Monthly Archives: March 2013

Dude, Where’s My Spider-Sense?

by Cardell Phillips

Let’s see…super strength, blinding speed, crazy agility, a damn near indestructible body, and movie star good looks; all standard-issue superpowers for your everyday blue-collar superheroes.

These individuals are called to battle people who don’t have a life and are intent on destroying/ruling the world. It’s dangerous work with no health care benefits, so it helps if superheroes are stronger, quicker, tougher and better looking than the bad guys so they can beat the crap out of them.

Then there are superheroes with a more refined class of abilities, such as the power to turn invisible, read minds, or see like a radar. So, instead of just physically overpowering villains, these heroes use their heightened abilities to outwit the bad guys. Then they beat the crap out of them.

Out of all the heroes with the more subtle type of superpowers, I’d put Spider-man’s “Spider-sense” at the top of the list because it enables him to know what’s hidden and anticipate what’s about to happen.

Spider-man’s “Spider-sense” doesn’t get a lot of play in comics these days and just about zero in the movies. So, I thought I’d show it a little love here. It’s also worth looking into because I think it’s an ability that we all have to one degree or another.

Have you ever had a bad feeling about a person, place or event, and ignored it and lived to regret it? I have and I’ll bet you have too.

Wikipedia defines Spider-Man’s “Spider-sense” as a tingling feeling at the base of his skull, alerting him to personal danger in proportion to the severity of that danger. For instance, a little tingling such as a happenstance passing by of an enemy would prompt Peter to be alert, while a strong tingling, sometimes to the point of being painful, is interpreted as a need to take immediate evasive action on a deadly threat. It appears to be a simultaneous, seemingly clairvoyant response to a wide variety of phenomena.

So there you have it. They don’t call him the “Amazing” Spider-Man for nothing. Look, it’s nice to fantasize about having super strength, wall crawling ability, quicksilver reflexes, or becoming good looking, but your chances of making it happen are not good. However, you can, in a way, develop a “Spider-sense.” It’s known in the real world as instinct, gut feeling, hunch or intuition.

In her book, “The Intuitive Way,” Penney Peirce says that some scientists believe that we only use 10% of our capacity to know. She believes that the other 90% of our brainpower lies in our intuition.

The trick is to learn how to listen to it. It’s hard to sort out the difference between what your intuition is telling you and what is your ego yakking about.

Peirce says that “in the beginning, your intuition will be colored by your preferred mode of perceiving, and as you begin to use your intuition, your information will be colored by that sense.” It will be through either a vision, a quiet voice that speaks to you, or like Spider-man, with vibration.

To develop your intuition, Peirce says you have to practice, practice, practice, until you can distinguish the voice of your intuition from your other thoughts. Start out with the small things. Try to sense what line would be the fastest in the grocery store, or when your telephone rings try to sense who’s on the other line.

Our intuition is just another ability to help us navigate through the world like the sense of smell that warns you where not to sit on the “L” train. It’s not something to fear of the unknown but an advantage to those who can see outside of the box and out think competitors and find opportunities.

It’s disheartening that Spider-Man’s “Spider-sense” has just about disappeared in recent years. It’s such a handy ability. Maybe, it’s too subtle to illustrate in the media. Personally, I loved those dark wavy lines they used in the early issues to indicate his “Spider-sense” was online.

That’s probably to corny for today’s market. But, why not feature Spidey’s special sense prominently in more plots? It could add to add a new and exciting dimension to the character.

Here’s an idea for you up-and-coming comic book writers. Let’s say the Peter Parker finds out that the Kingpin has come out of hiding and taken over New York’s racketeering. How does he get the money to finance his organization? Probably, his portfolio includes some type gambling operation.

So, let’s say Parker, wearing a disguise, poses as a professional gambler and infiltrates the Kingpin’s backroom poker games. Using his “Spider-sense,” he systematically fleeces the big guy out of a pile of cash and puts a hurtin’ on his operations.

Of course, the Kingpin his not too happy about that and hunts for Parker not knowing that he’s Spider-Man, and that’s when the fun would begin. Is this a good storyline? Ummm maybe, but you get the picture, in this story Spidey’s “Spider-sense” gets a starring role instead of its usual bit part.

Like Spider-Man, the more you listen to your intuition and “gut feelings” the more you will learn to recognize it and give it a starring role in your life. Then you will be well on your way to developing a skill that will help keep you one step ahead of the game.

Cardell Phillips is a freelance blogger and writer. You can visit his blog at


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