Comics : The Amazing Spider-Man: An Origin Story (Rewritten)
When I stumbled across this book in a Sydney bookstore, I very nearly didn't buy it, since at first glance I assumed it was simple a reprint of the very successful American hardback book The Amazing Spider-Man: An Origin Story.
But it isn't.
The Amazing Spider-Man: An Origin Story (Rewritten)
Year 2012 : SM Title
Find in Online Shops
This story is in fact a re-formatted, re-written version of the earlier The Amazing Spider-Man: An Origin Story, using all of the original artwork, but none of the original text.
Specifically, this new version is paperback instead of hardback. It is also physically smaller, at 5.1" x 7.6" (compared to the original 8.3" x 11.2"). However the page count is retained at 64 pages.
More importantly, the new version of the book has much more text than the original - significantly more. For example, while the original covers the wrestling match with Crusher Hogan in two or three paragraphs, the new version takes something like 20 paragraphs!
The font size in the new version is slightly smaller, perhaps by 10%. But most importantly, while the original version is a picture story book, this smaller version is a junior novel with illustrations. The artwork has been shrunk and now takes a back seat to the text.
So how did this all turn out?
Well, frankly I have to say that I much preferred the original text by Rich Thomas, which integrated so beautifully with the elegant graphics to result in an simple, understated, and delightful work.
By contrast, this re-telling feels laboured and uninspired. Scott Peterson's approach is needlessly heavy-handed. He also takes some extraordinary liberties with the Spider-Man story. For example, he invents an entirely new character - TV show host "Alan Stephens" who spends two pages attempting to embarrass Spider-Man by having him sing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" on prime time TV.
Really, the whole thing stinks to high heaven of needing to fill up a contracted word count.
I paid AUS$10 for this small-format paperback book. That's actually more expensive than the current amazon.com price for the original full-sized paperback!
Sure, visually this is still quite an appealing book. But the richly textured art has taken a back seat to the overblown and overbearing text, and that is a huge step backwards.
One-and-a-half webs. Very disappointing.