When we first see

Electro at the Ravencroft Institute,

we see a doctor whose name was Kafka. Was this just a coincidence? Or were there any references from the works of Franz Kafka in the movie?

I thought that the transformation of Max from a normal human into Electro was kinda like Kafka's Metamorphosis, and maybe this is why the doctor's name was Kafka.

  • Why the downvote? Commented May 2, 2014 at 8:38
  • 1
    Possibly because a wee bit of research (the Wikipedia page for the Dr. Kafka comics character is linked to from the Amazing Spider-Man 2 Wikipedia page) would have answered the question. In general, Stack Exchange sites aren’t intended to duplicate information that’s already readily available from other reference sources on the internet. However, I think sciFi.SE is a bit more permissive in that regard, so I think your question is fine. Commented May 2, 2014 at 9:43
  • I don't see any mention of Franz Kafka on these pages. I had already seen them. Commented May 2, 2014 at 9:47
  • Ah, I see. Your question reads as if you thought the movie character’s name was a reference to Franz Kafka, rather than being an existing character’s name from the comics. Commented May 2, 2014 at 10:33
  • Yes. Also, if there were any references to kafka's works Commented May 2, 2014 at 10:45

1 Answer 1


There’s a psychiatrist called Dr. Ashley Kafka at the Ravencroft Institute in the comics:

I think this is the simplest explanation for the movie character’s name (although I haven’t read any Franz Kafka, so maybe there were some references I didn’t spot).

And @Keen has found a fascinating Vanity Fair interview which claims that the comics character was originally named after a fairly distant relative of Franz Kafka, therapeutic hypnotist Frayda Kafka:

So at one point along the way the legendary comic-book writer J.M. DeMatteis walks in your door.

Yes...he said he wanted to go to a hypnotist, for creative purposes to help with his writing and research. But he wanted a hypnotist who was a Baba lover. Somebody gave him my card. He doesn’t remember who. But he carried my card for years. Then one day we met at a meeting and he recognized my name and pulled the card out of his pocket.

So you are absolutely the inspiration of Spider-Man’s Dr. Kafka, right? He told you beforehand?

Yes, he said he was thinking of doing it, and I was thrilled. You know, why not?

  • 2
    Per the appendix in the Starbooks Classics translation of The Metamorphosis, Dr. Ashley Kafka is a reference to author Franz Kafka.
    – Brian S
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 14:42
  • @BrianS Did that appendix provide a source for that assertion? Commented May 2, 2014 at 15:30
  • Not that I saw, but I only looked at the Google Books result, which doesn't contain all of the content.
    – Brian S
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 15:31
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    @BrianS But, there's this: vanityfair.com/vf-hollywood/spider-man-real-life-dr-kafka
    – user1027
    Commented May 8, 2014 at 2:56
  • 1
    @PaulD.Waite Just add it to yours.
    – user1027
    Commented May 8, 2014 at 22:08

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