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Spider-Man Send-Up

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They do whatever a spider (and ladybug) can!note 

While not the first superhero to exist, Spider-Man is often seen as one of the first heroes to whom comic book readers could relate. He's young, he has classes, he has a job, a family that loves him despite the tough times they face. A bully, a crush, friends that become his worst enemy, enemies that become the best of friends, and *gasp*... puberty! He's not rich, he's not perfect, he's not popular (In-Universe, anyway) but that does not stop him from caring with all his heart about the well-being of others doing the right thing.

With his universal popularity in comics, cartoons, video games and blockbuster movies, imitations are inevitable. They are often an Animal-Themed Superbeing painted in primary colors. They are usually Kid Heroes (ranging from adolescents to teen-hood) that everybody hates for one contrived reason or another. Whether it is due to rotten luck, human idiocy or if it is because they like to taunt and snark non-stop is anyone's guess. They typically have the basic Combo Platter Powers; Super Strength, Super Speed, Super Toughness and have a fast way to travel, ranging from Flight to Building Swing, usually received by some irradiated animal that bit them.


Compare with the other Captain Ersatz/Expy Stock Parodies including Batman Parody, Wolverine Wannabe, Captain Patriotic, Wonder Woman Wannabe, The Fantastic Faux and Superman Substitute. Drop the "man" part and look through Arachnid Tropes


