Da-Silva, Elidiomar Ribeiro et al. "Marvel and DC Characters Inspired by Arachnids." In: The Comics Grid 4.11 (2014)<http://doi.org/10.5334/cg.aw>.
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BibTeX citation key: DaSilva2014
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Keywords: "Spider-Man", DC, Marvel, Statistics, Superhero, USA
Creators: Carelli, Da-Silva, Müller de Campos, Nova Coelho, Nova Ribeiro Silva, Silva de Miranda, Silva dos Passos, Souza dos Santos
Collection: The Comics Grid
This article compares arachnid-based Marvel and DC comics characters. The composition of a comic book character often has interesting ‘real-life’ influences. Given the strong connection between arachnids (especially spiders, scorpions and mites, all belonging to the zoological class Arachnida) and human beings it is not surprising that they have inspired many fictional characters.
We recorded 84 Marvel Comics characters and 40 DC Comics characters, detailed in the dataset that accompanies the article (Da-Silva 2014). Most characters have been created recently, since the 1990s. Marvel has significantly more arachnid characters than DC. As for taxonomic classification, the characters were based mostly on spiders (zoological order Araneae). Of the total characters, the majority are human beings, but an overwhelming number have at least some typical arachnid features. Villains (60.91% of total) are significantly more numerous, considering the sum of the two publishers. Arachnids have bad reputation for being dangerous (Thorp and Woodson 1976; Ruppert and Barnes 1996). Since the public usually considers spiders, scorpions and mites “harmful” in general, we expected a larger contingent of villains. However, there was no statistical difference between the amount of villains and heroes in Marvel characters. It did not happen probably due to the success of one character: the Amazing Spider-Man.
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