Have you ever wondered how superheroes always come up trumps in the comics? How they always win the battle in the end, even if the supervillains they are up against are some of the most powerful beings in a fictional comic book universe.
Physicist Pablo Gleiser of the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research in Buenos Aires, Argentina, came up with interesting findings after studying the ‘Marvel Universe‘. He investigated the interactions of 6,486 characters in 12,942 comic book issues and found the existence of a theoretical ‘social network’ of superheroes. This social network helps the superheroes to join forces and defeat even the most seemingly invincible supervillains of their world.
Taking two characters to be linked if they appeared in the same issue, he found a superficially realistic social network. A small fraction of characters – notably the superheroes themselves – had far more links than most others, acting as key social hubs. “The Marvel universe looks almost like a real social network,” says Gleiser