Empire State University

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This article is about the fictional university. For the state college, see Empire State College.
First appearance Amazing Spider-Man #31
(December 1965)
Publisher Marvel Comics

Empire State University (also known as ESU) is a fictional university in the Marvel Comics Universe, a mixture of New York University[1] and Columbia University (whose campus was used in the film adaptations).[2] It is located somewhere in New York City, in Greenwich Village near the site of New York University.[3] Many Marvel Comics characters, especially those associated with Spider-Man, have either attended or worked at the university. It first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #31 (December 1965).


Depictions of the university's location have been vague, although maps published in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe depict the university as being near Washington Square Park, on or near the site of New York University. In the 2002 Chamber miniseries, the main character dorms in Empire State's Brittany Hall, the name of a real dorm at NYU.[3]

The novel The Venom Factor, by Diane Duane,[4] places the university in Greenwich Village, where NYU is located.

Notable students[edit]

Peter Parker, AKA Spider-Man, studied biophysics at Empire State University after graduating high school.

Victor von Doom was invited to come from Latveria to study at Empire State, where he met Reed Richards. He was expelled after the accidental explosion that scarred his face.

Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, attended Empire State University. He was expelled and then sued after he accidentally burned part of a building down[5] while engaged in a battle with supervillains.

A young Emma Frost also attended ESU in her late teens.[6] She was there when an anti-mutant strike broke out.

Later, X-Man Chamber enrolled briefly at ESU in order to investigate a bombing that killed six people. Chamber's findings resulted in ESU closing their main mutant program, and creating a new human/mutant student exchange program with the Xavier Institute. The first participants of this program were Walter—Chamber's paraplegic, human dorm-mate—and Amber, a reptilian mutant student who assisted Chamber in his investigation.[7]

Eddie Brock, aka Venom, attends Empire State University in the Ultimate Spider-Man series.

Staff, students, and faculty[edit]


Character First Appearance Status Description
Shelly Fisch[8] Amazing Spider-Man #310 (December 1998) Employed Head of Grant Program. Is not actually seen.
Harvey MacNamara[9] Amazing Spider-Man #225 (February 1982) Employed Registrar who was targeted by Foolkiller.
Debra Whitman[10] Amazing Spider-Man #196 (September 1979) Quit Secretary to Dr. Morris Sloan. Dated Peter Parker, but left him after finding out he was Spider-Man.
Dian Michael Abria[8] Amazing Spider-Man #310 (December 1988) Employed Head of MIS



  • Anne-Marie Baker[8] - Research Assistant to Dr. Evan Swann while getting doctorate, born in France, raised in London.
  • Professor Rodney Ballinger (Chemistry)[11]
  • Professor Marina Caches[12]
  • Dean Marcus Corliss[13]
  • Dr Philip Coyles[14] - Science advisor of Eddie McDonough
  • Dr. Henry Croft[15] -Member of the Hydro-Men
  • David Dwyer[16] - Former president of ESU
  • Chancellor Edward Gorman[17]
  • Mark Howard[18]
  • Professor Francis Hutton (Sociology)[19]
  • Daniel Ironwood (Cosmology)[20] - Former expert in nuclear physics, kidnapped by the Soviet Super Soldiers, in effort to force him to complete a bomb.
  • Dean Eliot Irvine[6]
  • Dr. Joseph Jennings[15] (Member of the Hydro-Men)
  • Dr. Michael Kissick (Biochemistry)[21] - Coerced into formulating poisons for Ramrod
  • Dr. Maxwell Lubisch[22] - Attempted to tap into extradimensional power source, resulted in Spider-Man receiving Captain Universe power; history of failed experiment abroad, blackmailed by Sebastian Shaw.
  • Professor Robin Mason[6]
  • Dean Enrico Montesi[23]
  • Dr. Benita Sanchez[24]
  • Prof. Isaac Sandor[25] - Discovered Omnivirus
  • Professor Isaac Slattery[23]
  • Dean Morris Sloan (Entomology)[26] - Graduate professor under whom Peter Parker, Phillip Chang, Marcy Kane and Steve Hopkins studied and worked; inadvertently revived Swarm
  • Evan Swann[27] - Became one of the hosts for Captain Universe
  • Peregrine Took[28]
  • Damon Walthers[29] - Research scientist, developed a force field device, which was stolen by his lab assistant Clay Wilson, who became Force
  • Peter Wilcox[30] - Theoretical physicist, college classmate of She-Hulk, once dated Jen Walters, assisted in discovering nature of the compaction receptacles and Encroachiverses


Student body[edit]


