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Born from the imagination of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Spider-Man has delighted comic book, television and cinema audiences for 40 years. But do his awesome Spidey-powers hold up when measured against real-world science? Using highlights from the blockbuster Spider-Man film series, classic comic book images, and amazing scientific research footage, this programme investigates the science behind Spider-Man.
Given the premise of genetic transformation, most of Spider-Man’s abilities are theoretically possible and withstand scientific scrutiny since they are firmly rooted in real spider biology. While some skills such as web shooting stretch theoretical boundaries, others like super strength seem to hold up.
We talk to Stan Lee, co-creator of Spider-Man; Joe Quesada, editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics; and the producers of the Spider-Man films; as well as cutting-edge scientists researching in the areas of genetic engineering and biological sciences.