Wherein we examine the internet’s relationship with various pop-culture superheroes.
First installment: Spiderman
Listen, full-disclosure time everybody. I have an anti-Spider-man bias. I don’t like him. I don’t like his smug little one-liners, I don’t like his carefree, fun-loving attitude, and I don’t like his piss-weak dead uncle backstory. But I LOVE Spider-man memes. Something about the simple, wholesome nature of the character really lends itself well to ridicule.
The dancing spider-man you see above is one of the earliest examples of online Peter Parker mockery. The routine is taken from Kpop group C.L.E.O (in their single Illusion) and was posted on a blog called Pants on Head back in 2002. It made quite an impressive circulation online (for a meme that originated before YouTube was crowned) and has a handful of remixes, parody videos and YTMND pages under its belt. When I first saw it, I watched it on loop for a good fifteen minutes in utter delight. Little did I know that Spider-man would delight me with his dancing once more five years later, only this time it happened within the actual franchise!
I remember seeing Spiderman 3 in theaters and all I could think was, “Did Sam Raimi see Dancing Spiderman on the internet and think we actually wanted to see this for real?” It was a really good day for me. Not so much a good day for Spiderman fans. I mean, just look at this. Outstanding.
Movies and GIFs aside, Spiderman’s strongest presence online has got to be in image macros. Many a thread on many a forum has been derailed by a sudden declaration of “This is now a Spiderman thread”. This triggers a tsunami of screencaps from old school Spiderman cartoons. It’s called the 60s Spiderman Meme.
If any of you have watched the 1960s Spiderman cartoons, you can attest to the utter crap that was the animation. The physics were weird, the anatomy was weird, the facial expressions were weird. Fast-forward fifty years, and what you’ve got is a virtualy limitless supply of image macro material. Oh, and more GIFs.
Why Spiderman, you may ask. Why not someone sillier like Aquaman or darker like Batman?
Because Spiderman is the stupidest, enough questions. His obnoxious Type-A personality sets my teeth on edge, his powers are dumb, he is a walking punchline and no one was pointing it out until the internet did. Thank you, the internet!
Here are some more stupid things about Spiderman, thanks for reading.