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MHA Creator Kohei Horikoshi's Best Spider-Man Easter Eggs – CBR – Comic Book Resources

My Hero Academia mangaka Kohei Horikoshi hasn’t exactly been discreet about his admiration for the beloved Marvel superhero, Spider-Man.
A sizable part of My Hero Academia‘s appeal stems from its similarities to Western comics. To many anime newcomers, the premise of superheroes enduring against every obstacle to restore justice to their society is all too familiar. However, it also retains several anime tropes that guarantee its place among shonen’s best stories. My Hero Academia mangaka Kohei Horikoshi has been outspoken about his admiration for Western comics, having divulged his fondness for Spider-Man in particular on several occasions.
Horikoshi’s love for Spider-Man is so great that the wall-crawler was featured in the MHA manga’s very first chapter. While explaining how Quirks necessitated the hero profession, a collage of several different hero silhouettes was shown. It featured likenesses to characters from both DC and Marvel, including one that was unmistakably Spider-Man’s. These inspirations were revealed early and often.
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My Hero Academia‘s main character, Midoriya Izuku, is similar to Spider-Man in a variety of ways. Both started out with very little power save for their acute intelligence. The best part of both their journeys involves them figuring out how to use the great power they suddenly came into to fulfill the responsibilities that arose with it.
Interestingly, the similarities between Deku and Spider-Man don’t end there. Even though One For All’s super strength is too general to be attributed to Spider-Man’s increased strength, its secondary Quirks are directly inspired by his other abilities. Blackwhip allows Deku to swing from buildings much like Spider-Man does, while Danger Sense serves the same purpose as the Spidey-Sense.
MHA‘s Spider-Man inspiration doesn’t end with Deku, either. From Class 1-A, both Sero Hanta and Tsuyu Asui have abilities that are commonly associated with Peter Parker. Sero’s Tape restrains enemies and swings just like Spider-Man, and Tsuyu’s Quirk gives her all the traits of a frog. The proportional strength of an animal and the ability to stick to walls is a rather delicate manner of referencing the Marvel Hero.
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Just like a few of its characters, My Hero Academia‘s art often contains subtle and overt references to Spider-Man. For the cover of MHA‘s Volume 9 manga, Horikoshi paid homage to the Ultimate Spider-Man series with a breathtaking poster featuring Tokoyami Fumikage, Muscular and Deku. This cover was modeled after the cover of the Venom Premiere edition. The way Deku grapples with Muscular looks just like Spider-Man’s struggle with Venom.
On a subtler note, Horikoshi chose to celebrate Hitoshi Shinso’s recent return to the story by drawing him in one of Spider-Man’s iconic poses. When he was approached by his classmates from the General Studies course, they found him hanging upside down from a tree branch supported by his binding cloth. It was a singular panel that wasn’t referenced afterward, but eagle-eyed fans will notice that Shinso was in the position Spider-Man favors when lowering himself from a height.
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Horikoshi seems to love the live-action Spider-Man movies as much as he does the comics. My Hero Academia manga fans recall when the mangaka gushed over Spider-Man: No Way Home in a recent author’s note, calling it his “favorite movie of all time.”
He also recently revealed the inspiration behind the design for fan-favorite character Monoma Neito. Apparently he was inspired by Dane Dehaan, the actor who played Harry Osborn in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. It’s a connection that was almost impossible to establish independently but seemed as clear as day once Horikoshi mentioned it.
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