16 June 2014

Book Review: "Essential Spider-Man": Volume One

Author(s): Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, et. al.
Published: 2006 by Marvel Comics
Peter Parker was just a nerdy teenage outcast...until a bite from a genetically enhanced spider gave him arachnid-like powers! Unfortunately, there are countless supervillains who are bent on mass destruction...and Spider-Man is the only thing standing in their way! Even with his new-found super-strength and agility, the likes of the Lizard, the Green Goblin, and Kraven the Hunter, among several others, may be too much for him to handle.  Also featuring Marvel favorites the Incredible Hulk and the Fantastic Four, these comics show the beginnings of everyone's favorite wall-crawler!

The Good
They don't make superhero stories like this anymore! Seriously, the old-school style of these original Spidey comics--from the 1960's, no less!--is decidedly different from the modern flicks.  Positive messages abound: Peter Parker looks out for his family, his friends, and even his enemies, going as far as saving one from death; Spidey uses more than just sheer brawn to defeat the bad guys; and, he also shows the value of intelligence.  Better yet, the comics are completely free of profanity, with the worst language being G-rated words such as "darn," "dumbhead," or, "Holy Hannah!" The violence is of the "TV-Y7-FV" variety, and is not bloody or graphic.  Superhero fans are likely to have a field day with this.

The Bad
I only have one complaint: The comics are so similar, they sort of blend together.  That may be exactly what one would expect, but it is a little annoying nonetheless...but only a little.

Most modern superhero fans probably only know Spider-Man from the live-action films, and, maybe, the TV series on DVD and Disney XD.  There are similarities to the flicks here, but...without these comics, the movies wouldn't exist.  If you're a fan of the human arachnid, you should definitely check this out; these comics stand the test of time!

Score: 4.5/5

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