Spiderman Reveals His Identity
Metropolis, June 14, 2006.
Opinion by C. Kent.
Another super hero came out in favor of the Super-Human Registration Act today as Peter Parker of the Daily Bugle announced that he was in fact, Spiderman. The announcement shocked New York, our sister city to the North.
I don’t pretend to know what it is like to be a super hero; I am a humble country boy from Kansas. I do know Peter Parker, though. He was a great photojournalist and, whatever his reasons for revealing his identity, I trust he realizes what this revelation will do to his career and his personal life.
His revelation will undoubtedly place at risk his friends and family. Ever since the appearance of super villains, a secret identity has been necessary to prevent the exploitation of loved ones to coerce the super hero to do the villain’s bidding. I would hate to think what I could be made to do if someone held my partner, Lois, for ransom. This remains a significant threat, and I hope Mr. Parker and his wife, Mary Jane, are able to cope with all that may come. I expect they can rely on Superman and other members of the super hero community if he should be in need of help.
There are other issues, however, that Mr. Parker must confront alone. The true burden of being a super hero is the knowledge that you are different. You will never catch cold. You will never need surgery. Of course, Mr. Parker was once human–he was bitten by a radioactive spider. But other super heroes come from places more remote and forgotten than Forest Hills, Queens. These super heroes, will never know the full truth of their origins. They will never know a home that welcomes them without question.
For these men, the loneliness is only bearable because they can, for short spans of time, pretend. They can summon up another identity. Someone who is not super, not abnormal and not alone. For them, a secret identity is an escape from the loneliness and the penetrating glare of the mere mortals who wish to be rescued from their own mediocrity.
Superman was asked about Mr. Parker’s announcement (see Ms. Lane’s article on page 1) and said, “Mr. Parker is a very brave man, more for his decision today than for anything he has done to save that fine city. But the important fact is that he made a decision based on what he felt was right, not what some politician told him to do. Identity and privacy should not be concerns of the state.”
I agree with Superman. Make no mistake, there is evil in this world. Super heroes were placed here by the fates to protect the world from evil. They do so in the same way that fireman, policeman and soldiers do–at the risk of their own lives for men and women whom they have never met. The terrible events that unfolded in Stamford would have been far worse, were it not for the super heroes and their selfless battle against evil. The first and most important purpose of government is to protect the people. Any government interference with the activities of super heroes is unwarranted and illadvised.
As for his own secret identity, Superman chuckled and said, “My name is Kal-El, and I am the lost son of the planet Krypton. That’s all anyone need know.” When asked if he maintained a job somewhere in Metropolis, he replied, “Saving the world is a full-time job, Ms. Lane. You would be hard pressed to see me behind a desk somewhere.” Indeed.