I was writing a comment on Jordan's post below and it was going so long I deciced to make a new post and park Jordan's underneath it. Because while reading Spidey's origins I suddenly recalled a key element in my dislike of origin stories, and here it is:
I never read any of this crap!
Let me explain:
First, I don't actually think it's crap; I just couldn't resist the obnoxious poetry of that statement.
Second, I got into comics in 1985, when the "oh my gosh comics can be sophisticated" trend was only a few years in. My comics mentor Sherm leant me back issues of Alan Moore's run on Swamp Thing, Chris Claremont's run on X-Men (both of which were still going at that point), Frank Miller's run on Daredevil, and Steve Englehart's run on Detective Comics (in which the Joker was first transformed from a goofy clown to the homicidal maniac we love today). This was after I cut my teeth on Howard Chaykin's American Flagg, which has faded into obscurity but was totally awesome. So I was right there for Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns in 1986 and everything that followed.
But prior to that? Everything from the mainstream that had decades of backstory going back to the 60's or 30's? To me at age 16, that was the goofy crap that I had no desire to read.
When I was a kid it was all about dinosaurs and monster movies and Star Wars and Thunderbirds and Space: 1999. My experience with comics was a couple fat books we got from the library (about Superman, Batman and the DC Captain Marvel), and three comic books bought for me for various airplane flights: an issue of The Defenders, an issue of House of Mystery, and another one that was Marvel and cosmic-y, maybe Captain Marvel.
Aside from reading Jon Byrne's run on Fantastic Four I've never really gone back to read anything else regarded as classics, especially in the Marvel Universe. It's possible I've actually never read the Spider-Man origin that Jordan just posted (I know I've read his story, but the art seems unfamiliar to me, so I probably read a recap). The bulk of the work done by Stan Lee, Neal Adams, Jack Kirby, Walt Simonson (to name a few) is stuff I've never seen.
I've got no love for the Planet of the Apes franchise for the same reason: no experience of it in a certain key age window. I respect the magic that Jordan's talking about and I understand that everything I do like about comics is built on it -- and most importantly I do enjoy reading it, but I can't divest myself from a level of detachment from the material. I can't give it a pass because of its age.
Anyway, that's my own self-indulgent perspective. It's an amusing reversal of the way my tastes and Jordan's typically fall. Usually it's Jordan who prefers his action/sci-fi/etc have an armature of sophistication (e.g. Alien), while I often champion the sillier stuff (e.g. Sucker Punch, not that I'm inviting a fight between those two movies). This probably explains why we fall on different sides in our opinion of the debut years of Image Comics.
As for Spidey's original origin story, which I recommend everyone read, I will admit there's more sophistication there than I tend to give it credit for. There's even better justification for my least favorite part of the story, the part where the thief who Peter allows to escape is the same guy who kills Uncle Ben.
Like any respectable nerd who lands on top, Peter was turning into a dick after being on TV. I don't think I ever knew that pre-crimefighter Spidey had TV and newspaper coverage. I mean, yes, it's ridiculous that he would "play to a packed house" and "win a showbiz award" and never once take off his mask, make any money, or sign anything that would make him accountable when he quit, but whatever. He has to go from dick to hero and all the better if he's really turning into a dick, right?
But... ack. I still can't get around the Same Mugger business. It's a plot point worthy of an ABC After School Special.