If there is one man who should be immune to the weakening of the New York City job market, it’s Spider-Man. His resume speaks for itself. He can climb walls, shoot webs from his hands, and detect danger with his spider sense. While not in costume, Spider-Man is the talented Peter Parker, who versed in physics and chemistry, spends his days as a photojournalist for the Daily Bugle. Those are some pretty marketable skills.
But what happens when the greatest battle Spider-Man faces doesn’t emerge out of a result of the plans of Doctor Octopus or The Vulture, but from the toils of unemployment?
That’s the question that New York City sought to answer with the creation of “Spider-Man, You’re Hired” a custom comic book created in conjunction with Marvel Comics. The story begins not too long after Peter Parker is fired from his job at the Daily Bugle. Jobless and disheartened, Parker is plunged into the trials of the job search. Suddenly his greatest foes aren’t super villains at all, but rather resume-writing and networking and interviewing.
“Finding a job in a competitive economy can sometimes feel like going three rounds with Venom or the Green Goblin,” says Spider-Man in one of the separate one-page comics created as a part of the campaign.
Available free via Apple’s iTunes Store and in The Daily News, the comic acts as an extended advertisement of the city’s job-assistance resources. New York’s nine Workforce1 career centers, for example, offer job training and placement to over 25,000 New York City residents. “Made In NY” another program, offers New Yorker’s jobs as assistants in city-based productions. Both services are mentioned in the comic, with the latter appearing very prominently on the belly of a pregnant woman.
Mayor Bloomberg himself makes a lengthy animated appearance in the comics, offering Peter Parker advice on how to navigate unemployment using the city’s resources. “What if I told you I know a service where you can meet with a career advisor who can help you?” the mayor asks an uncertain Peter Parker before diving into a description of Workforce1. In the end, however, the Mayor, does not offer Parker a job, which just leads us to wonder if the rest of us really stand a chance either.