A Strider92 Rant: Spider-man Misconceptions

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Posted by Strider92 (16163 posts) - - Show Bio

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:

Shapeshifting

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

Or:

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:

SPOILER WARNING: Click here to reveal hidden content.

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:

Spider-man's webbing:

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:

Tearing/cutting just makes it worse!

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 :)

#1 Posted by danhimself (22318 posts) - - Show Bio

the symbiote suit also had pocket universe pockets where he could store things like his camera

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#2 Posted by Veshark (9058 posts) - - Show Bio

Interesting reading here. I'd forgotten entirely about the electrostatic cling thing.

But to my understanding, the black costume didn't stem from Julia Carpenter's suit, but rather from a fan named Randy Schueller who proposed the idea. Here's his story if you're interested.

#3 Edited by Strider92 (16163 posts) - - Show Bio

@Veshark: It may have done but in the comic it was stated shown that Spider-man was thinking of Carpenter's suit when he imagined what he wanted it too look like:

Spider-woman's costume had been designed prior to the letter so i'm guessing the letter may have kick-started the idea for a change in suit it was basically a male version of Julia's suit.

#4 Posted by danhimself (22318 posts) - - Show Bio

@Veshark said:

Interesting reading here. I'd forgotten entirely about the electrostatic cling thing.

But to my understanding, the black costume didn't stem from Julia Carpenter's suit, but rather from a fan named Randy Schueller who proposed the idea. Here's his story if you're interested.

what he's saying is that Peter influenced the look of the suit because he had been thinking of Julia Carpenter's suit

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#5 Posted by Veshark (9058 posts) - - Show Bio

Ah, my mistake then. I thought you meant that the person who designed the black suit ripped it off Julia Carpenter's design.

#6 Posted by danhimself (22318 posts) - - Show Bio

@Veshark said:

Ah, my mistake then. I thought you meant that the person who designed the black suit ripped it off Julia Carpenter's design.

they very well could have and probably did

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#7 Posted by Phaedrusgr (1668 posts) - - Show Bio

@Strider92: Speechless. Priceless. Amazing job.

#8 Posted by TrueMarvel (196 posts) - - Show Bio

New favorite poster

#9 Posted by Lvenger (18521 posts) - - Show Bio

At last someone has addressed a good lot of misconceptions about Spidey's powers and put it in a coherent manner. Excellent job mate!

#10 Posted by Ganavaras (2 posts) - - Show Bio
#11 Edited by laflux (14380 posts) - - Show Bio

@Strider92: A very well done post. But then again, would I expect any less. Do you take any additions? If not, then I'm adding them anyway :P

The fact is, consistent feats put Spider-Man's rest strength at around double that of ten tonnes IMO, and under emotional duress, this rockets even further.

Here he explain how he can lift Hundred's of times his own body weight. That indicates he can lift at least 200 times his own body weight, which would by conservative estimates, would equate to more than ten tonnes. In the above picture he lifts a bus without no strain whatsoever. In fact he cleans and jerks it over his head rather than dead-lifting it. Buses on average tend to weigh considerably more than 10 tonnes (13-14), and he's doing it with no effort whatsoever.

Now when I first saw this scan, I thought it was out of character. However, Mcfarlane latter stated that they were small tanks, which can weigh as little as 7- 15 tonnes. If we take that as a the smallest figure, Spider-Man was not only able to dead at least 7 tonnes of Tank. but swing and rag-doll it into another tank with enough force to completely wreck both of them. That indicates that he can simply lift much more than Ten tonnes. Since when can someone completely ragdoll 70% of their maximum lifting capacity like that?

Here, although he says its everything he's got, he is not under any real pressure, and he decimates half of an apartment.

Shrunk to the size of a mouse and still knocking out full-sized people.

Dismantling Sentinels without showing strain.

None of these feats included Spider-Man under any emotional duress

#12 Posted by PunyParker (9031 posts) - - Show Bio

@Strider92: THANK YOU!

I wanted that stuff figured out long ago!

