Food for our Minds and Spirits: Delight in the Diversity of Experience (with Spider-Man!)

This week we’re getting another Spider Man movie! I know it seems like we get new ones every year. And with all the noise of Summer blockbuster superhero movies, it’s easy to just see a blur. There’s a lot of them, and they are loud, and have lots of things going on––it can be overwhelming.

But there’s a lot going on in how superheroes are depicted, and since this new addition to the Spider Man universe is being introduced, it’s worth noting what’s happening here. Because if there is a massive audience that is reflecting how diverse experiences shape us as people and the way that representing those experiences can be so meaningful and liberating to people––well, I can’t think of anything that does that better than Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse.

A thing that happened with the character of Spider-Man earlier than lots of other popular characters is that creators developed new versions of Spider-Man that were still Spider-Man, but where the “Man” was a different person. Sometimes it was Miles Morales, an Afro-Cuban Harlemite, or it was Spider-Gwen, a spider-bitten girl who becomes Spider-Man. Other times it was Spider-Pig and Spider-Man from the future and Spider-Man from 1602. Multiple Universes is not a new part of fantasy and sci-fi story telling. But personalizing different ways to be the same hero was not a common thing, and Spider-Man did that. And then, the BRILLIANT team of Phil Lord and Chris Miller penned a film that captured WHY it mattered that there could be so many different Spider-Men (Mans?)

If you have never watched this film OR if you want to think more about why representation matters in culture, or if you have young friends or family who like Spider-Man, Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse is worth pulling out of the superhero pile. This story matters. Because representation matters.

The trailer for the original is above. Here’s one for the upcoming sequel.

Sometimes it is hard to tap into our spiritual selves or find time to nurture our creativity and intellectual curiosity. Here is a section that reflects on some nourishing materials from around the web and related media channels in order to get us thinking, get us feeling, and get us reflecting on the lives we are living in this big world. **Some Adult/Mature Themes May Appear in Links and Other Attached Material**


Allan T. Georgia, MDiv, MTS, PhD