Comics : Santa's World: Origin Of Spider-Man

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This review was first published on: 2007.

Background...

These Santa's World mini-book comics are roughly 2.5" x 3" in size. Thick padded card covers, only twelve actual pages. They were packed in plastic bags ready to be hung as a Christmas Tree treat, or put into the stockings of nice children.

In Detail...

Santa's World: Origin Of Spider-Man
Year 1980 : SM Title
Publisher:  Cadence Industries Corp.
Editor:  Stan Lee
Writer:  Stan Lee
Pencils:  John Romita, Sr.
Inker:  Sal Buscema
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Review

Each of the eight pages in this story is a single panel taken from the re-told Spider-Man Origin from Amazing Spider-Man #94. The first of the twelve is a splash panel (possibly from another story). But then we're into the real tale.

Page Two: Peter is at the science lecture.

Page Three: A lone spider descends into the beam.

Page Four: Peter feels a sudden pain in his hand.

Page Five: Walking home, Peter is punched by "a couple of local creeps."

Page Six: Peter Fights Back.

Page Seven: Peter has punched and snapped the lamp post. Bad guys run.

Page Eight: Peter is shaken, and doesn't notice the approaching car. He jumps.

Page Nine: Peter climbs the wall.

Page Ten: Peter creates his web-shooters.

Page Eleven: Peter can't remember what made him do it, but he designed himself a costume.

Page Twelve: Due to this strange, amazing accident of fate -- Spider-Man was born!

In General...

Well, the flashback retelling in Amazing Spider-Man #94 bastardized the origin, and this little fiasco goes one step further. No Uncle Ben? What kind of Origin of Spider-Man could omit Peter's hubris and subsequent fall, teaching him the lesson which made him the man he was.

This is a travesty of an abridgment. It's an embarrassing Bowdlerization which completely removes all of the key elements, resulting in an origin which has lost all its "origin"-ality. Whoever did the hatchet job on this one should be thoroughly ashamed.

Overall Rating...

This is a bizarre juxtaposition of a collectible. On one hand, it's a joyfully kitsch must-have oddity. These are rarely found on eBay, and I was thrilled to pick up both this and the Spider-Woman origin for only twenty-something bucks each. They're true collectors gems.

But on the flip side, the story is an abomination -- a true shocker of a truncated tale.

So how to rate this book? I'm almost ashamed to admit that for me, the collector in me must prevail in this case. Much as I despise the contents, I adore the entire package. I must give it a four webs in deference to it's delicious uniqueness.