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#13 Posted by VeganDiet (994 posts) - - Show Bio

@Strider92: Another thing you could add for the "Not a 10 tonner" section: In Marvel Knights Spider-man 11 or 12, can't remember, he pulled down a building on Gargan Venom. Didn't break support struts or anything, just pulled it right down.

#14 Posted by laflux (14380 posts) - - Show Bio

@VeganDiet said:

@Strider92: Another thing you could add for the "Not a 10 tonner" section: In Marvel Knights Spider-man 11 or 12, can't remember, he pulled down a building on Gargan Venom. Didn't break support struts or anything, just pulled it right down.

Right on it

See got nothing on me

#15 Posted by YourNeighborhoodComicGeek (19975 posts) - - Show Bio

Rip-off of Julia's original costume? I thought Peter accidentally got the costume on Battleworld by using the wrong machine and it just looked very similar.

#16 Posted by Strider92 (16163 posts) - - Show Bio

@YourNeighborhoodComicGeek said:

Rip-off of Julia's original costume? I thought Peter accidentally got the costume on Battleworld by using the wrong machine and it just looked very similar.

He did but it only came out like that because Pete was thinking about Julia Carpenter's costume ^Scan is up there^

#17 Posted by infonation (1665 posts) - - Show Bio

@Strider92: Wait! Maybe the black suit DID enhance spidey's strength, but he was too tired to realize it because it kept taking him out on patrols while he slept so his muscles were sore enough to make it seem like he wasn't getting any stronger even though he was! Either that or the suit wasn't feeding off his aggression often enough and couldn't live up to it's full potential until it encountered someone as angry and bitter as Eddie Brock!

#18 Posted by Sovereign91001 (4030 posts) - - Show Bio

Oh this is good! I have a feeling I'll be using this thread as a reference... .

@Strider92: One I see a lot of is the strength (or lack of to be specific) of his webbing, maybe you could do a post addressing that point?

#19 Posted by Phaedrusgr (1668 posts) - - Show Bio

@Ganavaras: Gan, this post of yours is absolutely amazing!

P.S. I hope it doesn't upset any Wolverine fanboys!

#20 Posted by Lvenger (18521 posts) - - Show Bio

@Phaedrusgr: That's an older scan though in all honesty. In more recent issues Wolverine has shown lower level superhuman strength, benching a few tons but nothing on Spider-Man's level.

#21 Posted by Smart_Dork_Dude (2616 posts) - - Show Bio

@Strider92: This is, dare I say, amazing!! Also as for his strength level, I've always thought he was at least a 20 tonner for a while

#22 Posted by Phaedrusgr (1668 posts) - - Show Bio

@Lvenger: I know it's an old scan and I'm a fan of Wolverine myself. Just wanted to drop some gun powder, lol...Nevertheless, it's a great scan, you got to admit it!

P.S. Wolverine can bench a few tons? Really? Nice...

#23 Posted by Lvenger (18521 posts) - - Show Bio

@Phaedrusgr: I do like it for what it's worth. Maybe Marvel should make an updated version.

Yeah a few feats like breaking chains, lifting several men above his head with one arm and tossing them through a wall. Small stuff like that

#24 Posted by YourNeighborhoodComicGeek (19975 posts) - - Show Bio

@Strider92 said:

@YourNeighborhoodComicGeek said:

Rip-off of Julia's original costume? I thought Peter accidentally got the costume on Battleworld by using the wrong machine and it just looked very similar.

He did but it only came out like that because Pete was thinking about Julia Carpenter's costume ^Scan is up there^

Ooh okay. I thought you meant the writers ripped off Julia's costume.

#25 Posted by mewmdude77 (993 posts) - - Show Bio

I think the black suit didn't increase his strength, but I think it increased his speed and agility. This is a really awesome thread though. I always thought Peter was stronger than they were letting on. He does hold back so much. I personally think he still holds back against his villains. I think he's a lot smarter than they say too.

