Spider-Man is a part of all of us; Especially these people
Spider-Man has been capturing readers’ imaginations since 1964. There is a permanence about his “with great power comes great responsibility” ethos that has managed to span generations. So it’s probably not a surprise that so many people have honored that permanence with their own gestures of immutability. And nothing says forever like a tattoo.
What is it about Spider-Man that ensured that kids in 1975 and 2017 would be running around the house in Spidey PJ’s? Why is it that teenagers coming of age during the Beatles’ British Invasion, the rise of hip hop and the dawn of the digital age all identify so strongly then Peter Parker?
The answer is pretty obvious.
By the time Spidey had spun his first web for Marvel Comics, DC already had decades of established heroes who existed beyond the means of most of us. There is only one way to be born a billionaire heir like Batman. And if you’re old enough to read this, it’s safe to say you won’t be rocketed from a dying planet as an infant to a far away world where you will be granted fantastical powers a la Superman.
But Spider-Man? Any shmuck could be average Peter Parker, who had problems with money, friends and women from day one. While the likes of Superman and Batman seems to be avatars for achievement beyond what is humanly possible, you never know when a radioactive spider might transform you from the shlemiel you are into the hero you were always meant to be.
While the latter scenario is just as impossible as any of the others, it’s Peter Parker’s humble origins that make him so relatable. Replace radioactive spider venom with ink and you’ve created a pretty good totem representing that connection.
So let’s take a look at five Spider-Man tattoos and the artists who inspired them. Excelsior!
While his art and writing can be somewhat polarizing, there is no doubt that Todd McFarlane would deserve consideration on any Mt. Rushmore of Spider-Man artists. The excessive webbing became iconic and instantly recognizable in the late 80’s and early 90’s during McFarlane’s Amazing Spider-Man run.
While I don’t quite know exactly which issue this image is poached from, it’s obviously a McFarlane. McFarlane went on to create Spawn and help establish Image Comics, home of The Walking Dead. And he’s also a permanent part of this dude’s body.
This one could arguably be inspired by a few Spider-Man artists, but when I see the big ol’ eyes and leaner physique, I think of Mark Bagley’s Ultimate Spiderman. Handling the pencils on the comic for 111 issues was impressive, but subtly recreating such an established character is perhaps even more incredible. When you look at McFarlane’s Spider-Man, you know it’s amazing. And with one look at Bagley’s Spider-Man, you know it’s the ultimate.
This guy obviously agrees.
This one is my favorite for two reasons: 1. It’s super simple.2. It’s a Romita.
Many artists did a spectacular job with Spidey before John Romita Sr, but this version of Spider-Man defined the character’s aesthetic for 25 years. That’s a year for every penny you had to drop on a Marvel Comic circa 1975 if you’re paying attention.
It’s an era that deserves to be honored, cherished and tattooed on anyone who wants to take that sentiment to the extreme.
This tattoo is tougher to pin to just one artist, but the proportionality and positioning of Spidey’s limbs reminds me of Erik Larsen’s work. So we’ll just say it’s a Larsen.
Larsen had the unenviable task of following McFarlane’s run on Amazing Spider-Man, but he left a distinct mark on the title. His cartoony style was a good fit for the Captain Universe storyline
Larsen was an original founder of Image Comics along with McFarlane, and his Savage Dragon became one of the company’s flagship titles. His body of work could cover an actual body many times over, but an arm is a good place to start.
The art on this one is not up the level of the other tattoos on this list, but the webs shooting down the fingers are pure metal. This image doesn’t scream out any one artist, but it is very reminiscent of 1970’s Saturday morning cartoon Spider-Man
And while those cartoons were infamous for their low production values, that is not meant as an insult. 1970’s Spidey cartoons were instrumental in keeping Spidey in the public consciousness while introducing him to a new generation.
So is this guy’s hand. That sounded awful.
I’m not including this on the list because of its connection to an artist, though it could be a Romita or a John Buscema. I’m including it because I wouldn’t want to feel like Spidey was kissing my neck while I was eating pussy. But to each their own. .