Hero's Journey

Ever notice that every blockbuster movie has the same fundamental pieces? A hero, a journey, some conflicts to muck it all up, a reward, and the hero returning home and everybody applauding his or her swag? Yeah, scholar Joseph Campbell noticed first—in 1949. He wrote The Hero with a Thousand Faces , in which he outlined the 17 stages of a mythological hero's journey.

About half a century later, Christopher Vogler condensed those stages down to 12 in an attempt to show Hollywood how every story ever written should—and, uh, does —follow Campbell's pattern. We're working with those 12 stages, so take a look. (P.S. Want more? We have an entire Online Course devoted to the hero's journey.)

Ordinary World

Peter is a skinny, wimpy, thoroughly relatable high school senior. He gets picked on by his classmates, he has a BFF named Harry, and he's madly in love with his neighbor, Mary Jane. He lives with his Uncle Ben and Aunt May in Queens. They're kind of corny, but they're loving surrogate parents for Pete.

Call to Adventure

On a field trip to the Columbia University science department, Peter suffers a bite from a genetically engineered super spider.

Okay, "suffers" is probably too harsh a word here since that gnarly looking spider bite gives Peter a set of rad superpowers: enhanced strength and speed, the ability to crawl up walls, web shooters, and precognition. Peter is physically transformed into a buff dude capable of stopping the bullies that once picked on him. He's capable of stopping criminals, too.

Refusal of the Call

Peter refuses to use his enhanced abilities to stop a robber who holds up the wrestling tournament Peter just participated in. In this moment, he's called to use his superpowers for good; when he lets the robber go, he essentially says, "Thanks, but no thanks."

And his uncle winds up dead as a result. Whoops.

Meeting the Mentor

On graduation day, when Peter is missing Uncle Ben something fierce, Aunt May reminds Peter that Uncle Ben loved him and knew he was destined to do great things. In effect, she represents both herself and Ben now, mentoring Peter by proxy and reminding him of his values and what he's fighting for.

Crossing the Threshold

Peter gives Spider-Man's costume a much-needed upgrade, and Spider-Man hits the streets of New York, stopping criminals left and right. Gone is the bitter teen who refused to stop a thief.

Public opinion about Spidey and his crime-fighting motives are mixed, but he's officially made his presence known to the denizens of New York City…including a certain glider-riding supervillain.

Tests, Allies, Enemies

Peter's chief allies are his best friend, Harry, and his oldest friend, Mary Jane, with whom he's also secretly in love. The whole situation is complicated by the fact that once Peter and Harry become roommates after high school, Harry and Mary Jane start dating. Sorry, Pete.

Peter's #1 enemy, as Spider-Man, is the Green Goblin. Gobby firmly believes that people are terrible: they'll never appreciate the sacrifices you make; all they'll do is betray you. The Green Goblin proposes that he and Spidey team up and become allies, presumably in chaos and destruction, fueled by their bitterness over being taken for granted by the world.

Spider-Man also faces minor opposition from J. Jonah Jameson, the editor-in-chief of the Daily Bugle who insists that Spider-Man is a public menace, even while everybody's favorite wall-crawler is out there stopping burglaries and saving babies.

Throughout his journey, Spider-Man faces several tests. The first big one is stopping the Green Goblin when he crashes Oscorp's World Unity Festival. He's too late to stop Gobby from blowing up Oscorp's board, but he saves Mary Jane's life, as well as the lives of countless ordinary citizens.

Later, the Green Goblin shows up at the Daily Bugle and hits Spider-Man with knockout gas. He doesn't kill him; he takes him to a quiet, little out-of-the-way place and proposes that they team up. Next, the Green Goblin lures Spider-Man into a burning building. When Spider-Man formally declines his offer to be partners, he and the Green Goblin throw down again.

After a while, the Green Goblin starts to feel less like Spider-Man's nemesis and more like his stalker.

Approach to the Inmost Cave

This is where our hero prepares for his biggest challenge. In Spider-Man , it's also where our hero eats turkey. At Thanksgiving dinner, when Norman spots the cut on Peter's arm, he realizes his son's pal is his nemesis, Spider-Man.

The stakes have officially been raised. Now that Norman and the Green Goblin know Spidey's secret identity, they know how to focus their attack for maximum impact.

When Aunt May is attacked, Peter faces his greatest fear. With his identity exposed, his loved ones are no longer safe. At least the Green Goblin doesn't know that he loves Mary Jane. Yet.