#26 Posted by VeganDiet (994 posts) - - Show Bio

So I've come across a very odd misconception around the web. The misconception is that Spidey isn't very durable. Some have claimed that he is only peak human durability. Is there anyway someone more gifted than I in the art of scan acquisition could help me dispel this misconception?

#27 Posted by ULTRAstarkiller (5967 posts) - - Show Bio

@Strider92: Then why did he get rid of it?

#28 Posted by TrueMarvel (196 posts) - - Show Bio

@ULTRAstarkiller: Because Venom kidnapped MJ. After the whole event. a scared MJ asked peter to retire that suit forever. H

#29 Edited by Strider92 (16163 posts) - - Show Bio

@Sovereign91001 said:

Oh this is good! I have a feeling I'll be using this thread as a reference... .

@Strider92: One I see a lot of is the strength (or lack of to be specific) of his webbing, maybe you could do a post addressing that point?

Visiting family in France family atm so I don't have a lot of time to dig around however once i'm back at home I shall look into it as there are quite a few inconsistencies with his webbing and a lot of misconceptions about how it actually works.

@VeganDiet said:

So I've come across a very odd misconception around the web. The misconception is that Spidey isn't very durable. Some have claimed that he is only peak human durability. Is there anyway someone more gifted than I in the art of scan acquisition could help me dispel this misconception?

This I can address now as I have the scans in my library to back it up. So I don't have to dig around. I've updated the OP if your interested.

#30 Posted by VeganDiet (994 posts) - - Show Bio

@Strider92: Awesome. These'll come in handy. Thanks man.

#31 Posted by kfhrfdu_89_76k (3720 posts) - - Show Bio

This is great. Learned new stuff.

So, about Spideys durability. Would it be possible, that since Spiders have some form of super-durability too (as opposed to humans) that Peter got the power of durability from the radioactive critter that bit him? If Spiders really can take more beating than humans (well, compared), yes, I would think so.

#32 Posted by Strider92 (16163 posts) - - Show Bio

@Sovereign91001 said:

@Strider92: One I see a lot of is the strength (or lack of to be specific) of his webbing, maybe you could do a post addressing that point?

I've addressed the webbing in the OP if you're interested :)

#33 Posted by muhabba (293 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm posting this on my mobile so I can't back up what I'm about to say as well as you have. Spidy is considered a 10 tonner from the old Marvel Handbooks, they always listed his upperbody strength in the 10 ton range but artists of course have artistic licence. His extra durability was attributed to his muscle and bone density being augmented because of the spider bite. Also his ligaments were enhaced by the spider bite so it became like when people say to go limp to survive an accident, he's just limpier. Also the spider bite gave him a bit of a healing factor. Nothing like Wolverine but enough he would only need to wear Aunt May's make-up for a couple of days to hide his bruises. I miss those old Handbooks.

#34 Posted by Strider92 (16163 posts) - - Show Bio

@muhabba said:

Nothing like Wolverine but enough he would only need to wear Aunt May's make-up for a couple of days to hide his bruises. I miss those old Handbooks.

This is true and his healing has got a lot better since the original handbook. He's healed broken bones and gun shot over night. Heck he even recovered his sight after going blind in only a few minutes:

#35 Posted by TDK_1997 (14486 posts) - - Show Bio

Interesting blog post.

#36 Posted by Yung ANcient One (4654 posts) - - Show Bio

Ok I agree with almost everything, but can you explain how Eddie Brock got freakishly strong out of no where? Also why Spidey doesn't dodge everything?

(+)

#37 Edited by Strider92 (16163 posts) - - Show Bio

@Yung ANcient One said:

Ok I agree with almost everything, but can you explain how Eddie Brock got freakishly strong out of no where?

