The Spider-Man Handbook -

Book Review

Mania Grade: B+

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  • Author: Seth Grahame-Smith
  • Publisher: Quirk Books
  • Pages: 176
  • Price: $15.95

The Spider-Man Handbook

By Tim Janson     May 08, 2007

"The Spider-Man Handbook" by Seth Grahame-Smith.
© Quirk Books
The Spider-Man handbook won’t give you super powers or make you a hero, but it is a fun, quirky read (appropriate since it is from Quirk Books) that does have several bits of practical information for the hero wannabe. The book is part fantasy, part survival guide, and part Spider-Man mythology, all rolled into one. Having read Quirk’s Superman handbook, the Spider-Man handbook seems quite a bit more on the fantastic side. 
The first chapter covers your Spider-Man basics such as how to crawl up a wall (quite possible for the experienced rock climber but don’t try that at home!), how to design and make a costume, building a web shooter (ohhhh kay), developing your Spider sense, and maintaining a secret identity. Now I don’t truly suppose that anyone is going to be making their own web-shooters and go out swinging from buildings, but there are some inventive notions here, still. Such as when you wear your costume underneath your regular clothes, make sure the sleeves of your costume are a couple of inches shorter so they don’t stick out and give you away. And yes, you can develop your spider sense, or more accurately, heighten your other senses with some useful techniques such as sitting on a park bench, closing your eyes, and listening to all of the sounds you hear and then try to identify them.
The Spidey Skills section is really the most fantastic of all as you’ll be instructed how to survive a pumpkin-bomb attack, build and fly a web glider, defeat a shape-changing foe, and stopping a getaway car. I did find the section on surviving a fall from a tall building rather interesting as there are several examples of people falling from great heights and surviving. Still, no matter how you try and land, you fall from 500’ and you’re going to be road kill!
Sections three and four deal with combat and law enforcement skills that are less outrageous than the previous two sections. There are some dubious ideas about how to take on a gang of henchmen but also some sensible advice on following a criminal (or the guy making time with your girlfriend!) without being detected and also for losing a tail. The most useful, real-life advice comes in the final chapter and includes one that a lot of people can relate to…how to live on a meager income! 
In addition to all of this great info, you’ll meet some of Spidey’s top villains such as Doctor Octopus, The Sandman, and Venom, learn about the women in his life, and all of his powers and equipment, including the long-lost Spider-Man dune buggy. The Spider-Man handbook isn’t to be taken too serious, hopefully. Leave the superheroes to the comics and the movies. The book is pure entertainment, mixed with a few solid bits of common sense for the right occasion. Hopefully the right occasion is not an attack by the Green Goblin. Great book for the Spider-Man fan! Stan Lee provides the Foreword.


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nax37 5/8/2007 6:17:59 AM
That picture looks like it should go on a Spider-Man Red Bull can. Red Bull gives you the proportionate strength and agility of a spider!


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