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July 02 2010

Is Angel like Spider-Man? Blogger doing an analysis of thematic content in Spiderman references Buffy and Angel at the end, suggesting that Angel's journey is similar to Peter Parker's.

That's a very interesting comparison; especially for those who see Angel as a hero.

I don't...but I did like this:

The answer isnít to stop doing what you want in life. Thatís the challenge. Thereís no answer. And it wonít get easier. (That realization also explains why Angel is a better show than Buffy.)


I thought that was very well-phrased.
I'm sorry, where is the comparison of Angel to Spiderman in this blog post?
Maybe comparison was the wrong word? Hmmm.
Is Angel like Spider-man?

No. Wait. I'm thinking...

No.
Spends time on high ledges looking over city? Check.
Anything else come to mind?
Is Angel like Spider-Man? Sure, he saves people and he has a tragic past. Just like every Marvel and Capcom hero there ever was.
The argument appears to be that AtS is like Spiderman in that both focus on the difficulties of being a professional starting in a new career. The characters are similar in that a major arc for both characters is learning that "The answer isnít to stop doing what you want in life. Thatís the challenge. Thereís no answer. And it wonít get easier." This is true for heroes like Angel and Spiderman in a way that it isn't for Bruce Wayne, Tony Stark, or, the author suggests, Buffy (though he backtracks in comments).
That realization also explains why Angel is a better show than Buffy.


Yes, one theme which applies to both Angel and Buffy makes it very clear Angel is the better show. 'Cause you know, life being hard and having to juggle impossible responsibilities and having to sacrifice the life you want for the life you can afford to live has nothing to do with the very heart of Buffy. It only takes one theme, by god, and so what if that theme is central to Buffy also. This writer has an important point to make! Follow the flashing lights and be mesmerized!

Literary analysis fail composed as intelligent discourse to legitimize personal preference.
Everyone knows Peter Parker is from Forest Hills, not Queens, chuh!
Isn't Forest Hills in Queens? When I lived there, it was.
Anyway, I always thought Buffy was more like Peter Parker/Spiderman than Angel.
Angel has more of a Batman vibe to me. You know, insanity as a superpower. ;)
Anything else come to mind?

Angel is very skilled with these webs that he... no, wait.

I think Angel has more in common with Batman as well. They share a love of dark intensity and brooding, among other things.
Anything else come to mind?

They both went through a dark period from which they eventually recovered (it's just that Angel always wore black ;). They're both effectively spending their lives trying to atone for one bad decision. ... Umm, they both find it hard to monetise their heroics ?

Batman's the more obvious comparison (pretty sure Joss has said something to that effect and it was even hinted at in the show itself). They brood, they wear dark clothing, they "bend" the law on their respective quests, they largely only go out at night (Adam West excepted ;) and it was a very big moment for each of them when they realised that their missions were unending, their wars unwinnable. But Batman isn't atoning or seeking redemption (or even revenge) and he broods about what was done to him, not by him. Batman's also an actual detective (i.e. he follows clues to a conclusion) whereas that was usually more just a cover for Angel (or a narrative device depending on which level you look at it from).

'Cause you know, life being hard and having to juggle impossible responsibilities and having to sacrifice the life you want for the life you can afford to live has nothing to do with the very heart of Buffy.

I'm not sure that's the point being made Emmie. The blogger seems to be making the specific point that it's the realisation that

"Thereís no answer. And it wonít get easier."

that makes Ats better. FWIW, I don't agree (I mean, I waver over which show I prefer personally, I just don't think it's because of that) but I do think that 'Angel', much more than Buffy (the TV show anyway, leaving "season 8" aside) was much more about accepting that there IS no solution to the "problem" of life, no conclusive right answer to the big questions, that it won't get easier (the opposite if anything).

BtVS on the other hand presented the "problem" of Buffy's life as ultimately solvable in that she did balance friends and normality against her Slayer obligations (in fact doing so was arguably what made her the best of the Slayer line, certainly helped her live longer than the average) and by the end had even arrived at a solution that allowed her to be one among many rather than one alone. The reality of Buffy's world may well be basically the same as Angel's (i.e. fight the good fight until one day you slow down enough or get unlucky enough that the forces of darkness kill you) but the tone is different IMO - it might be true that Buffy's fighting an ongoing war that she can never, ever win but that's a) not how she sees it I think and b) not how it's ultimately portrayed (compare the endings of the two shows for instance).
Is fish like butter? We eat them both, I guess. And they both exist on planet Earth.

I could stretch and say Spidey and Angel both do what they do partly because of guilt, but this sounds more like someone who just happens to be interested in both Angel and Spider-Man wanting to write an essay. Buffy, the show and the character, has much more resemblance to Spidey, the character and the comic, than Angel ever did with the whole supporting cast being part of her superhero life deal, as well as balancing high school/college responsibilities and not really wanting the power in the first place. (Does this mean Angel and Spike are Gwen and Mary-Jane stand-ins? Hmm.)

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