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Accel World: Haru is a meek, fat nerdy kid who's a magnet for bullies... until he gains access to the Cyberspace world of Brain Burst. There he gains a double life as Silver Crow, where he experiences the joy of zooming through the air (accompanied in the Animated Adaptation by soaring orchestral music). While his wings are unique they're far from a Story-Breaker Power, and his biggest asset in combat is said to be his bottomless reserves of Heroic Spirit lurking beneath the surface. And then he gets infected by a Clingy Costume which slowly grows in influence and threatens to turn him into an insane berserker, but can be rendered inert temporarily by the sound of bells and permanently by sacred fire.
  • One of the "Tachikomatic Days" Omakes featured in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex shows off a new superhero named "Tachiko-Man", a red and blue Tachikoma who swings around while singing a parody of the "Spider-Man" theme song. The Tachikomas are adorable Spider Tanks who can swing around by using guide wires that shoot out like webfluid. The joke just takes it to its logical conclusion.
    Tachiko-Man, Tachiko-Man, doin' the things a Tachikoma can...
  • Gamma: Hornetman's costume is a clear reference to Spider-Man,note  and by Word of God his relationship with the speedster Blue Train was written as a Homage to Peter's friendship with Harry Osborn in Spider-Man 3. His actual powers are very different though, consisting of a "Hornet Sting" that lets him punch incredibly hard with his left arm. ''
  • My Hero Academia naturally has a few influences:
    • Izuku Midoryia aka Deku: Both were scrawny nerds who became Action Heroes thanks to a twist of fate. They feel that it's their responsibility to use their powers to save others, even at severe cost to themselves. They're also both extremely close to their mother figures and suffer from being Born Unlucky. Kohei Horikoshi has stated that Spider-Man is his favorite comic book hero and one of his primary inspirations for My Hero Academia as a whole, particularly Midoriya's philosophy that a hero is someone who saves others and brings them reassurance in times of crisis. He later gains the ability to fire black tendrils ("Blackwhip") that mimics the black Spider-Suit and Venom. The fact that the tendrils appear to be created out of dark electricity brings to mind Miles Morales' ability to fire electric "venom". After Deku works on getting the Quirk under control, he can use the tendrils to grab objects and swing around much like the wall-crawler with his webs. Another one of the Quirks absorbed into One For All is "Danger Sense", which tells him when he or someone around him is in imminent life-threatening danger via a pulsing sensation in his head.
    • Tsuyu Asui aka Froppy whose Quirk, allows her to "do whatever a frog can" and indeed she can stick to surfaces and crawl along them like a spider. Then we have Hanta Sero aka Cellophane who uses his tape power to swing around and stick people to things like ol' webhead.
    • In the spin-off, My Hero Academia: Vigilantes, the main character, Kouichi Haimawari aka "The Crawler"; his Quirk, Sliding, has him have to go on all fours and slide along the ground like a water bug and later in the series he finds out he can stick to objects as well. What's more, is that he's a college student, lives in a shanty like dwelling where his partners freeload at constantly, and usually is a Butt-Monkey as much as Peter is.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman villain Black Spider has a spider theme, similar costume, and was inspired to fight criminals by the death of a loved one. The difference is, Black Spider killed his own father by accident, he uses guns, and he kills the criminals he's after.
  • Robin (1993): The Redback Spider may be a villain rather than a hero, but her costume is very similar to that of Spider-Man, though she's traded out the wrist web-shooters for venomous needles.
  • Rat-Man (1989): The main hero met at least 3 different not-Spidey characters: The earlier and more known one is just called "The Man in the Spider Suit", but then there is Wallclimber from the New York arc, and a crossover comic featuring the actual Spider-Man from early on was later redone to replace him with a Captain Ersatz called Human Spider.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) (Pre-Super Genesis Wave), Stealth the Hedgehog from Mobius-Seventeen is a deliberate parody of Spider-Man, wearing a navy-blue full-body suit, the eyes similar to Spider-Man's eye-lenses. He is seen battling Professor Egg (a Green Goblin-esq alternate universe counterpart to Dr. Eggman) briefly in Issue 149 before his zone was destroyed during Master Mogul's rampage through the Cosmic Interstate, but was eventually restored by Titan Tails.
  • Believe it or not, Daredevil began as a Spider-Man Expy to cash in on the latter's success. Both traveled by swinging around the city, both had father figures that suffered Death by Origin Story, both had an acrobatic fighting style, and both had some kind of enhanced senses that allowed them to spot danger. It wasn’t until later that he was taken in his own direction, especially once Frank Miller took over.
