Who said it?: Spider-man
The story behind the quote: One of the most popular, yet misunderstood, powers of Peter Parker/Spider-man is his Spider Sense, mostly because the hero himself doesn’t know how it works as well. In general, this ability gives him the ability to feel danger. One of the problems of this is that it doesn’t really tell him what the danger is. It could be as simple as a punch coming at him while he’s fighting a bad guy but it also could manifest if his secret identity is also in danger of being exposed. However, even with this small drawback, it has been really useful in saving his butt in a lot of instances.
Spider-man has been able to use this in conjunction with the Spider Tracers he’s invented. Initially, the tracers would have to be tracked by a small device he carried. However, in later stories, he managed to adapt the tracers to work with his Spider Sense. So, while it’s still a mystery on how it works exactly, the Web Head does have some sort of handle on it.
Geek wisdom: Actually, if you really think about it, we all have this ability (even if we haven’t been bitten by a radioactive spider). It’s called a gut feeling. We’ve all felt at one time or another to go against conventional logic and just go with our instincts and what feels right. Realistically, sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn’t. However, the point is it does pay off from time to time!
Against all logic and reason, your gut feeling is correct sometimes. The point here is that while logic is good and all, sometimes we gotta go with our instincts.
Who said it?: Batman
The story behind the quote: The quote comes from Frank Miller’s All-Star Batman and Robin, a sort of reimaging of Robin’s origin. In the very first issue of the comic series, Dick Grayson’s family is murdered by a hit man while performing their circus act. Orphaned, Dick is supposed to be placed in the custody of the police. However, Batman steals Dick from them (Batman suspects that the cops are corrupt) and speeds him away in the Batmobile.
The police start to chase after Batman (he is kidnapping someone, after all) and the Dark Knight starts ramming the squad cars that come after him and they eventually escape. However, Dick is afraid of everything that’s happening and he asks Batman what right he has to be doing this. Batman is apparently offended by this and questions Dick’s mental capacity before uttering that famous line.
This quote, along with the All Star Batman and Robin series, has been heavily criticised by both critics and fans alike. While there were a few who liked the new direction Frank Miller was going for, most people didn’t appreciate the fact that the characterization of Batman was too different from previous incarnations. Here, Batman is more sadistic and appears to get some form of pleasure in inflicting pain and he cares less for injuring innocent bystanders. This line has been recorded in infamy because of the idea that Batman would even refer to himself in this way.
Geek wisdom: You have to be proud of who you are and what you’ve become. You can be a badass dark knight or just an ordinary joe. It doesn’t matter and it shouldn’t matter: you are who you are. In fact, all of the events that you’ve experienced in life created and molded you into the unique individual that you are, and that by itself makes you special.
It is difficult to accept sometimes, especially if you’re in the dumps and you feel life doesn’t feel worth living. However, if you don’t respect yourself, no one will respect you. The goddamn Batman knows this, and you should, too.
Who said it?: Uncle Ben
The story behind the quote: Although the quote is usually attributed to Peter Parker/Spider-man’s Uncle Ben, this is actually wasn’t true in the first appearance of the web-head in Amazing Fantasy #15. In the original version of the story by Stan Lee, this was the moral lesson that Peter Parker took away since he let a mugger get away and this same mugger killed his Uncle Ben. If he only stopped the man earlier, his uncle wouldn’t have died. Also, the original quote was actually “With great power, there also must also come… great responsibility.”
Later versions of Spidey’s origin revised the story. The story now is Uncle Ben would usually tell a young Peter Parker this lesson while he was alive and Peter Parker would remember this. These revisions also shorten the quote to the current version, which comes off as more poetic.
Geek wisdom: A lot of people think that, once they have some form of power, they can usually laud it over people and abuse it. History has a lot of people showing them becoming corrupted because of great power: Napoleon and Hitler are just a couple to name a few. Even in a small scale, we do see powerful people beat down on the weaker ones. Bullies, abusive spouses, and corrupt politicians are just a few examples of the kinds of people we see every day that use their power the wrong way.
“With great power comes great responsibility” has a simple meaning; if you have the ability to do something, make sure that you do it for the good of others. Highly admired people like Ghandi and Ninoy Aquino have done things that follow the spirit of this message. If you can stop something bad from happening, do it. You don’t have to be a superhero to follow those words of geek wisdom. It’s possible to do small actions that have a big impact in the world.