This is an open letter to multiple parties:
Dear Insomniac Games and Marvel,
With the recent release of Spider-Man for the PS4, some certain issues have come to light. We continue to call our hero “the friendly, neighborhood” Spider-Man when it really seems it is something much more sinister. That’s right! Mister Spider-Man is probably just as monstrous as some of the villains in his rogue’s gallery.
Before most of you, developers and writers alike, stop me with a “But hey!” hear me out. After finishing and grabbing the beautiful Platinum Trophy, I started to dwell on the idea of reviewing Spider-Man but stopped in my tracks when I realized that good old’ Spidey was a murderer. Imagine my surprise being a fan of the web-slinger and watching him use so many of his signature moves and tools when stopping baddies, but with a deadly twist.
Being a naive child may have kept me blind to the antics of this ‘hero’ but my current age, deeply analytical mind, and jaded personality I’ve seen through the veil that you’ve draped over this man. I can see so clearly that I don’t think I can unsee the horrors he’s racked up after each battle. Spider-Man, given the increased strength proportionate to that of a spider, amazing reflexes (Spider-Sense), and a genius intellect, has been corrupted by power. Not only did he not listen to Uncle Ben about responsibility, he pretty much tossed morals out the window while “saving” the city.
By now you’re asking me just what the hell I am talking about. You have to have a list of good deeds Spider-Man has in comparison to his bad ones, ready to shoot me down in one fell swoop. All I have to say is, get ready to have the image of your pure-hearted hero completely ruined.
You know how for all Major League Baseball games have radar guns that track the speed of the ball speed as it is thrown by the pitcher. Just like we have radar gun for cars in the hands of our men in women in uniform, stopping people from driving at breakneck speeds. Well see, after years of picking up certain skills (not fully honed by the way), and I’ve taken a stab at being a human radar gun because, for God’s sake Spider-Man’s web throw, let alone impact web launch is breaking so many laws when relating to the sheer speed the body can handle!
The human body is set up with the fleshy outer layer, which is malleable, soft, and squishy. Beneath the layers of skin, there is the skeletal system which houses the internal organs, which are just as squishy and delicate as the outer layer. Now that we have brushed up on our basic human anatomy, let me ask a very particular question; What do you think happens when this mostly soft pile of flesh travels at such high speeds that match the top speeds of cars?
WELL, I HAVE THE ANSWER!
At least, a rough estimate since my math skills is less than stellar. However using some of the better Force, Acceleration, and Velocity calculators I could find, and trying my hand at some pixel measurements, I’ve determined just what kind of force the Man of Spiders is doing and just what it can do to the human body.
In rooftop battles, it is clear that our friends, thugs/demons, are being brutally murdered while being stopped in various activities. You know, selling drugs, creating stakeouts, etc, all the fun times to be had for the criminally inclined. In midst of most battles, you have a choice, take down these wrongdoers with plain old’ fisticuffs, or get super creative with all the gadgets and suit powers. In the heat of battle, I decided I would gracefully web up an enemy and swing him around the rooftop. While spinning one of the tougher thugs around the rooftop, I noticed something peculiar. Firstly, this big guy must have been a larger weight class, which would have required a quite bit force to actually move in such a way. Secondly, this large object moved at such a great distance over a short amount of time, which calls into question a lot more about what’s happening to his body. And lastly, after being launched off the side of the building, I watched as he plummeted 4 stories, only to be jerked back by auto webbing which stuck him to the side of the building.
So a few things to note about the human body. Remember when I said two out of three of our layers are pretty soft? Well, this is a bit of a problem when we start moving at faster speeds, especially when they seem to be traveling 13/14 feet in under a second. The flesh may not rend from the bone, but the internal organs would certainly smash against our skeletal system and rupture. Bursting open, causing irreparable damage that if it didn’t kill you, it would make you unable to function in normal society ever again. That’s not counting on the fact that, while it’s not the typical force equal to G-Forces, it could still limit the flow of blood to the brain causing brain damage or unconsciousness.
By doing pixel measurements of Spider-Man just standing still, going by his canon height of 5′ 10″, I measured out the model’s full height and then compared it to the length of the rooftop and path he flew after being spun around. While it is probably a bit more than 14 feet, I put that as part of my calculations. I then had to do painstakingly take pictures side by side to the big brutes to get their height. While only a few inches taller, I clocked them in at around 6′. The average weight for someone that height is anywhere between 140-190, but with him being bulkier, I went with 200 lbs. So with all this brought together, I started punching it into the force calculator.
What I found scared me…
From a standstill, the brute was nabbed and did a few rotations, only to be thrown 14 feet in a matter of 93 milliseconds. The calculator told me that with 200 lbs going 14 feet in that amount of time, the amount of force required would have to be around 49,337 Newtons. On the power scale that is just over the force an engine of a small car at peak acceleration. Now I’ve been trying to simulate the force on the human body, and I couldn’t find a decent simulator that didn’t cost money. However, what I can say is then it would only take 2,300 N to crush a human skull. It also takes only 3,000 N to snap someone’s spine.
While if they kept traveling on the path, especially this one, in particular, he could have been cushioned by the air pocket, but would have eventually hit the ground after falling this 24 story building, or 259′ and would have died. The image shows the body of water in the background but this particular bad guy would have hit the pavement well before reaching water. The problem we have though is the tragedy doesn’t stop there. Oh no, potentially snapping this guys bones or rupturing internal organs by simply being twirled and thrown, it’s what happens after.
