Audio : Spider-Man: Night of the Lizard (Touch 'N' Listen)

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: Book of the Month Club

This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

This is one of those lovable hard-bound books which come complete with an attached audio panel, consisting of illustrated buttons that each cause a sound to be played through a tiny built-in speaker. What seems like a great idea at the shop is eventually transformed into a torment, as the sound of Spidey's web soon loses its charm after a straight hour of being pressed by a tireless three-year old.

In Detail...

Spider-Man: Night of the Lizard (Touch 'N' Listen)
Year 1995 : SM Title
Find at Amazon.Com
Publisher:  Golden Books
Pencils:  Mike Wieringo
Inker:  John Lowe
Original Script:  Paul Patterson
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Review

This 9.5" x 11" hard-cover book contains a 19-page story based on the original 90's cartoon series script by Paul Patterson. Proven Marvel artist Mike Wieringo does the pencils in his proven style, with soft, rich colors overlayed on the thick paper. The coloring scheme follows that from the cartoon series, with Parker in his trademark Blue/White/Green shirt.

There are seven different sound buttons in this book. Each page gives between three and seven lines of text, with an average of around two and a half buttons to press per page to add character to the story. The story is, of course, very simple. Jonah offers cash for pictures of the Lizard, and Peter needs cash to give to Aunt May. Spidey tracks the Lizard and finds him at Doc Connors's lab. Oh no, Lizard-Lips has kidnapped the Doc! Spidey tracks Lizard to his sewer-lair, rescuing Connors's wife (mistakenly called Margaret). Spidey stops Lizard from activating his Recombinator (which will of course transform all humans in the the city into Lizards, etc, etc). Spidey saves the day, takes pictures, gives money to Aunt May, dashes off on another adventure. Da End.

Perfectly acceptable stuff, which keeps to the well-trodden path of many similar quick and simple money-spinning TV tie-ins. Nothing more, or less, than we would expect.

In General...

This book is a little hard to find these days, especially if you're looking for near mint condition. I managed to buy mine second-hand through Amazon, and that's where you probably want to start if you're looking for them.

We're a long way from literature here, folks. This is just money-spinning merchandising, crossed with proven kid-appeal. I sat with my two kids and we pressed our way through the story. I must admit that the novelty wore off very quickly for me, but the kids were still wanting more by the end! I guess these guys know their target audience pretty well.

Overall Rating...

Good fun in small doses, three webs.