Princess Sandman and Spider-ManPosted: 06/26/2012
Let me tell you a story about a young girl:
A happy story with a happy ending! Except not, because as you probably guessed from the title of the article, her daddy’s Sandman.
Flint Marko, also known as Sandman, made his first appearance in 1963, a year after Spider-Man’s first comic. A lifelong criminal, Marko escapes from jail and finds himself stuck in a experimental reactor filled with irradiated sand. The sand bonds to his molecular structure and now his whole body is made of it. Cue Sandman. But you probably figured out his origin before I told you.
For forty years, he’s been a pain in Spider-Man’s butt. Also, because of his “condition,” Spider-Man can’t just punch him until victory. Do you remember that Peter Parker’s a science genius? He has to use heat, cold, water, cement, etc. – as long as it changes the structure of the sand, Spider-Man can pull off a win. Which also must make Sandman one of the toughest villains in the rogue gallery. Also one of the smelliest villains, since he’s unable to take a bath.
Well, how did Keemia end up in Sandman’s sand island hideaway?
Mystery solved. A talking snowman took Keemia away. You see the moral dilemma here? Keemia’s mother had been killed and her great-grandmother not exactly a responsible guardian. Now, Keemia’s every need is satisfied and her happiness is Sandman’s only priority. But, y’know, a kidnapping’s still a kidnapping.
Plus, I’m not a scientist or anything, but because of an entire molecule self made entirely out of sand, I don’t think Marko’s very fertile. Or possible of fathering a child. Now I may be wrong. The Marvel universe is a wacky place. For my sake, I’m going to assume Sandman’s not the actual father. And poor Spider-Man, he has to go visit Sandman’s island and have a little chat.
Granted, Marko has an extensive criminal record, but from what we’ve seen so far, looks like Spider-Man’s the villain in this story. Further confirmed with the intense child-superhero interrogation.
Okay, so Marko’s actions are illegal. Yes, he’s still stealing and murdering, but now he’s stealing and murdering for his daughter. I’m also guessing Sandman’s not bringing in a private tutor for Keemia.
Certainly Spider-Man realizes that the kid has no idea what’s best for herself, that Marko can’t be trusted, and leaving Sandman alone on an island will only lead to trouble. But the child’s happier than she’s ever been before. To “rescue” her, he’s going to have to wreck the most joy she’s ever had or will have in her life. Unfortunately, that’s part of the burden of superheroes. Stupid good guys.
We’ve had a tough journey. All sorts of beach perils. Sit back and relish in the satisfying, wonderful ending to the story:
Yeah, so not really satisfying or wonderful. Which brings up an interesting point I’ve addressed before: why is being a superhero always so heart-wrenchingly painful? No matter how many times Spider-Man beats down the bad guys, they’ll return 20 issues later. No matter how many times Spider-Man saves his Aunt May, she’s going to be captured again 25 issues later. No matter how many people he saves, Spider-Man will always be hated by the city he devotes his life to protecting. We’re not even counting the bijillions of bruises, broken bones, cuts, and concussions. And finally, when Spider-Man does everything right, when he rescues the delusional little girl from the grasps of an insane supervillain, his reward is just as bad as if he never rescued her at all. So why does he continue to be Spider-Man?
I had originally written a 400 word paragraph on the importance and societal role of Spider-Man, but I think the answer’s simpler than that. He’s not Spider-Man for some obsessive responsibility. Look, it sucks to take out the garbage, do the dishes, and go on errands around town. But you still do them, because that’s just how life works. Same thing with Spider-Man. He’s Spider-Man because someone has to do it and unfortunately, he got stuck with the job. Though the perks include meeting famous people, marrying a supermodel, and saving the lives of thousands of people, so it’s not all bad.
But enough overthinking. Let’s see some dancing tomorrow.