Comics : Spider-Man 3: Meet the Heroes and Villains

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This review was first published on: 2007.

Background...

This Spider-Man 3 Movie tie-in from HarperCollins is at a lexile level specifically targeted for Level 2 (Reading With Help) readers. The book is 6" x 9", soft cover, 32 pages. Each page features edge-to-edge art with an overlaid caption, e.g. "Sandman needs a lot of money. And some of the things he does to get money are really bad."

This is a companion book to Spider-Man 3: Spider-Man versus Sandman.

In Detail...

Spider-Man 3: Meet the Heroes and Villains
Jun 2007 : SM Title
Find ISBN 0060837217
Publisher:  HarperCollins Publishers
Artist:  Steven E. Gordon
Adaption:  Harry Lime
Screenplay:  Alvin Sargent
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Review

This story covers many of the key points from the movie, though at a hyper-simplified level. Peter is Spider-Man. He loves MJ who is an actress. Gwen Stacy is his lab partner, her father is the police captain, Eddie Brock takes photos of Gwen. The New Goblin used to be his friend but is now his enemy. The Sandman is a villain. Venom is a villain. Spider-Man has to protect his friends and fight the villains, that makes him feel good.

In General...

The book attempts to cover all the characters from the film - Aunt May and Jonah are in there too. Of course, the movie was huge in terms of content, and with only 32 pages and twenty words per page, the story in this book only just manages to describe all the characters - there's no time left for any plot!

The language used is quite clear throughout, though grammar-Nazis will notice that the example text I quoted starts a sentence with a preposition. Perhaps six-year-olds will forgive that. They may also forgive the lack of any conflict or resolution or other aspects which are typically associated with a story, I'm not sure.

Overall Rating...

Well presented, clear art and clear text. Appropriate vocabulary. That's all on the plus side. The only real downside is the complete lack of any traditional plot. Still, it's clear by the title that the book deliberately chose this approach, and the overall result isn't displeasing. Let's call it three and a half webs.

Footnote...

Whoever wrote the notes on the back of this book obviously didn't see the movie. "Peter Parker is lucky to have good friends in his life. And they are lucky to be friends with a hero like Spider-Man..."

Well, according to my recollection of the film, Peter's only real friends were Gwen and Mary-Jane. He managed to spend most of the movie being pretty beastly to both of them. As for MJ and Harry being lucky to be friends with Spider-Man, well MJ was kidnapped and threatened with death three times while Harry was driven insane, hideously scarred and then killed as a direct consequence of his friendship with Harry. Doesn't seem very lucky if you ask me!