Date of Award

Fall 11-30-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Professional Writing (MAPW)



Committee Chair/First Advisor

Sergio Figueiredo


Kurt Milberger


Superheroes may have taken over your phone, tablet, and television screens through the endless adaptations that pelt us from upon high mouse-shaped ears, but their rich history goes back much further than that; they have gripped the public imagination since their creation in comic strips published in newspapers almost one-hundred years ago. But, why exactly has their effect on popular culture, and their subsequent adaptations in various forms of media been so pervasive in the last twenty-five years? What makes these stories and comic book characters, and particularly Marvel comic book characters, so interesting to modern audiences? This essay demonstrates how the adaptation of superhero characters has embedded comics in mainstream media, while also simultaneously changing comic book characters and their lore through media adaptations. Marvel comic book characters in particular have had unparalleled success through their continued adaptation from comic books into new forms of media over the years, and a few select Marvel comic book characters will make up the case study portion and research backbone of this essay.