The Marvel Universe as a real social network

Cover of the first number of Marvel Team-Up, comic book dedicated to the collaborations between Marvel heroes
We investigate the structure of the Marvel Universe collaboration network, where two Marvel characters are considered linked if they jointly appear in the same Marvel comic book. We show that this network is clearly not a random network, and that it has most, but not all, characteristics of "real-life" collaboration networks, such as movie actors or scientific collaboration networks. The study of this artificial universe that tries to look like a real one, helps to understand that there are underlying principles that make real-life networks have definite characteristics.
R. Alberich, J. Miro-Julia, & F. Rossello (2002). Marvel Universe looks almost like a real social network arXiv arXiv: cond-mat/0202174v1

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