My Hero Academia is, in many ways, a tribute to the super hero genre in both Japan and the United States. Horikoshi left no doubt that his love for the genre is real during his panel on Saturday, which ComicBook.com attended.
During a question and answer section, a fan asked Horikoshi who his favorite American superhero is and why.
"Spider-man," he said definitively. "First and foremost, his character design. It never gets old. They are always coming up with something fresh. He is very relatable."
The quote makes plenty of sense when looking at Horikoshi's work. The central hero of My Hero Academia, Izuku Midoriya, has a bit of Peter Parker energy to him, in some respects. He is young, perceptive and feels a crushing amount of responsibility to do the right thing -- though, Midoriyama tends to burst into tears a bit more often than Peter Parker does.
In general, My Hero Academia focuses on young up-and-coming heroes, which is very reminiscent of Spider-Man. The web-slinger rarely faces down global catastrophes, just as the bulk of Class 1A's problems are contained withing UA.
As many fans have pointed out on Twitter, Horikoshi's story is more than just a tribute to the super hero genre -- it's an advancement of it. The manga has been unstoppable this year, often outselling American comics in trade paperback markets. This is about the most ringing endorsement a series like My Hero Academia can get, as its self-aware look at what it means to be a hero overtakes the icons that have lasted more than half a century.
all in all the fact that My Hero Academia, a manga explicitly inspired by western superhero comics, outsells those superhero comics in America in the TPB market, kind of fucking seals the deal— Colin Spacetwinks (@spacetwinks) June 13, 2018
Horikoshi's deference to Spider-Man comes at a pivotal time in the character's history. The artist behind Spider-Man, Steve Ditko, passed away just a few short weeks ago, leaving behind an immense body of highly influential work. Ditko's design for the Spider-Man costume has hardly changed in over 50 years now.0comments
The same cannot be said for Horikoshi's characters, who embrace the shifting needs of their powers in their costumes. In this week's new episode of the My Hero Academia anime, Midoriyama debuted his third costume since the series began, now complete with arm braces and reinforced boots.
My Hero Academia is in the midst of its third season. New episodes are available to stream every Saturday at 4 a.m. on Hulu, CrunchyRoll and Funimation.