Comics : Spider-Man 2: Doc Around The Clock

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This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

As per the last movie, Spider-Man 2 has also spun off a series of pocket-sized books for the pre-teen market. However, whereas the first series of books seemed to stick pretty close to the film plot, this second film has acquired a collection of books that are just one step further removed.

Note: There are probably U.K. and U.S. versions of this book, probably with separate ISBNs. The U.S. edition may well also be available as a hardback "library binding". We'll catch up with that info all in good time. But for now, let's just open up and have a look inside.

In Detail...

Spider-Man 2: Doc Around The Clock
Jun 2004 : SM Title
Publisher:  HarperCollins Publishers
Writer:  Jacob Ben Gunter
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First, the facts. 5" x 7.5", 64 pages, square card binding. Glossy cover, and high-quality paper stock. High resolution print process and good color. About one in every three pages features a full or half-page photo still from the movie. Chapters have some graphical highlights.

A full page of text (no photos) gives about 20 lines per page, with around eight words per line, since the font is pretty large. I'd say that your average 7-to-8 year old should demolish this with no problems.

The first half of the book deals with Ock's creation. The story opens with the demonstration at Oscorp, and then cuts to the operation to remove the arms, and Ock's escape. That's it, we're at page 30 already! Ock then fights some muggers who attack him, then fights Spidey. He then decides to go demand some cash off Harry. That brings us to page 44!

Peter doesn't have a "Spider-Man No More!" moment in this book. He does have a bit of a crisis about "how am I going to beat Ock, he just thumped me the first time we met". But then he meets Ock at the bank, and webs him up. End of book.

In General...

It's really not fair to judge this book against the movie. Unlike the Spider-Man 2: The Movie Storybook, Doc Around the Clock doesn't even pretend to cover the events of the film. To be honest, it's probably a better book for that. Instead, it's just a rather dull story about the creation of a super-villain, and his subsequent two battles against Spidey. Purely on those grounds, it's a perfectly mediocre little creative work.

Overall Rating...

Claims to be "based on the movie", although "prompted by the movie" might be more accurate. Very ordinary stuff, gets a very average three webs.