  • Todd Aiken (SHOC)[42]
  • Amber McIntosh[7] - mutant, may have been depowered.
  • Axel Asher (Access)[43]
  • Kyle Barker (Patchwork)[44]
  • Brian Broyd[45] - roommate of Eddie McDonough
  • Roger "Caps" Cooper[46] - Classmate and college roommate of Richard Rider; Nephew of Megaman; he is aware of Richard Rider's alter ego
  • Brad Davis[47] - former star quarterback, dated Mary Jane Watson
  • Delaney "Dee Dee" Devereaux (Geiger)[44] - mutated by Empire State University’s experimental particle accelerator
  • Max Devreaux[48] - briefly dated Emma Frost, forced to assault her by Astrid Bloom, suspended
  • Bernie Dillon[46] - roommate of Richard Rider, employed at Marvel Burger, aware of Nova’s secret identity
  • Harvey Kenneth Farber[49]
  • Holly Gillis[50] - former Empire State University art student, she formerly dated Hector Ayala
  • Lillian Hsu[28]
  • Kai McNamara[48]
  • Mr. Olgivy Landsfield[28] - dozed off in the classroom of Peregrine Took, who cast frightening illusions into his mind
  • William Ledge[51] - badly beaten by Lunatik when he tried to come to Valkyrie's aid, friend of Dollar Bill
  • Patrick O'Keefe (Neutrino Annihilator)[7] - member of on-campus mutant group, Magnetic North
  • Christie McDermott[52] - of Jack and Jill, former roommate of Emma Frost, briefly dated Ian Kendall, assaulted by him while he was controlled by Astrid Bloom, pressed charges against him, but forced to act like she was psycho/obsessed with him by Emma to clear Ian
  • Brigit O'Neil[53] - archeology student at Empire State University, acquaintance of Human Torch (Johnny Storm)
  • Susan Sawyer[45] - girlfriend of Bryan Broyd who was the roommate of Eddie McDonough
  • Anita Shannons[48]
  • Jennifer and Janet Kovalski, Gigi Martin, Alexis "Alex" Madden[7] - formerly at Empire State University, sought to promote peaceful relationships between humans and mutants, made up of both, several killed when Alex’s powers exploded out of control
  • Robin Vega[54]
  • Shantal Wilsk[12] - friend of Mary Jane Watson
  • Doreen Green - Squirrel Girl



  • Dr. Bradley Bolton[61] - Co-creator of the WHO computer; sacrificed life protecting daughter from Paine, who wanted information on WHO[61]
  • Phillip Chang[62] - took vow of peace, assaulted by white dragon ii. skilled martial artist
  • Chip Lockley[63] - partnered with Ethan Albright in Agro-Lab, attempted to develop plant growth accelerator, slain by Carnage
  • Ethan Albright[63] - Agro-Lab, partnered with Chip Lockley in project to accelerate plant growth
  • Roger Hochberg[64] - friend of Peter Parker, dated Mia Carrerra, encountered Red Ghost and Super-Apes
  • Steve Hopkins[65] - with Peter Parker, biophysics major, practical joker
  • Marcy Kane[26] - Kaina - Contraxian, posed as science grad student at Empire State University, former lover of Jack of Hearts, friend and co-worker of Peter Parker
  • Chip Martin (Schizoid Man)[66]
  • Carlos Munoz[63] - assisted in Nuform experiments for Roxxon
  • Peter Parker (Spider-Man) [41]

In other media[edit]


  • In Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, the university is sometimes shown as Empire State University and sometimes shown as Eastern State University.
  • In Spider-Man, Peter Parker is a college student and attends Empire State University, as does Debra Whitman and Michael Morbius. Also, Dr. Curt Connors is a professor there.
  • Spider-man: The New Animated Series - Peter Parker, Harry Osborn, and Mary Jane Watson are college students at Empire State University.
  • Empire State university is featured in The Spectacular Spider-Man as the college where Eddie Brock attends and works as a lab assistant under Dr. Curt Connors and Martha Connors (just like in the Ultimate comics). In Season 2, Miles Warren joins the scientific staff and becomes a professor just like in the comics.


Video games[edit]

  • In the game Spider-Man 2: The Sinister Six, Doctor Octopus kidnaps Aunt May and holds her hostage in the university.
  • In the game adaptions of Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2, the Empire State Building can be seen and visited. In both games this building is the highest point in the game but in the Ultimate Spider-Man game both the building and university can be visited.
  • In The Incredible Hulk (2008), the subplot with Samuel Sterns at ESU is adapted from the film that the game is based on. Empire State University is also a marked location on the game's map screen, one of many that the player must destroy to earn certain collectible items.
  • Empire State University appears in Marvel: Avengers Alliance.


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