut it they would just end up getting more caught up and worse off for it.
I'll probably update this as I find other things that I feel need addressing crop up. If you have a suggestion go ahead and post it below :)