Monday, July 5, 2010

Spider-Man - Responsibility and Power - Ben Rosenthal

The following is set out in the ‘classic’ 3 line grid. The first three panels of the script are all of the same size and are on the first line of the grid. Panel 4 takes up the whole of the second line of the grid. Panels 5 – 7 are all of the same size and take up the last remaining line of the grid.

Ideally, each panel would be illustrated by a different artist.

The following does not take place in current Spider-Man continuity, but could have if things had happened a little differently.

1. A recreation of the classic panel from Amazing Fantasy #15 of Peter with his mask off, hand to his head and tears streaming down his face as he realises that he could have stopped the bank robber and saved Uncle Ben (Click here for reference).

CAPTION: “With great power comes great responsibility.”

CAPTION: “I’ve lived by this mantra for almost half of my life.”

2. Spider-Man is swinging away from an explosion, an unknown elderly lady in his arm. He has just saved her from whatever has caused the explosion. A Golden Age look here would be great.

CAPTION: “With the powers I have, it’s my duty to help those who need it.”

3. Spider-Man is down. He is not in his traditional costume, but the black symbiote duds. He is on his back; painfully sprawled on the rubble of a building which has collapsed during whatever fight he has obviously just lost. His costume is in tatters. We see a majority of Peter Parker’s bruised face behind what is left of his mask. The mask itself appears to be falling off his face, not ripped or shredded, as this panel takes place when he was still wearing the symbiote. This should reflect that the symbiote has also been knocked out.

CAPTION: “Truth is, I always knew that one day that power would not be enough, and I would fall.”

4. A classic shot of Spider-Man fighting against the original Sinister Six – Kraven the Hunter, The Vulture, Electro, Mysterio, Sandman and Doctor Octopus. Go wild here (although the cover to Amazing Spider-Man Annual #6 would be a great way to start!).

CAPTION: “Then you came along and changed all that. Now, no matter how hard it gets...”

5. Spider-Man is on his knees, wanting to collapse but not allowing himself to. One hand is supporting his weight, while the other is at his head, trying to shake off the beating he has just received. In the foreground is the Green Goblin on his glider, laughing manically. This should look as if it takes place in the modern day.

CAPTION: “...Or how much I want to just give in, I won’t because I know you’re waiting for me.”

6. Spider-Man is fighting back against the Goblin, punching him with the last ounce of strength that he has. The Goblin is being knocked off his glider by the force of the blow. It is a triumphant shot.

CAPTION: “So while with great power comes great responsibility...”

7. A nice panel of Peter in his everyday clothes sitting on the floor of his home. He has one arm in a sling and a bandage wrapped around his forehead. In front of him is a pile of building blocks that a young child may play with. On the opposite side of those blocks, and with some blocks in her hands, is a 9 month old May Parker. Peter is looking down at his daughter adoringly, with a smile on his face. It is a smile filled with love, pride and contentment.

CAPTION: “...With a great responsibility comes great power.”

Not to sound like a sap (but I will), I am dedicating this to my daughter Parker, who was my inspiration for this script.


  1. Wow Ben, that's beautiful. Very heartfelt. Great stuff!

  2. That's pretty damn fine, Ben. I'm in awe. Sap or not you've absolutely nailed it and I love the reveal at the end. And I think you're in all your rights to dedicate this script.

    Your daughter will be proud of this one, mate.

  3. This honestly made me tear up a bit. As a father, I love this stuff. Ben, you have improved leaps and bounds, and you were good to start with. I'm digging it, and you can really feel the fatherly love in this, as well as a deep respect for Spidey. Well done.

  4. Thank you all very much for the kind words. I'm very proud of this piece and am glad others enjoyed it too.

    What I wouldn't give to see it drawn.

  5. Does Peter actually have a daughter? Or is this a creative license piece? I admit, I'm a little comically-challenged :)

    Anyways, I digress...

    What I like about this page is that it's essentially a "catch-up" on Spidey's life to-date, while at the same time being its own story. Very clever concept! Plus, it's always good when Super-heroes are "humanised" a little...

  6. Aww...

    Danial, in answer to your query... Peter and MJ had a daughter called May who was "apparently" stillborn... though Norman Osborn might have had something to do with her "death". With the undoing of the marriage from Spidey continuity, that's a plot thread we're unlikely to ever see resolved.

    However, in an alternate reality, May Parker (Jr.) survived and went on to become Spider-Girl, star of her own long-running series where Peter and MJ are her older, still-married parents. I guess that's the reality that Ben's story is told in.

  7. @Rol and @Danial - Rol got it in one. I wanted to write a story of how Peter may see his life with the responsibility of a child. Speaking from experience, it changes your outlook on life, and gives you that drive to go on - you do it because you have a small human waiting for you at home.

    Being my favourite character of all time I found it exceptionally easy to associate with.

    As for the 'recap' - it was more to show the things that Peter has been through, and how any other person would have probably given up. It hopefully then highlights his feelings for his daughter more when it comes to the battle with the Goblin.

  8. Hey Ben - as Ryan and the others commented, this was obviously a very personal script for you, not so much from the perspective of a huge Spidey fan (which you obviously are) but more from the pov of a young father. Interestingly, I feel this reminded me why Marvel decided its best NOT to make Pete a father - or at least to have him retire if he ever did become one (as in Spider-Girl, only ever putting the webs back on when May was in trouble). Being a father obviously changes your responsibilities, and would probably be enough to make Pete seriously reconsider risking his life on a daily basis.

  9. Beautiful, good build up, terrific finish. Well done.


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