Spider-Man is one of the most popular heroes not only in Marvel, but across all franchises. Something about his dorky and witty sensibilities connect with children and adults alike, proving that no matter who you are, you can be a hero. Each iteration of our friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man in the past twenty years has been met with great success– from the more campy Tobey Maguire adaptations, to the recent MCU films that have captured the hearts of many.
In 2018, audiences were captivated by a new version of Spider-Man that few had been privvy to. Into the Spiderverse is an animated feature film that combined the many versions of Spider-Man that have graced the world of comics in one film. Here, viewers met Miles Morales, Peter B. Parker, and even Spider-Pig. It was an ambitious project that granted many skeptical gazes at first, but the art style and intricate storytelling captured the hearts of audiences and granted the film an Academy Award.
The current situation with the coronavirus has many people hunkered down at home, turning to media for some form of comfort. For many children, that comes in the form of Into the Spiderverse. Actor Jake Johnson, who provided the voice for Peter Parker in Spiderverse, reported that he regularly receives messages from parents saying that Spiderverse is on repeat in their homes to help the family get through this difficult time.
It isn’t lost on Jake Johnson just how important this film is to so many children. It also isn’t lost on him how scary this time might be for many families. To hopefully make some sort of positive impact on the world, if only for a moment, Johnson took to Instagram. For children who are stuck and home and want some form of encouragement, Johnson is offering to send these children a voice message from the Peter Parker.
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Since the quarantine a lot of parents have DM’d me saying they’ve been watching Spiderverse with their kids. A lot. So, here’s my idea. If your child is home from school and wants a quick encouraging message from Peter B Peter, then send me an email with their name and I’ll try and send over a short voice note. If I don’t get to you, I apologize. #stayhome Email here if you wanna try this: firstname.lastname@example.org
By emailing email@example.com with a request, parents can potentially receive a short, encouraging message. Johnson warns that it is possible he may not be able to reply to every single email, but says he will try his best. Even if the message is only a few seconds, a child hearing from one of their favorite heroes can brighten their world for a long while.
Johnson proves to us that in the darkest of times, the smallest gesture can make a world of difference. You don’t have to be out in the world doing monumental feats to change someone’s life. In fact, in a time when we are supposed to be staying at home, it’s better if you don’t. There are little things you can do– like curating a short message for children who need the positivity now more than ever– to be a hero.