Choujin X Takes a Unique Twist on a Famous Spider-Man Quote

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Choujin X, Chapter 15 by Sui Ishida, Jan Cash, and Snir Aharon, available in English now from Viz Media and Manga Plus.

"With great power comes great responsibility." It's the iconic quote spoken by Uncle Ben to Peter Parker from the 2002 Spider-Man film--words that seemed as ordinary as they come but later on became the moral backbone for the choices Spider-Man makes and who he is as a hero. So it's not a surprise to see this same quote appear in the recent chapter of the superhero manga Choujin X but it's given a twist.

It is still said by someone who acts like Tokio's mentor named Hoshi, but the quote is instead changed to say "With great power comes the potential for great chaos." This change makes sense in the context of Choujin X but it does raise some intriguing interpretations for three of the choujin and what it might mean in the future. Let's examine how this quote means different things for Tokio, Ely, and Hoshi.

choujin x tokio and shiozaki

Choujin were introduced as beings who left destruction in their wake. The very first chapter, in fact, opened with a plane crash when a choujin set it on fire. Now interestingly, the Spider-Man quote is alluded to in the very first chapter by none other than Azuma who commented that for all the power that choujin possess, they should do some good with it. As the original quote was spoken by Uncle Ben, it's interesting that this is coming from Azuma who has shown very little regard for choujin.

Hoshi is the instructor at Yamato Mori, the organization that monitors choujin and trains new choujin, acting as their protector. He was the one who took Tokio and Ely in when they were in their first fights. In Chapter 15, he likens happiness to being a road where everyone is on their own journey to being happy but happiness can only happen if the rules are being followed. He tells Tokio that his happiness comes from protecting everyone else from chaos. Hoshi is training the choujin to learn how to control their powers but he's also simultaneously reigning them in so they don't raze everything to the ground.

When Ely and Tokio were fighting Shiozaki in his Sinker choujin form, there was nothing that either of them could do that seemed to break Shiozaki out of his rage. Ely gets badly injured and she tells Tokio that she doesn't want the former baseball star to remain in his choujin form because he'll be alone, demonstrating her empathy. But there's a distinct shift in Ely in Chapter 15 when she finds out that the boy she borrowed the Roller Boy Yay-Yay from was killed by a choujin. She's visibly shocked and instead of returning to the countryside, she opts to stay in the city. Ely wants to use her powers to take out the bad guys so there won't be other victims like the owner of the Roller Boy Yay-Yay.

choujin x tokio and shiozaki

Tokio who has always been timid and hiding in the shadows emerged as the hero in the fight against Shiozaki. If he hadn't been stopped, the Sinker choujin would have either gone on an uncontrollable rampage or he might have had to be killed. Tokio was the only one who heard Shiozaki's plea for help as he was sinking, metaphorically and physically. Tokio saved him by using his love of baseball to bring him back, pitching a sinker. It's even more symbolic because it had been one fateful baseball game that had changed Shiozaki's life forever. Because of what happened with Shiozaki, Tokio is resolved to use his powers not to defeat the bad guys nor to protect society from chaos but to help people.

Chaos often has a negative connotation but it can also be something good. It can disrupt structures and norms that have held society together but have also created a power imbalance. Chaos can topple those who are using their power for evil and create an opportunity for society to improve. It's true that "with great power comes the great potential for chaos," but it also comes with the great potential for change.

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