Reward (Seizing the Sword)

Peter and M.J. have an intimate heart-to-heart in Aunt May's hospital room as Aunt May, Peter's only family, rests—and eavesdrops—peacefully. Peter tells M.J. what he told Spider-Man about her (i.e., that she's, like, the most awesome girl ever), and Mary Jane and Peter hold hands. Aww.

The Road Back

The Green Goblin kidnaps Mary Jane and holds her hostage on top of the Queensboro Bridge. See, Harry, not knowing what he was doing, told Norman that Peter is in love with M.J., which means the Green Goblin knows exactly how to get to Spider-Man. Whoops.

Spider-Man comes to M.J.'s aid and rescues her. He also saves a tramway car full of innocent kids in the process after Gobby tries to force Spider-Man to choose between the two. Spider-Man: all about that multitasking.


The resurrection is where the hero returns order to the world and ends the conflict. Here, it's when Spider-Man defeats the Green Goblin once and for all. Technically, we suppose the Green Goblin kind of defeats himself since he's impaled by his own glider after Spider-Man dodges it, but still.

With the Green Goblin gone, Spider-Man/Peter can breathe easier. We're sure that pesky little matter of Harry vowing to avenge his father's death will just resolve itself, right? Right?

Return with the Elixir

Peter returns to his ordinary world a changed man. When M.J. confesses her love for him (finally), he tells her he'll always be her friend. He tells the audience that he'll never forget Uncle Ben's words—"with great power comes great responsibility"—and that he's got a job to do because he's Spider-Man.

It's his gift because he can stop crime and save lives, and it's his curse because he can't live happily ever after with M.J., 2.5 spider-children, and a white picket fence.

Tired of ads?

Logging out…, logging out....

You've been inactive for a while, logging you out in a few seconds...

W hy's T his F unny?

Storyboard That

  • My Storyboards

Hero's journey (spider man)

Hero's journey (spider man)

Create your own Storyboard

Storyboard text.

  • The Ordinary World
  • Call to Adventure
  • Refusal of the Call
  • Peter Parker is a high school ''nerd'' who gets bullied, and lives with his aunt and uncle.
  • Meeting the Mentor
  • While on a school field to a lab, Peter gets bitten by a genetically modified spider and this causes Peter to gain abilities of a super spider.
  • Crossing the Threshold
  • Peter refuses to stop a robber who holds up a wrestling tournament, and therefore the burglar escapes.
  • Test, Allies and Enemies
  • Uncle Ben is Peter's mentor because he gives him advice and teaches him that with great power comes great responsibility.
  • After Uncle Ben dies, Peter hunts down the man that killed his uncle.
  • Peter's allies are his best friends, Harry and Mary Jane and his enemy is the Green Goblin. The test he faces is when he has to pick between saving civilians or Mary Jane.
  • Approach to the Inmost Cave
  • Peters biggest challenge is when the Green Goblin, who is his best friend's father, finds out Peter is Spider Man at a Thanksgiving dinner.
  • The Road Back
  • With Peters identity exposed, Aunt May is attacked and his loved ones are now in danger.
  • Resurrection
  • Peter finds a life where he is loved and respected as a hero and Mary Jane, his crush, is developing feelings for him.
  • Return With the Elixr
  • Peter is able to save Mary Jane and a car full of kids being held by the Green Goblin at the same time.
  • Peter defeats and kills the Green Goblin.
  • Mary Jane confesses her love for Peter, but he tells her they can only be friends. Peter has a responsibility now because he has a gift which allows him to stop crime and save lives.

September C. Fawkes - Editor & Writer

Write better with an editor.

  • The Triarchy Method of Story
  • Editing Services
  • Writing Tip Index
  • Recommended Books
  • Testimonials
  • Glossary of Writing Terms
  • Lifestyle Tools
  • Conferences & Conventions

Writing Tips

My philosophy, monday, january 27, 2020, the hero's journey explained: the middle.

spider man reward hero's journey

Crossing the First Threshold

spider man reward hero's journey

In Spider-verse

Tests, allies, enemies.

spider man reward hero's journey

Approach the Inmost Cave

spider man reward hero's journey


Hi! I can't believe there are no comments. I am currently writing my very first novel and I stumbled on this. Quite by accident, my story maps almost perfectly to the hero's journey! thanks for these helpful posts. Nanette

spider man reward hero's journey

Thanks for commenting, Nanette (and being the first to comment ;) ) I love it when we naturally do things in our stories! But it's even better when we can understand WHAT it is we are doing and make it better. I think on a intuitive level, many of us know the hero's journey, because it is everywhere. Hope your story gets even better with the info! September

I love comments :)

' height=

Popular Writing Tips

' border=

Helpful Links

Search articles, september c. fawkes.

spider man reward hero's journey

Let's be Social


Get writing tips by email:

' height=

Editing Testimonials

Editing Testimonials

Find more of my tips on ...

