9/11. The date alone evokes a lot of unpleasant and sad memories. It also makes me remember a certain issue of The Amazing Spider-Man that I have, which served as a remembrance of that day that will be forever remembered as one of the worst attacks by terrorism.
Yes, the simple black cover to this issue said it all. Originally released on December 2001, The Amazing Spider-Man #36 was one of the rare instances a comic book deviated from its ongoing storyline and focused on a situation/ event that was as real as it was going to get. Written by J. Michael Straczynski and illustrated by John Romita Jr., the books serves as a medium for the writer and artist to voice out their feelings regarding what transpired that day, showing Spider-Man wracked with shock and grief like many others, as he looks over and searches for survivors over the remains of what was once the World Trade Center.
The message sent here was simple and clear - it was a tragedy nobody could ever forget. The damage, fear, and chaos that was a result of those attacks still haunt many who experienced it first hand to this day, and those of us around the world who watched helplessly over various mediums could only feel pain, remorse, and anger over what transpired. My own memories of watching the horrible events unfold in CNN were as clear as yesterday, and even though 10 years have passed, we still remember and honor the memories of those who died and gave their lives bravely to help those in need that day.
Straczynski and Romita Jr. presented one of the most heartfelt tales that reflected the obvious shock people had over this event, as well as the overwhelming guilt and responsibility fictional heroes like Spider-Man felt over a terrible crisis like this. As someone who has fought for the safety of others, the webslinger is grounded and helpless to do anything even with all of his powers at his disposal. Arriving at Ground Zero after the dust clears, he valiantly looks for signs of life, joining his fellow superheroes to work with other rescuers and emergency units in finding as many survivors as they can. It was a heartfelt message of remembrance and heroism at a time when America truly needed those heroes. Even though it's been almost 10 years since this issue hit newsstands, it still resonates with me as one of the clearest and honest reactions to 9/11. We will never forget.