Did Marvel Steal "Spider-Man" Idea From This Small Business?

Did Marvel steal the idea for its most famous superhero, Spider-Man from a popular Brooklyn costume seller?

Recently, a mask was found from a Brooklyn costume maker that is older than Marvel's first issue of Spider-Man by eight years. According to the NY Post, in 2006 a comic book and toy dealer bought a collection from a seller who needed money for a new hot-water heater. Within the assortment of toys and comic books, John Cimino paid $500 for an old Halloween costume from the 1960s featuring Spider-Man.
That Spidey suit Cimino bought was produced by Ben Cooper, Inc., a now-defunct Brooklyn company founded in 1937. The costumer originally created theatrical wardrobes but soon moved into kids’ Halloween outfits — many of them licensed, including a 1937 line based on Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”
Apparently, Cimino re-examined the costume and he started looking into the company. “I started digging deeper,” he says. “I dug and dug and dug.” NY Post “When Spider-Man hit the newsstands in 1962, I think Ben Cooper saw it and thought it looked like his costume,” Cimino says. “Then he went to [Marvel head] Martin Goodman, and I think they came to a deal where Cooper said, ‘Listen, this looks a bit like mine.’ I don’t think it was a big deal.” John Cimino once met the Marvel honcho, Stan Lee at an event and asked him about the mysterious licensing deal. Lee had no recollection of the costume. Credit: Sony “No one is going to talk about this, because there are billions of dollars at stake,” Cimino says. “You don’t know if the Ben Cooper heirs are going to come out of the woodwork and sue or something.” For the full story visit What do you think? Discuss this story with fellow Project Casting fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @projectcasting.

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