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Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Is Willow the female Spiderman ?, why Tara matters, and other things

Thursday 1 March 2007, by Webmaster

Ok you read that right. I’m posing the question is Willow Rosenberg from Buffy the Vampire Slayer the female equivalent to Spiderman or to be more precise Peter Parker?

I know the first reaction to that is a simple NO as she doesn’t have the proportionate strength of a spider! Well I’ll give you that and good work spotting your pop culture icon differences! We have to dig a little deeper though when we consider the idea.

As a guy I can honestly say that the story of Spiderman and how he came to be is one that fills you with possibilities. Forget how unlikely it is that you’ll be bitten by a radioactive spider that will pass on super powers but the possibility remains.

Spiderman could have been you.

If I was bitten by a radioactive spider I might develop the powers and abilities that Spiderman has.

Now look at Peter Parker. He is a geek, a nerd, an outcast. He is not popular and he isn’t particularly gifted as an athlete. He is seen by some as a harmless identity at high school and by others he is not seen at all. As characters go he is not special.Spiderman

Parker is then bitten by a radioactive spider and his whole life changes. He develops abilities that others can only dream of having. He becomes important and admired as Spiderman and yes he becomes feared and hated in some circles too. He can now make a difference. How does that saying go? With great power comes great responsibility?

Now you’re wondering what has HE got to do with this site and more importantly how could Willow be compared to him.

When we first meet Willow in the first season of Buffy she is a nerd, a geek, an outcast. She doesn’t fit into the cool cliques and hangs around with her early childhood friend Xander. She befriends the new girl Buffy and discovers a world of vampires, demons and eventually magic.

By season four we are dealing with a whole new Willow. One with strength and abilities that others can only dream of. Her radioactive spider was the death of one of her teachers Jenny Calendar. Jenny Calendar was involved with online mysticism and pagans and when she is killed it is Willow who discovers her own natural inclination towards the magical arts.

Evil WillowAs Willow develops her powers she too has to learn that with great power comes great responsibility. When her girlfriend Tara is killed Willow turns to a darker side (if not THE dark side) very much like another comic book pop culture heroine Jean Grey.

As evil Willow there is no one who can equal her and she can lash out at the world as she suffers. Willow is of course shaken out of it and is coached by a coven on managing her immense power.

I wonder how many boys dreamt of the possibilities that come with the chance occurrence that could give them the super abilities that would empower them to rise up and show the popular kids how special they are?

In the same line of thought is magic the equivalent for girls? Of course Harry Potter has certainly made inroads with the chosen profession of wizard it is witches and witchcraft that society seems to have a fascination with. Sabrina, The Charmed Ones, The Scarlet Witch, The Four from The Craft are featured as strong examples of witchcraft characters.

Particularly in the case of the film The Craft we are treated to a storyline dealing with four girls who are outcasts for their own reasons who see the chance to escape their situations using magic. The film also deals with similar themes of power corrupting as well as a mature look at what pushes these young women to want such power to an almost addiction level.

So back to Peter Parker. After learning that he now has great responsibility along with his new found powers turns his abilities to be used for great good.

In the series finale it is Willow who having faced her demons turns her immense power to be used for the ultimate good.

To quote Miss Rosenberg:

‘Oh my goddess.’

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