  • Blue Beetle is a DC equivalent, especially in Ted Kord. Note that Ted Kord & Peter Parker share a creator in Steve Ditko. Jaime Reyes is an Affirmative Action Legacy version of this trope.
  • In Kingdom Come, there's a random superhero that goes by the name "The Whiz" who's the child of now older Freddy and Mary who were originally part of Shazam's family. He gets recruited by Superman and Wonder Woman into their newly formed expansion of the Justice League, dressed in a red-and-yellow suit with a mask that resembles strikingly Spider-Man's mask and wings that resembles that of Steve Ditko's original design. This strengthen the fact that the suit design was designed by Alex Ross and stated that he was originally supposed to be called "The Spider" which was identical to his old drawings when he was seven.
  • In Astro City there is the hero Jack-In-The-Box, who, though nonpowered and with a general "prankster/clown" motif borrowed more from The Creeper or Killjoy, is clearly meant to be Spider-Man at first glance: street-level hero status, acrobatic Fragile Speedster fighting style, unusual means of locomotion (spring-feet), favors string-like weapons to snare criminals, and constant wisecracking. One issue involves his fear of spawning murderous, deathly serious Anti-Hero Substitute successors, a pretty obvious joke on characters like Venom and Kaine. Apparently, his first appearance was a reworked pitch for a Spider-Man story that Busiek couldn't get Marvel to approve.
  • Static is Milestone's take on Spider-Man as an Electric Black Guy. One issue openly lampshaded it when it was revealed Static can stick to walls with his power, but dislikes doing so fearing he'd been seen as ripping off Dracula.
  • Sideways is DC's latest take on Spider-Man, with Thinking Up Portals.
  • Nova is Spider-Man meets Green Lantern. And from Marvel.
  • Speaking of Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner in the 90s was this. He was a young man that was somewhat down on his luck and was thrust into superhero life and had to deal with the complications this brought to his personal life
  • The 2000 AD comic The Ten-Seconders, as part of its Beware the Superman theme, has Darker and Edgier versions of most superheroes, including Superman, Mr. Fantastic, and the Hulk. Its version of Spider-Man, Arachne, is a monstrous Were-Spider with a nasty case of anthropophagy.
  • The defictionalized Radioactive Man comics has a Spider-Man spoof in Parker Peterman. He satirizes Peter's Ditko-era borderline misanthropy by being a bitter jerkass who snaps at anyone who talks to him, interpreting any gesture as either an insult or condescension, especially at the Lovable Jock who keeps reaching out to him in spite of it. He even mistreats the relatives that raised him when his parents died. When he's bitten by a spider that's been irradiated by Radioactive Man's "atomoptics", he instead mutates into a giant spider monster driven to attack everyone he thinks mocked him. When he's defeated and turned back to normal, he's shown to have ended up with wallcrawling powers, with dubious prospects of a career as a superhero. He's also a Meta Guy in the same vein as Cubert Farnsworth because he lampshades the impossibility of radiation derived superpowers, especially the fact that Radioactive Man is completely safe to be around.
  • Earth 8, DC's pseudo-Marvel Universe, as seen in The Multiversity, is home to the Bug, who wears a mask identical to Spidey's but with antennae, and is billed in the fiction of other universes as "The Hero You Hate to Love".
  • Another version of the Bug had previously appeared in Superman/Batman as a member of the Maximums, a pastiche of The Ultimates. This version had four arms, a mostly red costume with a blue mask, and had a villain named Halloween who was shown throwing his girlfriend Kirsten off the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Invincible tells the story of the son of the earth's greatest hero becoming a hero as well, with the personality and relationships of Spider-Man. So in short, a mix of the webcrawler and Superboy.
  • PS238: the Flea has the bug theme, full-body costume and acrobatic fighting style (including Wall Crawl), as well as the sense of humor (though unlike Spider-Man, not just when he's fighting). He's also a Pest Controller, a power which Spider-Man only pretends to have.
  • 1963 has the Fury who's Spidey mixed with a bit of Daredevil, being a wisecracking teenaged hero in a red and blue costume.
  • Darkhawk is a blend of Spider-Man (Teenager thrust into the world of heroics), Falcon (Fights with wings), and Nova (Alien gifted powers apart of a galactic peacekeeper force).
  • The Boys features occasional mentions of a superhero named Webweaver near the end, who is heavily implied to be a Spider-Man stand-in.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • In Earth-27 there is the Spider-Bat, a kid who is a fan of Batman, but is more scared of Spiders, so he combines the two to the Dark Knight's approval, and his arch-nemesis is the Gargoyle.

