Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Friday, January 4, 2013

Spider-Man Is Dead, Long Live Spider-Man

A. David Lewis. (WBUR/Jesse Costa)

A. David Lewis. (WBUR/Jesse Costa)

The 700th issue of "The Amazing Spider-Man." (Photo Courtesy)

The 700th issue of “The Amazing Spider-Man.” (Photo Courtesy)

You may have heard that Spider-Man is dead.

But actually Peter Parker, his alter ego, is. In the latest edition of the Amazing Spider-Man, Parker’s mind dies in his arch-rival Doctor Octopus’ body and the evil doctor’s mind takes over Spider-Man’s body.

Parker’s death has prompted an uproar among fans. But Spider-Man and other superhero alter egos have died before. So what’s really going on here? Comic book scholar A. David Lewis says these superhero deaths help allay our fears of death and help us understand that we can recreate ourselves and/or come back from any failure.

“There are two messages that I take away from all these superhero deaths,” says Lewis. “The first is that Americans are pretty scared of death… the second idea is that no one is beyond redemption.”

Lewis points the myriad superheroes who started as super-villains.


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.

Experts share a range of perspectives on how to combat the Islamic State militant group, and the role the U.S. should play.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

November 27 Comment

Books To Give As Gifts This Year

If you're looking to give a book to a friend or family member this holiday, NPR Books editor Petra Mayer shares her picks.

November 26 8 Comments

Arlo Guthrie Celebrates 50 Years Of ‘Alice’s Restaurant’

Listening to the 18-minute musical monologue has been a Thanksgiving tradition among folk music fans for decades.

November 26 Comment

One Refugee’s Story Of Coming To America

Paul Okot vividly remembers landing at JFK airport in New York at 7 years old, after fleeing violence in southern Sudan.

November 25 3 Comments

Rapper Le1f Finds Struggle And Moral Diversity In American Music

We've been asking musicians what they think of when they think "American music." Today we hear from Khalif Diouf, aka Le1f.