Comics : Spider-Man 3: The New Goblin

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This review was first published on: 2007.

Background...

This and the Spider-Man 3: The Official Movie Novelization (Junior) are the only two kids "Chapter Books" that I've seen come out of the recent third film, certainly at least as proper movie tie-in books go.

The book is 5" x 7.5" with a glossy softback cover. There's 64 high-quality stock black and white pages, however there's plenty of artwork at the front and between the chapters, making more like 48 pages of actual text. Roughly 180 words per page in a mid/largish font.

In Detail...

Spider-Man 3: The New Goblin
Jun 2007 : SM Title
Find ISBN 0060837241
Publisher:  HarperCollins Publishers
Writer:  Danny Fingeroth
Screenplay:  Alvin Sargent
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Review

While the Junior Novelization covers the entire movie plot (albeit with nearly all of the challenging or adult aspects carefully excised), "The New Goblin" is entirely focused on Harry's role. Even so, it again omits all of the challenging aspects of the story.

Chapter One has Harry facing the ghost of his father. In Chapter Two, Harry goes to the theater and sees MJ and Peter. In Chapter Three, Norman's echoes persuade Harry to undergo the Goblin treatment.

By Chapter Four, Harry is fighting Spider-Man, and Chapter Five sees him in the hospital, missing his memory and being visited by MJ and Peter. Chapter Six has Harry seeing MJ at the festival and taking advantage of her anger at Spidey kissing Gwen to invite MJ for dinner. Chapter Seven they have dinner together and kiss. However, unlike the movie there is no implication that Harry is acting out of anything other than love for Harry.

Chapter Eight, Peter comes visiting and fights with Harry, scarring him. Again, the story is softened greatly - Peter returned the pumpkin bomb instinctively, and is very sorry. Of course, in the film Peter isn't sorry at all.

Chapter Nine, Peter is back asking for Harry's help. Chapter Ten is written from MJ's point of view as she's held hostage. She sees the New Goblin arrive, but who's side is he on...?

And that's it. Harry doesn't die. Again, all very sanitized and safe.

In General...

Writing Novelizations must be a truly thankless task. How on earth can a novel live up to the memory of a massive blockbuster movie like Spider-Man 3. Add to that the need to extract a small fragment of a huge plot, and then take out all the "adult" bits - which just happen to be all the bits that make the plot work. Ouch! I feel sorry for writer Danny Fingeroth, I truly do.

Despite the challenges, the final result is actually a passable story. Better than mediocre and slightly above adequate. I might seem to be damning with faint praise here, but I consider that to be an achievement.

Overall Rating...

Three and a half webs. A difficult task achieved to a satisfactory level.