As Spider-Man turns 60, fans reflect on diverse appeal

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There are legions of fans of Spider-Man, who this month marks 60 years in the vast, imaginative world of comic books, movies and merch. The fans say Spider-Man character’s classic costume, complete with wide-eyed and web-patterned mask, is a key ingredient to the character’s appeal across race, gender and nationality. Almost anyone can imagine themselves behind it as this everyman — an underestimated smartypants who, after a quick change into head-to-toe spandex, becomes a force for good. Because of this appeal, says Angélique Roché, an author and host of the “Marvel’s Voices” podcast, “we should be open to the possibilities” of diverse representations of the beloved superhero.

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