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  1. #31
    Astonishing Member Coal Tiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    Yeah, nothing in common... well, besides the color scheme, general tone, an "S-man" name, and...

    --Both alter egos defined by nebbishness (and Peter Parker wears Clark Kent-like spectacles in the original Ditko run)

    --Both work at a newspaper called "Daily..."

    --Original girlfriends work with hero at newspaper job; have alliterative names -- Lois Lane / Betty Brant

    --Both work for gruff-but-lovable editors

    --Both characters had big special Wedding issues in the same era

    --Both characters had their marriages ret-conned in the same era

    --Both characters became the face of their publisher

    --Both characters were adopted by elderly saintly people who taught the hero their morality

    --Both characters have a bald big bad kingpin -- Lex and Fisk (with the '80s reinvention of Lex very much borrowing from Kingpin)


    To prove how common these tropes are, let's name all of the other superheroes who fit these descriptions besides these two, who have nothing in common.
    They're pretty common tropes, but I've seen nothing to suggest that one was aping the other intentionally. Stan Lee used a lot of alliterative names to start with. Spider-Man and Superman's weddings were 9 years apart. Initially, Superman's parents died prior to Action Comics #1 while Aunt May stayed a constant presence. Hell, Uncle Ben dying was Peter's inciting incident to become a superhero, while with Superman it was just something that happened. Peter's nebbishness is basically who he is, while with Superman it's a mask. Hell, some of these examples are of it happening to Spider-Man first, so they can't be an answer to Superman.

    Obviously, Spider-Man owes his existence to Superman's success as much as any other superhero does, but to claim that Lee and Ditko set out to create their own Superman is a stretch. That stuff just ended up happening. Spider-Man was one of many characters that Lee, Kirby, and Ditko threw at a wall and ended up sticking.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coal Tiger View Post
    They're pretty common tropes, but I've seen nothing to suggest that one was aping the other intentionally. Stan Lee used a lot of alliterative names to start with. Spider-Man and Superman's weddings were 9 years apart. Initially, Superman's parents died prior to Action Comics #1 while Aunt May stayed a constant presence. Hell, Uncle Ben dying was Peter's inciting incident to become a superhero, while with Superman it was just something that happened. Peter's nebbishness is basically who he is, while with Superman it's a mask. Hell, some of these examples are of it happening to Spider-Man first, so they can't be an answer to Superman.

    Obviously, Spider-Man owes his existence to Superman's success as much as any other superhero does, but to claim that Lee and Ditko set out to create their own Superman is a stretch. That stuff just ended up happening. Spider-Man was one of many characters that Lee, Kirby, and Ditko threw at a wall and ended up sticking.
    To reiterate:

    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    I think you're arguing against a different point than is being made...? Like, nobody is saying that Stan & Steve literally sat down and literally said "We shall make the Marvel Superman." Similarly, Siegel and Shuster didn't literally say "We shall make a character who will become the face of the company." The creators can't control the popularity of a character at the point of inception.

    The point is that Spider-Man IS the Marvel Superman, and you can see it, regardless of whether the two ever shared a book called World's Finest or whether Stan ever said "Superman" in print... you're even arguing in favor of this point! Marvel's M.O. was subverting superhero tropes — specifically the DC superheroes like Superman and Batman— and thus, many of the core aspects of Spider-Man's mythos are similar to Superman's because of this conscious or unconscious influence.

    To put it another way, Spidey is sort of like a satirical take on Supes... and over the years, the two characters have influenced each other back and forth in a number of ways, because of their inherent similarities.

    Edit: To put it another 'nother way, Spider-Man is "what if Superman was relatable and interesting"
    The weddings being 9 years apart doesn't mean they weren't in the same era. How many other superheroes had big wedding issues where the superhero married his longtime girlfriend? I think it's just Superman, Spider-Man, and Cyclops.

    Again, you can see the relationship between the characters play out in a number of ways over time... Superman influenced Spider-Man, and then the reverse is also true, as you noted. You can see a lot of Spidey's influence on Superman in the John Byrne 1986 miniseries, where Pa Kent becomes Uncle Ben in almost every way but name.
    Last edited by gregpersons; 04-14-2019 at 01:09 PM.

  3. #33
    Astonishing Member Tuck's Avatar
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    This thread needs a vertigo warning.

  4. #34
    Astonishing Member Coal Tiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    To reiterate:



    The weddings being 9 years apart doesn't mean they weren't in the same era. How many other superheroes had big wedding issues where the superhero married his longtime girlfriend? I think it's just Superman, Spider-Man, and Cyclops.

