Comics : The Invincible Iron Man: Friends & Enemies
This story is part of a Lookback Series: Book of the Month Club
This review was first published on: Mar 2012.
The guys at DK books have their own little formula which hits a sweet spot in the pre-teen market. Among their popular non-fiction collection they have a strong line in "info-tainment" books presenting simplified fact files on pop culture topics such as Star Wars, Disney Princesses, Harry Potter and of course... the big name Marvel Characters.
Spider-Man has benefited previously from DK's attention. Check out our collection of the half-dozen or so Books (DK Readers) published to date.
Back in 2010 (no doubt prompted by the Iron Man movies) DK has employed their resident Spider-Man expert Michael Teitelbaum to tackle "Old Tin-Head" in a similar fashion.
Spider-Man gets a cameo, so we'll give this book a quick once-over.
The Invincible Iron Man: Friends & Enemies
Jan 2010 : SM Cameo
Find ISBN 9780756657703
Summary: 48pp, Spider-Man Cameo
Iron Man gets the typical treatment. Short profiles of the key members of the Iron Man cast include Tony Stark, James Rhodes, Pepper Potts, Happy Hogan, and Jarvis.
The Avengers are next to get the spotlight. Spider-Man gets a one-word mention here, buried deep in the "Avengers Roll Call". He doesn't get a picture though.
Then Captain America, Ant-Man & Wasp, Thor and the Hulk all get profiles. Spider-Man gets a second mention here, down at the footer of the Hulk page, in a box entitled "Iron Man's other friends". Again, it's just a one-word mention: "Some of the other Heroes Iron Man has teamed up with are Ka-Zar, Ms. Marvel, Daredevil, the Fantastic Four, and Spider-Man." But this time he does get a picture, 2.5" x 2.5" showing Spider-Man and Iron Man "in action" together.
That's it for Spider-Man. Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. get the final profile, and then we're into the villains: Obadiah Stone, Justin Hammer, Mandarin, Doctor Doom, Titanium Man, Ultimo, Crimson Dynamo, Backlash, Spymaster and the Black Widow. That's a wrap. As usual, there's a handy-dandy little Index at the back.
Michale Teitelbaum seems to be the go-to guy for books like this. He has written more than his fair share of these simplified "character profile books" over the past two or three decades, and he knows exactly what he's doing. There's not a single criticism that can be aimed in his direction in terms of the implementation.
Working within the context of the page count, coverage expectations and language complexity that the book's format dictates, nobody could really have done much better.
These books are glossy and professional, and they offer 48 pages for a measly $3.99. When they're done well (like this one is), then they're great value for money.