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How My Hero Academia Was Inspired By Marvel and Western Comics – Screen Rant

There’s no question My Hero Academia is inspired by Western comics, but the connection to Spider-Man and other heroes runs deep.
There’s no question that My Hero Academia is influenced by Western Comics, as creator Kohei Horikoshi has admitted heroes from the Marvel Universe like Spider-Man have inspired his work. The manga and anime are chock-full of references to some of Marvel and DC’s greatest heroes, with some even making secret cameos in the earliest chapters of My Hero Academia. Marvel and Spider-Man’s influence in particular are among the most notable references.
Horikoshi has stated in multiple interviews that North American comics have always been something he’s thought about when drawing My Hero Academia. When asked by whether Western comics inspired him since MHA is a love letter to superheroes, he responded, “Yeah, I literally have a Japanese translated version of a U.S. superhero title in my left hand, and I’m drawing with my right.” In the same interview, he mentioned being a fan of Dan Slott and Ryan Stegman’s Superior Spider-Man.
Related: My Hero Academia Brings Deku’s Journey Full Circle with Surprise Return
Deku’s story is similar to Spider-Man’s, as he often struggles with the responsibility of his Quirk and making sure he uses his great amazing power from All-Might for good. My Hero Academia even has two characters inspired by Spider-Man’s abilities; the Crawler, who can literally crawl on walls, and Tsuyu Asui, who’s basically Spider-Man but with frog powers (she’s even said she can do “whatever a frog can”). The references don’t end there, as Horikoshi cover-swiped Spider-Man’s fight with Venom on the cover of Ultimate Spider-Man for his cover of My Hero Academia Volume 9.
If there was any doubt left about how much American superheroes influenced the series, chapter one of My Hero Academia features a clear homage to the most incredible Western comic book heroes of all time. In one of the first pages, the concept of Quirks is explained – with one panel showing how fantasy (Western superheroes) has become a reality. On the page, readers can see the silhouettes of Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Superman besides the likes of Ultraman and Kamen Rider. It’s a fun nod to heroes from all over the globe.
While My Hero Academia stands on its own as a series, largely thanks to excellent storytelling, action, and character-work from Horikoshi, it’s impossible to deny that Western comics heavily influence it. He’s clearly a Spider-Man and Marvel fan and is unafraid to let that shine in his stories. However, that doesn’t lessen the impact of the manga and shows how two similar yet different mediums can influence one another. Marvel has even made a deeper plunge into manga themselves. Marvel Comics and Spider-Man influenced My Hero Academia in a ton of ways – and vice versa. It’s great to see, and the continued references in MHA are more than welcome to continue.
Next: My Hero Academia’s Himiko Toga Is U.A. High’s Biggest Threat
Lead writer for Screen Rant’s comic team. Find me on Twitter @LiamRMcGuire for comic news and reporting.


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