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According to the fourth stanza of the lyrics in their song, Spider-Man, the eponymously named theme song of the 1967 cartoon show Spider-Man, composed by Paul Francis Webster and Bob Harris, it is stated:

Spider-Man, Spider-Man
Friendly neighborhood Spider-Man
Wealth and fame
He's ignored
Action is his reward.

Is action Spider-Man’s reward, in the sense the associated thrill motivates him, or are the lyrics incorrectly correlating an action-packed life to motivation, or otherwise reading the character wrongly?

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  • 1
    The Spider-Man seen in Toby Maguire's outing would seem to be motivated by action and selflessness, hence his extreme poverty
    – Valorum
    Sep 30, 2021 at 15:29
  • For Spider-Man, the action is the juice. Sep 30, 2021 at 15:30
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    Perhaps, lyrically this means action as is action of justice is his reward.
    – Villan
    Sep 30, 2021 at 16:03

1 Answer 1

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No. Not really.

In most instances, the motivation is "With great power must also come great responsibility" which means as much as: "Try to do as much as you can to help" and most Peter Parkers (and also some other Spiders) share a huge sense of responsibility (as seen in Quote #14 and a few others here). So they see it as their responsibility, not even only as people with super powers, but even as simply people, to help out wherever they can, which is why scenes like him stopping a thief, lifting up a dudes car to help him repair it, or other small stuff is very important to the character. He is not just the guy who stops Doc Ock or the Green Goblin, he is also your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man

However, this does not mean most Spiders and Peter Parkers do not love the action. Peter Parker has stated on multiple occasion that the action he gets as Spider-Man helps him relax, to think or to take his mind off of other bad stuff going on in his life right now (like Aunt May being sick and close to dying for the millionth time this month).

So while the main motivation for most Spiders is not the action, it certainly is a reward. And usually, their only reward. As the song suggests.

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