    Again, you can see the relationship between the characters play out in a number of ways over time... Superman influenced Spider-Man, and then the reverse is also true, as you noted. You can see a lot of Spidey's influence on Superman in the John Byrne 1986 miniseries, where Pa Kent becomes Uncle Ben in almost every way but name.
    Yeah that kinda undercuts your argument that Spider-Man was an answer to Superman if he got married 9 years before Superman did.

  5. #35
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    --Both characters have a bald big bad kingpin -- Lex and Fisk (with the '80s reinvention of Lex very much borrowing from Kingpin)
    Let's go back to this one.


    Lex Luthor was a man scientist that used sci-fi gadgets when Kingpin first appeared. They shared nothing in common but a haircut. Years and years later, Lex Luthor copies Kingpin... and somehow this means Spider-man is copying from Superman?

    Do you even read what you write?

    How many other superheroes had big wedding issues where the superhero married his longtime girlfriend? I think it's just Superman, Spider-Man, and Cyclops.
    You can't even remember the big Mr. Fantastic/Invisible Woman wedding?
    Last edited by Alan2099; 04-14-2019 at 02:09 PM.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    The point is that Spider-Man IS the Marvel Superman, and you can see it, regardless of whether the two ever shared a book called World's Finest or whether Stan ever said "Superman" in print... you're even arguing in favor of this point! Marvel's M.O. was subverting superhero tropes — specifically the DC superheroes like Superman and Batman— and thus, many of the core aspects of Spider-Man's mythos are similar to Superman's because of this conscious or unconscious influence.

    To put it another way, Spidey is sort of like a satirical take on Supes... and over the years, the two characters have influenced each other back and forth in a number of ways, because of their inherent similarities.

    Edit: To put it another 'nother way, Spider-Man is "what if Superman was relatable and interesting"
    To be fair, plenty of fans will tell you they find Superman interesting.

    As for Spider-Man being Marvel's Superman. On a popularity level, that's true. But you're ascribing a level of intent on the part of Stan and Steve to make Spidey mirror Superman hat I - and most others - don't believe was there.

    Marvel was about subverting the general superhero tropes and conventions that were familiar to comic readers. In regards to Spidey and Superman, I think some of the parallels that place a lot of importance on - like the fact that their costumes both have red and blue color schemes - are more due to coincidence than design.

    You can argue that, no, there's more to it but as there's no way to verify any of that, it remains pure speculation on your part. And in the end, running down the list of their various similarities and differences isn't something I think many fans find especially interesting.

  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coal Tiger View Post
    Yeah that kinda undercuts your argument that Spider-Man was an answer to Superman if he got married 9 years before Superman did.
    Earth-2 Superman got married in the 70s.


  8. #38

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    The question of whether Lee and Ditko intended Spider-Man to be Superman is secondary to the OP's argument that Spider-Man is similar to Superman. It's only brought up as an argument against it, but that's neither here nor there. The thing about Superman and Spider-Man is also the thing with Marvel and DC, in that it went two ways and both directions. Marvel in the '60s took inspiration from DC but sought and went in a more contemporary direction. But as Marvel became big, DC took inspiration from it.

    If we ignore the whole "AF#15 is the first and only important Spider-Man story" ever argument, if you read ASM's first 10 issues, where the Daily Bugle becomes the center of Peter's world (Peter being in high school and a teenager was far less important in that time, than him being poor and needing to work a crappy job for Jameson). And the Daily Bugle and Peter's entire dynamic with Jameson is quite obviously inspired by Superman and Clark Kent. And some of the high satire and parody seems to actually borrow itself from Harvey Kurtzman's magnificent satire Superduperman which also shows Clark's connection with the media and superheroics in a pretty sketical and ironic light, and EC Comics was a huge inspiration on Stan Lee. So Spider-Man took inspiration from Superman, and also Batman when you consider stuff like Peter's use of gadgets and inventions, him putting stuff in his belt, and wondering if his belt can accommodate pockets for extra cartridges and so on.

    But Spider-Man and his stories gradually inspired both Batman and Superman. Like for instance if you read Strange Apparitions by Englehart where you have Bruce Wayne in a more vulnerable place worried about how his work as Batman is getting in his way with his relationship with Silver St. Cloud, and it's hard not to see Bruce act a fair bit like Peter Parker. Of course that trait was phased out when Frank Miller arrived. Everyone says that the Green Goblin is a Joker knock-off but people forget that Goblin killed Gwen Stacy ten years or so before The Killing Joke sent Joker on open season on Batman's supporting cast. And in a lot of ways, Green Goblin did the stuff that Joker later originated. DC as a rule tend to adapt and borrow (and steal). So Lex Luthor was once a red-head generic bad-guy until Captain Marvel did well and they made him like Dr. Sivana, and then later people liked Fisk, so they made Luthor into Kingpin. For a long time, the idea that Lois knowing and supporting and accepting Clark and Superman was anathema and so on. And Spider-Man and MJ proved them wrong.