' height=

Recommended for Writers!

Recommended for Writers!

  • Recommended Reading
  • Conferences & Conventions
  • Icon Credit

Spider-Man and The Hero’s Journey Essay

  • To find inspiration for your paper and overcome writer’s block
  • As a source of information (ensure proper referencing)
  • As a template for you assignment

Spider-Man is an action movie directed by Sam Raimi. It tells the story of a teenager acquiring supernatural abilities. The following text will depict the twelve steps of the Hero’s Journey, using the scenes as examples. During the first step, Peter Parker is depicted as a schoolboy who is bullied by his classmates. The movie introduces his love interest, Mary Jane Watson, and his friend, Harry Osborn. Peter’s life changes after being bitten by a spider during a field trip to a laboratory. As a result, he acquires supernatural abilities, such as web shooting and climbing walls. At this point, Parker is overjoyed and unaware of the responsibilities that follow. The third step takes place when Peter is given a chance to catch a robber who steals money from an accountant after a wrestling match Parker has finished. The guy rejects the opportunity, letting the bandit run away. This mistake leads to said robber killing Peter’s uncle, Ben.

After the death of the boy’s uncle, he recognizes the latter as a mentor figure and follows his words. During the fifth step, Parker becomes a hero by fighting crime in New York. The multiple tests approach him when he is confronted by his new nemesis: the Green Goblin. The latter believes that humans are unreliable and offers Peter an alliance. Moreover, Peter’s love interest is dating his best friend, and the boss at his new job despises Spider-Man.

The stakes are raised when Norman (Goblin) notices a cut on the guy’s arm during a Thanksgiving dinner with May, MJ, and Harry. He realizes that Parker is Spider-Man because the injury is identical to his enemy’s. This leads to the eighth step when May is attacked by Goblin. Peter realizes what may happen if he loses his anonymity (Raimi, 2002). The Reward is represented by Mary Jane having a personal conversation, and after May overhears it and advises Peter to confess, he does it indirectly, and MJ holds his hand.

Spider-Man has his final battle with the Green Goblin, with the latter forcing the former to choose between Mary Jane’s life and saving the lives of a group of kids he is holding hostage. Peter successfully rescues both MJ and the children, having to fight the Goblin for the last time later. Norman dies, trying to kill the guy but indirectly causing his own demise. Parker acknowledges his responsibilities in the final stage and continues living as Spider-Man.

Raimi, S. (2002). Spider-Man . Columbia Pictures.

  • Housman’s Illustration to Rossetti’s Poem ‘Goblin Market’
  • MJ Gleeson Plc Financial Analysis
  • 10 Terminologies of Philosophy: Nemesis, Thumos, Physis, Nomos, Phronesis, Mimesis, Arête, Kairos, Aidos and Eupsychia
  • The "My Cousin Vinny" Movie by Jonathan Lynn
  • The "22 Again" Short Movie Analysis
  • The "Pirates of Silicone Valley" Film Analysis
  • Forrest Gump by Robert Zemeckis: Relationships Analysis
  • I of Newton Episode of The Twilight Zone Show
  • Chicago (A-D)
  • Chicago (N-B)

IvyPanda. (2023, July 29). Spider-Man and The Hero's Journey. https://ivypanda.com/essays/spider-man-and-the-heros-journey/

"Spider-Man and The Hero's Journey." IvyPanda , 29 July 2023, ivypanda.com/essays/spider-man-and-the-heros-journey/.

IvyPanda . (2023) 'Spider-Man and The Hero's Journey'. 29 July.

IvyPanda . 2023. "Spider-Man and The Hero's Journey." July 29, 2023. https://ivypanda.com/essays/spider-man-and-the-heros-journey/.

1. IvyPanda . "Spider-Man and The Hero's Journey." July 29, 2023. https://ivypanda.com/essays/spider-man-and-the-heros-journey/.


