The comic-spawned Spider-Man franchise, despite its ""pop"" status, demonstrates important trends in literature. How, for example, do writers involved with the franchise reconcile divergent plotlines and characterizations that appear in multiple serials, and in a number of concurrent depictions of the hero in comic series, television series and films? Readers may be surprised to realize that Shakespeare grappled with similar topics in his Henry VI.
Jeffrey Kahan is a professor in the English department at the University of La Verne in La Verne, California. Stanley Stewart is a distinguished professor in the English Department of the University of California at Riverside.