    And yes, I know people will cite Flash and Iris, while I can go back and cite the Wesley Dodd Sandman and Dian Belmont. Flash wasn't all that big after about the mid-50s and Iris West was dead by the time of the 80s, and Barry Allen was considered expendable by DC for COIE. So he wasn't a major hero by then unlike Spider-Man was. Heck Reed and Sue and Hank and Janet aren't unique if you factor in Hro Talak and Shayera Hol as Hawkman and Hawkgirl. Or you know Jane Thor...a civilian love-interest becoming a superheroine, quel horreur...except you know Shayera Hol was introduced as a civilian love interest to Hawkman before being made by Gardner Fox into her partner, and now someone who is bigger than Hawkman.

    You know the biggest impact Spider-Man made on Superman is evident when you look at Bruce Timm's Superman the Animated Series, where he basically makes Lana Lang into Mary Jane Watson. A party girl who cottoned on to Clark Kent's identity back in college, knows his identity and keeps his secret and helps him out. And take a look at her design.

    Bruce Timm lana lang.jpg

  9. #39
    Astonishing Member boots's Avatar
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    the answer is clearly yes.

    no.

    sorta.
    troo fan or death

  10. #40

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    Here's one way to stand this on the head...which DC character, in your opinion, does Spider-Man most resemble or has most in common with?

    Like between Superman and Batman, who does Spider-Man have more in common with? My answer is obviously that Spider-Man has more in common with Superman at the end of the day than Batman, simply because Spider-Man's main story engine is his relationship with the supporting cast, as in Superman, while with Batman, it's his relationship with his enemies. Superman and Lois will always be the most complex and interesting characters of their mythos just like Peter, MJ and Jameson are the most complex and interesting characters of their mythos. While in the case of Batman, it can be and often has been argued, that the more complex characters are the villains and Batman gets more complex, the more he and the villains relate and parallel with each other (the whole thing of his rogues being ShadowArchetype to him), than when he is equated with his supporting cast.

    Or maybe, Spider-Man has stuff in common with the Flash, with Barry Allen, or maybe Hal Jordan? Or maybe Spider-Man has stuff in common with DC's female superheroes, like Black Canary, Wonder Woman?

    Also keep in mind as context, Spider-man in the Lee-Ditko era and DC Stuff in the Silver Age versus what followed later. In more recent times, DC certainly tried to create characters more like Peter Parker, with the Jamie Reyes Blue Beetle being a good example. The legacy characters, Wally West and Kyle Rayner are certainly more Peter Parker-ish, with Wally being burdened with the example and lesson of his Dead Uncle (at least Dan DiDio and Geoff Johns screwed him over), and Kyle Rayner likewise is a bit like the college-era Peter and of course his girlfriend got literally stuffed in the fridge (which is where the name, phrase, expression came from).My favorite of the DC Peters is Terry McGinnis, from the Batman Beyond cartoon, given that it's basically what if Peter Parker was Batman and hits all the beats.

  11. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    The question of whether Lee and Ditko intended Spider-Man to be Superman is secondary to the OP's argument that Spider-Man is similar to Superman. It's only brought up as an argument against it, but that's neither here nor there. The thing about Superman and Spider-Man is also the thing with Marvel and DC, in that it went two ways and both directions. Marvel in the '60s took inspiration from DC but sought and went in a more contemporary direction. But as Marvel became big, DC took inspiration from it.

    If we ignore the whole "AF#15 is the first and only important Spider-Man story" ever argument, if you read ASM's first 10 issues, where the Daily Bugle becomes the center of Peter's world (Peter being in high school and a teenager was far less important in that time, than him being poor and needing to work a crappy job for Jameson). And the Daily Bugle and Peter's entire dynamic with Jameson is quite obviously inspired by Superman and Clark Kent. And some of the high satire and parody seems to actually borrow itself from Harvey Kurtzman's magnificent satire Superduperman which also shows Clark's connection with the media and superheroics in a pretty sketical and ironic light, and EC Comics was a huge inspiration on Stan Lee. So Spider-Man took inspiration from Superman, and also Batman when you consider stuff like Peter's use of gadgets and inventions, him putting stuff in his belt, and wondering if his belt can accommodate pockets for extra cartridges and so on.

