Ashley Kafka

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Ashley Kafka
Ashley Kafka, as she appears in a comic book.png
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceThe Spectacular Spider-Man #178, July 1991
Created byJ. M. DeMatteis
Sal Buscema
In-story information
Full nameAshley Kafka
Supporting character ofSpider-Man

Dr. Ashley Kafka is a fictional supporting character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, as well as multiple spin-offs and dramatizations of the Spider-Man titles. Ashley Kafka was inspired by therapeutic hypnotist Frayda Kafka[1] and was created by writer J. M. DeMatteis and artist Sal Buscema. Dr. Kafka works as a psychiatrist for the criminally insane at the Ravencroft Institute for the Criminally Insane in New York City, and is a sometime ally of Spider-Man. Her first appearance was in The Spectacular Spider-Man #178 (July 1991) and the appearance of her death came in 2013 during The Superior Spider-Man #4 (April 2013).

Ashley Kafka has appeared in various Spider-Man media and was featured in the 2014 film The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Publication history[edit]

Ashley Kafka was created by writer J.M. DeMatteis and artist Sal Buscema. She first appeared in The Spectacular Spider-Man #178, in July 1991.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Ashley Kafka grew up in New York with her Mother and her sister, Norma, who had been born with severe facial birth defects and was mentally challenged. Kafka looked after Norma while growing up. Their mother died when Kafka was nineteen years old and Norma was left at a psychiatric hospital, where she died a short time later. Kafka then went to college and the Empire State University where she studied psychology and earned a degree.[2]

Kafka goes on to become a professional psychologist specializing in the criminally insane and founds a maximum security sanitarium called the Ravencroft Institute for the Criminally Insane, where she treats super-criminals.[3] Kafka is killed by Massacre during a breakout attempt.[4]

During the Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy storyline, Jackal had created a clone of Ashley Kafka.[5]

Other versions[edit]

DC crossover[edit]

In the Marvel/DC crossover Spider-Man & Batman, Doctor Kafka was present when behavioral psychiatrist Doctor Cassandra Briar attempted to use Carnage as the test subject for a chip that would essentially lobotomise the homicidal instincts of dangerous patients, Kafka objecting to the treatment in the belief that she could still reach Kasady through conventional therapy (Spider-Man doubted this philosophy but agreed with her objections to Briar's work).[6]


In the MC2 reality, Ashley Kafka ended up falling in love with and marrying John Jameson (son of J. Jonah Jameson) and together they had a son named 'Jack'. Jack became the costumed adventurer known as "The Buzz" without them knowing.[volume & issue needed]

In other media[edit]



Dr. Ashley Kafka, as he appears in The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Ashley Kafka appears in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, played by Marton Csokas. The character is re-imagined as a male German mad doctor and is a leading staff member of the Ravencroft Institute for the Criminally Insane, which is controlled by the corrupt scientific corporation Oscorp. He is shown to have been conducting inhumane experiments on Electro who retaliates by smashing Kafka's glasses and verbally threatening him. After discovering that the staff at Ravencroft have been experimenting on the patients, Harry Osborn sneaks into Ravencroft and releases Electro's holding cell. Electro then brutally assaults Dr. Kafka, knocking him out. When Kafka regains consciousness and tries to escape, Electro traps him in Electro's same harness. This harness presumably kills him, due to electricity being contained and the fact that he was drowning in the water underneath. It is unknown whether Kafka survived this or not, though Marton Csokas has expressed interest in reprising his role as the character in future films.[7] In an interview with Vanity Fair, Frayda Kafka (the character's real life inspiration) reacted negatively to this portrayal.[8]

Video games[edit]

In the Amazing Spider-Man 2 video game, Dr. Kafka appears in the Ravencroft Institute alongside Donald Menken. Kafka is shown to be experimenting on Cletus Kasady with the spider venom responsible for Peter Parker's powers. However, this inadvertently transforms Kasady into Carnage who grabs Kafka by the throat. This is the last time Kafka is seen in the game.


  1. ^ Hoffman, Jordan (May 5, 2014). "The Real-Life Inspiration for a Spider-Man Character Reacts to Being Turned Evil...and into a Man". Vanity Fair. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  2. ^ The Spectacular Spider-Man #178
  3. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #655
  4. ^ Dan Slott (w), Ryan Stegman (a). The Superior Spider-Man 5 (March 2013), Marvel Comics
  5. ^ Clone Conspiracy #2
  6. ^ Spider-Man & Batman
  7. ^
  8. ^ Hoffman, Jordan (May 5, 2014). "The Real-Life Inspiration for a Spider-Man Character Reacts to Being Turned Evil...and into a Man". Vanity Fair. Retrieved July 18, 2014.

External links[edit]