One More Job… The Careers of Peter Parker

Posted on March 4, 2010 by


Over the years Peter Parker has held many different careers and has been a constant sign of the times. This is proven no different as Marvel’s web-slinging poster child is about to face another dose of reality. In the coming issue of The Amazing Spider-Man Peter Parker will join the unending army of unemployed people in North America. At a time when newspapers are cutting slack faster than a cracked out tailor it stands to reason even the made-up newspapers would not be safe.

Puny Parker has taken on many professions trying to afford his life. In the beginning there is the infamous limited time he spent as a wrestler for hire. Who can ever forget him taking on Macho Man Randy Savage? (Okay this was in the movie and his name was Bone Saw, but the scene had Savage and Bruce Campbell. That is awesome enough to even get mentioned here.) This little venture of course led to one of the most remembered and quoted scenes in comic history with Uncle Ben dying at the hands of the robber he chose not to stop.

This little financial setback and heart shattering moment was not enough to keep this spunky high schooler down. Much like all newcomers he went to the Daily Bugle to show he had spunk. J. Jonah Jameson loves spunk! Oh wait… that was that TV show… oh well he still got the job as a freelance photographer snapping shots of Spider-Man everywhere he goes. Of course the fact Parker happened to be Spider-Man didn’t hurt.

You know with the deal with Mephisto resetting time and getting a gig taking pictures of himself kind of proves Parker is a damn dirty cheat. Can you really blame Eddie Brock for hating him in the first place and then even more once he found Parker was cheating? This little blemish on the flawless face of journalistic photography aside it was the first way to pay the bills that didn’t involve swinging people around and beating them senseless. Oh… wait… damn I really gotta stop doing that.

At one point Peter Parker graduated from a troubled youth in High School to an even worse off struggling College student. First off if Parker was so smart he could re-organize genes, figure out how to build web shooters, and outsmart the smartest men alive how did he not end up at MIT? That aside let’s run down the current issues in Peter’s life. He has not just villains but super villains trying to kill him daily, he has tests to study for, his Aunt is always in need of financial help, and his job was that of a freelance photographer. Things were really picking for the web-head at this point in life.

Jokes aside it was shortly after this that he finally gave into love and married his long time gal pal Mary Jane Watson. He then took on a job as a High School teacher. We all know how well High School went for him the first time so it only makes sense he goes back. Again the guy is a super genius and he does not go to MIT and he is now teaching High School students. Can someone explain this to me? (If you can please put it into the comment section so that all can gain this knowledge as I cannot be the only one bothered by this.)

Now we enter a bit better known time. The Age of Mephisto, otherwise known as Brand New Day. After Peter made a deal with Marvel’s resident keeper of the crossroads (no not the atrocity of humanity that is the Britney Spears movie) he became single again and went back to his old pure freelancer job. Mind you since no one knows who he is, Aunt May is not gone, and he is not protecting MJ left and right this was a much easier job. Though as this article started off with we know this too is coming to a swift end.

Now Peter Parker is joining the forces of those on unemployment in this withering economy. This is not the first time Spider-Man has been used to show how hard the world is. In of the most debated comics in history Spider-Man was one of the first and only heroes on the scene for 9/11. The comic has caught praise and criticism for how it handled the event. Still this was Marvel recognizing the everyman in Peter Parker and how people connect with him. This makes the decision to use Parker to comment on society at large and keep him grounded in reality a no-brainer.

Now the real questions come out about how will Marvel handle this? Are they going to do it with some pride and honor showing how hard it is to live in these times and see real anguish within him trying to keep up a relationship, keep his constantly ill Aunt taken care of, trying to find a new job, save the city on a regular basis and keep a roof over his head? Or are they going to show the Vulture standing in line waiting for his social security alongside the Rhino waiting for his unemployment check? A fine line is what an inker creates for the colorist. This is line so thin and easy to cross I am not sure they will even notice it as they step over it.

Over the years Spider-Man in all of his incarnations has never truly known when to stop. No he has never made jokes and comments as harsh as Family Guy, but sometimes having someone make a joke that does not seem to phrase him but is a deep subject hurts anymore. The scene in the “black issue’ of Amazing Spider-Man with Doctor Doom standing beside the fallen Twin Towers crying still bothers me. A man who has himself on a regular basis blown up parts of the city is now hurt because someone else did it? It is sweet, sad, and aggravating all at one time.

Having seen Spidey go through these things and Marvel’s track record with emotional situations do you think they can handle this correctly? What would you like to see come out of this? Do you think as a somewhat insult to the hurting world in a few issues they will turn around and get him a job when so many have not for years? So many questions with answers we will not get for many months.

Posted in: Comic Book Stuff