Spider-Man is a superhuman hero whose powers evolved as a result a being bitten by a radioactive spider. He gained the abilities of enhanced agility, a precognitive sense when he’s in danger (spider-sense), and above average strength. As a fan I have always wondered just how strong is Spider-Man? There seem to be conflicting displays of his level of strength throughout comics, TV and movies. In this article I’ll examine differing examples of Spider-Man’s strength at work.
- In Spider-Man 2 during his battle with Doctor Octopus a train car is damaged causing it to race out of control toward certain doom. Amazingly Spider-Man moves to the front of the car, puts his feet down on the tracks and is able to slow it down before it goes over the edge of an unfinished road. Wow. Sure he faints at the end but not before flexing those Maguire muscles. Best actor to play Spider-Man to date btw.
- In the Amazing Spider-Man #120 Spider-Man takes on the Incredible Hulk. As we all know the Hulk is no lightweight and with gamma radiated strength and giant pecks Spidey was in for one hell of a fight. But strangely the not incredibly sized Spider-Man is able to do this...
- In the classic 90’s Spider-Man: The Animated Series Spider-Man faces off against the Scorpion. He wins of course but not before the Scorpion puts him in a violent bear hug where Spidey’s internal monologue explains how he can’t breath and is being crushed to death. Where are those Maguire muscles?
So how strong is Spider-Man? After reviewing these examples I’ve come to the conclusion that it depends on the story being told. It is consistent that although Spider-Man is stronger than an average man his ability to withstand pain and avoid injury comes more from his agility than his actual strength level. He can stretch his body beyond the reaches of normal like when he stopped the train car. He can also adjust his weight to put it all into one final blow to knock the Hulk on his green butt. This doesn’t make him invulnerable. Just durable and flexible. He’s strong enough to be a hero and human enough to be an interesting character.