From: Spider-Man (specifically, Spider-Man 2)
Who said it?: Aunt May
The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from Spider-Man 2, the 2004 film starring Tobey Maguire as the Marvel superhero Spider-Man. The plot has Peter Parker giving up his role as Spider-Man as he has been having difficulty taking on his regular/normal life and balancing it out with his role as protector of New York.
The quote comes from the middle of the film. Aunt May (played by Rosemary Harris) is moving out of her house when Peter drops by to apologize for dropping a bombshell that he part of the reason why Uncle Ben was murdered. Aunt May forgives her nephew and comments that he was brave to do so.
The kid that was helping Aunt May pack recognizes Peter as the man who takes pictures of Spider-Man and asks Peter what happened to the superhero. Aunt May then comments that Spider-Man inspired the kid as well as herself. This is when she delivers the quote and that Spider-Man was an example for us to follow.
Geek wisdom: It may be cliche to say but you don’t need superpowers to be a hero. Heroism is doing the right thing and the brave thing, even when things look hopeless. Being a hero means that you have to keep on fighting when you know what you’re doing is righteous.
From: Spider-Man (2002)
Who said it?: Norman Osborn/Green Goblin
The story behind the quote: The Spider-Man film that was released in 2002 was both a critical and financial hit. And it came at a very opportune time since it was released at a time when superhero films were hitting a slump in terms of ticket sales.
The film tells the story of Peter Parker and how he was given the abilities of a spider, enabling him to become the superhero known as Spider-man. However, his best friend’s father, Norman Osborn, performs an experiment on himself and, while it does give him enhanced strength, speed and agility, it also drive Osborn mad and takes on the guise of the Green Goblin.
In his quest to destroy Spider-man, the Green Goblin kidnaps Peter’s girlfriend, Mary Jane Watson and a cable car full of children. The Green Goblin threatens to drop them both from the top of the Queensboro Bridge and says Spider-man must have to choose who to save. While Spider-man pleads for the villain to not go through with it, the Goblin delivers the quote and releases them.
(Sorry for the obviously poor quality of the clip; it was the only one I could find online.)
Geek wisdom: The quote is pretty ironic since this doesn’t only apply to Spider-man, but also to the Green Goblin. Norman Osborn actually had the choice to become a force for good but he decided to take the darker path. Spider-man, while he initially used his new powers selfishly, he changed his ways because of his Uncle Ben’s death… which he could have saved earlier.
Even though it may seem that fate might push us to do bad, we always have the choice to do the right thing.