Just one more piece of proof that Sam Arbesman is by far my coolest friend…
From superheroes to the world of Scooby-Doo, we are well-versed in the Big Reveal, where someone is exposed as a previously known character. Enemies are actually long-lost brothers; a secret father is discovered; and when a mask is taken off, the antagonist is exposed as a neighbor from down the street.
This isn’t a modern inclination either. In the Jewish rabbinic tradition, there is a trend towards interpreting an unnamed character — who is mentioned briefly and then never again — as someone who we have met before. For example, a man in a field is not simply a random person; instead he is the angel Gabriel. This concept is used so often that some people have a light-hearted term for this: the Conservation of Biblical Characters….
The Marvel Universe does exhibit the statistical features of a real social networkin some simple ways. Furthermore, similar to our own world, they found distinct differences between the social structures of good guys and bad guys. However, in some very important aspects, it’s actually the opposite of a real social network. Specifically, while in real social networks the popular people interact with the other popular people, this is not so in the Marvel universe. For example, Spider-Man and Captain America rarely come into contact.
Read the whole article at The Atlantic.com