Spider-Man’s connection with spiders is mystical. He’s their totem, which gives him a one up on other animal heroes like Ant-Man and Batman.
When looking at the relationship Spider-Man has with spiders, it’s clear to see he has one thing over Batman and Ant-Man. Evidence for this can be found when he encounters Ezekiel and, specifically, when battling Shathra. The arc was written by J. Michael Straczynski and illustrated by John Romita Jr.
Ezekiel was a mysterious businessman who tried to teach Peter Parker that his powers as Spider-Man go much deeper than just a radioactive spider bite. Peter is the legitimate totem of the spider, as opposed to the animal villains he faces such as Lizard, Doc Ock, and Vulture who are false totems. Spider-Man has a mystical connection to various spider gods, which he realizes upon entering the astral plane. When Peter returns, however, he isn’t alone. A being named Shathra followed Peter back to Earth. She is the mystical embodiment of the spider-wasp, a natural predator of spiders, and hoped to use Peter as a meal for her hungry children.
While fighting, Shathra stings Peter, paralyzing him as her prey. Peter managed to escape though, and instinct drives him to take shelter (unknowingly) at the Natural History Museum’s spider exhibit. The spiders then cover Peter as he passes out, masking his “spider scent” from Shathra. Spiders also come to Peter’s assistance during the final battle with Shathra. They smother her, causing her to fall into a deep pit.
This mystical connection with spiders goes way deeper than most “animal” themed heroes such as Ant-Man and Batman. Ant-Man can control ants but only with technology, essentially forcing them to do what he wants. This is more of a master-slave relationship compared to what Spider-Man has with spiders, who are drawn to Spider-Man because he is their totem. They come to Spider-Man’s aide willingly, which is a far cry from Batman’s relationship with bats. Bruce Wayne famously found bats terrifying as a kid and decided to choose bats as a symbol to use his own fear against his opponents.
Ezekiel takes this even further by directly tying Peter’s role as a totem to his origin story. He wonders if it was the radiation that gave Peter his powers from the bite or if the spider, knowing it was about to die, chose Peter and gave him the powers knowingly. If this is true then that means Peter was destined to be Spider-Man. It was out of his control, unlike Ant-Man and Batman who picked their monikers consciously.
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