Comics : Spider-Man 2: Everyday Hero
This review was first published on: 2004.
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.
A number of the Spider-Man 2 movie books used movie stills for the artwork, however these two slimmer books for younger kids actually feature freshly-drawn artwork instead. The other book in this matching pair is Spider-Man 2: Spider-Man vs. Doc Ock.
Note: There are probably U.K. and U.S. versions of this book, probably with separate ISBNs. We'll catch up with that info all in good time. But for now, let's just open up and have a look inside.
Spider-Man 2: Everyday Hero
Jun 2004 : SM Title
There are two of these short 32 page 5" x 7.5" books in the Spider-Man 2 range, written and illustrated by nearly the same team. You would imagine that the stories might at least be consistent. But no. This first half of Everyday Hero is all about Peter being Spidey being a Hero. Saving kids from being run over, stopping muggers, etc.
Then, there's a bank robbery. There's a couple of criminals with a shopping cart. A third criminal is Doc Ock. Peter doesn't recognise Ock, so this story really is even further removed from the movie than the first one! Ock throws a kid out of a window, and Spidey rescues her. Mean Ock!
There's no clues as to whether Ock is caught or not. And, dammit, that kid could have died! Throwing people gratuitously out of windows? Sorry, but to me, that's pretty scary for at least the bottom half of the 3-7 year old market this book seems to be aimed at!
Oh, as a footnote, the art in this book doesn't have the CGI enhancement that we saw in "vs. Doc Ock". Very strange! It's not quite as pretty, for that reason.
Independently, this book and the matching Spider-Man 2: Spider-Man vs. Doc Ock form a pair of average and mostly competent Spidey storybooks. They're a bit facile, but then again the overall production quality is pretty good. Sure, the books are TOTALLY unrelated to the movie in any way, except for the approximate look and feel of Ock's arms.
The real point against these two books is the complete disconnect between the two! I can really imagine some parent grabbing both of them, taking them home, and then being unable to explain how Spidey doesn't recognise Ock, even though he just read about him in the newspaper in the other book. It's just dumb. Just some basic consistency is all I'm asking for!
This is the worst of the two matching tie-ins for this movie. The plot is dreadful, and the art is merely adequate. One and a half webs.