clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

We broke down the real-world influences on Spider-Man’s fantastical fighting style

Why does Spider-Man fight like Spider-Man?

Patrick Gill (he/him) has been making serious and unserious videos for Polygon since 2016. He also co-hosts & produces Polygon’s weekly livestreams on Twitch.

Peter Parker is a scrawny kid from Queens with no real combat training, so why is it that when he dons the mask, he finds the skill to beat the hell out of pretty much anyone?

The comics usually suggest that Spidey operates on pure instinct — and comic books can get away with keeping things vague. They only need to show the hero in frozen moments of action. Insomniac Games, developer of the upcoming Spider-Man on PlayStation 4, doesn’t have that same luxury. Spidey spends a lot of time brawling; every movement, every feint and every strike has to be accounted for and animated.

Insomniac’s finished product appears to be a unique hybrid martial art: a fighting style that’s theatrical, acrobatic and loyal to Spider-Man’s comic book origins. Some of Spidey’s most unusual moves have real-world influences. In the video up top, we take a closer look at those influences, and chat with experts about why Spider-Man fights like Spider-Man.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon