One superpowered character was portrayed as an antiheroine, a rarity for its time: the Black Widow, a costumed emissary of Satan who killed evildoers in order to send them to Hell—debuted in Mystic Comics #4 (Aug. 1940), from Timely Comics, the 1940s predecessor of Marvel Comics. Most of the other female costumed crime-fighters during this era lacked superpowers. Notable characters include The Woman in Red, introduced in Standard Comics' Thrilling Comics #2 (March 1940); Lady Luck, debuting in the Sunday-newspaper comic-book insert The Spirit Section June 2, 1940; the comedic character Red Tornado, debuting in All-American Comics #20 (Nov 1940); Miss Fury, debuting in the eponymous comic strip by female cartoonist Tarpé Mills on April 6, 1941; the Phantom Lady, introduced in Quality Comics Police Comics #1 (Aug. 1941); the Black Cat, introduced in Harvey Comics' Pocket Comics #1 (also Aug. 1941); and the Black Canary, introduced in Flash Comics #86 (Aug. 1947) as a supporting character. The most iconic comic book superheroine, who debuted during the Golden Age, is Wonder Woman. Modeled from the myth of the Amazons of Greek mythology, she was created by psychologist William Moulton Marston, with help and inspiration from his wife Elizabeth and their mutual lover Olive Byrne. Wonder Woman's first appearance was in All Star Comics #8 (Dec. 1941), published by All-American Publications, one of two companies that would merge to form DC Comics in 1944.
Born to Richard and Mary Parker in Queens, New York, Peter Parker lost his parents at a very young age when their plane went down overseas while they were on a mission as government spies. He was raised by his aunt and uncle (May and Ben Parker) who, along with his teachers at Midtown High School, thought he had a bright future due to his affinity for science. However, Peter struggled with bullies and being teased for his introverted nature (sometimes referring to him as a "professional wallflower") and interest in science that pegged him as a teacher's pet.
Upon approaching the Spider-Island arc, Peter felt vulnerable with the lack of his spider sense. He began training under Shang Chi to create his own unique martial arts style to make up for his lack of spider sense called the "Way of the Spider". It was then revealed that Shang Chi was instructed by the new Madam Web (Julia Carpenter the former Arachne and Spider-Woman) to secretly prepare Peter for a future threat (Spider-Island). This style consists of among other things, hitting pressure points with Spider Strength, and striking with Spider Speed. This new martial art has considerably improved Spider-Man's H2H capabilities, and so far he has stalemated Julia Carpenter and effortlessly defeated 3 spider-powered individuals in a few seconds during Spider-Island. When he regained his Spider-Sense, he defeated a mutated Kaine who was considerably stronger and quicker than him, and effortlessly trumped a mind controlled Spider-Woman, in handful of blows and kicks.
In this new series Spider-Man is voiced by Drake Bell (who played a spoof of the character in the parody film "Superhero Movie"). At the start of the show, Peter is recruited by Nick Fury to join the SHIELD organization in order to learn how to become a better hero. The series highlights the more technological side of the character, and showcases various gadgets and vehicles such as the Iron Spider suit. He leads a team of teenage heroes consisting of Nova, White Tiger, Power Man and Iron Fist, while other characters like Amadeus Cho, Agent Venom and Ka-Zar appear as the series progressies. Alternate versions of Spider-Man like Miles Morales, Spider-Ham, and Spider-Man 2099 all made their animated debuts in the third season.
In the ongoing series Ultimate Comics: Avengers, a second Spider-Man was shown to be one of its members, and is simply referred to as the Spider. His costume bears an orange-and-purple color as opposed to red-and-blue. The Spider once claimed that he was a clone made from the DNA of Spider-Man and Professor X that was sent from the future. In the "Death of Spider-Man" story arc "Avengers vs. New Ultimates", he is revealed to be North Asian and acting under the orders of Gregory Stark. He led a superhuman uprising in North Korea. During the events of said uprising, The Spider was killed by Hawkeye after the Avengers and the New Ultimates intervened.[volume & issue needed]
 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. 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. 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. 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.