Poll Position: Spidey jobs

Marvel has announced that Peter Parker will be losing his job as a Daily Bugle photographer in an upcoming issue. Which raises the question:


Discussion to follow.

Trying to support yourself financially while a super-hero would be very difficult, I would think. Since you never know when a major crisis is going to call you away, trying to work a normal nine to five would pose problems. Plus, you're probably going to be up most nights patrolling, which would leave you perpetually short of sleep, doubtlessly impacting your job performance.

Peter Parker's daily struggles to make ends meet has always been one of the character's most appealing and endearing attributes, and I'm glad Marvel's responding to the current unemployment situation by making him deal with it too. Plus, he works in a print publishing industry that's struggling mightily to figure out a business model in an online world, so it makes sense they'd be cutting back.

The challenge for Peter, then, is to get a job that is flexible enough to allow him to continue being a super-hero, while paying him enough to eat and pay rent.

  • A science-y type job at a lab. Peter has an amazing scientific mind, having invented the web shooters and webbing and done well at university. It would be nice to think he could get a job using his brains. But lab monkey work involves keeping regular hours. Heading up research (which he'd be unqualified to do, in a resume-sense) takes a lot of hours, as well, so that wouldn't be much better. On the other hand, I could see a lot of good plot points coming out of him working in some sort of research facility.
  • Start a web site publishing Spidey photos and gossip. Granted, I'm an internet worker, so this appeals to me. But it makes a lot of sense given Peter's somewhat unique needs. He already knows how to take photos, and one assumes he could master the intricacies of an iPhone with video support as well or something like it. He could keep doing what he was doing for the Bugle -- getting exclusive and very cool images of a super-hero at work -- only get paid directly. Once he had the basics of the site up and functioning (subscription only or something like that), he could pretty much come and go as he pleased, making money while swinging around fighting crime. The startup costs nowadays for an internet business are very minor and you barely have to know anything about the technology.
  • Get funding to sell a variant of your spider-web formula and rake in the big bucks while doing nothing. Look, Peter, you invented one of the coolest things outside the Baxter Building. Get off your ass and sell the formula to Tony Stark or Reed Richards or someone with money, in return for a chunk of change and a continuing percentage of sales. Problem solved.
  • Reveal secret ID to SHIELD and go on the payroll. Don't fight the power any more Pete, let the power fight for you. Go on SHIELD's payroll as an at-large agent and keep doing what you're doing, only with benefits.
  • Teaching gig at the local community college. Teachers have a very flexible work schedule and can disappear for large chunks of time without anyone objecting. Plus, hot co-eds.
  • Night-time security guard. It would have to be someplace centrally located, that didn't have anything very valuable, and which was almost completely unsupervised. Good luck with that.

If you come up with better suggestions, leave them in the comments and I can add them in to the poll. I haven't had good luck with open-ended user-added answers in the past so I'm not turning that on right now, but I am happy to add them in myself as we go.

14 Responses to Poll Position: Spidey jobs

  1. Jake says:

    I couldn’t pass up Spiderman having a website. It has too much puntential.

  2. CPrime says:

    He was a teacher before Cap recruited him for the New Avengers and the Civil War.

  3. Niall Mor says:

    How’s this for irony? He takes a job as an exterminator–pest control, specializing in spiders.

  4. X-stacy says:

    He could make a point of breaking up a major drug deal every couple months or so and steal the cash money involved. After all, even assuming that delivering criminals trussed up at the station with no particular evidence actually puts them behind bars, the money would just have to be destroyed anyway. What a waste!

    Okay, so that’s not really a job….

  5. TopHat says:

    The teacher and science job suits Spidey’s personality the best.

  6. Danny Beaty says:

    I vote foe the website. Spidey needs flexible hours. Peter should also look into how to merchandise Spiderman (dolls, t-shirts, boardgames, model kits, etc). Wait a minute! Has Peter copyrighted Spiderman? I wouldn’t recommend Spidey selling the secret of his webbing. There is such a thing as industrial espionage, and if the formula for Spideys’ webbing fell into the wrong hands the results could be disastrous.

  7. thejay says:

    Trouble will follow him wherever he goes. If he takes a job at a science lab, he’d be closely watched (sensitive material given to the care of the new guy) and have to explain his sudden disappearing all the time. If he opens up a website, someone might figure out the “my-costumed-identity-also-gets-me-paid” system, a danger he was exposed to at the bugle, but now for the whole world? If he sells the formula, someone might connect the dots so it may also compromise his mask-life. And there’s only so much flexibility in teaching jobs. I’m not even considering night guarding, that’s supposed to be his “other work” hours.
    Overall, he should go work for another paper, or better, online-based press. there was that vampire series “moonlight” (is it still on?) where the lady reporter worked for online press. It could happen.

  8. Capshot says:

    If he has his own website, he could still take “self portraits”, snoop around, and he could have VERY flexible hours, working some days, but, when he’s off fighting crime, leaving his site unupdated.

  9. cavalier says:

    Website makes the most sense. After years of getting exclusive photos, if people haven’t ALREADY figured out Spiderman is Peter Parker it’s doubtful a web site will spark that connection. Since he can create things under a pseudonym, and use other pseudonyms to contribute, and pay for material from free-lancers, it would further insulate the two identities.

    Actually, since it makes sense, it probably wouldn’t happen. The difficulties of trying to keep up with a job is good for cheap laughs or cheap angst, as the Spiderman movies did.

  10. William A. Peterson says:

    Of COURSE trouble will follow him wherever he goes!
    He’s Peter Parker, isn’t he?
    I was going to vote for the “Don’t Yield, Back SHIELD” option, but that’s not something that allows him much in the way of free time…
    The Website is awfully clever!

  11. Kalkin says:

    I think the best job for him would be paparazzi. Since that is not on the list, he should make good use of the web formula. With that kind of money he could get some good money to invent some new spider gear for himself and he would have lots of free time to do webslinging. That would take Spider-man stories in a totally new and uncharted territory.

  12. Danny Beaty says:

    @Kalkin: Good point. Paparazzi would be good for Peter, assuming his consience wouldn’t get the better of him. I wish I had thought of it.

  13. Jeff Hebert says:

    I thought about paparazzi, which basically is what he is (only with a single target — himself) but they actually spend a lot of time staking out locations where targets of interest are likely to be spotted.

    Having said that, I bet there are dedicated “super-hero paparazzi” who primarily target supers.

  14. EnderX says:

    He’s already sort-of tried paparazzi. A brief stint during ‘Brand New Day’ when someone else ran the Bugle had Peter Parker noted for his ‘wacky photo-ninja’ skills, and turned toward that. His conscience did end up getting the best of him; it ended with him trying to make a conscience salving deal with the new boss, failing, and snapping a camera memory card with shots worth a small fortune right in front of the boss as a result.