My Hero Academia has referenced countless Western comics, from Spider-Man to Superman, but it lacks the homage that could have had the greatest impact.
There’s no secret My Hero Academy is heavily inspired by many Western superhero comics, but there’s one franchise it never pays homage to, which is quite a shame considering the core themes of the series. This homage could have transcended the others and brought depth to plot themes that the series doesn’t focus on as much as it should.
Many of My Hero Academia’s manga references take aspects of various characters and bring them into the manga world. Perhaps the best examples of this are My Hero Academia’s Superman equivalent All Might and his former partner Nighteye, who acts similarly to Batman in the series. Neither character is a perfect match, but the general outlines are there for fans familiar with DC Comics to absorb. Some characters are introduced much more directly, such as Class 1-A’s Sero being My Hero Academia’s Spider-Man. While these references don’t have much of an impact on the overall story, there is a My Hero Academia Superhero franchise that could have relied on it.
My Hero Academia should have had X-Men references
Notably absent from the world of My Hero Academia is a hero school created entirely for mutant gifted people like Xavier’s School for Gifted Youth in the X comics -Yeast. This is somewhat surprising since the series has shown other superhero schools besides UA High, which could be the perfect time to introduce such a location. Additionally, given the persecution that people with Mutant Powers face in My Hero Academia, it would make sense to have a school dedicated to teaching them, like Professor X’s school for mutants in Marvel Comics. This would also help the series really explore this fascinating part of the world more.
The conflict between mutants and humans is only briefly mentioned in My Hero Academia, even though it appears to be a serious social issue. The biggest focus it received was during the Final War arc, when monstrous heroes Shoji and Koda calmed down a crowd of disenfranchised mutants led by Spinner. Now that part of The Last War is complete, however it doesn’t look like the series will be returning to the subject any time soon. And it happens too late in the story to really have much meaningful impact on the plot or the reader. Introducing a school in the style of the X-Men institute would help quite a bit with this.
Given the X-Men’s importance in Marvel comics, it’s unlikely Horikoshi hasn’t heard of them. In fact, the discrimination that Mutant Quirk users face may even be directly inspired by X-Men. Unfortunately, My Hero Academy didn’t go the extra step and add a school that referenced Xavier’s Academy, as if it did, it could have more fully explored the struggles of the mutant heroes in its world.