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In Reply To
The Real Lance Eason

Subj: on his durabiility
Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 at 07:56:23 am EST (Viewed 18 times)
Reply Subj: In Spidey's case, I don't think his durability is on a par with his strength...
Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 at 12:38:56 am EST (Viewed 118 times)

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For many, perhaps most, characters with super-strength, they have durability that seems roughly equivalent. For instance, the Thing and Colossus are similar in strength levels and both seem to have the durability to take each other's punches pretty well. Ditto for Thor and the Hulk, Superman and Captain Marvel, etc.
I've not seen much to suggest that Spidey can't be knocked out by an amount of force similar to that needed to knock out a normal human. Of course, he DOES face off against foes with strength similar to his own (Scorpion, Venom,etc.) or even much greater. But, I've always gotten the impression that his success against super powered punches depends mostly on avoiding them or rolling with them enough to minimize their impact by a huge margin. Someone really fast and skillful like Daredevil might be able to get a solid enough shot to actually k.o. him even though he is using less force.
Wolverine would be in a similar position if his healing factor and adamantium skull didn't provide him extra protection from being k.o.'d, so he is harder to explain.

Of course, as I wrote about Spidey's lack of heightened durability, I started to wonder if I wasn't selling him short. He's probably taken hits over the years that would kill an ordinary human, whether he rolls with the punch or not, so maybe that initial theory of mine doesn't hold up at all. Thoughts?

I'd say that his "hard" durability is quite a bit better than Wolverine's, who is pretty much a normal human in that category. With healing and adamantium, he's almost indestructible while Spider-man clearly isn't though. I give Spidey better hard durability because he can pick up a tank without his back breaking, live through a bomb exploding on his back, take a punch from the Rhino, etc. There is a tendency for writers to come in and do a street type of story and have Spidey portrayed as having normal human vulnerability, but this is a small minority. We've seen comics in which Spidey just stands there while normal humans unload on him and he's completely unhurt yet we've also seen him knocked out by one.

Of course if the Silver Surfer can get knocked out by a brick and normal humans and we let it doesn't pull down his average much, I think Spidey still holds a decent average in durability. Interestingly, there is a trade off with Spidey writers as there is with Hulk. Hulk seems to trade some hard durability for healing and sometimes the other way around. In Spidey's case, we see an exchange between his spider sense and dodging ability with his durability. Sometimes you'll get a Spider-man who can run through a rainstorm without getting wet but he'll be hurt by a punch from Ox and at others you'll see him get blindsided by bricks and not seem hurt. In higher end depictions he has impressive levels of both attributes. In a similar fashion, Wolverine's healing is often balanced by his fighting ability. Typically, when he has one he won't have as much of the other.

To address the point about who is easier to knock out, having an adamantium skull shouldn't help with this. People typically get their lights knocked out when their brain hits the side of the skull. With a really hard skull, this should just make the problem worse. Because of this, my guess would be that Wolverine's healing is what really keeps him from being KO'd as easily as a normal guy. In regards to Spider-man v. Daredevil, it was possible for DD to knock him out using his billy club a half a dozen times on the back of Spidey's head, but DD commented on how he was barely out. Again, not a high end depiction for Spidey there.

For a more recent durability feat of Spidey at classic levels, look at when he started losing his powers in New Avengers. He fell so hard he smashed a fire truck and pushed it backwards. A normal human would be a red smear on the side of the truck.

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