    Films — Animation 
  • The first of various villains the titular heroes in the animated gay porn film Stonewall and Riot: The Ultimate Orgasm "interrogate" in a montage is a Spider-Man Expy called the Webmaster. His design is a revealing black suit with wires that he weaves into a web-like form and his villainous work is implied to have something to do with illegal online porn piracy.
  • At the start of the Fairly OddParents movie Abra-Catastrophe! Timmy uses his wishes to be in various movie parodies including the "Amazingly Unsueable Arachnid Kid".

    Films — Live-Action 
  • As Superhero Movie derives most of its plot from the Spider-Man Trilogy, the main character Rick Riker, A.K.A. the Dragonfly, is a deliberate Parody of Tobey Maguire's interpretation of Spider-Man. He was raised by his aunt and uncle, gains his powers from a genetically altered bug, he can climb on walls, has enhanced reflexes, super-strength, invulnerability and is picked on by literally everyone for no real reason. In a case of Hilarious in Hindsight, Rick was played by Drake Bell, who went on to actually voice Spider-Man.
  • In-universe in Spider-Man: Far From Home. Peter wears a new costume to preserve his secret identity so people won't notice that Spider-Man is showing up in the same countries Peter's class visits. Ned covers for him by saying the black-suited Spider-Man is a European Spider-Man knock-off called "Night Monkey."
  • Sky High
    • One of the kids demonstrating his powers for Coach Boomer can grow two extra pairs of arms at will, presumably as a nod to Spider-Man's Six Arms Saga.
    • Nurse Spex says some kids get superpowers (or die) after being bitten by radioactive insects.
    • One of Will's homework questions asks if Tigerman was bitten by a radioactive tiger or bitten by a regular tiger then exposed to radiation.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Iraqi live action comedy series "Akbar Chathab اكبر جذاب (Biggest Liar)" is about an old man named Hooby who tells his friends a made up story about how when he was young he had an adventure that parodies famous stories, one episode parodies Spider-Man as "Al-Rajul Alsursur الرجل الصرصر (cockroach man)".
  • Spider-Plant Man, a 2005 Comic Relief sketch, starred Rowan Atkinson as Peter Piper, who, after being bitten by a genetically engineered spider-plant (the geneticists had given it teeth for some reason), gained the ability to shoot vines from his wrists and cling to walls and became Spider-Plant-Man! He then had to rescue his girlfriend Jane-Mary from a villain who turned out to be Batman, jealous that he wasn't the top movie superhero any more.
  • The second episode of Smallville, "Metamorphosis" has Clark fighting Greg Arkin. Arkin was bitten by an insect infected with Kryptonite radiation and developed the ability to cling to walls and shoot webbing from his mouth among other powers.
  • Kamen Rider Revice gives us Kamen Rider Demons, a devil-powered but spider-themed super-identity that gets passed around to various different people (including one of the villains). The Demons armor has a red, white, and blue color scheme, and can shoot webbing out of the hands to fight. Its debut episode even has its first user use the webbing to hang upside-down.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • WCW briefly had "Arachnaman" (portrayed by Brad Armstrong), a rather blatant rip-off of Spider-Man wearing a purple and yellow version of Spidey's suit who used web shooters that sprayed silly string during his entrance. They quickly retired the character after Marvel threatened to sue.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Joel Stein/the Splotch in Halt Evil Doer! is Spidey with Casting a Shadow powers. He's a shy nerd as Joel and a wisecracker as Splotch, fights crime due to a tragedy in his past (his brother used the Shadow Ring as Ink, until he was crippled), is constantly denigrated by the media (in a twist, the J. Jonah Jameson figure is his dad, who runs a TV news station that attacks Splotch, and of course has no idea that this is Joel), and can generate "strands" of shadow to capture villains or swing around the city. His costume looks very much like Symbiote-Spidey, and his enemies include Dr. Necros, a Mad Scientist with a "hydra suit" of four snapping arms (Dr Octopus); his Evil Counterpart Stain, who has the same abilities but none of the responsibility (Venom); and Bloodstain, who's Stain only Ax-Crazy (Carnage).

    Video Games 
  • In DC Universe Online, you can make a character with the Acrobatics movement style, which lets them climb walls and ceilings and can be upgraded to allow using a zipline to pull yourself toward and up to the top of walls. Expect to see a lot of people recreating Spider-Man with this and the game's wardrobe system.
  • In the superhero RPG game Freedom Force, there's a prominent team member of the superhero group called The Ant. Who has similarities to Spider-Man such as they're both bullied nerd who transforms into arthropod-themed superheroes who quips, he takes a few elements from Ant-Man but overall has characteristics of Peter Parker.

    Web Animation 
  • Tarantula-Man in the Society of Virtue is a spider-themed superhero who has a history with saving a specific woman (implying that she actively throws herself into danger in order to get his attention). She undoes his mask and finds out that the reason why he wears the mask is because of his Butter Face. She tries to not let her disgust known, but he does not buy it.

  • A grad student at "Ohio Research University" who works under Dr. Lambha, Heather Brown from Spinnerette was involved in a scientific accident that infused her with spider DNA. It grants her the proportional strength of a spider, a healing factor, the ability to shoot web from her lower back, and two pairs of extra arms. The Spider-Man influence in self-evident, such as when she tries shooting webs from her wrists with... mixed results.
  • Ms. Ribbon of Setback sometimes runs into this. While she's not bug-themed nor can she stick to surfaces, she gains her powers from an electrical accident from her phone, the way she fires ribbons from her costume's sleeves is sometimes compared to Spidey and she has to building swing like him every so often as well, even trying emulate his style when she started off (though unlike him, she hates heights and manages to find a work around by making ribbon wheels under her shoes and speeds along the ground that way.)
  • League of Super Redundant Heroes has Arachnid Dude, who's pretty much a direct Spider-Man Expy, including the rotten luck in his personal life from what he reports (he's not a main character). The differences are is with his green-themed costume, his six arms and multiple eyes, and the fact the web-fluid doesn't come from his hands but from you'd expect from an arachnid....

    Web Video 
  • In the Smosh video "MANSPIDER!", Anthony saw a radioactive spider and tried to make it bite him get spider-powers. When it wouldn't bite him, he bit the spider and became Manspider, an anthropomorphic spider person. While it gave him three extra pairs of arms, they are ineffective and he is about as weak as he was before, making him a massive loser as a superhero.

