Comics : Spider-Man: The Super Spider

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This review was first published on: 2005.

Background...

This book and Spider-Man: A Great Day were released together early in 2005. Both books are soft cover 7 1/2" x 7 1/2" with 24 full-cover pages. Each page features a single full-sized illustration, with one paragraph of text super-imposed in a box. The text is 30-40 words per page, in a mid-sized font. Comfortable self-reading age is probably in the 6-8 sort of range.

According to the publisher's own blurb on Amazon: "Two 8x8 storybooks feature classic images of Spider-Man as he battles evil villains for control of the world. Terrific art and storytelling will have boys reading both books over and over!" I'm not sure why "boys" are specifically singled out, I'm sure there's a perfectly good reason. Let's have a look at the book and see if we can figure it out.

Different illustrators were used for each book, but both have used a fairly loose and modern casual pencils style. The coloring is the major difference of note, with "A Great Day" being in bright friendly colors, and "The Super Spider" being in darker shaded tones. The coloring suits the style of the story in each case.

In Detail...

Spider-Man: The Super Spider
Jan 2005 : SM Title
Find ISBN 0696225166
Publisher:  Meredith Books
Writer:  David Seidman
Illustrator:  Louis De Martinis
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Review

At school, Peter Parker is excited because he's taking a biology course about spiders. He figures he'll have no problem passing since he knows all about Spiders. Of course, Peter's a genious, so he would have no problem passing anyhow, so I'm not sure why he's so keen. Nobody else is keen, since the professor (a woman) is completely mad.

The professor starts a tirade about how great spiders are, and how pathetic Spider-Man is. Peter is miffed, and returns later as Spider-Man to talk to the professor. Surprise, surprise, the professor goes completely nuts and drinks down her "experimental serum", transforming into a GIANT spider with many powers. Battle ensues, until Spidey defeats her by turning the lights on... seems she can't handle bright light.

In General...

What a dumb story! Peter is the only student in the class. Now, I don't know many high schools who go out and hire psychopathic research scientists with no training experience (and presumably no background checks) just so that they can take a class with one student. What's more, since when did schools offer classes in "Spiders" at that age. It's "General Science" or "Biology" if you're really specific.

The plot is daft, but without the redeeming positiveness of its companion release, Spider-Man: A Great Day. Here in this tale the Super Spider is just plain unpleasant. A self-destructive looney woman turns herself in giant beast and is taken off to prison. Not a particularly positive tale for young children if ya ask me! I can see now why they singled out boys, if your kid has some anger management issues, this might be a good reinforcement for exacerbating their problems.

Overall Rating...

I struggled to find much to enjoy in the story. The writing doesn't flow that well, the story is completely daft, and the art and coloring are little compensation. Sure, this is a mass-market kids book, and I guess it has to be judged on those terms, but even at four dollars cheap I can't give it more than a sub-standard two and a half webs. Sorry.