In the typical superhero movie, the hero is a genius with superhuman abilities, usually with an incredible amount of luck, and often very little believability. They’re just too omnipotent to be credible. (Superman is full of radioactive gunk, Thor is a god, and Hulk is an indestructible giant green monster…)
Not so The Amazing Spider-Man.
In the new version, when we first meet Peter Parker, he is incredibly, excruciatingly normal. Shy, geeky, and socially challenged, he is not anyone’s idea of super. A skateboarding science nerd with a strong sense of right and wrong, his attempts to stand up for the other underdogs don’t end well.
Until he’s bitten by a radioactive spider.
When Peter first receives his powers, he probably could have been better termed The Amazing Spider-Boy, as his objectives aren’t exactly the most mature. His first ambition with his new abilities is to humiliate the school bully. After his indifference leads to his uncle’s death, however, Peter comes to terms with the responsibility that his new powers have thrust on him, and eventually takes up protecting the entire city.
Peter’s close relationship to his aunt and uncle, the only family he has left, is the fuel and drive for his transformation into Spiderman. Without the anchor of his family and the guidance and love they give him, even when he’s unintentionally out late (fighting a large lizard), Peter’s transition from high school geek to masked vigilante could have been much messier. Peter’s family taught him that doing the right thing is worth it, worth everything, all the tears, the bruises and the blood. Without the responsibility he had to his family, Spiderman would not have been able to eventually take responsibility for an entire city.
Family fuels everything that Peter Parker/Spiderman does, whether hunting a gigantic lizard-man or personally chasing down his uncle’s killer. Peter’s interest in and dedication to his family in turn kept his city safe as well.