Comics : Spider-Man: Clash With The Rhino
This review was first published on: Feb 2010.
HarperCollins Publishers have produced a fair few Spider-Man books. They began with some movie tie-ins, both coloring/activity and story books. Now in the last year or two they've spit out a few small story books featuring a generic young Spider-Man.
Spider-Man: Clash With The Rhino
Apr 2009 : SM Title
Find ISBN 0061626112
This book is one of a matched pair, the other being Spider-Man: Battle against Doc Ock. Both are 8" x 8", glossy card cover with 14 full color pages inside.
Peter Parker sprints to the Daily Bugle, he's late for a meeting with Jonah. When he gets there, Jonah immediately tells him that the Rhino has captured the mayor's son, and instructs teenage school-kid Peter Parker to "Get Pictures!"
Woah. Let's just think about this. High profile kidnapping. Location of the hostage currently unknown. What does a major newspaper do? Of course! Sends a part-time teenager out to walk the streets until he finds the victim and the super-powered psychotic kidnapper. Does that make sense to anybody?
No, I can't move on yet. I'm still struggling with what we have been asked to accept here. As far as Jonah knows, Peter has no powers and no way to find the victim. Plus, he's not even old enough to be a full-time employee, he's still at school. I... just... gack!
Well, Spider-Man does what he always does. He just... swings around a city of ten million people until he finds the Rhino. Hey, those one-in-a-million chances always come good, don't they! He fights the Rhino. Spider-Man lost the fight last time. But this time he packed his special webbing that freezes anything. He freezes the Rhino, webs him up, and returns to the Bugle with photos.
By the time he gets there, presumably a few minutes later, Jonah already has a newspaper on his desk with a photo of the captured Rhino. He tells Peter that he can't use the photos, they're too old.
Again... W T F? Within a few minutes of Peter taking the photos and leaving the scene, somebody else has found the Rhino, taken photos, sold 'em to a paper, which has redone its front page and printed a new edition, beating Peter to the punch? Noooo! And again. NOOOOOOOOOO!
Oh, yeah, they already rescued the kid... although there was no sign of him during the battle with the Rhino. Again. WTF? Somebody hired the Rhino to kidnap a kid (it says on the back cover that he was working for somebody else). Then they didn't rush the kid off to somewhere safe. No, they left the kid along with the Rhino. The Rhino. A high-profile violent moron super-villain. Why, why, why does that seem like a sensible plan? How? Why?
The first of these two books was written by Jennifer Frantz, this one by Jennifer Christie. But surely there cannot be two such incompetent, incapable, ill-qualified Jennifers running around at HarperCollins scribbling out such pointless drivel. Surely Jennifer was married and took on a new surname.
If so, could her new husband not have done anything to stop this atrocity, this second book which piled injury upon... well, the earlier injury. Oh sweet Angels of mercy, please we implore you. Do not let this woman ever write another book.
The ratings, they do not go low enough. We've already bottomed-out at a half-web, and can go no further. But trust me, this story deserves less.