Why Spider-man and not Spiderman?

There’s no Bat-man, Super-man, or Aqua-man.

Why the unnecessary hyphenisation?

I doubt it was a grammatical thing, just a stylistic choice made by whoever thought up the name/concept.

And probably to help distinguish from the already existing Superman, Batman, etc.

Back in 1939, it was Bat-man, which remained for a few months after.

Stan Lee used the name to distinct that he had spider powers, but was a man.

I remember reading that years ago in an interview… maybe it was in the 50th anniversary of Marvel book.

Are you sure about that? I’m looking at an electronic version of 'Batman #1" and he’s referred to as “The Batman”. Are referring to some incarnation before he got his own book, sort of like Superman in ‘Action Comics’?

Exactly. His first appearance was in Detective Comics #27, May 1939. Both the captions and the dialog refer to him as The Bat-Man. And he was always “The” Bat-Man, not just Bat-Man, in the beginning.

Bob Kane’s autobiography, Batman and Me, shows that all of his preliminary sketches and thinking about the character referred to The Bat-Man. He also mentions as an influence the story “Death Reign of the Vampire King” from The Spider magazine in November 1935 featuring a character called The Bat Man.

Also, Stan Lee didn’t like using “man” as an appendage.

If you go through the early comics you find Iron Man; the Ant Man, who became Ant-Man, and then Giant Man on the cover and Giant-Man inside; the Mole Man; and the X-Men. Iceman was the only exception and Stan had no real choice given the iconicity of “The Iceman Cometh.”

And if you look at the cover of Amazing Fantasy #15, you’ll see that it says “Introducing Spider Man” with the Spider and the Man on separate lines, unconnected in any way, although the dialog balloon has the hyphen. They did this again, as I referenced above, with the cover of Tales to Astonish #49, in which Giant Man is on two separate lines on the cover, but hyphenated otherwise.

As Dex says, this was probably partly to separate Marvel-style from DC style, but we also have to remember that they were figuring this all out on the fly. I’ll bet the instructions to the letterers weren’t completely consistent for several issues. And certainly nobody gave much of a thought to how any of it was going to look as a cultural icon 40 years later.

Makes sense, thanks.

Was there a main character in Detective Comics #1-#26? Or was it a new story each issue with new characters?

It was an anthology title featuring several stories in each issue. The first Bat-Man strip, “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate” was 6 or 8 pages long.

Detective Comics like Action Comics was an anthology title. There were six to seven different characters who appeared in their own self-contained stories.

1-26 of Detective Comics didn’t have a star, but it had ongoing features like Slam Bradley.

Detective and Action didn’t morph into being Batman and Superman only books until the 1960s.

J’onn J’onzz started in Detective Comics and ran as a backup through the mid 50s.

Actually, there’s a more specific reason. Joe Simon, longtme partner of Jack Kirby, created a character called Spiderman circa 1961 and had a difficult time marketing it. He did have the foresight to copyright the name, though (He’d been burned by the comics publishers over character ownership before). Stan Lee’s character, to get around the Joe Simon situation, was named Spider-Man with a hyphen.

Simon still has a “Spiderman” character kicking around, but basically, he re-tooled the concept and sold it to Archie/MLF under the name “The Fly.”

Correction: Joe Simon’s Spiderman was created in 1953.

I didn’t know Lee had an aversion to using -man in naming his superheroes although now that I do, it makes me love him that much more. I always hated that almost everyone in DC was ___man as it sounded even more hokey than comic book superheroes do by nature. Between that and the practical omnipotence of its heroes, I wound up having an aversion to that universe and have been a Marvel fanboy for years.

Really? You mean the Flash? Green Lantern? The Atom? Dr. Fate? J’onn J’onz? Green Arrow? Black Canary? The Red Tornado? Booster Gold? Blue Beetle?

As opposed to Marvel names like Spider-Man, Ant Man, Iron Man, etc?

I meant to say that it seemed most DC heroes are or were ___man. Of course there are numerous people in the Marvel universe that had the convention and for the most part, I hate them too. I’d much rather Iceman be named Frost, Iron Man be named Ferrous, and so on.

Blue Beetle was acquired by DC in the 1980s. Before that, Blue Beetle was owned by Charleton and then before that, Fox.

On the 2nd DVD of Spider-Man 1 there was a featurette that says that Stan Lee didn’t want Spider-man too be confused with Superman who was also being published when he created it. So he threw in a Hyphen.

Names and titles cannot be copyrighted. Perhaps you mean he registered the name as a trademark.

It was to keep people from thinking he was Jewish.