IvyPanda . "Spider-Man and The Hero's Journey." July 29, 2023. https://ivypanda.com/essays/spider-man-and-the-heros-journey/.

Frankie Sutton - Computer Animation Arts

Search this blog, film review: the hero's journey in spider-man (2002), post a comment.


  1. Hero Journey Spider-Man by Brandon Williams

    spider man reward hero's journey

  2. The Hero's Journey: Spider-Man: Homecoming by Gianna Mitchell on Prezi

    spider man reward hero's journey

  3. The Hero's Journey in Spider-Man (2002) by Ethan Hudson on Prezi

    spider man reward hero's journey

  4. The Hero's Journey: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse by jonny weng on

    spider man reward hero's journey

  5. Hero's journey Spider Man homecoming by Anthony Cotorra on Prezi

    spider man reward hero's journey

  6. Spiderman A Hero's Journey

    spider man reward hero's journey


  1. the hero's journey

  2. WHO TO PICK?? AFK Journey's Day 7 Reward Hero Select Chest Guide: Which One is Best For You?

  3. Turning Goals into Quests

  4. A Hero's Journey

  5. Alpha Hero helps Spider-Man get Weapon that makes his teammates regret #shorts #spiderman #alphahero

  6. $7K Reward For Finding Floridian Dog Abuser


  1. Spider-Man: Hero's Journey

    Get all the details on Spider-Man: Hero's Journey. Description, analysis, and more, so you can understand the ins and outs of Spider-Man. More on Spider-Man ... Reward (Seizing the Sword) Peter and M.J. have an intimate heart-to-heart in Aunt May's hospital room as Aunt May, Peter's only family, rests—and eavesdrops—peacefully. ...

  2. The Hero's Journey: Spiderman by Antonella Bahu on Prezi

    The Hero's Journey: Spiderman. Peter first faces the emotional test of his best friend and life long crush now dating. Mary Jane is shown as the trickster for toying with his feelings making his change and feel betrayed, and Harry as the shape shifter for being his best friend at times, and showing off he got the girl at others.

  3. The Hero's Journey Explained: The End

    One by one the heroes take on the villains--who are stronger and more dangerous than ever before--and begin to return to their proper dimensions, until eventually, there is a showdown between Miles and Kingpin. This is the ultimate test--both of the inner journey and the outer journey. Kingpin knocks Miles down.

  4. Hero's Journey- Into the Spider-Verse by Amory Gregory on Prezi

    Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse Ordinary World Hero's Journey Amory Gregory Ordinary World- Miles Morales lives in Brooklyn with his two parents. He attends Visions Academy- a boarding school in Brooklyn. Call to Adventure- Miles is first called to adventure when he is bitten by

  5. Hero's Journey

    The hero's Journey is important because it is found in almost any fiction story and/or myth. The hero begins in the ordinary world, and receives a call to enter an unknown world of strange powers and events. The hero must survive a severe challenge. By defeating the Goblin, Spider man successfully saves both Mary Jane and the children.

  6. Breaking down Miles Morales' character arc in Spider-Verse

    Here's how Miles' story falls into the hero's journey: The Ordinary World: The movie opens with Peter Parker's greatest hits, setting the expectations for what Spider-Man should be. Then we go to Miles and see how he's irresponsible and carefree in his life (not packing for school, putting stickers on signs, fails his test on purpose, sneaks ...

  7. Breakdown of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Hero's Journey)

    Skip to Content Home

  8. Spiderman Hero's Journey Flashcards

    Spiderman saves Mary-Jane and learns the Green Goblin's identity. At Norman's funeral, Harry (Peter's best friend) swears to avenge his father's death. Mary-Jane confesses her love for Peter, but he rejects her to keep her from danger. Peter recalls Uncle Ben's words and embraces his role as Spiderman. Study with Quizlet and memorize flashcards ...

  9. Hero's journey (spider man)

    Peter Parker is a high school ''nerd'' who gets bullied, and lives with his aunt and uncle. While on a school field to a lab, Peter gets bitten by a genetically modified spider and this causes Peter to gain abilities of a super spider. Peter refuses to stop a robber who holds up a wrestling tournament, and therefore the burglar escapes.

  10. Hero's Journey Flashcards

    Heros Journey Spider man. 9 terms. smartinjr. Preview. english lesson 3. 25 terms. Khloe_Jones1. Preview. Homework 2. 10 terms. calbailey04. Preview. Peds - Health promotion and maintenance, Routine health screening. ... Reward (Seizing the Sword) Mile's reward is saving himself, his family, and his city. He begins on his Road Back from his ...

