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Power, Responsibility, and Pain

By Paul Lytle


from Webslinger

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This is one essay from the anthology Webslinger

The tangled web of vengeance, love and loss woven by Spider-Man comics and films is explored in this collection of insightful essays by acclaimed writers of comics and science fiction. A variety of topics—from the superhero’s sarcasm to the science behind radioactive spiders—are discussed in essays on “Turning Rage into Responsibility: A Psychology of Loss,” “Love Is Selfish: Can a Hero Afford Personal Attachments?,” and “Self Identity and Costume Design.” The popular rival Green Goblin, the bumbling-yet-influential media, and the part New York City itself plays in stories are skillfully explored, as well as the overall philosophy of mild-mannered Peter Parker and Spidey’s relationship with the rest of the characters in the Marvel universe.

About the Author

Gerry Conway has worked in comics since the age of 16 and is best known in Spider-Man circles for scripting the death of Gwen Stacy and for his co-creation of the Punisher. In addition, Conway has written several novels and worked in both film and television as a writer and producer. He lives in Los Angeles.

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About the Author

Paul  Lytle

Paul Lytle is an author and musician living on the southwest side of Houston, Texas. He earned a bachelor of arts from Houston Baptist University in English and political science with a specialization in creative writing, and will soon earn a master of liberal arts degree. He is an editor and writer for the Webzine Primum Mobile ( and is amassing quite a collection of comic books and gently used paperbacks. This is his third contribution to the Smart Pop series, the other two in The Man from Krypton and Webslinger. He hopes that there will be many more in the future, since they provide a good excuse to head over to the comic book shop (“It’s research, honey!”). More of his writings, as well as news and other projects, can be found at

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