As I mentioned, after dropping 4 stories a ‘safety’ web somehow applied by Spidey during the scuffle shoots out from behind the goon and sticks him to the wall. Going just under 50,000 N, or 102 MPH from the center of his spine he jerked suddenly out of his current momentum. This alone would create some powerful whiplash, potentially snapping their neck, but most certainly their spine. I can only imagine at this point, a big thug would have passed out from pain while bleeding internally and soon enough realizing he is a paraplegic or worse. Eventually, if not treated, the internal bleeding would lead to death. A ruptured appendix is survivable for, at least on record, for 24 hours yet if more than one organ ruptured the time frame would be much less. I can imagine that the brain colliding with the skull at that intense speed would end up just absolutely destroying it. Forget concussions or just basic traumatic brain damage, his brain would be bleeding greatly.
So all of that combined… Yeah… he’s dead… I just imagine every organ ruptured and almost a majority of his bones shattered. Spine severed. All for dealing drugs, I mean I’m not condoning drug crimes but pretty sure a violent death by a dude in spandex is not the correct punishment.
That’s Not All Spidey Fans!
While we can’t deny he is murdering folks by web throwing people around the city, we should look at two more instances before we come to an official conclusion.
Real quick guys, you’ll argue it’s a different world and it probably has different levels of gravity than our Earth, or it’s just a comic universe. I’m just trying to point out what I see, and I cannot deny the heinous acts he is committing in order to save the city.
So, did you know that the human body can only handle about .2 Amps of electricity before it starts causing burns and unconsciousness? Extended exposure causes internal burns as well as external and can cause the heart to not function properly, beating erratically and cause heart failure. We should look at Spider-Man’s shock webs, and suit power Electrical Gauntlets because there seems to be a problem.
In men, it takes anywhere from 9-30 milliamps to cause “freezing” in the muscles and can cause death. We can clearly see thugs and others alike “frozen” in one spot while being shocked, meaning it has to be enough to cause possible death. While I shouldn’t just dabble in possibility, I have to say this is the limit to what his electrified gadgets go. Except, taking into account it can cause people to go unconscious, knocking them out from the battle at hand. This changes things just a bit, while there are no set standards for rendering a person unconscious without getting into a whole bunch of variables regarding Spidey’s tech specs and the persons’ personal resistance to Amp levels there is one set level that guarantees to knock someone out.
Ventricular fibrillation and/or respiratory arrest. Lack of oxygen from lack of breathing, and heart pumping out of normal rhythm.
Both have the chance to cause someone to loses consciousness yet they are on their own separate levels of current. Going beyond 30 mA just a hair to 50, your breathing stops and your muscles contract. While this seems to sync up pretty well with what is happening to the thug in question, let’s look a little further to see just which place we can label this. From 50-150 breathing stops, but once you hit 1,000-4,300 amps ventricular fibrillation begins, muscles begin contracting again and death is way more likely than before.
In either case, the chance for death is pretty high regardless of which it ends up actually being. It takes just enough to stop someone’s breathing, cause unconsciousness, and leave them face down on the pavement for the cops, who could take to long to show to apprehend/save them. I can say, that Spider-Man has to be shocking these guys with currents at the low end of 50 mA at least. It’s right at the spot that covers all our criteria for this attempted murder.
Still Not Convinced? How about being kicked out of a vehicle during a high-speed chase?
While one of the cooler looking feats our wall-crawler does is stop car chases throughout the city, able to lift the car in the air for a moment of time or become the Spider Brake as I like to call it. While cool, it also doesn’t bode well for the driver or the passengers. Aside from going to jail, these car thieves are being forcibly removed from a moving vehicle, which I didn’t get a good shot to pixel measure, but I would have to guess going at least 50 mph. So what does Spidey do? Webs them up and launches them from the car of course. No tuck and roll, no cushion, just tie em’ up and attach them to the building moving quickly behind them. Changing not only their speed and momentum but possibly slamming them into a building. Like I covered earlier, such force could cause organs to rupture and bones to break. However what makes me really concerned is when our hero swings through the driver side window, kicking them at what I can assume to be full-force through another rolled up window, and out onto the city streets.
The air pocket I talked about with the flying thug exists here too. It may cause him to decelerate but not nearly enough to not cause permanent damage. Hell if he slammed into a street sign or newspaper box, he’d for sure be permanently disfigured or dead. If he managed to only hit the pavement and wasn’t versed in tuck and roll, depending on how he landed, he’d still meet his maker. Hitting face first would scrape flesh and possibly bone from his face, leading to brain damage and likely death. Any other part of his body, he might be able to survive but he’d be horribly injured. Hope they offer skin grafts in prison because this guy might need one, best case scenario.
Maybe JJJ was right:
Threat or Menace? Yeah, JJ Jameson, you posed the right question, because most of these criminals are being both threatened and menaced by Spider-Man. While the conspiracies posed about him are crazy as all hell, the idea that he is actually hurting, let alone killing people is a thing to believe.
So Insomniac Games/Marvel, I hope you realize that you’re putting a lot of faith in someone to Be Greater while ignoring the fact that he’s a cold blooded killer!
That’s not to say I didn’t love the game, I’d give it a 9/10 honestly. I just can’t overlook that he’s on a killing spree throughout New York, which I guess you can say I am now an accessory seeing as how I was playing as him through your game. Well played Insomniac… well played.