Subtitle/Alternate Title

How One Character and Their Iterations Are Changing Media as We Know It

First Advisor

Dr. Michael Ennis


Dr. Scott Dimovitz


Regis College

Degree Name


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

72 pages


As the way we intake media has increased to span multiple genres and media types, the call for an increase in representation has skyrocketed. Looking at one of the biggest media money makers, superhero films come from a predominantly white, male, heterosexual origin that feels inadequate as the times and general audience have changed. Though there has been some improvement over the past few years, I argue that the Spider-Man universe continues to raise the bar for representation in the superhero genre, as well as media overall, as it has become a highly marketed enterprise that is continuously consumed by many. As people have continued to push for larger representation in media, the Spider-Verse has been a part of the snowball effect to grow the amount of diversity present in consumable media (such as a variety of races in leading roles, expanded gender expression on screen and age-based representation). Since the Spider- Verse creates this palatable universe in which many can see themselves, regardless of age, race, or gender, the audience that creators are able to pander to grows. When a larger audience starts to catch on to the need for more diversity and consumes media that caters to that need, the push on large creators to continue making similar content normalizes the diversified media. I argue that from its comic book origin to the latest animated film, the Spider-Man franchise has always remained a part of this progression, whether in regard to age, race, or gender, and has always been a reminder to other corporations and creators that adding diversity to their media is merely reflecting the times and is an incredibly necessary step in the continuation of media as a way of storytelling.

Date of Award

Spring 2024

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colo.

Rights Statement

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