    But Spider-Man and his stories gradually inspired both Batman and Superman. Like for instance if you read Strange Apparitions by Englehart where you have Bruce Wayne in a more vulnerable place worried about how his work as Batman is getting in his way with his relationship with Silver St. Cloud, and it's hard not to see Bruce act a fair bit like Peter Parker. Of course that trait was phased out when Frank Miller arrived. Everyone says that the Green Goblin is a Joker knock-off but people forget that Goblin killed Gwen Stacy ten years or so before The Killing Joke sent Joker on open season on Batman's supporting cast. And in a lot of ways, Green Goblin did the stuff that Joker later originated. DC as a rule tend to adapt and borrow (and steal). So Lex Luthor was once a red-head generic bad-guy until Captain Marvel did well and they made him like Dr. Sivana, and then later people liked Fisk, so they made Luthor into Kingpin. For a long time, the idea that Lois knowing and supporting and accepting Clark and Superman was anathema and so on. And Spider-Man and MJ proved them wrong.

    And yes, I know people will cite Flash and Iris, while I can go back and cite the Wesley Dodd Sandman and Dian Belmont. Flash wasn't all that big after about the mid-50s and Iris West was dead by the time of the 80s, and Barry Allen was considered expendable by DC for COIE. So he wasn't a major hero by then unlike Spider-Man was. Heck Reed and Sue and Hank and Janet aren't unique if you factor in Hro Talak and Shayera Hol as Hawkman and Hawkgirl. Or you know Jane Thor...a civilian love-interest becoming a superheroine, quel horreur...except you know Shayera Hol was introduced as a civilian love interest to Hawkman before being made by Gardner Fox into her partner, and now someone who is bigger than Hawkman.

    You know the biggest impact Spider-Man made on Superman is evident when you look at Bruce Timm's Superman the Animated Series, where he basically makes Lana Lang into Mary Jane Watson. A party girl who cottoned on to Clark Kent's identity back in college, knows his identity and keeps his secret and helps him out. And take a look at her design.

    Bruce Timm lana lang.jpg
    The point about Lee/ Ditko borrowing from Superduperman for Spider-Man is unique, so we can't just take it for granted that it happened. You might very well be right, but what evidence do you have?

  12. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    The point about Lee/ Ditko borrowing from Superduperman for Spider-Man is unique, so we can't just take it for granted that it happened. You might very well be right, but what evidence do you have?
    Just one possible example of how Superman could have been filtered into Spider-Man and in keeping with Lee's sensibility. Stan Lee was certainly very familiar with and inspired by EC Comics. Timely and Atlas Comics remember had printed out huge numbers of EC Comics imitators in the '50s, and Lee was appointed by Martin Goodman (his Uncle) to oversee that. EC Comics and Will Gaines started the whole tradition of comics fandom and letters pages, and interacting with fans and so on, and also crediting writers and artists and promoting them. All of the Marvel Bullpen stuff began there.

    Stan Lee from everything I've read disliked superheroes and he certainly didn't like the comics business. He wanted to make it as a serious writer and novelist and he disliked superhero comics ideas like sidekicks and so on. He definitely had an irreverence and he still does. Check out his Marcos Martin collaborations of Spidey Sunday Spectacular. Harvey Kurtzman's Superduperman was a big deal in the 50s, it was the comic that launched MAD, and Wally Wood, who drew that comic, was later courted by Lee to work at Marvel and he worked on Daredevil (creating the red costume). Superduperman had Clark Bent who was presented as a kind of dweeb and so on, and he pined for Lois Pain, and she rejected him after he revealed his identity with that legendary line, "Once a creep, always a creep." So Superduperman is in it for the money, fame and adulation, and he's threatened by more popular heroes like Captain Marbles.

    So when you look at Spider-Man, you can see that Peter initially tries to monetize his gifts, is obsessed with celebrity and so on. Only difference is that Lee wants to tell a superhero story straight so he has to find a way to acnowledge all the corny subtext of Superman which Kurtzmann ripped to shreds and make him a hero again. In the ASM run you have Spider-Man threatened by popular heroes like the Torch and the Fantastic Four, constantly being misunderstood at office and having difficult relations with Betty. And the "once a creep, always a creep" and its influence can be seen in ASM#87, and Peter's fears about being rejected by Gwen and so on.

