With great power, comes no future

A thought about Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

With great power, comes no future


Welcome to Hello Computer. A newsletter about being different. I’m Pete Carr (they/them) an autistic writer and photographer identifying as non-binary with ADHD and sprinkles on top.


The photos in this post are film photos from a trip to Venice in 2014.

A couple of men drag some chairs along a street in Venice next to a canal.

Captain’s Log

It’s my birthday this week. In the past I found birthdays problematic, but this year I think I’m OK with my existance. More on that another day, along with the ADHD diagnosis and 5th anniversary of the autism diagnosis.

Across the Spider-Verse

I’ve been sitting here for 10 minutes listening to the soundtrack to ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ with tears running down my face. My wife and I watched the film the other day. It is fresh in my mind and my ADHD wants to explore everything about it, which is cool but not why I am crying.

* Spoilers ahead **

This is a wonderfully animated film with incredible visuals that connect to the story. It is a story about accepting yourself, your own power, overcoming fear and in part, dealing with the reality of coming out to your family. In the case of one character their parents initially reject them, but they are able to reconcile later. While this is a film about people and even animals who were bitten by a radioactive spider, it is also a film about identity.

Why I’m crying is because I loved the first film so much. I run to the soundtrack, to this day. I saw this film 6 months after getting my autism diagnosis. It was a film about coming to terms with your abilities and finding your own strength. I saw meaning in that. Watching the sequel I saw it from an LGBTQ+ perspective. Spider-Woman / Ghost Spider aka Gwen Stacey is trans-coded. Whether she identifies as trans or an ally is unknown, but her world is certainly trans-coded from the colour palette to the “Protect Trans Kids” poster on her wall. Beneath the whacky Spider-Man hijinks is a story of coming out to your family and how complicated it can be.

I’m crying because this movie has been banned in certain countries because you see that “Protect Trans Kids” poster on screen for 3 whole seconds. 3. These countries are denying trans kids, trans adults, allies, and even enemies from seeing beauty. “Oh no! Got to keep the world like me because I’m a moral compass”

People are fine with characters, and even a fucking talking pig, self-identifying as a spider but asking them to protect trans kids is a step too far. It’s not even asking, it’s a poster on someone’s wall in the background. They miss the entire damn point of the film. “Less of this trans nonsense and more talking pig please.”

“With great power, comes no future” - Spider-Punk

It makes me angry, but mostly sad. 3 whole seconds is too much for some people. Three damn seconds! There are countries so afraid they can’t handle the idea of trans identity for three entire seconds. I’m furious, yet I have to let that anger go. If there’s anything a superhero film teaches you, you need to find a way past the anger or you can become the villain.

For the trans kids, and trans adults in those countries, I hope you’ve seen this film. I hope you can take away this message from it.

“Everyone keeps telling me how my story is supposed to go. Sorry, I’m doing my own thing.” - Miles Morales

A woman in a red top and black trousers walks off a vaperato water bus in Venice.

Transporter room

At the side of a building, people are reflected in the window. There is a lamppost and 2 women chatting by the waters of Venice.

End program

“Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous.” Christopher Pike, Captain USS Discovery.

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petes out 🖖

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A bald man with a beard talks on his phone as he passes water taxis in Venice.

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