  11. The Hero's Journey Explained: The Middle

    In the Hero's Journey, this is a sort of death and rebirth. Sometimes this is literal--the hero may literally die and be revived. But it's often figurative--the old them dies and a new them is then reborn. But of course, something needs to bring about that moment--a powerful obstacle or opponent. This is essentially the climax of the middle ...

  12. Spider-Man and The Hero's Journey

    Exclusively available on IvyPanda®. Spider-Man is an action movie directed by Sam Raimi. It tells the story of a teenager acquiring supernatural abilities. The following text will depict the twelve steps of the Hero's Journey, using the scenes as examples. During the first step, Peter Parker is depicted as a schoolboy who is bullied by his ...

  13. Heroes journey/ Spider-Man test Flashcards

    The hero receives an invitation to begin a quest or journey Refusal of the Quest During the Call to Adventure, heroes are given a task or a quest which only they can complete and they are faced with a choice: accept the quest or deny it.

  14. The Hero's Journey: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    The Hero's Journey: Spider-Verse The Hero's Journey: Spider-Verse Stage 4: Meeting the Mentor Peter Parker would be Miles Mentor. Although Peter Parker was reluctant in teaching him, he teaches anyways, on how to use his powers. The Hero's Journey: Spider-Verse Stage 5: Crossing

  15. The Hero's Journey Explained: A Breakdown of its Different Stages

    The Hero's Journey is a narrative pattern identified by Joseph Campbell, most notably outlined in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces. This pattern of adventure and transformation is a universal one that runs through all kinds of mythic traditions across the world. ... This reward/treasure is what the Hero went on the journey to get (it ...

  16. The Hero's Journey, And The Myth Of Spider-Man

    Mythology at its core is about change; much like the stories change with the times, the heroes also evolve to fit within the current world they inhabit. This...

  17. Stages of Hero's Journey.pdf

    Stages of Hero's Journey Movie: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Ordinary World - Miles Morales transfers to a boarding school The Call to Adventure - Miles is bitten by a radioactive spider and gains spider-like abilities Refusal of the Call - Miles accidently destroys the USB drive Meeting with the Mentor - He meets Peter B. Parker, who is from another universe and he teaches him how to ...

  18. Spiderman hero's journey

    Tiago Perez Spiderman: The Hero's Journey 1. Introduction to the Hero's ordinary world -Peter Parker is a nerdy kid at school.He's an orphan with an unhappy life 2. Call to adventure -Bit by a radioactive spider giving him incredible strength and abilities 3. Refusal of the call to adventure -Not understanding why he gained these powers, and only reserving them for selfish reasons 4.

  19. Spider-man Homecoming: Hero's Journey

    Spider-man Homecoming: Hero's journey Presented by PERSON for COMPANY Stage 1 Departure Peter's first adventure starts with Iron-man needing his help to fight Captain America in Berlin. The Call to Adventure Peter suits up with his new suit that tony gave to him to keep and goes

  20. Film Review: The Hero's Journey in Spider-Man (2002)

    1. Spider-Man film still. In this case, refusal of the call is definitely what forces the following steps of the journey to take place. Peter must face the worst form of karma after allowing a thief to run past him with a bag of cash, when he knew he could prevent this. With Peter refusing the call which was to use his powers for good, it makes ...

  21. Hero's journey

    Illustration of the hero's journey. In narratology and comparative mythology, the hero's journey, also known as the monomyth, is the common template of stories that involve a hero who goes on an adventure, is victorious in a decisive crisis, and comes home changed or transformed.. Earlier figures had proposed similar concepts, including psychoanalyst Otto Rank and amateur anthropologist Lord ...

  22. Hero's Journey and Archetypes in Spiderman by on Prezi

    Hero's Journey and Archetypes in Spiderman by on Prezi. Blog. May 31, 2024. How to create and deliver a winning team presentation. May 24, 2024. What are AI writing tools and how can they help with making presentations? May 22, 2024.

  23. The Amazing Spider-Man's Hero's Journey

    Spider-Man gets the antidote and the Lizard turns back into Dr. Connors and the city is saved. Captain Stacey tells Peter that the city needs him and Peter promises him that he will leave Gwen out of it. Then Captain Stacey dies from a previous wound from the Lizard. After everything Peter comes home with eggs for aunt May.