    Western Animation 
  • Miraculous Ladybug:
    • Ladybug and Chat Noir operate as gender-bent versions of Spider-Man and Black Cat, respectively. Ladybug is a bug-themed note  hero with enhanced flexibility, a red costume, transports via Building Swing and possesses an enhanced sense of intuition when using the item her lucky-charm deposits. She struggles to balance her hero work with her personal life, only continuing it out of a sense of moral duty, with a blond crush (Adrien/Gwen), a blonde bully (Chloe/Flash), a high-class villain that is the head of the various villains in the series and a secret identity (Hawk Moth/Green Goblin) and a villain who happens to be the father of someone close to her (Gabriel Agreste, father of Adrien/Norman Osborn, father of Peter's friend Harry). Unlike the usual examples, both heroes are beloved by the citizens of Paris.
    • Anansi is a villain made by Hawk Moth, Alya's older sister akumatized into a spidery Animal-Themed Superbeing with super-strength and the power to shoot web. Even the fact that she has six arms can be viewed as a reference to Spidey's infamous Six Arms Saga. Her name is even the same as a spider from African folklore.
  • The Brown Widow from The Venture Bros. is a deliberate Captain Ersatz of Spider-Man in his design, abilities and personality, right down to the fact that he gets no respect from anybody. He has the misfortune of his webbing coming from a large orifice on his lower back, which he has to clean with a Q-tip. He also happens to exist in a world where Spider-Man is still a fictional comic book superhero.
  • The Simpsons;
    • "Simple Simpson" has Homer become a superhero called Pie Man. Has shades of Batman Parody but a lot of the jokes are nods to the Spider-Man Trilogy.
    • The first story from "Treehouse of Horror XXII", in which Homer gets paralyzed by a spider bite and can only communicate by farting, ends with him dressed as Spider-Man and shooting webs from his ass.
  • One episode of Atomic Puppet had Joey become Worm-Boy after being bitten by a silkworm, which gave him a silkworm abdomen he could use to shoot silk from.
    Joey: I'm your kindly community-based silk-slinger!
  • When Batman Beyond debuted, it became apparent Terry McGinnis, Bruce Wayne's successor as Batman, was based greatly on Spider-Man. Terry, like Peter, is an unpopular high school student who's turn to heroics was based on losing his father figure, has a high school bully, a Love Triangle between a devoted girlfriend and a Dating Catwoman girl, enemies that seem like Expy of Spider-Man's villains, including a best friend that turns evil, a Corrupt Corporate Executive that becomes his green-colored arch-nemesis, and he beat the Joker by taunting him, leading to a glorious Villainous Breakdown. He also has elements of Spider-Man 2099 such as being a superhero in a futuristic dystopian setting and being the successor to a previous hero.
  • In Young Justice (2010), minor villain Black Spider is a blatant Captain Ersatz of Spider-Man visually, resembling the Marvel hero far more than his DC namesake. He even has the same logo, webshooters, pose, cocky sarcastic demeanor and was voiced by Josh Keaton (who previously voiced the character in The Spectacular Spider-Man).
  • One of Ben's aliens in Ben 10 is Spidermonkey, who has a near-identical powerset to Spider-Man, which involves shooting and swinging using web, along with clinging to walls. Ben also finds himself menaced by a J. Jonah Jameson expy named Will Harangue, a reporter who constantly tries to shame him and brand him as a criminal.
  • Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters follows a Trio of these. They follow the formula of Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World, and deal with a Evil Counterpart that is a Corrupt Corporate Executive mixed with Villain with Good Publicity.
  • Danny Phantom is best described as "Peter Parker if he was a half-ghost". Like Peter, Danny has to deal with teen hormones and bullies, and also ends up as a Hero with Bad Publicity. In addition, his archenemy, Vlad Plasmius, is a straight-up Expy of Norman Osborn, as both of them are well-respected millionaires who lead a villainous double life and both desire the hero to be their son.
  • The Mask has comic book character Insector the Bug-Man. His origin story is a reversal of Spider-Man's—he became radioactive and then got bitten by a bug. A pair of Too Dumb to Live dweebs tried to replicate this but forgot the bug, instead becoming Putty-Thing and Fish-Guy.


Video Example(s):



A spider-themed supervillain with the power to cling to walls, sling web and possesses super-strength.

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