Spider-Man Captures Martin Luther King, Jr.

Spider-Man Captures Martin Luther King, Jr.

Spider-Man does his part in Captain America: Civil War (2016).

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Perhaps you believe it.

That the power to do good, by good means, is within your power and mine.

That no matter the historical past, contemporary moment or future global reality, heroes are not merely the stuff of "enhanced individuals," a la Spider-Man or Martin Luther King, Jr.

Instead, more to the point: the hero is, as ever, a typically flawed character within a severely, severely, severely flawed human story.

Whatever we wish to call it, this story has become a shadow of its best self on its best day.

In fact, on most days, the story has become far more morally diminished, politically or socially distorted and cyclically destructive than we can even comprehend.


Still, are you able to believe it?

That heroes do not roam about this severely human story, sighing and mumbling about that mythical better day.

That the story—while it does turn some people entirely cold or make quite a few people completely cynical—does not have those disastrous effects on a would-be hero.

Heroes must (somehow) remain within the reach of warmth and within the vision of hope.

And surely a true hero can never be ruled by fear.


Maybe, it's in the strong nature of belief to not let us off the hook so easily.

Heroes, wherever they are, wherever they appear, recognize this—a time when it is no longer time to stay shy or play polite.

For instance, he or she knows there are urgent and provocative words that must be said.

For example, she or he knows that, however challenging, they must speak into the diminished morality, the distorted social or political situation, the destructive cycles.

But above all, alongside the words, while staring directly at the wounds, a hero is the person who (somehow) finds the power to do good by good means.

When you can do the things that I can, but you don’t, and then the bad things happen, they happen because of you.
— Spider-Man
We must learn that passively to accept an unjust system is to cooperate with that system, and thereby to become a participant in its evil.
— Martin Luther King, Jr.

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