Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Choose the Right... Spider-Man Did!

Once upon a time, there was a kid in New York named Peter Parker. He was really into science, and very smart. He wasn't the most popular kid, but still hung out with kids like Eddy Brock and Harry Osborn, and even having a friendship with some romantic overtones with one Mary Jane Watson. He lived with his aunt and uncle after being orphaned. One day, while touring the facilities at Oscorp, he's bitten by a spider... that just happens to be radioactive, having been experimented on. Because of this, strange things start happening to him: suddenly he doesn't need glasses, he's gained muscle, he's fast, he's strong, he's cool. Oh, and he's able to crawl up walls and has super human strength and agility. If all this is sounding familiar to you, you've either read comic books, watched tv, or been to the movies in the past 20+ years.
This is, of course, the story of Spider-Man. Peter has to quickly adjust to these super powers, and decide what he's going to do with them. He's going through some hard times, and it would be awfully easy to abuse these powers to gain popularity at school, or even get money for him and his aunt, who are both struggling financially following the untimely death of his uncle. But, thanks to some solid advice from his uncle ("With great power comes great responsibility"), Peter makes the right decision and becomes a good guy, fighting for justice and defending the innocent. He becomes Spider-Man. He runs into many supervillains in his career, most of them animal themed, but they all seem to share a very common thread: They had some kind of run in with various sources that changed them and gave them powers. Look at the Green Goblin: pretty much the same thing that turned Peter into Spider-Man turned Norman Osborn into the Green Goblin. It was Oscorp's team of scientists that created the serums for villains like Rhino, Sandman, and Shocker, a malfunction in one experiment that turned Oscorp's top scientist into Doctor Octopus, and Oscorp technology that allowed Adrian Toomes to become the Vulture. It almost always comes back to Oscorp. (Note: these are just some of the origins of these characters. Some story arcs will tell it differently).
Even people like Eddie Brock, after being exposed to the alien symbiote and became Venom, or Max Dillon, who became Electro through a freak accident, still were put into a very similar situation as Peter Parker. They all were suddenly changed, drastically, and were given incredible powers. They all had the same choice Peter had, to use the powers for good, or evil. Granted, a good portion of these people (namely Flint Marco and Aleksei Sytsevich) were criminals before gaining super powers, but they still had their choice. While Peter was able to realize what he had was a gift he could use to help people, others, motivated by greed or power or both, were drawn to the dark side. Also, sinister men in the background (such as Norman Osborn, L. Thompson Lincoln, or Wilson "Kingpin" Fisk) played a key roll in enticing people like this to be bad.
We all face choices everyday. Maybe we're not going to be blasted with gamma rays, bit by a radioactive spider, injected with super human serum, or have some crazy electrical malfunction that will give us super powers, but things will happen that will require us to choose what to do: whether to make the right choice, or the wrong choice. Peter didn't have to be good, just like Mac Gargan didn't have to be bad. They could've chosen opposites. We could've been reading "The Spectacular Scorpion" were it not for Peter and Mac's choices. And the same goes for us. No one makes us do anything. Everything comes down to our agency, and ability and right to choose. This is a very special gift given to us, and will gain us great rewards if we use it correctly. All we have to do is make the right choice when the time comes. How can we know what the right choice is? Luckily, we have tools for that. Just as Peter had a wise uncle who lent him some great advice, we have scriptures and prophets that help us to know what we should and shouldn't do. But, there's an opposition, as well. There are also men like Kingpin and Tombstone who want us to make bad choices, decisions that will benefit us and help us in the worldly realm. Things that seem like they'd be good, because it helps us out, but really do hurt us, because they're bad. As it says in the Book of Mormon, "...wickedness never was happiness." (Alma 41:10). So, remember, despite what great things may be gained through wrong decisions, it's always important to choose the right. With great power comes great responsibility, so use your power for good. 

1 comment:

  1. Ah, agency. A tool that can be used for good and evil. It all depends on how we use it. Nice blog! Gotta love Spiderman!