Book Review: The World According to Spider-Man (Mania.com)
By:Robert T. Trate
Review Date: Wednesday, May 14, 2014
The World According to Spider-Man is an interesting take on one man’s biography. That man being Spider-Man. In today’s modern and easily accessible world, one could simply read the biography/ history of Spider-Man, the character we all know and love as Peter Parker, on either Marvel’s official website or Wikipedia. Children shouldn’t start out as mindless drones swiping away on their iPads and Kindles reading about Spider-Man. No, they should be given a book, allowed to turn the pages and discover just who Spider-Man is. Thankfully, The World According to Spider-Man is such a book.
Marvel Comics, pre-internet, used to release the “Marvel Universe” comics. These weren’t comics with stories, but biographies on all the characters. It was tons of reading and endlessly addicting. The official Marvel Comics website updates the modern version of this constantly, but it isn’t the same. Insight Editions release of The World According to Spider-Man is a great spin on that theme. This isn’t a dry book with facts on Spider-Man’s history. This take has the author writing as Spider-Man revealing the ins and outs as well as the highs and lows of being Spider-Man. It is never too dark with the passing of beloved characters, nor does it skip over things such as “Spider-Man: Brand New Day”. This is a great, albeit, lighter side on what it is like to be Spider-Man. Any child, 10 and under, will love it.
With that being said, I found the illustrations Mirco Pierfederici perfectly suited to this history of Spider-Man. Older fans, myself included, will appreciate the Steve Dikto style with his origin, costumes, villains, and humor in the book. However, Mirco Pierfederici’s interpretation of more modern villains, such as Venom, will make you cringe.
The book itself is loaded with great pieces of Peter Parker’s history. There is a letter from J. Jonah Jameson where he fires Parker. You can marvel at Peter‘s Mid Town High report card; where in PhysEd he got a C-. Long time readers and newbies will both love and loath “The Villain Hall of Shame” and the “Spider-Mobile” pages. Someone forgot to mention where the web shooters are located on Spidey’s car, though. Apparently, no one read Amazing Spider-Man #130 while writing or illustrating this book. This is minor detail and easily forgiven as I discovered Horizon Labs Quick Reference Cards. The first was “So You’ve Become Unstuck in Time”, the other, “So You’re On An Unfamiliar Planet” . Both of these cards managed to some up all that Spider-Man has either encountered, accomplished, or had to deal with with on numerous occasions.
This is fun book for the kiddies and the second of which to come out this year. The World According to Wolverine has already been released. Spider-Man has that element of humor to him that makes him ideal for a book such as this. A book of this nature on Wolverine? Well, what is only slightly more daring is the The World According to The Joker, which arrives this fall.
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Mania Grade: B+
Written By: Daniel Wallace
Illustrator: Mirco Pierfederici
Format: Hardcover, 63 pages
Publisher: Insight Editions
Original Year of Release: 2014