  13. #43
    Loony Scott Taylor's Avatar
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    Going to provide another argument. Why wouldn't the creator of any new comic in 1962 copy the success of Superman?

    In 1962, Superman was selling the best of all comics:

    https://www.comichron.com/yearlycomi...data/1962.html

    Five out of the top seven are Superman comics, and total sales of all of them combined was like $2.7 million units. Thats subscriptions only, the numbers would be a lot higher if you included off the rack sales.

    It seems probable that Lee copied some elements of Superman
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  14. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Taylor View Post
    Going to provide another argument. Why wouldn't the creator of any new comic in 1962 copy the success of Superman?

    In 1962, Superman was selling the best of all comics:

    https://www.comichron.com/yearlycomi...data/1962.html

    Five out of the top seven are Superman comics, and total sales of all of them combined was like $2.7 million units. Thats subscriptions only, the numbers would be a lot higher if you included off the rack sales.

    It seems probable that Lee copied some elements of Superman
    IN the early years, Marvel comics were actually distributed by the chain that DC owned, and DC limited Marvel's output and placed quotas on it. And it took a while for Marvel to get out of that. So on both a personal level (dislike of superhero comics), professional level (dislike of DC for putting quotas on distribution and needing to play ball with them halfway), Lee would have been keen to undermine DC and that meant undermining Superman.

    It was in the 70s that Spider-Man exceeded Superman in sales. I mean Superman vs. TASM is basically a coronation for Marvel and Spider-Man. No way would that comic have been possible or DC approved of it, if Marvel didn't seem "here to stay" and Spider-Man not become "lasting, and all in less than his first decade. DC remember has a history of burying competitors. Look at Quality, Fawcett, and so many others. Nobody else, except for Muhammad Ali, got treated with the respect that Spider-Man was.

    Compare how Superman and Spider-Man are treated in that issue with Superman and Batman team-ups before, where aside from the weird homoeroticism that was all over the place, Batman was always second banana to Superman. As was the rest of the DC stable. That situation didn't reverse until Frank Miller came in a decade after that, and the Batman Superman fight was definitely inspired by the fight between Spider-Man and Superman at the start of the crossover. It's one of the greatest battle scenes of all time.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Here's one way to stand this on the head...which DC character, in your opinion, does Spider-Man most resemble or has most in common with?

    Like between Superman and Batman, who does Spider-Man have more in common with? My answer is obviously that Spider-Man has more in common with Superman at the end of the day than Batman, simply because Spider-Man's main story engine is his relationship with the supporting cast, as in Superman, while with Batman, it's his relationship with his enemies. Superman and Lois will always be the most complex and interesting characters of their mythos just like Peter, MJ and Jameson are the most complex and interesting characters of their mythos. While in the case of Batman, it can be and often has been argued, that the more complex characters are the villains and Batman gets more complex, the more he and the villains relate and parallel with each other (the whole thing of his rogues being ShadowArchetype to him), than when he is equated with his supporting cast.

    Or maybe, Spider-Man has stuff in common with the Flash, with Barry Allen, or maybe Hal Jordan? Or maybe Spider-Man has stuff in common with DC's female superheroes, like Black Canary, Wonder Woman?

    Also keep in mind as context, Spider-man in the Lee-Ditko era and DC Stuff in the Silver Age versus what followed later. In more recent times, DC certainly tried to create characters more like Peter Parker, with the Jamie Reyes Blue Beetle being a good example. The legacy characters, Wally West and Kyle Rayner are certainly more Peter Parker-ish, with Wally being burdened with the example and lesson of his Dead Uncle (at least Dan DiDio and Geoff Johns screwed him over), and Kyle Rayner likewise is a bit like the college-era Peter and of course his girlfriend got literally stuffed in the fridge (which is where the name, phrase, expression came from).My favorite of the DC Peters is Terry McGinnis, from the Batman Beyond cartoon, given that it's basically what if Peter Parker was Batman and hits all the beats.
    You know, I've never really understood how Terry has anything in common with Peter other than both starting out as teenagers. Peter was a straight A student who was adored by his teachers and raised by his uncle and aunt and became Spider-Man initially to make money and fame. Terry was a juvenile delinquent whose parents divorced and became Batman initially to take revenge against the man who killed his father. Peter has been an independent superhero since his debut while Terry is a legacy character mentored by his predecessor.


    The only incarnation of Peter that has anything in common with Terry is the MCU version as both are mentored by billionaire superheroes and even then that is all they have in common.
    Last edited by Agent Z; 04-15-2019 at 06:08 AM.

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