Many new openly gay, lesbian and bisexual characters have since emerged in superhero fiction, such as Gen¹³'s Rainmaker, Apollo and Midnighter of The Authority, and Wiccan and Hulkling of the Young Avengers. Notable transgender or gender bending characters are fewer in number by comparison: the alter ego of superheroine Zsazsa Zaturnnah, a seminal character in Philippine popular culture,[63] is an effeminate gay man who transforms into a female superhuman after ingesting a magical stone. Desire from Neil Gaiman's The Sandman series and Xavin from the Runaways are both characters who could (and often) change their gender at will. Alysia Yeoh, a supporting character created by writer Gail Simone for the Batgirl ongoing series published by DC Comics, received substantial media attention in 2011 for being the first major transgender character written in a contemporary context in a mainstream American comic book.[64]

In the Spider-Verse storyline when multiple Spider-Men are being hunted across parallel universes, they find a safe haven in Earth-13, a world where Peter Parker still possesses the Enigma Force. Although this power cannot be used in other universes as it is tied to the dimension of its origin, this Spider-Man reasoned that he would be able to protect the other Spiders from the Inheritors if they attacked his home universe.[25] This strategy proves to be flawed when the Inheritors' father Solus, attacks his world, proclaiming that the Enigma-Force is pure life force. While it may prove to be too much for any of his children to handle, his own greater power is able to consume it allowing him to devour this Spider-Man's lifeforce.[30]
In the Avengers Assemble episode "Planet Doom", Slinger's costume almost flawlessly resembles Spider-Man Noir's costume. This version of Spider-Man is a member of the Defenders, a resistance group of vigilantes who are against Doctor Doom, who has altered history and conquered the world. Slinger works alongside Bullseye (Clint Barton) and Snap (Sam Wilson), who are awaiting their foretold savior, the God of Thunder Thor's, arrival. After Doom's defeat, reality is restored to normal, and Slinger reverts to Spider-Man.

During The Gauntlet storyline, a new Captain Universe makes himself known when he arrives on Earth with plans to kill Juggernaut.[17] Spider-Man learns that Captain Universe is a man named William Nguyen who wants revenge on Juggernaut for ruining his life during one of his rampages.[18] When he insists on trying to kill Juggernaut instead of fixing the tectonic plates beneath New York City, the Uni-Power leaves Nguyen and enters the Juggernaut. The Juggernaut, as Captain Universe, repairs the damage to the tectonic plates that was caused by him during the same rampage that ruined Nguyen's life. After the 'healing' of the tectonic plates, the Uni-Power subsequently leaves the Juggernaut and is not further seen.[19]


From at least the 16th century,[64] the festival included mumming and guising in Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man and Wales.[65] This involved people going house-to-house in costume (or in disguise), usually reciting verses or songs in exchange for food. It may have originally been a tradition whereby people impersonated the Aos Sí, or the souls of the dead, and received offerings on their behalf, similar to the custom of souling (see below). Impersonating these beings, or wearing a disguise, was also believed to protect oneself from them.[66] It is suggested that the mummers and guisers "personify the old spirits of the winter, who demanded reward in exchange for good fortune".[67] In parts of southern Ireland, the guisers included a hobby horse. A man dressed as a Láir Bhán (white mare) led youths house-to-house reciting verses—some of which had pagan overtones—in exchange for food. If the household donated food it could expect good fortune from the 'Muck Olla'; not doing so would bring misfortune.[68] In Scotland, youths went house-to-house with masked, painted or blackened faces, often threatening to do mischief if they were not welcomed.[65] F. Marian McNeill suggests the ancient festival included people in costume representing the spirits, and that faces were marked (or blackened) with ashes taken from the sacred bonfire.[64] In parts of Wales, men went about dressed as fearsome beings called gwrachod.[65] In the late 19th and early 20th century, young people in Glamorgan and Orkney cross-dressed.[65]
Reconnaissance Drone: In addition to altering the suit's size, the spider emblem on his chest is capable of detaching from its socket, utilizing a miniature propulsion engine from its tail section that allows it to fly through the air independent of Spider-Man's control. It has a tracker mode which allows it to fly onto a target and relay its position to the Spider-Man Suit, allowing Parker to follow targets through the interface of his Web-Shooters.
When the Captain Universe power next appeared, it possessed Spider-Man in order to stop the Tri-Sentinel (although the power was initially weaker than usual, causing Spider-Man to assume that his own powers had merely increased). The latently cosmic-powered Spider-Man battled the Trapster, Titania, Magneto, Brothers Grimm, Goliath, Hulk, TESS-One, Dragon Man, and the Tri-Sentinel itself.[11] It next possessed a toddler called Eddie Price to battle Gart and Rath.[12]
[32] Researchers conducted a survey for the National Retail Federation in the United States and found that 53.3 percent of consumers planned to buy a costume for Halloween 2005, spending $38.11 on average (up $10 from the year before). They were also expected to spend $4.96 billion in 2006, up significantly from just $3.3 billion the previous year.[33] The troubled economy has caused many Americans to cut back on Halloween spending. In 2009, the National Retail Federation anticipated that American households would decrease Halloween spending by as much as 15% to $56.31.[34] In 2013, Americans spent an estimated $6.9 billion to celebrate Halloween, including a predicted $2.6 billion on costumes (with more spent on adult costumes than for children's costumes) and $330 million on pet costumes.[35][36] In 2017 it was estimated that Americans would spend $9.1 billion on Halloween merchandise with $3.4 billion of that being on spend on Halloween costumes.[37]
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