Spider-Man has become Marvel's flagship character and has often been used as the company mascot. When Marvel became the first comic book company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1991, the Wall Street Journal announced "Spider-Man is coming to Wall Street"; the event was in turn promoted with an actor in a Spider-Man costume accompanying Stan Lee to the Stock Exchange.[9]:254 Since 1962, hundreds of millions of comics featuring the character have been sold around the world.[160] Spider-Man is the world's most profitable superhero.[161] In 2014, global retail sales of licensed products related to Spider-Man reached approximately $1.3 billion.[162] Comparatively, this amount exceeds the global licensing revenue of Batman, Superman, and the Avengers combined.[161]
The practice may have originated in a Celtic festival, held on 31 October–1 November, to mark the beginning of winter. It was called Samhain in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man, and Calan Gaeaf in Wales, Cornwall and Brittany. The festival is believed to have pre-Christian roots. After the Christianization of Ireland in the 5th century, some of these customs may have been retained in the Christian observance of All Hallows' Eve in that region—which continued to be called Samhain/Calan Gaeaf—blending the traditions of their ancestors with Christian ones.[2][3] It was seen as a liminal time, when the spirits or fairies (the Aos Sí), and the souls of the dead, could more easily come into our world.[4] It was believed that the Aos Sí needed to be propitiated to ensure that the people and their livestock survived the winter.
×