In the comics the symbiote copied the powers of its initial host in this case Spider-man. So when it left Pete it took a copy of his powers with it. The strength of the host is also dependent on their physical condition. Brock was a bodybuilder who could lift far more than Pete could before he got his abilities thus he was stronger due to the fact the symbiote compensated for his extra muscle by taking it and adding it to Spider-man's powerset. For example although Gargan was the worst Venom in terms of jobbing (I don't count Angelo) but he was still by FAR the strongest in physical strength due to him being a 10tonner before getting the symbiote. Gargan was at a whopping 50-60tons at one point which is far above Brock (25tons) and Spider-man (20tons). At one point it was also stated by Brock when referring to Carnage that being in the Earth's atmosphere augmented and changed the symbiote hence why Carnage was far stronger and faster than Brock and Spider-man. This could have indirectly effected the Venom-symbiote if all it takes is Earth's atmosphere to augment it.

@Yung ANcient One said:

Also why Spidey doesn't dodge everything?

There is only one reason for this and that is plot purposes. Against projectiles and quite a few other things he should have no problems with speed like this:

The only reason he is hit by that sort of thing is entirely for plot purposes.

#38 Posted by Rumble Man (11119 posts) - - Show Bio

@Ganavaras: Who's the dude who looks like lord savior jesus christ?

#39 Posted by Yung ANcient One (4654 posts) - - Show Bio

@Strider92: I applaud you my friend you are truly a Spider-Man fan, and I like your answers. I am glad I am following you.

(+)

#40 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29499 posts) - - Show Bio

I really hate when people think the symbiote gave Spider-man increased strength and started to drive him insane in the comics.

Although it actually is an improvement on the original plot, which is why the 90s show did it in the first place.

#41 Posted by muhabba (293 posts) - - Show Bio

I forget the issue, it was either ASM #300 or one of Brock's earlier returns and Spidy said that the symbiote took a copy of his powers; copying Spidy's strength and adding it to Brock and thus Venom is stronger than Spidy, Spidy's spider-sence and giving it to Brock and therefore being able to negate it, and as for Carnage the copying of Venom (Peter/Spidy + Brock) made Carnage that much stronger and Carnage's other powers (the solid forms that could detach from his body and so on) came from his gestation in Earth's atmosphere.

#42 Posted by Sapperjak (66 posts) - - Show Bio

@Rumble Man said:

@Ganavaras: Who's the dude who looks like lord savior jesus christ?

Wondarr. The only reason I know is because he was in one of the Marvel Zombie comics and he was able to concentrate the "hunger gospal" and cleanse it from his being. Pretty neat. Get infected in a world full of zombies and be the only one who can over come it just to get bitten again. lol

#43 Posted by consolemaster001 (4992 posts) - - Show Bio

@Ganavaras said:

Good ol' spidey

#44 Edited by w0nd (2957 posts) - - Show Bio

Good read, I appreciate the write up. I assume the retconned what the symbiote did for the person wearing it. Much like how venom never use to look like the hulk with fangs, he was just a better version of spider-man.

I admit I watched the fox kids episode before reading the story :P

#45 Posted by JimTheSurfer (560 posts) - - Show Bio

the symbiote suit also had pocket universe pockets where he could store things like his camera

Pocket universe? Something like that exists!?

#46 Posted by Strider92 (16163 posts) - - Show Bio
#47 Posted by Ninjablade09 (3105 posts) - - Show Bio

Great read. Didn't know that the symbiote didn't increase his strength.

#48 Posted by Strider92 (16163 posts) - - Show Bio

@ninjablade09: Yeah that is a very big misconception and was enforced when Raimi added it to his movie.

#49 Posted by Ninjablade09 (3105 posts) - - Show Bio

@strider92: Interesting. I figured it did because I watched the 90's show, and then it was in Spider-man 3 so I went with it. Was a big fan of Spider-man since 2001, but hadn't really gotten into comics until after my Aunt gave me a subscription to Amazing so I really got on during BND. I also read Ultimate so I think there they also had the black suit enhance his strength so that also influenced my belief.

#50 Edited by JimTheSurfer (560 posts) - - Show Bio

@jimthesurfer: Yeah the symbiote had that at one point.

That's the most epic thing I've heard this month. And month is nearly over!

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