How You’re In A Symbiotic Relationship With Your Job

A Marxist reading of Spiderman

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The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #258

In the 1980s Spiderman didn’t wear a suit. He wore an alien. Old Peter Parker wore an alien symbiote and it was really amazing… until it wasn’t.

Marvel

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8

In the very first Spiderman Peter Parker hand-sewed his suit and wore the familiar red and blue for years. In the 1980s, however, he was fucking around on some alien planet and got a new black suit. He thought it was just alien technology, but it turned out to be a whole-ass alien.

Peter noticed because kept having these fucked up dreams which weren’t dreams at all. The suit was wearing him and web-slinging around the city, exploiting his surplus labor even as he slept.

The Amazing Spider-Man #258

Trying to figure out what was going on, old Spidey swung over to the Fantastic Four headquarters, and they told him the crazy news. He wasn’t wearing alien tech, he was wearing an alien. In fact, in the alien’s opinion, it was wearing him.

The Amazing Spider-Man #258

At this point, Peter Parker obviously wanted to get the thing off, but it wouldn’t move. Such is the nature of the symbiotic relationship. At some point, it’s not clear who is wearing whom, and it’s very difficult to remove. In many cases, separation means death.

The Amazing Spider-Man #258

Here we enter the ‘plot armor’ realm of comic books, where Mr. Fantastic simply had a magical weapon that blasted the symbiote off, without hurting Peter Parker at all.

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Indrajit (Indi) Samarajiva is a Sri Lankan writer. Follow me at www.indi.ca, or just email me at indi@indi.ca.