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Spider-Man Send-Up

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L-R, top to bottom: Spider-Man, Ladybug, Spinnerette and the Brown Widow.

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 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, Captain Patriotic 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 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".
    • 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, Vigilantes, the main character, Kouichi Haimawari aka "The Crawler" takes this even further. 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 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 

    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 Knights 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.

    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.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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.

    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. They quickly retired the character after Marvel threatened to sue.

    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.

    Web Comics 
  • 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 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 Osborne, 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 read as this.
  • 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: 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 he was based greatly on Spider-Man. 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, a Corrupt Corporate Executive that becomes his arch-nemesis, and He beat the Joker by taunting him, leading to a glorious Villainous Breakdown.
  • In Young Justice, 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, 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.


Video Example(s):



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

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / SpiderManSendUp

Media sources:

Main / SpiderManSendUp