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Book Review

Book Cover

The Philosophy of Spider-Man (Hardback)


Publisher: Titan Comics
128 pages
ISBN: 978 1 78773 536 1
Publication Date: 01 December 2020

“I wonder what normal people do on a Sunday morning?”

Titan Comics releases The Philosophy of Spider-Man, a full-colour soft cover book of 128 pages exploring the day-to-day approach to extraordinary situations of a – albeit highly intelligent, learned and resourceful – high school teenager. It achieves this with the chapter titles: I Am Spider-Man; With Great Power…; Spider (Fashion) Sense; Family Matters; Media Frenzy; Romancing the Spider; To Kill a Spider; Ten Crazy Spider Fights; Web-Tastic Team-Ups; Enter the Spider-Verse; and Culture King. That means very basic information on Peter Parker and what happened to change his life, his abilities, his costume variations, his family (only Aunt May is mentioned; no mention of Uncle Ben or his missing parents in my review download copy), his photography editor at the Daily Bugle – J. Jonah Jameson (Spider-Man hater), his true love Mary Jane Watson and other weird relationships, a plentiful supply of super-villains, ten top fights (including three misunderstandings with other heroes), team-ups with other heroes, other Spider-Men in the Spider-Verse, and cultural references.

Spider-Man is easily my favourite Marvel character. For a while, as a kid I couldn’t get enough Spider-Man comic-books. I even collected a number of graphic novels years later of big storylines and notable writers and artists, such as Stan Lee, John Romita, Tom McFarlane, and J. Michael Straczynski – a few of which I still possess. Spider-Man was the first superhero to have normal everyday problems that readers could relate to. He also quipped because he was young and unsure of himself, although very intelligent in the field of sciences. He is a small-scale hero who often finds himself involved in large scale events. He has the proportionate strength of a spider, and can walk on walls, but his web-shooters are his own invention and it adds to the suspense of stories when he runs out of web fluid at a critical moment, or they become clogged with water. By now you know I love the character; however, as far as this book is concerned, that is where the problem lies.

Anyone who is already a fan of Spider-Man is going to consider this ridiculous. It’s obviously targeted at very young children, but even they are going to learn next to nothing. We are in a new age now. Kids mature more quickly than they used to. I saw a youngster once in a pram quite happily playing with an i-phone. It’s the wrong way to interact with a young child, although it does remind you that we are living in a highly technological age, into which kids are born. Consequently, even as tots they are going to prefer the big budget Hollywood movies (There have been some pretty good Spider-Man movies that tell you all you need to know). If they then decide to delve more deeply into the 60 year history of Spider-Man, they are more likely to seek out the aforementioned graphic novels, or maybe the classic animated serials. This whole concept seems contrived. Copyright aside, I would have no trouble putting together a significantly more entertaining and informative book for potential new fans just from my own knowledge, without the need for research.

Most of Spider-Man’s comic-book quips are mildly humorous, but the best this offering can present is “If I save enough lives by the weekend, Sunday’s washing day!” Sadly, it’s a missed opportunity.


Ty Power

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